Homemade Wool Dryer BallsDawn Mikesell
Homemade Wool Dryer Balls
You’re right- wool dryer balls aren’t food. So, what do they have to do with Kitchen Kneads? I’ll tell you- essential oils. We are not only advocates of healthy eating, but also just general healthy living. That means we carry essential oils and medicinal herbs.
Lately we’ve been delving into the world of cleaning with essential oils. Laundry should not be excluded from that.
Wool dryer balls save you time, energy, and money by decreasing the drying time. As they roll around in the dryer, they separate and fluff your laundry, allowing air to circulate better and may decrease your drying time by 25-50%. The more balls you use, the faster the drying time will be.
Wouldn’t you also like to get rid of those nasty chemicals that are in commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets, but still have a nice, fresh scent on your clothes? This is where essential oils come in. Before you put your wool dryer balls in the dryer, put 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil onto each ball, toss them into the dryer, and let them do their work. Lavender is a popular choice, but lemon or any of the citrus oils will work nicely too. Really, use whatever oil you prefer.
So, how do you make them? First you’ll need some wool yarn. It has to be 100% wool or other animal yarn, otherwise it won’t felt and hold together.
Next, wrap the yarn around three of your fingers about 20 times.
Slide it off your fingers and wrap the yarn around the middle, creating something that looks like a bow. Then fold that in half and wrap around the middle again.
From there, start winding the yarn around your little ball (tightly) until it grows to the size of a tennis ball.
When it’s the size you want, tuck the end of the yarn under some of the other strands of yarn to secure it. (I actually threaded the end onto a yarn needle and poke the end through the middle of the ball to secure it.)
Repeat this process until you have four or more balls.
Now you’ll need one leg of an old pair of pantyhose. I actually used an old pair of my 2-year-old’s tights and they worked well. Put one ball in the toe of the pantyhose and tie a knot to keep it in place. Next, put another ball in and tie a knot on top of that. Repeat until all the balls are in.
Now for the felting process. This will cause the yarn fibers to fuse together so the balls don’t come apart when you’re using them as dryer balls. Put your balls into the washer and wash on the hottest setting and then dry them on the hottest setting in your dryer. (I actually repeated this process twice because after the first time my wool balls didn’t appear to have fully felted.)
After they’re completely dry, they’re ready to use! Put 2-3 drops of your favorite doTERRA essential oil on each ball and toss them in the dryer with your next load of laundry. This amount of essential oils should last for a few loads. Add more oil if you’d like a stronger scent.