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In my household, every day is laundry day. I do about four or five loads of laundry per week, so it's safe to say that I'm up to my ears in detergent, fabric softener, boosters — you name it.
When it comes to drying my clothes, I love using my trusted dryer sheets. They always give my laundry a clean scent and guarantee a wrinkle- and static-free load every time. However, the more laundry I do (which is a lot, remember?), the more boxes I go through — which means spending more money on supplies. Plus, using single-use sheets isn't exactly environmentally friendly.
While searching for more budget- and eco-friendly alternatives, I noticed that dryer balls have become all the rage in the laundry game. They're reusable, hassle-free and great for busy parents or people who work from home (like me!) who don't have time to stop at the store upon discovering an empty dryer sheet box. After hearing about the Wool Dryer Balls by Smart Sheep, which have garnered more than 40,000 five-star ratings and an overall 4.6-star average rating, I knew I had to give them a try.
The only question was would they stand up to the task?
Before putting the dryer balls to the test for the first time, I washed my laundry as normal. I started with a load of whites that filled about three quarters of my laundry basket. I also checked for any major stains (thankfully, there were none), so I would know if these new dryer balls caused any spots or marks.
The package comes with six dryer balls, but the instructions say to use three for smaller loads and all six for larger loads. What makes for a "large load" of laundry is up for debate, depending on what you're washing and the size of your machine, but I went with all six since my laundry basket was pretty full pre-wash. All I had to do was toss the balls into my dryer with my wet laundry, close the door and hit start.
When the dryer went off, I was hesitant to open the door. Would these wool dryer balls really work to do everything a traditional dryer sheet does? Have I found the perfect replacement?
The answer is, pretty much, yes. My clothes came out static- and wrinkle-free and just as soft as it feels after a turn with my regular dryer sheets. It lacked the scent of the dryer sheet that I love so much, but a friend of mine, who already uses wool dryer balls, suggested adding a few drops of essential oil onto the balls before drying. With this new hack in mind, I can't think of any reason why I would go back to single-use sheets — it seems like these wool dryer balls are the real deal.
I used Smart Sheep dryer balls, but there are similar (and highly rated!) options you shop on Amazon.
The brand claims that the dryer balls shorten drying time, but that's not something I can prove since my older machine doesn't have a sensor to determine when my laundry is finished. However, I've noticed that I haven't had to add more drying time to larger loads like I've had to do in the past.
As a health- and eco-conscious person, I also like that these wool dryer balls are made without chemicals or fillers and can be reused "thousands" of times before needing to be replaced. Unlike with my dryer sheets, I'm now saving time, money and the environment.
Overall, I would highly recommend to anyone who is on the fence of trying reusable wool dryer balls to give them a try. They're a major game-changer on laundry day, especially if you never want to purchase another dryer sheet again.
For more laundry essentials we're loving, check out:
- The ultimate hack for washing and drying my sheets is this $19 detangler
- This $5 stain remover works on everything from grease to wine and ink
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