I thoroughly researched using wool dryer balls before trying them myself, here.
I received an optimum package of wool dryer balls from LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls, which includes 9 dryer balls to facilitate this post. We have a family of five and do a fair bit of laundry. To be honest, I tried these at my parents’ house in California, where utilities are insanely expensive, over a holiday trip. My stepmom and I were intrigued by the wool dryer balls, but we were quickly thrilled when we realized that the wool dryer balls were shaving between 5 to 10 minutes off per load of dryer running time.
We opened the bag, and out dropped nine grey wool balls onto the floor. The first load run was cloth diapers, and I noticed a five minute decrease in dryer running time. For regular cotton clothing loads (shirts/khackis/little kid clothes), I experienced a 10 minute decrease, for towels 10 minutes, and for jeans a 5 minute decrease. They do bang around a bit in the dryer, but I am grateful that I don’t have the heated chemical fumes and smell wafting into the house from PVC balls or tennis balls.
I run between 7 to 10 loads of laundry a week, so the long term savings is substantial. Minimally it’s one full drying load per week, but on a bad laundry week it’s closer to 1 3/4 loads. Over the course of a year, at my current laundry rates, I stand to reduce my electric dryer usage by the equivalent of 52 to 91 loads or $13.52 to $23.66 in annual savings.
Here’s a great calculator that I used to help me determine my savings, however, my large capacity dryer has one of the highest annual kwH usages of available dryers which I am fairly certain this calculator does not take into account so the calculated savings may be a bit low.The other benefit is that in addition to reducing my electric usage, I am also saving wear and tear on my dryer. Some months of the year I am able to hang dry my clothes, but in the winter I become overrun with wet clothes! I like to look on the bright side of how I am making lots of small changes that help to reduce our environmental footprint.
While my savings may not be tremendous because I am in a lower cost of living area, I wanted to share that I also purchased a Starter Pack of three wool dryer balls for my parents to use and their cost savings will be far greater than mine given utility costs in San Diego. They only have laundry for two, and do smaller loads than I do so three is perfect for them.
LooHoo wool dryer balls can be purchased online, here. A Starter Pack of 3 is $26.85 (with a cute dryer shaped box $27.99), a Classic Pack of 5 is $42.50, and an Optimum Pack of 9 is $72.50. Over time the dryer balls will compress slightly, but this does not affect their effectiveness, per LooHoo. The site owner has been using their set continuously for 3 years, so I expect that these will last me a long time, even with my frequent laundry. You can find coupons and special offers on their Facebook page, here.
LooHoo wanted to share some clothes dryer tips to keep in mind (and they will help maximize the benefits of wool dryer balls):
- Keep your dryer’s outside exhaust clean. A clogged exhaust lengthens drying time and increases energy use.
- Check the outside dryer exhaust vent periodically. If it doesn’t close tightly, replace it with one that does to keep the outside air from leaking in. This will reduce heating and cooling bills. You can read about how I cleaned my dryer and vent, here.
- If your dryer has an automatic dry cycle, use it rather than a timed cycle. Or, use the moisture sensor option on your dryer, which automatically shuts off the machine when the clothes are dry.
- When drying, separate your clothes and dry similar types of clothes together. Lightweight synthetics, for example, dry much more quickly than bath towels and natural fiber clothes.
- Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of the dryer’s retained heat.
Dryer Ball Tips:
- Miss the smells from your former laundry products? Add your favorite essential oil directly to the dryer balls for a fresh scent in your laundry.
- Issues with static? Stop your dryer 10 minutes before the end of the cycle and lightly spray each ball with water. Continue drying with the damp balls and you will notice less static.
I loved these enough to buy my parents a set.
I think that’s about the best review possible.
Update: My step-mom’s wool dryer balls arrived, and here was her response in an email she sent, “What to my wondering eye did appear, but THREE DRYER BALLS!!! … I LOVE them and was wondering how to order them.”
Disclosure: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding blogger disclosure, I received an Optimum Pack of LooHoo Wool Dryer Balls to facilitate this review. My opinions remain my own and may differ from yours.
Disclaimer: When doing maintenance on your dryer, make sure that you have the machine unplugged. If you do not know how to do machine maintenance, contact a professional or do your own due diligence regarding machine maintenance. Know your limits and do it at your own risk! I am not liable for any damage to your machine or injury to you or anyone else should you or they choose to do dryer maintenance.