DIY Wool Dryer Balls

I am well aware that most (read: normal) people don’t spend their evenings researching all-natural alternatives to fabric softener and nerding out over some old school household cleaning tricks. Lucky for those people, I DO! My latest favorite? Wool dryer balls.

Here’s Why I Tried Them:

  • Fabric softener contains chemicals that are harmful to fabrics and can also have an adverse effect on your skin. Provided you aren’t allergic to wool, wool dryer balls are a great, natural alternative.
  • Using fabric softener on your towels will not only cut down their ability to absorb but also causes them to pill. Wool dryer balls are safe to use with anything you can put in the dryer.
  • Wool doesn’t mold and is also antimicrobial. From what I understand, I’ll be able to use these for years. I’ve read that they also absorb bad odors, although I haven’t tested that.

Here’s How They Work:

  • First, the friction soften fabrics and means less wrinkles.
  • When you throw these into the dryer with your load, it will cut down on drying time–usually by as much as 20%. How? When they bounce around, they allow more air to circulate around each garment.

(Looking to cut static cling in the dryer? Stay tuned!)


Step 1

 Open GalleryTake the end of your yarn and wrap several times around 3 fingers. Then, wrap the yarn around itself to make a ball. Continue until your ball is about four inches in diameter.

Step 2

 Open GalleryCut the yarn from the skein and tuck the tail underneath a couple of the top pieces to secure.

Step 3

 Open Gallery

Cut off a piece of stocking, and tie a knot on one end.

Step 4

 Open Gallery

Insert the yarn ball into the stocking and secure the open end with another knot.

Step 5

 Open GalleryI recommend using 6 or 7 balls per load.


  • 2 skeins 100% wool (avoid anything heavily dyed)
  • 1 pair stockings


  • Scissors
About Hannah B. Slaughter 


I’m a graphic designer for HGTV and DIY who loves taking something old, making it new and then adding sparkle. Weekend activities include thrifting with my handsome husband, writing for ...

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8 Responses

  1. THowell says:

    I was trying to look at the one about dishwashing detergent and NO MATTER what button I push it comes to the dryer balls. I was trying to check it all out but can't

  2. Tricia says:

    I have a quick question. Can you reuse these over and over in the same day or should you have different sets ready to use?

  3. Kate Sparks says:

    How much yarn to make suggested number?

  4. Dell says:

    It is true how some fabric softener (liquid & sheets) will leave a film on your clothes, and water just beads up on towels rather than absorbing it. Vinegar in the rinse cycles helps along with the dryer balls.

  5. Minnow + Co says:

    I love this! We have kiddo with sensitive skin, so fabric softener and scented laundry detergent have been forbidden for about three and a half years. I don't miss the detergent, but I can't wait to try these wool dryer balls to soften my clothes!

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