If your laundry routine doesn't feel complete without the results of a dryer sheet — softer clothes and reduced static, for example — but you're looking for a more economical and sustainable alternative, let me point you in the direction of the best dryer balls for static. Not only are they reusable, but, because they're made without fabric softener or harsh fragrances, they're safe for sensitive skin. The only caveat? They make laundry day a little noisier.
Most dryer balls are made with wool or a harder material like vinyl, and they all yield very similar results to dryer sheets — albeit in a much more natural way, if you're concerned about that. But here's the best part: They save money and time. Unlike expensive dryer sheets, which are sadly discarded after each use, they can last for multiple loads and just might even reduce your drying times significantly. Plus, since they're free of softeners, you can even pop them in with your towels and other moisture-absorbing items.
Below, find three genius products that'll make you wonder why you hadn't made the switch sooner. Then, be sure to brush up on common laundry mistakes you might be making so you can get the most out of this chemical-free addition to your routine.
1. The Best Wool Dryer Balls On Amazon
With nearly 15,000 reviews and plenty of five-star ratings, these are by far the most popular wool dryer balls on Amazon. They’re made from authentic New Zealand wool and crafted without chemicals or synthetic ingredients in Nepal. Each extra large ball can be used up to 1,000 times, but you'll need more than one ball to get the job done. Small to medium loads of laundry require at least three balls, while five to six balls should suffice for larger loads. Reviewers say these are excellent at reducing static, softening fabrics, and shortening drying time. (Translation: They check out in terms of how effective they are at taking the place of dryer sheets.) They don't shed as much as others on the market, either.
2. The Best Wool-Free Dryer Ball Made From Vinyl
Those who aren't keen on using a wool-based product should look for a wool-free dryer ball like these vinyl ones from Honey-Can-Do. Like the option above, they're made without chemicals, won't aggravate allergies, and last for about 1,000 loads each. They're even used the same way: You just drop them in the dryer for less static and expedited drying times. Though they're considered durable, they won't have the same softening benefits you'd find in a wool ball. One reviewer who has a child with eczema says they're a saving grace because they won’t irritate skin. Another reviewer says they shave off 15 minutes of drying time (impressive). Others, however, say they’re too noisy and too soft to be effective. At just $6 for two, you can try them out for yourself to determine whether you're Team Wool or Team Vinyl.
3. An Affordable Dryer Ball Hack That Works Still Works
Yes, these are one of the best-selling tennis balls in the country, it's true. But they have dual powers. They happen to be a fabulous dryer ball hack, and the most affordable option you'll find. Made from interlocked wool fiber, these balls are really durable — hello, they're designed for tennis! — so there's little chance they'll come apart and shed in your dryer. They will, however, remove static from clothing, keep towels from sticking to sheets, and do an amazing job at softening clothes. Best of all, when you aren't using these to cut down on drying time and decrease static, you can always grab your racket and take them to the court for a quick game of actual tennis.
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