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For this Try This Tuesday post, I’m sharing about a product I’ve used for just over a year now. Have you heard of dryer balls? They replace fabric softener sheets in the dryer. I’ve used a synthetic set for several years. However, my daughter and son-in-law gifted me with a set of alpaca wool dryer balls, and that, my friends, upped my laundry game in such a positive way.
Do these wool dryer balls really work? And what are the benefits of using them?
The Problem with Fabric Softener Sheets
An amazing thing happened, on my healing journey. As I eliminated unhealthy foods from my diet, and my body recovered, my awareness shifted. I recognized the effects of chemicals on my body and health. What I allowed on my skin became as important as what I put in my body.
As a result of this heightened awareness, I moved away from chemical laden beauty and bath products and household cleaners, including laundry detergent and softeners. Switching to plant based products in all areas of my life is not only better for me, it is better for the environment.
It was simple enough to switch to a chemical and dye free laundry detergent. What about fabric softener sheets though? Those little scented sheets are a laundry staple in most households. They remove static, soften clothes, reduce wrinkles and make our clothe smell good. Are they healthy for us though?
The Negative Effects of Fabric Softener Sheets
It turns out those dryer sheets can cause more harm than good. They contain a chemical called quaternary ammonia compounds (QACS). The chemical is known to cause or worsen asthma and skin irritations. It’s also linked to more serious conditions such as nervous system disorders, headaches, nausea, dizziness, cancer and reproductive problems.
Additionally, the coating on dryer sheets that softens laundry makes towels less absorbent. Plus it wears away the wicking abilities of socks and activewear and it lessens the effectiveness of fire-resistant clothing.
And finally, those sheets are designed for one time use. With every load of laundry we toss a dryer sheet in and then throw it away. The average family does 416 loads of laundry a year. Think of the cost of those dryer sheets!
Consider this alternative to fabric softener sheets…alpaca wool!
The Benefits of Using Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls
My dryer balls are made from alpaca wool. The wool fibers have hollow cores that absorb water, making them an ideal material for drying clothes…and the animals are not harmed when they are shorn . The dryer balls, which are approximately three inches across in size, are felted from alpaca wool yarn.
The benefits of using alpaca wool dryer balls over fabric softener sheets include:
Alpaca wool is naturally hypoallergenic. Unlike sheep, alpaca do not produce lanolin, which can irritate sensitive skin. The alpaca wool is untreated and free from chemicals and dyes. It contains anti-bacterial properties as well.
Unlike the one use dryer sheets, alpaca wool balls last for years. When they look worn, they can be refelted, making them even more economical.
Softens Clothes and Prevents Wrinkles
Alpaca wool dryer balls are designed to soften clothes, reduce static and prevent wrinkles, without coating the inside of the dryer or clothes with chemicals. The balls work by bouncing around in the dryer, separating and fluffing clothes as the tumble. Air moves more freely through the clothes as the balls separate them, reducing wrinkles and speeding up drying time.
Decreases Drying Time by as Much as 25%
Because alpaca wool absorbs water as they bounce among wet clothes, drying time is decreased. Studies show that drying time is reduced by as much as 25%, which cuts energy costs.
Alpaca wool dryer balls save time, money, energy and resources. A set of wool dryer balls lasts through hundreds of loads of laundry. And they can be refelted and made like new again. When they finally do wear out, add them to the compost pile, where they break down naturally.
Wool dryer balls are chemical free. That means they are naturally unscented as well. While many people love the fragrance of their dryer sheets, that scent is chemically produced. And those chemicals contribute to illnesses and allergies and the increased risk of diseases such as cancer. Plus clothes wear out faster, due to the chemical residue that dryer sheets leave behind.
If scent is important to you, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to alpaca wool dryer balls. Clothes smell fresh rather than perfumed and the scent remains on the wool dryer balls through several cycles.
Using Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls
To use these laundry aids, simply toss them into the dryer with a load of clothes. I recommend using at least two wool balls, and preferably three. If desired, add a few drops of essential oil to one of the wool balls before throwing it into the dryer.
That’s it. Turn on the dryer and either use the automatic setting that senses when clothes are dry or check the dryer before the end of the cycle. I’ve found that clothes really do dry faster using the wool balls. After noting results, you can set the timer for a shorter amount of time for future loads.
Where to Purchase Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls
My daughter and son-in-law bought my alpaca wool dryer balls from a local provider at Joplin’s Empire Market. Doug and Penny Moore reside at the family owned Wellspring Acres in Sarcoxie, Missouri, and make their dryer balls from wool from their own alpacas.
Purchase alpaca wool dryer balls in health conscious grocery stores, farmer’s markets and through Amazon. Check out the links below.
I appreciate these amazing laundry aids. The environment benefits. My clothes and towels are fresh, soft and wrinkle free. They dry more quickly. And my clothes and skin remain chemical free. For that, I am most grateful. I don’t miss the fabric softener dryer sheets at all.
Purchase alpaca wool dryer balls below:
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10 thoughts on “Alpaca Wool Dryer Balls”
Never heard of these before. My wife would love these.
They are wonderful!
These look amazing. Thanks for listing all of the benefits as well as where to get some. What a terrific idea!
I’m am appreciating these so much!
I had no idea about alpaca wool. It was a great read and I know something more now. Thanks for the information.
I love them! They really do lessen drying time.
This is something new to never, I will have to investigate some more here in my area to see if I can find it.
I’ve really liked using them!
I stopped using dryer sheets years ago for health and environmental reasons. I’ve been using wool dryer balls with essential oils, I’ve never heard of alpaca wool. I’ll be looking into these when I’m ready for a new set. I like to add lavender essential oil when I’m drying sheets and blankets. Lavender helps create a calm and relaxing environment for sleep 🙂
Yes I love adding a few drop of lavender. I often add orange too.