Magic Wool Dryer Balls

DIY Wool Dryer balls? What are they and why would I want to make some? Those were my thoughts when I found this pin from  Holly Gray at Caleigh’s Corner.  My second thought was, loving the idea of not having to purchase dryer sheets, even better, I like the idea of not finding used dryer sheets on the floor in the laundry room, or on the floor in my kids bedrooms.  Thought number 3, as a crocheter it seems odd to use a couple wonderful skeins of 100% wool yarn for something other than a fun crochet project. My fourth thought was, I’m already a fan of essential oils these are starting to sound like a good idea. Then I decided to stop thinking and give these a try.


In addition to not having used dryer sheets floating around your laundry area they also:

  • use up to 20% less drying time = 20% less electricity!
  • chemical and dye free
  • natural fabric softener
  • earth friendly
  • natural static remover
  • low maintenance, just leave them in your dryer



Let’s make some Magic Dryer Balls. Here is what you will need:

  • 100% wool yarn. Any yarn that is a blend will not work.
  • pair of scissors
  • yarn needle, crochet hook or safety pin
  • knee high pantyhose
  • a pot of boiling water
  • your washing machine

To start: 1) Wrap your yarn around a three fingers about 15 times. 2) Turn your yarn and wrap the opposite direction 15 more times. 3) Squeeze the two bowed ends together. 4) Continue wrapping in a circular motion making a tennis size ball.


Once your dryer ball is the desired size, use a yarn needle, crochet hook or safety pin to weave the end of the yarn by tucking it in back and forth very tightly until the end of the yarn does not show.


Holly said she made quite a few different size dryer balls and the size she likes the best is the size of a tennis ball. I choose to make mine the same size.

Now you are ready to place the wool balls into some knee high panty hose. It is important that you place one yarn ball into the panty hose and tie the knot as tightly as you can. Place the next yarn ball in and tie another tight knot, keeping your knots as tight as possible will make sure that the balls retain their round shape. Make sure that no part of the wool yarn from one ball is touching one of the other balls.


Your next step is to boil a pot of water and soak the prepped yarn balls for about 10 minutes before throwing them into your washing machine.

Holly said at this point she starts a load of laundry using the hottest water cycle, she then tosses in the boiling water and the yarn balls in with the load of laundry. Washing them with a load of laundry helps them to keep their shape. Towels are a good option because the water has to be on it’s hottest setting.

Depending on the yarn you have chosen you may have to run your yarn balls through the washer several times. You will know they are done when you can run your fingers over the wool balls and not be able to move any of the strands. This is what felting is, the wools just melts together.


Throw your dryer balls in to the dyer to further the heating process. You do not have to keep them in the panty hose when they go into the dryer, I left mine in just in case! When they were done some of my wool balls had felted themselves to the panty hose. It took a little extra work to remove them and then they were fine.

Now all you need is a few drops of your favorite essential oils and leave them in their new home which is your dryer. Your magic yarn balls should last for several years. After time they may loose some of their wool softening your clothes as the go.

If you like the idea of these magic dryer balls but do not want to go to the work of making them yourself, head on over to Holly’s Etsy shop where she makes them for you! Make them for yourself or make a set and give them as a gift. Either way…….

This Pin Rocks!




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  1. I have read about these before and there are a lot of people who say they are quite wonderful at softening. Do you just toss them in the dryer with everything? How many do you use in the dryer? Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes, they work great for softening clothes as well. I toss 4 or 5 in with a load of laundry, the load dries faster, no static electricity and the clothes smell super fresh! Thanks for commenting – Tracy (the middle sister)

  2. I like this idea!! I imagine that they do not work for keeping away static electricity? That seems to be my biggest dryer problem.

    • They actually work pretty well at keeping static electricity away. If you still have any issues with static electricity just throw a crinkled ball of foil in with the wool balls, that should do the trick!

      Have a great day – Tracy (the middle sister)

    • Crumbled up ball of aluminum foil works for static electricity.

  3. Great post! These little gems are one of our favorite ways to save money, AND go green. I only wish I would have known about them sooner! I did not realize that you can the hose off…I can’t wait to take mine off, they will be much prettier :)

    • Hi Brittany!

      They are so much more attractive with the panty hose off of them! Great to hear that you like them as much as I do. Have a great day, Tracy

  4. Hi Tracy – For real? As in serious? I’m a novice DIY’er so I’ll be checking out Holly’s Etsy shop. Thanks so much for joining Fluster’s #CreativeMuster party this week. It was a lot of fun to co-host. Hugs, Holly

    • Hi Holly!

      You will love them! At first my teenagers thought I had once again “lost it”, they love how the dryer balls help the cloths dry faster. Tracy.

  5. How many drops of EO do you put on each ball? During the course of the ball’s lifetime, should more EO drops be applied perhaps yearly, or on what interval would you suggest?

    • Hi Becky!

      I love the smell of my lavender EO, I use about 3 drops. You will know when to re-apply when your clothes come out of the dryer without a hint of the scent from the EO you choose to use. It’s hard to give an exact amount or time. I say that because my husband has a super sensitive sense of smell, while I on the other hand do not. I don’t use EO on the dryer balls for my husband’s clothes, even if I used 1/2 a drop of any EO he would notice and not like it. My three drops last a month or two. Try three drops of EO per ball, see how that works for you and adjust as needed. Thanks for following us and commenting! Tracy

  6. Hi Tracy these are fantastic! I was wondering if you knew if they could be used with wick-dry clothing? You’re not supposed to use fabric softeners/sheets when you wash them (I guess it clogs up the pores in the fabric that help it breathe) but as you know the static is ridic so I would love to know if I could use these as an alternative. Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Jessica!

      I used these on my husbands wick-dry clothing and they worked perfectly! If you still have static using the dryer balls, take a medium sized piece of foil (enough to cover a 9x 13 pan) crinkle it up into a ball and throw it in the dryer with the the clothing and wool dryer balls. The crinkled foil will take care of any additional static from the wick-dry clothing. Thanks for following us and commenting! Tracy

  7. Melissa says:

    Hi there. I tried this out love them … but one of my balls is unraveling. I just made them 3 days ago . Did I not felt them enough. Is there a way I can fix it . Thanks

    • Hi Melissa,

      You are correct, they did not felt enough. Roll your unraveling ball up again, tie it in the panty hose again and let it sit in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, run it through your hottest wash cycle and dry on high. It should re-felt without unraveling. So happy to hear they are working so well for you :) Tracy

  8. Brittany says:

    I heard that dryer sheets are bad for your dryer long term because the wax coats the internal hoses and components of the machine and causes more lint to stick inside. This can easily result in a fire if there is a spark of any kind. Are these safe too?

    • Hi Brittany!

      You are correct, the wax chemicals from dryer sheets can coat the internal hoses and components of a dryer which could result in a fire hazard. Wool is flame resistant and if there was to be a fire your dryer balls will smolder and not catch fire. Have a great day, Tracy

  9. I made these last weekend, got a steal on 100% wool yarn on clearance! I ran mine through the laundry twice in hose to make sure they felted “real good” before I unleashed them. Now I have five dryer balls in my dryer! Thanks for the great idea!

    • Hey Cheri!

      I just LOVE clearance sales! I’m happy to hear that you like your dryer balls. Thanks for following us and commenting, Tracy

  10. I rolled mine up, now just have to felt them :)
    When I felt them initially, do I throw them in a dryer by themselves in a pantyhose, or do I throw them in with the towels I washed?
    Thank you for sharing this and such great picture too!

    • Nadya,

      You can throw your dryer balls in the dryer with the towels. So glad you like the idea and my photos, thanks for following us and commenting! Tracy

  11. I can’t wait to make these. I am wondering if I can used colored 100% wool yarn? It would just make them prettier…Thanks so much for this idea!

    • Hi Bethany,

      Yes you can use colored wool as long as it is 100% wool yarn. I agree, colors would make them really pretty! I’m so happy you are going to make some for yourself, Tracy

  12. I am somewhat confused. Do these balls eliminate the need for both the dryer sheets AND the fabric softener that I add to the wash? Or just the dryer sheets? Thanks.

    • Hey Lynn!

      Most of the time it eliminates both the need for dryer sheets and fabric softener. If you have static cling issues, throw a crumbled ball of tin foil in with the dryer ball. It should remove any static cling issues. So glad you are following us! Tracy

  13. How many balls does one skein make?

    • Hey Jessica,

      I’m pretty sure I remember getting 6 – 8 balls per skein, I kept mine on the small size. You are going to love these dryer balls, the work great! So glad you follow us, please let me know how your dryer balls work out for you! Hope you have an awesome day, Tracy

  14. Can you use alpaca yarn instead of wool? Just curious. Thanks!

    • Michelle,

      I did a little research on this for you and here is what I learned. You’re safe to assume we’re talking sheep wool when the word ‘wool’ is used, but the product of a coat of an animal is wool. Here is where alpaca comes in, when you think of the color “blue” You have something specific in mind. But turquoise is blue, and navy is blue, and cobalt is blue.

      Likewise, when you say wool, you think sheep, but alpaca is wool, and angora is wool, and llama is wool. Alpaca does felt, I would love to hear how your alpaca dryer balls turn out! Thanks for following us, Tracy

  15. I am wondering if you can use different scented EO when the first one wears off? I would like to change up my scents without having to make more balls.

    • Hi Lynn!

      Yes, using a different EO when the first one wears off will work. You can change your EO’s and continue to use the wool dryer balls for years to come! Thanks so much for following us, Tracy

  16. Valeria says:

    It sounds great! Does it work with a centrifuge dryer? or it’s only for heat dryer?

    • Hi Valeria,

      Yes, they would still work in a centrifuge dryer. Centrifuge dryer’s tend to be smaller than regular dryers, I would suggest making your dryer balls about half the size recommended in my post. I would love to hear what you think about them! Thanks for following us and leaving your comment, Tracy

  17. Since attempting to get away from as many chemical products as possible by making my own cleaning supplies, I was excited to see this pin on Pinterest for the dryer balls. I’m am a little frustrated at this point – I am in the process of boiling the balls for the 3rd time. They just will not felt and yes I am using 100% wool. As the balls are sitting in their boiling water bath I decided to google felting wool. I just read something that says do not use “super-washed” wool as it will not felt. While I know that I bought 100% wool what I don’t recall is if the package was labeled with “super-washed”. I don’t crochet, knit, etc so I don’t have any previous experience working with wool. Is anyone familiar with super-washed wool? Maybe that’s what I bought. :(

    • Hi Jaine,

      The wool balls finish felting while in the dryer after boiling them. Mine felted so well I had a hard time peeling the the nylon hose off several of them. You should have no problem if you put them in the dryer. Thanks for giving this a try and commenting! Tracy

  18. At what point do you remove the balls from the hose?

    • Hi Lynn,

      You remove the hose after the wool dryer balls come out of the dryer. I had a couple of the balls have the hose felt to the felted wooled. Works just fine! You are going to love these! Thanks for commenting, Tracy

  19. This is a wonderful way to use all your old pieces of wool. I just made 6 balls and can’t wait to use them. I know they are going to be wonderful. Thanks for sharing the how to.

    • Hey Janet!

      I LOVE my wool dryer balls! Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to one or several of the balls for an extra clean scent. Thanks for leaving your comment, Tracy


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