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Homekeeping · Laundry · The One Big Laundry Mistake That Most People Are Still Making
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The One Big Laundry Mistake That Most People Are Still Making

It may have taken me almost 30 years to figure it out, but making this switch has already made a huge difference in my laundry!

Does anyone else find the experience of pulling a load of warm, fluffy laundry out of their dryer oddly luxurious? Sometimes I’m tempted to skip folding altogether and just carry it over to my recliner chair, use my warm laundry as a blanket and grab a nice midday nap! 😉

But I’m sure we all have enough laundry experience under our belts to know that not every load comes out of the dryer all warm and fluffy. Some loads of laundry find a way to get hopelessly tangled together while tumbling around in there, resulting in damp pockets that require additional drying time.

I used to struggle with this exact problem on a semi-regular basis, and I felt so frustrated that I couldn’t figure out how to prevent those troublesome laundry clumps from happening! It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I finally corrected my mistake by discovering the wonders of dryer balls.

In today’s post, I wanted to share a bit more about why relying on dryer sheets alone ended up being my biggest dryer mistake, and why dryer balls ended up being the fix I didn’t even know I needed. And if you’ve been having dryer woes of your own, this post will tell you exactly how dryer balls can help solve them!

5 Of The Best Reasons To Use Dryer Balls In Your Dryer

1. They’re More Cost Effective Than Dryer Sheets

Dryer balls are a “one and done” purchase, as opposed to dryer sheets that you have to buy again and again over time. But after you buy a set of dryer balls, you can reuse them for years, making them a much more cost effective option in the long run!

2. They Don’t Contribute To Residue Buildup

Dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners work by coating fabrics in a thin layer of chemical softeners. These chemicals have a tendency to repel water, making it difficult for your washer to get your laundry completely clean.

Over time, fabric softener residue can have a waterproofing effect on certain fabrics, or even lead to issues with mildew or mold. Residue buildup is especially problematic for towels and athletic clothing, which is why their care tags often specifically warn against the use of fabric softeners.

But residue isn’t just an issue for fabrics—it can also be a factor in dryer fires. The residue from fabric softener sheets can create buildup on your dryer’s lint screen, impeding airflow and potentially posing a fire hazard.

Dryer balls represent a simple solution to the problems posed by residue buildup, because they don’t leave behind any residues at all! (And for more tips on maintaining the cleanliness and safety of your dryer, check out this post.)

3. They’re Reusable

I’m always looking for ways to cut back on the amount of single-use items I use at home. And even if you’re making the most of your dryer sheets by using them twice or cutting them in half, you still have to throw them out eventually!

But you can use dryer balls an almost infinite number of times, and it’s an easy way to cut back on waste (with no cutting required!)

4. They Save Energy

Using dryer balls can actually help your laundry dry faster than it would otherwise, because they help separate the layers of fabric and improve airflow as they tumble around your dryer. It may not be something you notice at first, but those faster drying times will reduce your energy costs over time!

Reduced drying times also means you’ll put less wear and tear on your dryer, potentially extending its lifespan and helping you get the most out of your investment.

5. They’re Free Of Chemicals And Irritants

A set of 100% wool dryer balls doesn’t contain any complicated ingredients or anything that could potentially irritate sensitive skin. But if you miss the fragrance element of traditional dryer sheets of fabric softeners, you don’t have to give it up completely!

I like to add a few drops of Freshly Washed (a fresh and sunny blend of essential oils that’s ideal for laundry applications) to each of my dryer balls before I put them in with my damp laundry. I much prefer the light and natural fragrance from this method to the overwhelming scent that many fabric softeners leave behind!

Soak Your Dryer Balls To Reduce Static

  • The chemical softeners in dryer sheets that coat fabrics don’t just make them feel softer—they also help prevent static from forming. Because of this, some people some people may notice an increase in static buildup in their dryer after making the switch from dryer sheets.
  • Personally, I have not noticed more static since I started using dryer balls in my own dryer. But with that said, I do have a suggestion that will help those of you who are experiencing more static!
  • Before putting your dryer balls into your dryer with a load of damp laundry, soak a few of the balls under running water while squeezing them lightly to ensure they’re fully saturated (but not dripping wet.)
  • Once you get them in the dryer, the water will start to evaporate, keeping your dryer more humid and helping to prevent static buildup.
  • Saturating the wool thoroughly will help ensure that the effect lasts throughout the entire drying cycle.

Looking to revamp your laundry routine? Check out the Laundry Kit in my online shop, which includes an eBook that features all of my very favorite DIY laundry recipes.

What’s the best change you’ve made to your laundry routine?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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