Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No-Cost Dryer Balls

Edit: In case you're wondering 'What the heck are dryer balls, and why would I want them?', here's why:
Dryer balls bounce around inside the dryer and move your laundry around so that more air can circulate around the clothes, which makes them dry faster. Faster drying means less waiting around in your underwear for those pants to dry, and of course less money you have to shell out to the energy company. Some dryer
balls also make your clothes smell nice. If you wanted you could add a drop or two of essential oil to one of the middle layers of the ball (while you're still making it) and the scent would release over time. Dryer balls are also supposed to make your clothes softer. I have noticed my husband's t-shirts are much softer, and all my laundry is definitely fluffier!

Do you use dryer balls? I've been wanting to try them out, but until recently I was under the impression that dryer balls had to be made of either rubber or wool. I started making a dryer ball out of wool yarn, but it took up so much yarn and it felt like a waste, so I came up with these up-cycled sock dryer balls.
Everyone has lone socks hanging around their house, so why not make them earn their keep?


For the core you can ball fabric scraps together tightly, or tie a knot in the toe of a sock.

Wrap as much fabric scraps as you have around the core as tightly as you can, then put into the toe of your first sock.

Push the core all the way down, stretching the sock, then twist tightly around one full turn- I know my twist is loose here. Do what I say, not what I do. ;)

Flip the remaining sock up around the ball, pull the sock tight, and it will look like this. At this point the sock is 2-ply. Clear as mud, right?  Repeat the twist, pull the sock over, twist, etc. until you reach the top of the sock.

Fold/stretch the top of the sock over like a little hat, and insert into the next sock, "hat" down so it stays put.


You'll know you're done adding socks when it's about the size of a baseball/fist. To finish, pull the top layer tight and sew a quick whip stitch around the edge to keep it together. All done! Throw them in the dryer with your next load, and watch your clothes dry in less time.

You lookin' at me?

Tips:
*Notice I put the ugly hospital socks in the inside and the more decorated frog sock on the outside.
*You could use pretty much any fabric for these. If you had an old t-shirt you could cut it into strips and wrap it into a good size ball then use one sock on the outside to finish. Use what you have!
*Keep it tight. A loose ball won't bounce around and do the job like a hard one will.
* Don't worry about the lumps and bumps. They will actually help the ball to bounce around more erratically, thereby creating more movement and more efficiency.


I read that 4 dryer balls are optimal to save energy, so that's how many I made. I tested them out, and they work awesome! Usually I run a 60 minute dryer cycle with my ancient dryer, and I was able to decrease the time down to 45 minutes with a load of towels. Awesome, right? I tested them with king size sheets also, and I didn't have to pull out and re-arrange the sheets toward the end to get them completely dry. Do your sheets do that? Get all wrapped up around themselves so the inside layers are damp and the outside dry? No longer a problem.

Cost: Nada.
Savings: No idea!

If you use a laundromat that gives you 7 mins of dryer time per quarter then you could save $1 with every two dryer loads. That would add up quick at my house. I'd love to hear if you try this out.

34 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT! I'll be making these! I always stand in the store and stare at the knobby ones, but I'm too cheap to buy them! This is perfect!

    Amy
    sittingatourkitchentable.blogspot.com

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    1. Look for them on ebay. I think I got a set of 8 for only a few dollars, i think $4 or so

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  2. This is a great idea!! I love diy things! I am visiting from Weekend Wrap Up party and I am a new follower!
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Michelle
    www.delicateconstruction.blogspot.com

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  3. genius! we have some, but they keep getting lost... I would have never thought of this! thanks for linking this up at the project party!

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  4. Wow, what a great idea... OK, so I am so naive about these things, what do dryer balls do? I have seen them at the store and thought maybe they were like a dryer sheet to make things smell fresher, but reading your post, I think I may be wrong! Thanks for sharing.

    Carlee,
    ladybirdln.blogspot.com

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  5. What a neat idea, love the use of old lost socks

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  6. Putting this one on "the list" of stuff to make!!

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  7. Great idea! Thanks for sharing, I'm going to make these for sure. Heather @ 500dollarwedding.blogspot.com

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  8. Awesome idea! I actually just made one & I cannot wait to use it. I also put some lavender oil in the middle.

    Thank you for sharing! Love your blog.

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  9. I can't wait to hear how the lavender oil works out Chapa Style!

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  10. BRILLIANT!! I've been looking for ideas to use my leftover socks on... definitely gonna do this one!! :):)

    xxoo,
    Liberty

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  11. What a great idea. They are so cute. I'm your newest follower. I'm having a party over at http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/ I would love if you stopped by and linked up your project.

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  12. Thanks for posting this! I have been using tennis balls in my dryer for a while, I might have to try these instead! Chris

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  13. Thanks for an economical way to make dryer balls!

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  14. This is a great idea and the concept makes perfect sense. Thanks for posting this! ~Lori

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  15. saw these @ the more the merrier monday. thanks for sharing the idea! i'll be making some before my next laundry session!

    -caroline
    http://cwfrosting.blogspot.com

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  16. so this through couponing to disney. great idea!

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  17. Ok, I made one! My hands cramped up and my husband had to finish it, but it's done! I used an old pajama top from my 3 year old as the filling, and stuffed it into one of my husband's stray tube socks. Used one more tube sock, then put finished product inside my 6 y.o.'s stray sock and tied it off. Now I need a few more ...

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  18. These are cool. I'm gonna link to this post too. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  19. Alas!!! Something to do with that basket of odd socks! Brilliant! Thanks!

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  20. Most excellent tip and I'm trying it out TODAY. I love a frugal idea that works so well. Thanks, Lyndsey!

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  21. Awesome!!!! I have about a dozen socks and useless t-shirts laying in the laundry basket and beside my sewing machine waiting to be made into rags or something...I've so longed for drier balls as I use a laundry matt for all my laundering right now and saving even a few dollars is wonderful!!!

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  22. Thank you so much for showing how to make these! I am a new DIYer and this was really easy to do! I put your link in my post about making these! Thanks again!

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  23. So glad I found this on Pinterest :) I'm trying to really spruce up our home and find diy ways to save money and improve things. I didn't realize the purpose of dryer balls but now I understand. I was looking for something to do with this huge basket of mateless socks (I have 4 boys so there are a LOT) and this is perfect. Thanks so much.

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  24. I had a thought while making these. I was planning to make my own dryer sheet (as seen on Pinterest) and wondered if these couldn't be used instead of another cloth? If I just soaked one in Downy and let it dry, wouldn't it accomplish the same purpose as both dryer ball and dryer sheet? Has anyone else tried an idea like this?

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  25. @Tami

    Great idea Tami! I haven't heard of anyone trying this, but I'd love to know if it works for you!

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  26. I made these tonight, 4 in less than an hour. Trying them out now on a load of jeans!

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  27. Here's another idea... what about putting some of the "Unstoppables" beads inside the ball? I recently used a sample I got in the mail and I have to admit I'm hooked!! The smell really lasts and lasts..... I wonder if it would last long in the dryer ball. I'm trying this ASAP! Thanks for the idea!!!!!

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  28. Yeah, I'm not getting this. I need video for my simple brain LOL

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  29. I would love to do this as we have a bag of lonely partnerless socks… I wonder though, do you have trouble with the balls themselves not drying and getting musty smelling?

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  30. How do these work on static? I have heard that wool dryer balls also take care of static problems. :)

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  31. I know the wool keeps humidity longer which reduces the static...I do not know about the diff. materials in socks. I will do the socks though for now.

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  32. FOR STATIC CONTROL:
    You can make a ball out of aluminum foil and add it into the dryer along with these dryer balls and NO MORE STATIC and its reusable!

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  33. I made these. But I soaked the materials in water and softener and let dry before making the balls.

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