Dryer Balls: Do They Work or Not?

Dryer Balls. You know, two round nubby items that look like dogs’ chew toys? Supposed to reduce time in the dryer by up to 40%? Make your towels fluffier than they were the day you bought them?

Only $9.99 for two dryer balls! Think of all the money you will save on electric bills and fabric softeners and dryer sheets! They are non-toxic, allergen-free, all-natural and proven to work. The premise is that the little spikes lift and separate the clothing in the dryer, allowing the heat and air to circulate more freely. As an added bonus, there would be less lint and fewer wrinkles.
I was fascinated by the idea. I like saving money, who doesn’t?

I liked the idea of tossing two rubber balls with spikes on them into my dryer and saying “Take that, dryer sheets, you’ve been replaced!”

I wanted to be able to tell my dryer, “Fifty minutes? You are only getting 35 minutes today. Have some dryer balls!”

So I ordered my dryer balls. They are indeed two spiky rubber balls approximately 3 inches in diameter. Presumably they are also non-toxic and free of allergens.

I faithfully used my dryer balls according to the directions. I started out setting the dryer at forty minutes. The clothes weren’t dry, so I decided to try forty-five minutes the next time. Most of the time, the dryer was taking its usual fifty minutes to dry a normal load of laundry.

Static electricity was another problem. My husband was starting to complain about his clothes sticking to him, and began using Static Guard every morning.

Fewer wrinkles? Not that I noticed. I am normally very careful about getting the clothes out as quickly as possible to avoid wrinkles. I didn’t see a reduction. My husband still ironed his shirts. I still rubbed wrinkles out of cotton t-shirts.

I didn’t measure the height of a stack of towels before using the dryer balls, but I was really looking forward to using fluffier, softer towels after my shower. After two weeks, I had to concede that the towels felt remarkably similar as in the days before the dryer balls.

I was really disappointed. I had really tried to talk myself into seeing improvements. But since I was using the same amount of dryer time, and was using dryer sheets again, and my towels weren’t fluffy, I came to the conclusion that they didn’t really work for me.

We don’t have a dog, either, so I don’t know how well they work as a chew toy. But my daughters love playing with the “prickly balls”.

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