Aluminum foil dryer balls are a green alternative to commercial dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener. While in the dryer, they absorb electrical charges so your clothes stay static free. They also tumble happily with your laundry, softening it as it drys. But do they actually work?
- Better for you – no more toxic chemicals hanging onto your “clean” clothes
- Better for the Earth – fewer dryer sheets in the landfill
- Saves Money – foil balls can be made cheaply, reused and last for months
- Better for the Earth (part 2) – aluminum is easily recycled when the ball is spent
- Clothes are not as soft as you may be used to from commercial fabric softeners
This is the idea that started it all folks. A friend posted a link to the aluminum foil dryer balls idea on Facebook. I thought, “that’s just crazy!”, and, “how could that possibly work?”. I started searching the web for a green idea review database to see if this idea was worth my time. No collection of green idea reviews could be found and this blog was born!
I found the link above and made my own dryer balls out of heavy duty aluminum foil. I made three because I think if two are good, three are probably better! I was a little concerned with the sharpish nubbins all over the balls snagging my clothes so I did the first test run on towels. I washed the towels as usual with my store brand liquid detergent, and then placed them in the dryer with the three balls. I ran the dryer as I typically would for towels: high heat and auto dry (the dryer stops when it senses a low humidity).
As the load dried, you could hear the foil balls knocking around in there, but I found it wasn’t much louder than a pair of kid’s overalls. I folded the towels as soon as the load was complete, while they were still warm. All the towels in this large load were completely static free. I found that some of the smaller items were not very soft and fluffy, but the larger items were almost as soft as I am used to from using dryer sheets. The balls came out of the dryer looking much smoother and rounder after being tumbled around, so I have no more concerns about clothing snags.
Next I used them with a load of kids clothes. Again the clothes were static free, except for a tiny bit around the fleece footie pajamas, but I would expect that based on the material. The clothes were noticeably not as soft, but they were nowhere near stiff.
In summary, I am very pleased to report that THEY WORK!! The aluminum foil dryer balls did their job and kept my clothes static free. They also did a decent job of tumbling clothes to softness, but weren’t all the way there. Stayed tuned as I experiment with other natural ideas for clothes softening, as I think we are done with dryer sheets for good!
Have you tried aluminum foil, or any other kind of dryer balls? I’d love to hear about your experience!
This post was a featured “Teacher of the Week” for Butter Believer’s Sunday School Blog Carnival!