We love to save laundry drying time by using wool dryer balls. Dryer balls help move the clothes around the dryer during the cycle and the wool absorbs moisture to help dry our clothes faster! They’re a natural replacement for dryer sheets and chemical-laden liquid fabric softeners. People also love dryer balls because their action naturally reduces friction and reduces static cling.
For a huge boost in freshness, we add 2 drops of essential oil to each dryer ball about 5 minutes before we load them. This allows the essential oils to be absorbed. Our favorite is Citrus Fresh essential oil blend. But you can use whatever scent makes you happy!
We recently bought a new batch of big, fluffy towels and a half dozen new dryer balls.
I was so excited because I wanted to prove to my husband that we were saving money by using the dryer balls. Of course, we weren’t spending money on dryer sheets (because we use our own homemade fabric softener), but was the drying time really faster? Were we really saving time and energy using dryer balls?
Here’s how we set up our slightly-less-than-scientific comparison.
- We used two sets of three brand new towels that had never been washed.
- We washed the first set exactly as described above like our normal wash routine.
- We dried the first set with 6 dryer balls.
- We washed the second set following the exact same steps.
- The second set was dried without dryer balls.
I made sure to set the dryer to moisture-sensitive monitoring so that the dryer stopped automatically as soon as the towels were dry. Of course, I also thoroughly cleaned out the lint trap before each cycle. In addition, I also cleaned out the lint trap about 30 minutes into each dryer cycle because this was the first wash for new towels and I knew they would put off a lot of lint. In case you’re curious, I also made sure to allow the dryer to cool completely so that both sets of wet towels were placed in a “cold” dryer. Both sets were set to dry on medium heat.
The results were pretty convincing.
- The load dried with dryer balls took 61 minutes to dry.
- The load washed without dryer balls took 70 minutes to dry.
Here’s the part that my hubby wanted to know. Does that 9 minutes really translate to money saved?
Dryers can use 1800 – 5000 watts per hour depending on the model. Our dryer is only 2 years old and is pretty energy efficient (2150 watts per hour – 2.15 kWh). That’s a very low number compared to other dryers.
If your dryer is over 5 years old then it will most likely use considerably more energy!
Cost without dryer balls:
2.15 kWh (kilowatts our dryer uses per hour)
X $0.1025 (our price of electricity per kwh)
X 1.167 (hours to complete a cycle without dryer balls)
= $0.26 (cost to dry one load without dryer balls)
Cost with dryer balls:
2.15 kWh (kilowatts our dryer uses per hour)
X $0.1025 (our price of electricity per kWh)
X 1.017 (hours to complete a cycle with dryer balls)
= $0.22 (cost to dry one load with dryer balls)
So we save $0.04 cents per load. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I think every little bit counts. Since we wash at least one load a day in our family of 8, that’s a savings of at least $14.60 per year for our family. If your dryer uses more energy you’ll save more money. If your electricity costs more than ours then you’ll save even more!
- These dryer balls are saving me some in electricity, but not a ton.
- They’re a little bit of an investment in the beginning, but they’re completely worth it for my family to avoid spending money on fabric softeners that just add chemicals into my home.
- And, maybe more importantly, it’s a savings of more than 50 hours per year that our dryer isn’t running and our house isn’t heating up!
What do you think? Do you love wool dryer balls? Or can you live without them?
More Laundry recipes you might enjoy:
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