Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Dryer Ball Experiment

We have a really old washing machine & dryer. Needless to say, my dryer is not very efficient. It takes 70 minutes to dry a load of laundry. When I saw these dryer balls on sale at Aldi last week, I was intrigued. They are supposed to eliminate your use of fabric softener or dryer sheets, saving you money & saving the environment from the dryer sheets & liquid softener packaging being thrown out. This sounded great to me, but the claim that they would reduce your drying time by 25% is what sold me. Now, I purchased my set of dryer balls for only $6.99 at Aldi. I figured that $6.99 is not much to spend in hopes of lowering our energy consumption & therefore lowering our utility bills.


I've used Nellie's Dryer Balls on my last round of laundry & let me tell you what I think about them. They do a great job of softening the clothes without a dryer sheet. One exception I had though was my towels. I wasn't pleased with how my towels came out. They actually felt a bit rough. In the future I will throw a dryer sheet as well as the dryer balls in with my load of towels. But they did a great job with our clothing & I 'm excited to reduce the amount of fabric softener we need to buy & dispose of.

As far as the drying time goes, they do actually work! I found that I was able to reduce my drying time by 10 minutes on big, heavy loads like jeans & by 15-20 minutes on lighter loads, like cottons. I'm so excited about this!! I love that cutting my consumption not only helps preserve the environment, but it saves me money.

I would definitely recommend these dryer balls. Especially if you have an Aldi nearby & can snag them for $6.99. After looking at dryer balls on Amazon, it seems like the Nellie's brand has a better rating than some of the others. Have you tried dryer balls? Tell us what you thought. :)

18 comments:

kirsten said...

how funny, i just bought similar ones last week (at bed bath and beyond) and i like them, too - except mine did great on my towels, i think. i can't wait to hang dry again!

Candace said...

I would looooove to hang dry. Can't right now because we're renting & we don't have a line, but someday.

Lori said...

i like this idea and msy try it. we also live in an apt but i found one of those standing hanging things at an estate sale for 1 dollar and i have been drying the kids shirts on it. this saved me some cash and i felt good too.

Reece's said...

Hey Candace. I havent used the dryer balls, but I bought a cheap ($20) drying rack from Target and hang dry all of our jeans, towels and blankets! It saves a TON of money and is so cool to me! I remember my grandmothers hang drying things! I love it, and actually am thinking of purchasing another one. Very efficient.

Candace said...

ooh! thanks for the tip on the drying rack ladies! I could totally put one of those in our basement where the washer & dryer are.

alexandra said...

I have the round dryer balls (I think they are 'Dryer Max') and they are pretty good but it sounds like I should try the Nellies - might have to find a pair of those. I hate using fabric softener and dryer sheets and have avoided both because of the environmental and skin sensitivity issues. However, I did pick up 'Method Squeaky Green Dryer Cloths' (rice milk and mallow) and I LOVE them!! You get 40 of them in a teeny tiny package, you can reuse them a few times and they smell so nice. Love, love, love them!! And now that the weather is getting better I will be drying more outside - won't that be nice!! three cheers for warm, sunny weather.
Thanks for another great post Candace!

misschris said...

I bought these same ones at Aldi last week and I love them! I was just telling hubs last night how much money we're going to save on fabric softener.

I went from using a liquid softener+three sheets per load to no liquid and 1 sheet and EVERYTHING (towels included) turned out great.

I also recently switched to Charlie's All-Natural Washing Soap ($16 for 80 loads) and I swear that is also removing the residue that has built up on our towels over time...

We've got front loaders, so my dry time is already super short -- about 20 mins per load usually -- so I haven't cut down a ton of time, but everything else has been a super improvement.

Go Balls! :)

Candace said...

Okay, so what was wrong w/ my towels? I'm going to have to try that again!

Go Balls! ha ha. so funny! I told my husband, "I posted about the dryer balls today. That post has the word "balls" in it A LOT!" I'm so used to him making inappropriate jokes with that word.

Dylan said...

Heh heh. You said "Balls."

Emily said...

I've been using Nellie's Dryer Balls for quite awhile and I love them! My fist set fell apart in the dryer and I contacted the company about that. I had a bad set - they don't normally fall apart - and they sent me new ones right away.

My towels come out great in the dryer with out a sheet. What do you wash your towels with? That could be part of the problem.

alwaysadorable said...

Same here, I am a user of dryer balls. Fell in love with them, especially for the reduced drying time. My two favorite words when faced with 9 loads of laundry every three days. :D

Misty said...

My step-sister gave me a set of dryer balls a few years ago but I haven't used them. They're yours if you want an extra set.

Paige said...

I'm totally going to go get some dryer balls--I've never heard of them before. I have a drying rack & also a couple of lines outside for during the summer months.

Just FYI, though, using fabric softener on towels makes them less absorbent.

rachel said...

i have gone through 2 sets of dryer balls, both of them breaking/ripping after about 6 uses each. i hope you have better luck with yours, i gave up!

Rueby said...

Eeep! Girls, don't use fabric softener with your towels loads! Sheets OR liquid. It softens with oils, which coat the cotton fibres on your towels and make them less absorbent. Dryer balls, or even just vinegar put in the rinse cycle or with you wash will help a lot for towels!

amylee13 said...

I am glad to hear that the dryer balls work well, I saw them in the Aldi ad a few weeks ago but wasn't sure if I should try it or not! Now I think I will. And I agree with Rueby, fabric softener really does make your towels less absorbant!

Dean Kruger said...

ALL QUILTERS ATTENTION!!

Dear Owner,

We have sold millions for over 12 years without any returns. Please e-mail us for free samples (to try before ordering), wholesale pricing and our information booklet.

My name is Dean Kruger. I am the CEO of Dryerball International and I invented the “Original Dryerball” in 1996.

What is the “Original Dryerball” and how does it work as a “green” product and save energy in your clothes dryer?

Technically, the “Original Dryerball” works by improving the circulation of heat and air through the damp clothing in the clothes dryer. This dries and fluffs up your quilts faster and safer. Up to 35% faster!

Place all the balls in your dryer and leave them there for each and every load. The little spikes on the ball will massage and relax fabrics to naturally soften and fluff up fabrics without the use of any Fabric Softeners or Dryer Sheets. No other harsh chemical products are necessary to purchase or store around children and pets. Clothes and quilts can dry up to 35% faster. And the “Original Dryerball” is lasting over 12 years, which saves allot of energy from the very first drying. This is a one time purchase for a first of its kind product like this since the clothes dryer was patented in the U.S. in 1892.

We have sold millions since 1996 with “no” returns for any reason. The “Original Dryerball” is perfect for drying all quilting fabrics in less time with gentle care for years of use and your customers will love them! Finally, there’s an alternative to dry fabrics in your clothes dryer with using any harsh chemical Fabric Softeners and Dryer Sheets.

For sales history and customer satisfaction, please contact these quilting retailers:

1. Keepsake Quilting (catalog sales), P.O. Box 1618, Center Harbor, NH 03226. Contact:

Fran Coutu (603) 253-8148. They sell in their catalog, which are tens of thousands, all

over the world. Their first order was for 100 packages. They sold 49 in the first

week and purchase every month. This is one of their best new sellers.

2. Plaza Quilting, 311 S.E. 6th st., Grants Pass, Or 97526. Contact: Rick Chapman

(owner) (541) 479-5757.

3. Purple Pincushion Quilt Shop, 1580B N.E. 7th st., Grants Pass, Or 97526. Contact:

Joanne (owner) (541) 956-6857.

4. Quiltz, 1666 Ashland st., Ashland, Or 97520. Contact: Nancy Ryan (manager) Toll

Free (866) 488-1650.

Please contact us for wholesales prices, additional information and samples to try for yourself: Dryerball International, C/O Dean Kruger, P.O. Box 341, Rogue River, Or 97537 (541) 582-5960, E-mail: kudu999@netzero.net or Web-site: www.dryerball.com

Anonymous said...

Nellies Dryer Balls are made of highly toxic PVC. Yes, poly vinal chloride. In WARM temps PVC off gasses toxins & carcinogens. I can't imagine how much more you get on your laundry at dryer temps. Do not buy the blue or pink Nellies, or any other that is made of PVC. THe green Nellies are made of a tyoe of rubber (Thermal Plastic Rubber)that is not supposed to be toxic.

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