DIY Wool Dryer Balls Using Only Wool Yarn

diy wool dryer balls

Have you seen the list of chemicals in both dryer sheets and laundry detergent? According to a 2011 study, dryer sheets are toxic and states that 44% of dryer sheets spewed at least one carcinogenic air pollutant during testing. Snopes seems to think the ingredients are “generally safe”. In my opinion, it’s not worth the risk. Should we wait till we have cancer to debate the legitimacy when it’s so easy to eliminate dryer sheets from our household? (Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the idea.) Wool dryer balls have become pretty popular, but I’m not too crazy about the price tag, especially when I have everything I need to make them already lying around – and if you knit or crochet you probably do, too!

diy wool dryer balls

How to make DIY wool dryer balls

All you need to make your own dryer balls (which make awesome gifts for cheap) is 100% wool yarn. I happened to have some brown wool yarn lying around. It was almost a full skein and it produced 7 medium sized dryer balls for me. Just roll them into balls, keeping in mind that they will shrink a bit as they felt. I made them palm-sized. As you can see below, after 2 full wash/dry loads, they are about 2/3 their original size.

Once you have the yarn rolled into balls, place them in some nylon tights. Make sure to separate each ball by tying a piece of yarn or string between each (think sausage links). If you don’t separate them, they will felt together as one large piece, defeating the purpose. I ran the nylons full of wool balls through the wash AND dryer twice, and they felted nicely. Make sure to run hot water on the wash cycle for maximum felting.
diy wool dryer balls

diy wool dryer balls

Super easy, right!? You can use a half off coupon at a local craft store to get the wool yarn for around $4 or less. If you like your laundry to smell good, add a few drops of high-quality essential oil, such as lavender or lemon. However, high-quality essential oil (not fragrance oil) will not stain clothing. How did yours turn out?


  1. oh wow, i actually didnt use to use dryer sheets, but i had seen one at the store and decided i will come back for it lol. The scent intrigued me, but i never paid attention to the possible toxins it could have. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I had absolutely no clue that the dryer sheets had chemicals in them. I knew they had crazy perfumes but not everything else. With a family of seven we go thru dryer sheets. The dryer wool balls seem so much more convenient. So glad I read your blog. This is totally awesome. Most amazing read yet!

  3. Oh, this is so clever! And I love that it’s rather cheap to make!

  4. So I gotta ask, these actually reduce static, just by being wool? You don’t have to add anything to them? I tried aluminum dryer balls in the past, but they didn’t work that well. I hate using dryer sheets, but do in the winter, otherwise we get zapped all the time.

    • After using them for a few weeks, I will say that they aren’t the best at avoiding static. I’d love to know if anyone has any tips for reducing static without the chemical dryer sheets!

  5. I don’t use dryer sheets because I hate he chemicals in them. I’ll give these a try. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Such a simple and great idea! Never heard of it before.

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