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Your guide to dryer balls

If you have heard about dryer balls, but have questions about them, this guide will help answer those questions. 

  • What are dryer balls?
  • Why do you need them?
  • How do they work?
  • Do they last?
  • Are they environmentally friendly?
  • Can I make my own?
  • Where can I get them from?  

What are dryer balls?

Dryer balls are small spherical balls that can be used in tumble dryers. They are often made from felted wool, rubber, or plastic. 

Why do you need them?

Dryer balls are used to reduce static electricity, soften clothes, and reduce drying time. 

Photo by Dom J from Pexels

How do they work?

You may notice that your clothes don’t evenly dry when you use a tumble dryer. This is because, as they dry, clothes clump together, meaning that air is not evenly distributed through each item. Dryer balls roll in between the layers of your clothing as they spin, separating each item. This decreases drying time and reduces the static caused when fibres rub together. 

For the best results, use 2-3 dryer balls per load.

Photo by Sarah Chai from Pexels

Do they last?

On average, dryer balls will last up to 1,000 washes. This is equivalent to roughly 2-5 years depending on how often you tumble dry your clothing. 

Are they environmentally friendly?

There are several environmental benefits to using dryer balls. Firstly, because they reduce drying time, they save energy on tumble dryer use. Secondly, dryer balls are reusable, unlike drying alternatives, such as dryer sheets. This means you can make a one-time dryer ball purchase, and reuse them for up to 5 years before having to repurchase. In addition to this, dryer balls are usually made from biodegradable wool or recycled plastic. 

Image by J Sedg

Can I make my own?

To make your own dryer balls you will need… 

  • Scissors
  • Large needle 
  • 100% wool yarn or 100% wool fabric strips 
  • Cotton string
  • Old socks or tights
  • Cooking pot 

Begin making your dryer balls by preparing your fabric. If you are using old clothing, such as jumpers, simply use a pair of scissors to cut your clothing into strips.

Once you have a sufficient amount of strips, you can begin forming your ball. Start by wrapping your stips around your fingers, making sure that you switch directions to get an equally rounded ball. Continue wrapping until you have a ball that is roughly the size of a tennis ball. When you are satisfied with the size, secure the end by running it under several strands of yarn- you can do this with a large needle. 

Once you have secured your dryer ball, place it into an old sock or pair of tights, and use cotton string to secure it. Next, place your sock/tights in a pan of hot water and bring it to a boil. When your pan has reached boiling point, remove it from the heat, and allow your dryer balls to sit in the water until it cools. This process will cause the wool to shrink and felt. 

When your balls have cooled, remove them from the water and squeeze any excess from them. To fully dry your dryer balls, place them in the tumble dryer on high heat. Once dry, remove the balls from the sock/tights- they will be smaller and have a fuzzy texture. This is the core of your dryer ball.

To finish making your dryer balls, wrap your remaining fabric strips around your freshly made core until it reaches roughly three and a half inches in diameter. Repeat the soaking and drying process. The end result should be a fully-formed, reusable dryer ball. 

An alternative way to make dryer balls is to scrunch up aluminum foil into a ball and place it in the dryer. This is an easier way to make a DIY dryer ball but is not reusable. 

Image by Wil C. Fry

Where can I get them from?

If you would prefer to buy dryer balls, you will find them at all major supermarkets, home stores, and online. 

Image by zoomar

The best way to guarantee that your laundry is clean and dry is to book a Laundryheap service and let us take care of it for you. To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.


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Tumble dryer care guide

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Tumble dryers are incredibly useful when you need to quickly dry your clothes. If not looked after properly, you will find that your tumble dryer may lose its ability to dry your clothes, or may even stop working completely. This care guide will help you look after your tumble dryer.

  • Clean the lint filter 
  • Empty the water tank
  • Clear the vents 
  • Clean the dryer drum 
  • Un-clog the heat exchanger

Clean the lint filter

As your clothes are spun in your tumble dryer, they release particles of fibres and fluff. The lint filter in your tumble dryer prevents these particles from clogging the airflow of the vent system. It is important to clean your tumble dryers lint filter after every use. If you don’t you can restrict the flow of air through the dryer and prevent your clothes from being sufficiently dried.

To clean your lint filter remove it from the tumble dryer and use a vacuum hose to remove the loose particles. You can find your lint filter at the front of your tumble dryer, just under the rim of your dryer’s door. To remove the rest of the particles, wash your lint filter in warm soapy water. 

You need to leave your lint filter to completely dry before putting it back in the tumble dryer. Whilst you are waiting for your filter to dry, use your vacuum hose to clear out the slot your lint filter sits in. This will help increase the airflow of your tumble dryer. 

Once your lint filter is completely dry, slot it back into the dryer, and it will be ready to use.

Empty the water tank

A tumble dryer works by rotating your wet clothes and adding heat to them to remove the water. The water that is removed from your clothing is stored in the tumble dryers water tank. Depending on the model of your machine, the water tank will be stored at the top of your machine in a drawer or at the bottom. Despite the fact that your water tank can hold the excess water from 2 loads of laundry, it’s best to empty it after every use. To drain your water, simply remove the water tank, and pour the water down the sink. You may want to give your tank a quick rinse before re-inserting it into your machine. 

Image by Peter Novotny from Pixabay

Clear the vents 

If you own a vented tumble dryer you must check the hose and vent of your machine. 

The hose of your tumble dryer takes the warm, damp, air away from the drum, and helps circulate fresh air into your machine. You should give your hose enough space to lay straight, without any kinks. If your hose has a kink it can restrict airflow and increase the time it takes for your clothes to dry. 

After checking the hose, check that your wall vent is clear of fluff and dust. If your vent is clogged it will restrict airflow and increase the amount of time it takes for your clothes to dry. To clear your vent you can use a vacuum hose to remove any loose fluff and dust. Once you have removed the loose debris, use a wet cloth to get rid of any remaining dust. This will leave your machine working at its maximum potential. 

Clean the dryer drum 

It is vital to clean the drum of your tumble dryer for two reasons. Firstly, grime and dust from your washing can linger in the drum and transfer onto other loads of laundry. Secondly, the drying sensor that monitors when your clothes are dry is located in the drum, but, if dirty, can lead to inaccurate drying times. 

To clean the drum of your tumble dryer, use a clean cloth and white vinegar to rub the drum of your dryer. Ideally, this should be done after every load, or at least after every two loads. 

Unclog the heat exchanger 

The heat exchanger in your tumble dryer turns steam from the drum back into water. Amongst the steam and air that passes through the exchanger are fibres from your clothing. Overtime these fibres build-up, which can result in a clogged heat exchanger. When your exchanger becomes clogged, it slows the flow of air through your machine, and prevents your clothes from drying. 

To unclog your heat exchanger, use your hand to remove the larger lumps of fluff. Once you’ve removed the larger sections of fluff, rinse the rest of the exchanger under the tap. Leave it to completely dry before placing back into the machine. 

Whilst your cleaning your tumble dryer, let us dry your clothes for you. You can book your Laundryheap service by heading to the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app.

air dry


1 Comment

Air Dry Vs. Tumble Dry Infographic

There have been questions as to whether natural air drying or tumble drying is the best option to dry clothes. 

It all really comes down to what the care label says on your clothes AND personal preferences. Like, personally I don’t own a tumble dryer and I don’t feel like there is a need to invest in one really. 

But hey! Everyone has different opinions, so let’s look at an unbiased infographic comparison of the two drying solutions.

Air dry vs tumble dry infographic

There’s a little bit of good and bad stuff about both drying solutions. It’s really all about what’s convenient and most importantly what’s best suited for your clothes. If you have delicate clothes made from natural fibres, these should NOT be tumble dried.

Tell us, what is your preferred drying solution?