What are these eco-friendly wool dryer balls made of?
These beautiful British made eco-friendly wool dryer balls are made from 100% British wool. Unlike many other wool drying laundry balls on the market, ours are made in the UK. They’re hand felted in Yorkshire and use a mixture of Merino, Shetland, and Gotland sheep wool. Since they’re only made from wool, they’re:
- Reusable hundreds and hundreds of times
- Sustainable - since Sheep need to be sheared. Wool is rapidly renewable and produced organically
- Biodegradable – because wool is natural, it’s able to be broken down by microorganisms
- Hypoallergenic – friendly to sensitive skin
How do they work?
They’re magic! Well, maybe not quite magic… but they do work wonders. They bounce between the layers of wet clothing, opening up gaps for the warm air to get into which then allows your clothes to dry more quickly. Not only that, but because they’re made entirely of wool, they absorb some of the moisture, adding another layer of drying power to the mix.
We recommend using 3-4 balls with each load for maximum drying power. They typically lower your drying times by about 20-40%. It will be best to test timings yourself though as it can vary and it very much depends on how many balls you’re using, how big your load is, the drying settings (such as temperature), and the materials of the washing itself. You will need a bit of trial and error so you don’t over-dry your clothes unnecessarily, but once you’ve got the timing down you’ll start saving money on energy and reducing your carbon footprint.
How are they eco-friendly?
Well, as we’ve already said, they’re pure wool. No plastic, no synthetics, no harmful chemicals… just wool. They are also British made! The wool hasn’t travelled all the way over to the UK from New Zealand like a lot of other wool dryer balls, and the balls haven’t been made abroad either. They’re made from wool from the UK and are hand-crafted in Yorkshire. Compared with well-travelled wool, and other plastic dryer ball alternatives, these are already well ahead on the eco-friendly scale.
Then there’s the eco-friendly-ness of actually using them. While in the dryer, they get properly mixed in with your washing, opening it all up to make gaps for the warm air to get into. Like we’ve said above, they can lower your drying time anywhere from 20-40% (depending on your load, how many balls you’re using, your drying settings, and the clothing materials). When you add it up, that’s a HUGE amount of energy being saved, not only massively reducing your energy costs but also reducing the harm done to the planet.
Even the packaging is eco-friendly! The little dryer balls come in small, hessian, drawstring sacks – the balls can be put back in here to dry once they’ve been used or you can just leave them in the dryer and reuse the hessian sacks for something else.
Is there anything else I need to know about these eco-dryer balls?
Yes, actually. They’ll last for hundreds and hundreds of uses! Depending on how many washes you do this could be anywhere from 2-5 years. That’s a super long time and if you could add up the amount of energy (and money!) saved just from using these, you’ll be asking yourself why you didn’t get them sooner.
Because they’re made of wool, they will need to be “recharged” every 100-or-so uses. You’ll know when it’s time for a recharge because they’ll start to look a bit scruffier, and you might notice they don’t quite have the same drying power as they used to.
Recharging them is easy, you just have to wash them. You can throw them into your washing machine with or without a load of clothing. Then they need to be dried. We would probably suggest drying them by themselves as this will be quicker and you can get back to using them straightaway if you need to. You can dry them and use them at the same time if you like (by putting them into the dryer with some washing), but since they will be carrying a lot of extra moisture themselves, they most likely will not speed up the drying of this particular load and will probably make it take longer. Once they’re dry though, the dryer balls will be back to being like new all over again, ready for another 100-or-so drying cycles.
We love wool and the planet!
As you might already know, we adore wool here at Chimney Sheep. To us, there’s no better material. Wool is one of the most convenient and versatile natural materials there is, and we collect and use an ever-growing amount of Herdwick wool per year (last year we collected nearly 24 tonnes of raw Herdwick wool) that we use to manufacture our Chimney Sheep® chimney draught excluders, which help people save money on their energy bills, but also to reduce the amount of energy everyone uses to heat their homes. Each bit of energy saved is a bit less harm done to the environment.
We have a whole range of eco-laundry products. Everything in this range either helps to reduce the amount of energy we use (like these wool dryer balls, and our laundry macs) or they’re made from recycled or eco-friendly materials (like these EcoForce recycled plastic clothes pegs and this Ironing Board Pad). You can have a nosey at the full range here.