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A Guide to Wool Dryer Balls: A Sustainable, Smart Solution for Your Laundry

A Guide to Wool Dryer Balls: A Sustainable, Smart Solution for Your Laundry

Here at Heritage Park Laundry Essentials, we spend a lot of time thinking about how to make laundry day better for you, your fine washables, and the planet. And we’re super proud of how our line of luxury laundry detergents do just that. But we don’t stop at the washing machine. Our wool dryer balls are an easy, sustainable way to soften clothes and linen and speed drying time without harmful chemicals. They break up static cling just as good as dryer sheets or fabric softener but are far gentler on your clothes, machine, sensitive skin and the environment.

Read on to learn more about wool dryer balls and why you should have a set (or two) in your laundry room.

Do Wool Dryer Balls Work?

Absolutely! Wool dryer balls are an effective way to soften fabric and reduce dryer time. Made from New Zealand wool, our felted wool dryer balls are about the size of a tennis ball. During the drying cycle, they bounce around and tumble in and among the items in the load. This softens fabric; traps lint and pet hair away from fabric; and shortens drying time by preventing balling and clumping. This allows more air to circulate between the layers of laundry which removes wrinkles and reduces the need to iron. Wool yarn is also naturally moisture wicking; the felting on the wool balls helps pull moisture out of laundry over the course of the dryer cycle (a distinct advantage over plastic dryer balls).

How to Use Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are very easy to use! They go right into the dryer with your wet laundry. We do NOT recommend using any type of dryer ball with delicate fabrics -- such as washable silk -- because of potential damage to the fibers. However, dryer balls can absolutely be used with regular laundry such as towels and clothing. They are especially effective on heavier items such as wet towels and even comforters, and are fine to use with durable natural and synthetic fibers.

For a small- to medium-sized load, use three dryer balls. For a larger load, or even a mid-size load sized of heavier items, use up to all six laundry balls in the package. Keep an eye on your laundry, as it is likely to dry more quickly and you don’t want to overheat the load. Your wool dryer balls are reusable; you can store them in their handy cotton bag, or (as we do) keep them right in the dryer!

Also remember: wool dryer balls have no scent. If you want to add a bit of fragrance, you can put a drop or two of your favorite essential oil right on the wool balls before you toss them in the dryer. We love lavender essential oil for its calming properties, but any scent will work.

Reusable non-toxic wool dryer balls are an alternative to dryer sheets for a great way to soften fabric, dry laundry faster, and save a little money

Wool Dryer Balls: A Better Choice Than Dryer Sheets or Fabric Softener

We love discussing all the advantages of wool dryer balls over dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener. First and foremost, a dryer sheet and fabric softener both leave a layer of waxy build up both in your machines and -- worst of all -- on your laundry. This is especially damaging to towels, as the chemical build up reduces their absorbency and flattens the “nap,” which makes them look dull and dingy (learn how to remove build up and refresh your towels here). Organic wool dryer balls, on the other hand, are a natural fabric softener that leaves no build up behind; this helps your clothing, linen, and especially your towels to look and perform their absolute best.

As we mentioned, wool dryer balls are reusable. Our dryer balls are completely biodegradable, unlike single-use dryer sheets, which live in landfills for a long time and can pollute water systems. Wool dryer balls are also ideal for sensitive skin. They are entirely organic and contain absolutely no harsh chemicals whatsoever. You can even use them for baby clothing, cloth diapers, and toys without worry. Learn more about why you should ditch your dryer sheets and replace them with wool dryer balls.

Wool Dryer Balls Save Energy (and the Earth)

Wool dryer balls save energy by shortening overall drying time, especially on heavy items. They’ve been known to cut down drying time by as much as 30 percent. This is great for your energy bill, as well as for the environment. Wool dryer balls are also sustainable and biodegradable, which reduces waste and the environmental impact of doing your laundry.

Our dryer balls are made from 100 percent pure organic New Zealand wool, known to be some of the strongest, most durable wool on Earth. We use only the top wool, grown in a sustainable way to the highest environmental standards. The sheep are raised in a pure, green, and natural environment and -- most important to us -- no sheep are harmed in any way during the shearing of the wool we use.

How Long Do Wool Dryer Balls Last?

The answer to this depends on how much laundry you do! At Heritage Park Laundry Essentials, we find ourselves doing multiple loads of wash every day (it’s kind of our thing). That said, we have gotten more than a year of heavy use out of a single set of wool dryer balls. Over time, the dryer balls will begin to pill; this is normal as the felted wool goes through the cycles of drying and removing lint from your laundry. Here are a few tips to help your wool dryer balls last longer:

  • Store your wool dryer balls in the dryer or the cotton bag they came in
  • If you do mainly small loads, rotate your set gets equal wear
  • Consider investing in two sets: one for light loads and another for darks

Finally, replace your wool dryer balls when they begin to look worn out. We estimate this should happen at around 1,000 washes or more, depending on load size.

Comparing Your Options: Wool Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets and Liquid Fabric Softener

At Heritage Park, one of the most important things we keep in mind when formulating any of our products is the fact that they will be used to clean items that are worn and used by our families. Nothing is more important than protecting the ones we love from unnecessary chemical exposure. At the same time, we never want to compromise effectiveness. Take a look at the table below comparing our wool dryer balls with leading brands of both dryer sheets and fabric softener.

Comparison of why you should use Wool Dryer Balls to Single-use Dryer Sheets and Liquid Fabric Softener


Heritage Park 
Wool Dryer Balls

Single-use Dryer Sheets
(leading brand)

Liquid Fabric Softener
(leading brand)


$18.50, 1,000+ dryer loads
Less than 2 cents/load
$5.99/240 or fewer loads
2.4 to 5 cents/load depending on # of sheets used
$12.99/152 loads (two pack)
8.5 cents/load


100% Organic New Zealand Wool

Dipalmethyl Hydroxyethylammoinum Methosulfate 
Fatty Acid
Polyester Substrate

Water - Solvent
Diethylester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride - Softener Active
Fragrance - Provides Freshness
Polyquaternium:33 - Stabilizer
Formic Acid - PH Adjuster
Blend Of Polyoxyalkylene Substituted Chromophores (Red And Blue) - Colorant
Pentasodium Pentetate - Chelating Agent


Yes No Fabric softening agents yes






No Yes Yes

Moisture Wicking?

Yes No No

Reduces Dry Time?

Yes No No

Leaves Waxy Build-up?

No Yes Yes

Safe for Sensitive Skin and Babies?

Yes -- --

Animal, and Environmentally Friendly?

Yes No Plastic bottle is not

Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

At Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels, and cloths, we found many commercially available "gentle detergents" either damaged our fabrics or didn't get the job done, leaving stains. We knew we could do better. So we developed a formula with the perfect balance of powerful -- yet safe -- ingredients designed to remove tough, set-in stains while remaining gentle on luxury linens. Please connect with us at (800) 977-1841 or visit our store or email us with any product feedback or cleaning questions.

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