How To Recharge Wool Dryer Balls (And Why You Should)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

If there’s one thing I enjoy doing, it’s a fresh batch of laundry. I even have luxury laundry detergent and wool balls to keep my clothes all nice and fluffy. That’s why I know, first-hand, how depressing holding a bunch of wool dryer balls that are clearly spent can be. Most people assume you have to throw them out, but that’s not true. You can recharge your dryer balls pretty easily.

Wash your wool dryer balls with hot water and dry them on the high heat setting. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to your wool dryer balls when you recharge them to freshen them. Wool dryer balls have a long life, and you can recharge them an average of 1,000 times before you need to replace them.

Learning how to use your dryer balls correctly is a must if you want to make sure that you get the most use out of them as possible. This guide will help those who are new to “green” laundry get a better understanding of what wool dryer balls can and cannot do.

Why Do Dryer Balls Need To Be Recharged?

Wool dryer balls are fairly sturdy, but that doesn’t mean that they’re completely infallible. After lots of uses, dryer balls will stop retaining their shape and will start to smell a little gross. Sometimes, they may even start to darken up as a result of the overuse, too. If you want to get your laundry looking fresher and fluffier, a recharge is in order.

What Does Recharging Do?

Recharging is just another way of saying “cleaning up and adding fluffiness” to your wool balls. If you’ve noticed a lack of fluffiness to your balls, or if they’ve started to lose their firmness, then a recharge is just what the doctor ordered. This is just another name for a refresh, really.

Do You Need To Add Detergent To The Wash When You Recharge Dryer Balls?

For the most part, wool dryer balls shouldn’t need detergent during a recharge. A typical recharge is meant to be a quick wash, and there are some people out there who get worried that detergents might harm dryer balls. The jury is still out on whether this is the truth, but if you’re worried about fishing out wool lint from the wash, it’s better to play it safe.

Adding Laundry Freshness Through Dryer Balls

Dryer balls made from wool are designed to help you make the most of your laundry without having the same impact on the environment that regular dryer sheets would. The idea behind them is simple. Their bouncing around makes it easier for your clothes to get fluffy, minus all the toxic chemicals and waste that dryer sheets have.

Should You Add Essential Oils To Your Dryer Balls?

Essential oils are one of the most commonly-cited “hacks” that you can use with a dryer ball. The concept is easy: drip a couple of drops of essential oils on your dryer balls and the scent from the oil will permeate the clothes you use. For the most part, people swear that it works and that it even further improves your laundry’s textures.

However, it’s a good idea to take this with a grain of salt. Essential oils are flammable, and if you put your laundry at too high a setting, you could potentially run into a problem. With that said, minimizing how much you spray on your clothing, or better, spraying the clothes down with some oil after they’ve dried, might be a better option.

How Long Do Wool Dryer Balls Last?

A typical dryer ball is meant to last about 1,000 washes or so. In terms of time, this translates into roughly a year to three years depending on how many loads of laundry you do per week. If you have a large household or have a stain-prone lifestyle, you should probably toss out your balls after a year. (Don’t worry! They’re biodegradable!)

How Many Dryer Balls Do You Need For A Single Dryer Run?

Along with knowing how long those dryer balls are meant to last, it’s important to know how many balls you need per load. For the most part, it’s all about figuring out how many balls you need to bounce around in your dryer. Small to medium loads only need three to four balls to get the laundry fluffy. Large loads can require up to six.

Is Recharging Absolutely Necessary?

Here’s the thing about dryer balls: there’s not really a “wrong” way to use them. If you don’t feel the need to recharge them, then you won’t have to.

How Often Do You Need To Recharge Your Dryer Balls?

It shouldn’t be that often, really. Most dryer balls only need to be recharged after four to six months, if that. If you find that your dyer balls need to be regularly fluffed up, it might be time to replace them.

How Should You Store Wool Dryer Balls?

Recharging your dryer balls is a great way to extend their shelf life, sure, but that doesn’t mean that you should just focus on everything to do with that aspect. Some of the more important aspects of proper ball storage can make just as much of a difference, if not more. If you want to get the most action out of your dryer balls, use these tips:

  • Store your dryer balls in a dry, dark area. Sunlight can mess with the fibers of the dryer ball, but the bigger issue is mold. Too much dampness can easily lead to your dryer balls getting moldy. To make things better, storing your balls away from moisture or excess mildew is a must.
  • Reduce the amount of essential oil that you sprinkle on the dryer balls. The essential oil trick does work, but it’s a matter of knowing when to stop. Too much can cause a fire in your dryer. If you want to stay on the safe side, use dryer sheets to rub against the balls instead. The scent will transfer from the sheet to the balls pretty easily.
  • Whenever possible, keep your wool dryer balls in their storage bag or box. This helps protect them from the elements, and will also make it easy for you to find them in a pinch.
  • If you can, keep your dryer balls near your dryer and away from foul smells. Wool absorbs bad smells fast, so don’t leave the dryer balls in a hallway where you might be cooking curry or seafood.
  • Avoid keeping them in the open near pets (unless you want them to go missing!). Though they are not exactly toxic to pets, the truth is that most wool dryer balls end up being great toys for pets. If your cat might be tempted to pick your balls up and drag them away, this could lead to annoying sessions of searching for balls during your laundry session.

Related Questions

Are wool dryer balls safe?

Wool dryer balls are safe, and they are safer than dryer sheets. Traditional dryer sheets contain chemicals that are harmful to you and your pet’s skin. Dryer sheets are also more wasteful and harmful to the environment than wool dryer balls.

Do dryer balls help remove pet hair?

Wool dryer balls can help remove pet hair and fuzz. They can help fluff up clothes which makes it easy to shake off lint and pet hair during a cycle in the dryer. The wool dryer balls will soften your clothes, shorten the load time in the dryer, and remove pet hair.

How many times can you use wool dryer balls?

You can use wool dryer balls for an average of 1,000 times. Recharge your dryer balls with warm water and hot dryer cycles to keep them fresh so that they can last for months, or even years.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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