The ‘knit’-y gritty of dryer ball laundry

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

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My brother, Raymond, recently started using dryer balls. Dryer balls were actually a product that I’ve recommended before. I had a ton of information on the product already. What I didn’t have, however, was first-hand experience.

I decided to try them out myself. I purchased two different brands: Woolzies and As Seen on TV’s Dr yer Max. A three-pack of Woolzies cost about $17, and a two-pack of Dryer Max around $7. Both brands claim to soften fabric, reduce static cling, and reduce wrinkles in natural ways, and both claim to be hypoallergenic. They both also claim to reduce drying time by 25 percent.

I washed and dried three loads of laundry, one with no dryer balls, one with the Woolzies and one with the Dryer Max balls. Each load contained a handful of clothing, four bath towels and three kitchen towels. Both dryer ball cycles were significantly louder than a regular cycle, but that was to be expected.

The laundry load sans dryer balls, took one hour to complete. The clothes and towels came out as usual, not exceptionally fluffy, but not too flat, either. Clothes were not particularly wrinkled once I gave them a good shake.

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Woolzies: I checked on the load after 45 minutes, which would be a 25 percent faster drying time, as adver tised. The load was mostly dry, but not there yet. After another 15 minutes, the load was completely dry. I compared a towel with one that I had done on a normal cycle. The Woolzies towel was nearly double the thickness of the towel that was washed with no treatment. The clothes also were wrinkle-free, without the need to shake them or pull them taut. The manufacturer mentions that the balls can leave some pilling on clothing, but I did not notice any in this particular load.

Dryer Max: Again, I checked the load after 45 minutes. Similar to the Woolzies load, this one was slightly damp and needed an additional 15 minutes to complete. The towel was fluffier than the normal wash, but not as fluffy as the Woolzies. The clothes were slightly less wrinkled than the normal load, but not as wrinkle-free as the Woolzies.

The verdict: If you’re going to use dryer balls, Woolzies may be the winner. While neither brand lived up to cutting down on drying time, they both made good substitutes for dryer sheets, which usually leave a residue on my clothing and irritate my skin. Neither brand had this effect, but the Woolzies seemed to fair better overall.

Have a question or comment for Joanne? Email her at thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.