I have gone on a long Google searching journey and discovered something amazing! But before I tell you the amazing, let me tell you this. Years ago I had heard that one of the most toxic things in your house is (get a load of this) dryer sheets! *gasp!* Also toxic? Nasty smells from mothballs, whose odors can also be eliminated using a dryer.
Who’d a thunk it?!
Recently I was reminded of that again and was told I should instead use dryer balls. My only hang up about dryer balls is that when you live in the North and it’s winter time, the static electricity in your dryer is CRAY. Z. (Seriously, you Southern, warm-weather folks just don’t know.) In the winter time instead of using one dryer sheet per load, I have to use three dryer sheets. How would this work with dryer balls instead?! I was befuddled.
SOoooOOooOOoo, this led me on a Google search of epic proportions.
My first search was to find out if dryer balls do anything to reduce static electricity at all. Which, after much reading and searching, led me to discover that apparently you can ditch dryer balls and just use tennis balls instead! Well! I have a few of those laying around my house somewhere….. However, this did not answer my dilemma over static electricity. So I searched on.
After several more pages of articles, I found that to take care of static electricity you can ditch the dryer balls AND tennis balls and just go for (wait for it….) FOIL balls. It totally takes care of the static electricity! WHAT?!
Yes, that’s right. We’ve all been lied to by dryer sheet companies for years… all you really need is a couple of balls made up of foil that’s sitting right in your kitchen drawer or under your kitchen sink! WHO KNEW?!
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!
Upon further Googling to now see if it was even SAFE to put foil balls in your dryer (which supposedly it is… your dryers exhaust hose is foil, after all), I learned that the best way to handle your drying needs is to combine the static electricity zapping foil with the bounce and heaviness of tennis balls!
I’m not even kidding you!
You get the benefit of the foil for the static, and you get the benefit of the tennis ball for faster drying and fluffier laundry!
So after my long Google quest, I have now started using foil wrapped tennis balls in lieu of dryer sheets, AND IT WORKS!
My first attempt at wrapping the balls with foil, I didn’t use enough. One go-round in the dryer with a load of laundry would peel off some of the foil where there was a “seam” on the ball.
So, to save you the trouble, and my fingers from telling you how many attempts it took me to get the foil on the tennis balls just right, I’ll just go ahead and tell you exactly how to do it right the first time.
You’re welcome. It’s what I’m here for in life.
First, you’re going to want to use long sheets of foil like pictured, and you’ll need four of these sheets per ball.
Next, wrap the tennis ball one sheet at a time. There is no method to wrapping the foil around the tennis ball, so don’t stress! I ended up putting the ball at one end and just wrapping and rolling my way to the other end. Then squish the foil down onto the ball tight (perfect job for your kids) and put the seam-side down on the next sheet and wrap again.
I started off with only two tennis balls because it was all I could find laying around our house, but after my experimenting, I felt two wasn’t quite enough for a full (large) load of laundry. So I went and bought the cheapest three pack of tennis balls I could find at Walmart back in sporting goods (Just under $2.00 in my neck of the woods).
So while I now have five tennis balls, I do totally think just three would do!
Here’s what my tennis balls looked like after they were wrapped.
Please note the tape on the front right ball. I finally decided that to avoid it unfoiling itself on the seams, a little bit of tape might work, and it does!
This is what your foil balls will look like after one go-round in the dryer with a load of clothes.
See how they smooth themselves out after banging around in there? And look! Like I said, the tape stays and adheres to the ball even more!
Oo! Sorry, that picture was fuzzy!
The more you use these balls, the smother they get and get a load of this….. they NEVER have to be replaced!!! (That’s what I found in my Googling research.)
So. Break-up with your dryer sheets, tell that company that you’ve been giving your hard earned money hand-over-fist to goodbye, and switch to this RAWKIN’ AWESOME Lazy Mom Tip!
With Much Love, Foil and Balls,
The Lazy Mom
P.S. From what I’ve read, using foil in your dryer poses no fire threat, but I assume no responsibility. I can only tell you my experience!