Dryer balls: do they work?

Okay, jokers, take your shots. But has anybody used these? Do they actually do anything? My wife is interested in buying some (for the dryer, damn it!), but I thought I’d see if anybody has comments first.

We just bought some of the Mr. Steamy Dryer Balls and they seem to be working quite well.

We literally bought them 2 days ago so we’ve only done a couple of loads; however, everything came out soft and static free. I’m not sure about the ‘No Wrinkle’ claim as we’ve been doing more household laundry as opposed to clothing; however, we did wash the duvet cover yesterday and it usually comes out as a big tangled mess and it actually looks pretty good. Not like it’s been starched or anything, but much smoother than usual. We paid about $18 for a two pack - I can’t imagine why you would need more than two unless you went to a laundry mat and were going to use multiple dryers.

Really? There’s a product called “Mr. Steamy Dryer Balls”?

Considering that I’ve been told to toss in some tennis balls with a down jacket when laundering it (to keep the down fill from bunching up), I can’t help but wonder if some of the effect is simply having the balls beating away at the laundered items every time the dryer turns.

Consumer Reports listed one brand of dryer balls as ‘fair’;, raters found the clothes scratchy.

This test didn’t like them, and says the company that makes Nelly’s Dryer Balls claims they’re only better than using nothing, not better than dryer sheets. This one says similar about a different product - better than nothing, not better than dryer sheets, but liked the results more than the other test.

Yep - like I said - we picked them up 2 days ago. :slight_smile:

Ferret Herder, I just felt the sheets and duvet cover and they seem pretty soft. Also, they don’t have that unfortunate funk (meadow rain, morning dew, sun kissed trout) that dryer sheets leave.

I’m thinking the “steamy” version that you have might be better for them than the plain balls. :smiley:

I’ve given up on dryer sheets; I use liquid fabric softener.

You might want to invest in a moisturizer… but that’s more of a comfort thing than a functionality issue; I’m sure they’ll work just fine, dry or not.

We don’t use dryer sheets or the like. The problem is that the laundry becomes tangled and takes a long time to dry. So we’re looking at the detangling aspect of these things.

They seem to help quite a bit with that - our sheets/duvet are king sized and make a big ball of themselves usually (there will be a big wad of sheet with the outside all dry and a wet core) - this helped quite a bit I think; however, the steamy balls are bigger and I wonder if that makes a difference for larger items.

I don’t know about dryer balls, but laundry balls are mostly quackery. These are the ones that claim to create ions or something to replace detergent. The former seem to follow the meat tenderizer approach, which I could buy.

For keeping sheets and other large things from tangling up, I prefer a double handful of tennis balls to the spiky, lightweight dryer balls. (I’ve used both, sometimes even at the same time.) Neither are better than dryer sheets for softness or static control – however, dryer sheets achieve that by distributing a very fine layer of a conditioning oil or wax on the fabric, quite literally just like a hair conditioner, which is only desirable on some things. Not so much on anything you want to be absorbent, like towels or cloth diapers.
alice_in_wonderland**, I use unscented dryer sheets when I use them, for trout-free goodness.

Yah - I’ve tried the ‘unscented’ and I still find that they have an odor. Not as strong as Sun Kissed Trout, but still a scent.

My motivation for getting the balls is that dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener all have warnings not to use them on children’s bedding/sleepwear as it can make them more flammable. Or not as flame retardant. Or something.

Anyhow - the steam balls did seem to make everything pretty well static free, although it’s summer time here so there’s more moisture in the air - I guess we’ll see how they work in the dead of winter when the air is so dry you can shock yourself trying to comb your hair.

Sorry, more thoughts after the edit window.

If you’ve been using dryer sheets and have only just switched to dryer balls, you may still be getting some dryer-sheet conditioning for a while, as some of that meadowy funk may still be coating the inside of the dryer. I use half a dryer sheet when I use one and find that gives me plenty softening for a normal load – but that doesn’t leave much behind, and the subsequent load of towels I do with just dryer balls can get pretty static-y.

I’m running a dryer load right now with six spiky blue dryer balls, six tennis balls, and a full dryer sheet. It’s our king-size canvas coverlet, which needs all that to keep from turning into a compacted canvas planetesimal with an abrasive desert exterior and a soggy core. The tennis balls were very cheap at Target – something like three bucks for all six IIRC. The coverlet is worth the trouble because it’s dog-butt proof, cat-claw proof, leaky-baby-diaper proof, reasonably nice to look at (I painted it myself), and easy to wash, if not easy to dry.

GHO57, what’s a moisturizer in a laundry context?

We registered for some of them (as a joke) when we got married, and my wife got them at the shower. We actually still use them. If course, now we’re down to only one. They get stuck in the clothes, and I don’t know where the heck the other one wound up.

I don’t like the way that dryer sheets make the clothes feel, and these seem to cut down on static in the winter.

We prefer them to sheets, and they do seem to reduce tangling. I think you do need a couple.

And: Mr. Steamy Dryer Balls"? Band name!

I came looking to see if these are a couple of balls of garbage because my husband says they are. He just took the noisy things out of the dryer, threw them on top and slammed the door, as I approached. He says they beat up the dryer and he has had enough of their noise. Quite frankly, I have noticed absolutely no change in the laundry in the last two years, from when I use them and when I do not. I bought them to have fluffier towels but, they don’t make the towels any fluffier at all.

NOW, you people who claim to be using dryer sheets, continue to put chemicals on your clothing and towels if you wish but, this is a website that fights ignorance. Anyone using those dryer sheets, aka fibrous tissue loaded with chemicals, is the epitome of ignorance. It’s about time you start using 1/4 or less of baking soda to your rinse cycle. I learned to do that about 30 years ago so it isn’t new. I wouldn’t use those dryer sheets if I was given 1000 packets for free.

My husband hates any form of fabric softener, and we hadn’t historically had much static trouble until we moved into our current apartment with a washer/dryer (rented). Since our move, lots of static. I’ve given some thought to dryer balls, but then Mr. Picky would probably gripe about the noise. (sigh)

I hate the smell of vinegar, so dumping that on my clothes is a no-go (had that suggested elsewhere).

1/2 c of vinegar in the rinse dispenser on the washer and I’ve never noticed a smell on the clothes when they come out of the dryer.

You might notice a smell where I don’t but it might be worth one test load to see.

I use vinegar in the rinse cycle too, never use softeners anymore. I do use the spiky blue balls. They are just plastic I guess, not harboring any softeners. I do have dryer balls that will hold some kind of softener scented plug. Not using the inserts at all. Tennis balls would work just as well imo.

Are you telling me there are chemicals on those dryer sheets?

And those chemicals are somehow making their way onto my clothes?

And I’ve been doing this repeatedly with every laundry load for my entire life!

I’m really scared now. What if I get cancer, or ADHD, or develop asthma, or rickets or something?