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You've no doubt seen these woolen balls popping up all over the internet, especially now many parts of Australia are facing a long, cold, wet winter, or a humid wet season up North, where hanging out the washing may not be an option, clothes horses may get in the way - or used as a cat jungle gym!

Confused as to what all the fuss is about? Well, Sheepy and I will tell you...

Dryer balls come in a variety of materials, colors and sizes. The most popular type of dryer balls are wool dryer balls, but there are also plastic variants and rubber variants (AVOID). However, we’re going to focus this post around Wool Dryer Balls, since they are the eco-friendly, biodegradable, compostable, reusable alternative to both dryer sheets and also fabric softener. I know, you weren't expecting me to mention that were you! Lil'Bit Wool Dryer Balls are made of 100% NZ Merino Wool, that over time becomes “felted*” this makes them especially durable and not at all prone to unraveling. One set of quality wool dryer balls will last forever, softening thousands of loads of laundry—no batteries, refills, repairs, or reconditioning required. It’s one (purchase) and done!

Our dryer balls are also sourced from a sheep grower registered

with the RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) Certified where wool is grown and processed in NZ which has some of the highest standards of sheep welfare and have banned mulesing.

The supplier is also Leaping Bunny Approved

How do wool dryer balls work?

Imagine a big load of wet, soggy bath towels going into the dryer. You hit “start” and that massive wad of wet fabric will flop around and stick together for quite a while until the layers become dry enough to separate and allow warm air to circulate. That slows the drying time, wasting time and energy.

Now imagine six wool dryer balls, placed throughout the blob, bouncing around (I use my entire set of six in every load), working their way between the layers of fabric, separating them so the warm air can circulate efficiently from the very start of the cycle.

I’ve tested drying times with and without wool dryer balls, and the results are quite amazing. Wool dryer balls cut at least 25% off the time to dry a load of laundry, saving time, energy and money. I have also found these balls stuck tightly in the long sleeve of a tee-shirt and the pocket of a pair of jeans. They work their way into tight spaces and that’s what makes them so awesome. Oh, they are also prone to cat attacks and chases, I've lo

st one or two and found them under the couch! Because dryer balls also agitate consistently against the fibers in clothes and linens, everything feels softer coming out of the dryer. And when used properly, they also take care of static cling. How to use wool dryer balls?

Because they need room to bounce around in wet clothes and linens, dryer balls do their best and fastest work when the dryer is not crammed full. You’ll find that two medium-size loads will dry faster and more efficiently than one gigantic load. Dryer balls need room to work and do their thing. Note: Give them a quick tumble on their own to remove any surface fluff.

Adding fragrance to a dryer load.

Many of us love laundry that comes out smelling like an ocean breeze or a field of flowers but many of the scents used in commercial softeners and detergents are chock full of artificial fragrance and a plethora of nasty chemicals.

If fresh, scented laundry is you thing, its as simple as adding a few drops of essential oil to each of the dryer balls. Give them time to absorb the oil deep into the fibers—a 1/2 hour is advisable. The more the oils are absorbed into the dryer balls before using the more slowly the fragrance will be dispersed in the dryer and less risk of staining. You’ll begin to notice a subtle, non-toxic fragrance in your clean, soft laundry.

Static cling.

The biggest complaint I have read about is that while dryer sheets/softener eliminates static cling, the wool dryer balls do not. In fact, reported several (thousand) people, static cling makes these folks want to throw the balls out and go back to their old ways. Don’t do that! Really … there is an explanation and a simple solution.

Much of the reason static occurs is due to over-drying clothes. You are definitely going to notice static if the dryer is allowed to run too long, with or without wool dryer balls! Over-drying wastes energy and wears out your clothes prematurely as evidenced by all that lint, and as you are learning causes static cling—especially on low-humidity, dry winter days. Another cause of static are synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, rayon, and acrylic. Try to separate synthetics to keep the rest of your laundry static-free. Then either dry the synthetics by hanging them on a line or in the dryer, making sure you end the drying cycle before they are totally dry.

The Trouble with Fabric Softeners

The National Center for Biotechnology Information Australia, reports that the perfumes and additives in laundry products can cause many common skin problems. Fabric softeners are very allergenic and can cause eczema, psoriasis and general itchiness. Dryer sheets, along with fabric softeners, also contain fragrance and volatile organic compounds like acetaldehyde and butane, which can cause respiratory irritation. Fabric softener chemicals known as quaternary ammonium compounds have been linked to asthma and respiratory stress. Acetone, also used in these products, can cause nervous system effects like headaches or dizziness.

Fabric softeners are also known to reduce and finally eliminate the effectiveness of water-resistant materials and reduce the absorbency of towels so if you find your towels aren’t drying as well after a few cycles with fabric softener this is the culprit. Wool dryer balls help to soften fabrics when used in the dryer. The balls continually agitate against the fibers in clothes and linens. So, after a (shorter) drying cycle, your clothes would also be soft to the touch. When used properly, dryer balls can even take care of static cling!

If you still want even softer clothes, try these alternative softeners... White Vinegar Straight Up

The easiest homemade fabric softener is the consistent use of plain white vinegar in the final rinse. Add 1/2 to 1 cup (depending on load size) white vinegar to the last rinse in the washer. Vinegar is cheap and nontoxic; effective and antimicrobial. It naturally softens because vinegar helps to remove every last bit of detergent from your clothes. Vinegar aids in static reduction during drying. If your washer has a liquid softener dispenser you can fill it with white vinegar and you’ll be good to go.

The easiest way to do this, is to pour the vinegar into the reservoir for liquid softener. Typically, this is designed to be released into that rinse cycle. If your washer is a top-loader that doesn’t lock you out until the load is complete, you can lift the lid during that rinse cycle and pour the vinegar right into the machine. However, newer model top loaders as well as all front loaders aren’t about to let you make that kind of interruption. Some newer top loaders have a pause button, that allows you to stop and add.

Why does this work? The very weak acidic nature of plain white 5% vinegar (that means it’s 95% water) mixed with gallons of rinse water in your washer (diluting it even further) is basically harmless, but it does help to coax the soap and detergent out of fabric. It’s the presence of soap and detergent in clothes and linens that failed to get rinsed away, which makes these items turn dingy gray, feeling stiff and scratchy over time. Epsom salt and essential oil.

Get a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Start with one cup of Epsom salts and about 10 drops essential oil (lavender, lemon, eucalyptus are all nice, or create your own signature blend). Give it a good shake or stir well. Apply the lid and you’re good to go.

To use, toss about 1/4 cup of your homemade “crystals” (more or less to your preference) into the washer drum before you start the wash and before you drop in your clothes. Launder as usual. This does not replace your regular detergent. Do not put this into the washer’s liquid dispenser or the dryer. The results will be laundry with a nice subtle scent.

Epsom salts are not the same as table salt (sea salt, or kosher salt)—not even close! Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, is a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It gets its name from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England, where it was originally discovered in 1618.

Despite having “salts” in its name, Epsom salts (MgSO4) is an entirely different compound than table salt, which is sodium chloride (NaCl). It was most likely termed “salts” because of its appearance, which is similar to table salt. It is often dissolved in baths, which is why you may also know it as “bath salts.” While it looks similar to table salt, its taste is distinctly different.

Some people still consume Epsom salts by dissolving it in water and drinking it. However, you would never want to add it to food due to its taste. Epsom salts are quite bitter and unpalatable although my father-in-law regularly dunks his finger into a jar and pops it in his mouth for a magnesium top up!

Epsom salts, unlike sodium chloride or table salt, do not harm vegetation at all. In fact, magnesium sulfate is just the opposite of the table salt in homemade weed killer. Table salt kills vegetation. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) is often found in fertilizers because it is nutritious for plants and vegetation (there's a free gardening tip!) All packaging is 100% Home Compostable. The unbleached linen bag can be cut up and added to your compost when it reaches the end of its life and the recycled paper tag is printed with soy inks and can also be composted - as can the balls when they are spent (they should last over 1000 washes mind you!)

So there you go, all you need to know about these woolly wonders.

Remember you also get FREE shipping on order sover $75, plus a free gift and if you leave a review of your purchase on Google, Facebook or the Website you get 10% OFF your next order which will never expire and can be used in conjunction with other offers. So many freebies!


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