Wool dryer balls promote eco-friendliness at Food52

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I aimed to prioritize sustainability in my cleaning method this year, which had been one of my personal goals. It was hard to throw away dryer sheets despite switching to microfiber cloths and wasting way less detergent and cleaning spray. It’s hard for me to get away from Snuggle–in my mind, Snuggle equals warm, clean laundry.

It’s true that dryer sheets waste a lot of energy. I spent unnecessary money in addition to using three sheets a day. In order to make this change happen, I set out to make fluffing your laundry more eco-friendly and wallet-friendly.


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You waste less product and more time by using dryer balls, also known as fluff and softener balls. When researching wool dryer balls, I was drawn to Food52’s colorful selection that would look good in a small bowl next to my washer and dryer (eco-friendly and makeshift home decor? Why not).

Dryer balls are a first for me, so I had to google how to actually use them. (It’s easy: You typically use three per load, and some sites recommend that you stick some safety pins through each ball to reduce static and discharge.) They fluffed my laundry right up, and they did decrease drying time by 15 to 20 minutes. The shirts also don’t wrinkle, so no time is wasted ironing them (win).

Among the things I used them for were bedding, towels, clothes of various fabrics, and dog toys-and not only did they work just as well as dryer sheets, but they also helped grab more pet hair. In addition, they are long-lasting. A dryer ball typically lasts for 1,000 washes (for comparison, 230 sheets of Snuggle are in a box). According to my calculations, these earth friendly laundry helpers (which come in a pack of six for $36) should last me about six to seven years.

Snuggle was one thing I really missed (thanks, nostalgia), but if you would like to scent your freshly dried laundry, you can use a few drops of essential oil in your dryer balls. After folding everything up, I didn’t even notice anything different after using my detergent alone.

My cleaning routine has changed dramatically since making this change. My time and money are saved by not having to add extra effort. How cute are these dryer balls?

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