Does It Work: Dryer Balls

By Jeff Jumper - bio | email

(KPLC) - Dryer Balls are reusable, soft-spiked, rubber balls that promise to replace the chemical-based liquid softeners and dryer sheets you use to keep your clothes static free and comfy. But do they work?

I began by separating my laundry: "Well, I separated out almost two identical loads of laundry here. We're going to wash both of them separately, and then dry both of them, one with the new Dryer Balls, and one with your traditional fabric softener sheet. What I have here is about three towels and some washcloths, and a day's worth of clothing: a shirt, some socks, a button down shirt, and a pair of pants."

I chose to do a mixed load instead of separating by fabric or color for a good reason. I wanted to ensure that we tested the balls with different fabrics to ensure they worked on many fabric types as possible.

I placed the first load into the wash, using an unscented detergent. I moved the first clean load into the dryer with the scented dryer sheet. I set the dryer to 60 minutes.

After an hour, I grabbed my dried laundry and folded it, and then I placed it in the pile. I washed the second load the same way as I did the first in preparation for the Dryer Balls.

Dryer Balls claim to save you money, but that claim is actually two-fold: spend less money every year on fabric softeners and dryer sheets, and save on your energy bills by cutting down on the drying time by 25 percent.

On the second load, we drop the drying time down to 45 minutes instead of 60 to find out if they really work.

The dryer was slightly noisier with the balls in it, but not enough to cause any headaches.  With the second load retrieved and folded, I give my judgment: With both loads of laundry complete, the dryer balls did a pretty impressive job. All different types of fabric are relatively smooth.  They're static-free, as well as odor free. "Although, they could have used another five or ten minutes in the dryer, I'd say these little buggers worked."

The dryer balls tumble dry to a Yes in this 'Does it Work?' test.

We grabbed a two pack of the dryer balls for $9.99 plus tax at a local business. The manufacturer suggests using up to eight balls per load to optimize results. The product boasts a two-year performance guarantee.

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