Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets - Which Are A Better Choice?

Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets - Which Are A Better Choice?

Do you ever wonder why your laundry comes out of the dryer feeling soft, fragrant, and static-free? Chances are it’s because of a good-quality dryer sheet or a handy set of fabric-softening balls!

But which one should you choose? Will it depend on the job at hand, or will it be to ensure your clothes come out as smooth as silk? In this blog post, we will compare the two options to help you decide based on reasonable cost-effectiveness and ease of use. Let's get started!

Dryer Balls vs Dryer Sheets

What Do Dryer Sheets Do?

Dryer sheets are thought to be a laundry essential made of polyester and coated with special chemicals and compounds. When activated by hot air and friction, the chemicals are released onto clothes to help reduce static cling, soften fabric, and add a delightful scent.

These small sheets provide a convenient way to add a bit of luxury to the washing process, making sure that clothes come out clean, soft, and smell great. As well as preventing static electricity from causing a shock when putting on clothing straight from the dryer, dryer sheets also ensure that fabrics stay softer for longer periods.

Soften Clothes

Dryer sheets are a common household item, which are used to soften clothes in the dryer. They contain a surfactant, which is a combination of surface active agents, fatty molecules, and ions.

These ingredients work together to coat fabric with a smooth and soft feeling when put through the drying cycle. The fatty molecule contained within the surfactant can vary by brand and type of dryer sheet.

When heated in the dryer, it activates and coats fabric to give laundry a softer feel. In addition to adding softness, some dryer sheets also contain fragrances that can help make clothes smell pleasant after drying.

Soften Clothes

Static Cling

Static cling occurs when clothing rubs together in the dryer, causing electrons to move from one item to another and forming an imbalance of positive and negative charges. This causes the clothes to stick together because opposite charges attract.

Dryer sheets work to eliminate this static cling by releasing ions or positive charge particles stored in the surfactant, which help equalize the imbalance of electrons, thus preventing clothes from sticking together.

Using a dryer sheet ensures that your laundry will not come out of the dryer full of pesky static cling, ruining your freshly laundered look.

Pros and Cons of Dryer Sheets

When it comes to dryer sheets, there are pros and cons to using them in your laundry. First, we will go over the pros of dryer sheets. These include the following:

  • These sheets effectively soften your clothes while reducing static cling
  • Light fragrances will be infused with dryer sheets, leaving your clothes smelling fresh
  • They are easy to use, and pre-measured
  • Dryer sheets are affordable and can be found in bulk

However, on the other hand, there are always cons to utilizing dryer sheets. Some of these cons include:

  • Some dryer sheets contain toxic chemicals that can cause skin irritation for those with sensitive skin
  • Continued and frequent use of dryer sheets can cause allergic reactions to some
  • Dryer sheets are only able to use once
  • They don't reduce the drying time
  • Some believe they make towels less absorbent

What Are Wool Dryer Balls?

Dryer balls are a chemical-free, economical alternative to fabric softener and dryer sheets. They are made from either plastic or wool and are used to reduce drying time, decrease static cling, and soften clothes.

Unlike other alternatives, dryer balls do not contain any compounds or ions. When used in the dryer, the fiber content of the balls helps to separate clothing items allowing for improved air circulation, which can reduce drying times by up to 25%.

As they tumble inside the dryer, they also create friction which helps reduce static cling by distributing moisture evenly throughout the load. The added friction also gives fabrics a softer feel that mimics using liquid fabric softener.

Reduce Drying Time

We know that a dryer is used to dry clothing and other items by tumbling them around in a heated chamber. The air circulates and dries the clothes quicker when there is a separation between the items.

Dryer balls help reduce drying time by the separation between clothing items, allowing air to circulate even more efficiently. This ultimately leads to faster drying times as the hot air can move freely throughout the chamber and reach all the clothes inside.

Reduce Drying Time

Static Cling

Although dryer balls do not eliminate static cling by releasing positive ions like dryer sheets, they are known to reduce the amount of static. They do this in two ways.

  1. First, they create separation between clothing items, so there is less overall friction and fewer opportunities to create static.
  2. Second, wool dryer balls absorb and hold onto moisture during the cycle. That moisture helps elevate humidity, which limits the chances of static. To enhance this effect, spray wool dryer balls with water before starting the cycle. Since wool is denser than most materials, it will hold onto that moisture and keep humidity levels higher while everything else dries completely.

Softens Clothing

Dryer balls are a great natural alternative to fabric softeners, as they soften clothes without applying an oily coating. These balls tumble around in the dryer, fluffing and agitating the fibers of each item while they dry.

This mechanical process loosens the fibers, bringing more air between them and increasing their softness and flexibility. As a bonus, they can also help reduce drying time by reducing static cling, allowing hot air to circulate more efficiently throughout the load.

Pros and Cons of Dryer Balls

Similar to that of dryer sheets, there are pros and cons to using dryer balls. We will touch on the pros first and foremost. Some of the advantages of utilizing dryer balls include:

  • Reducing the time it takes for clothes to dry, helping you save hundreds in gas and electricity costs over time.
  • Allowing multiple uses, which makes them environmentally friendly and more cost-effective.
  • They present no health risks since they don’t release any potentially harmful substances into the air like some dryer sheets can
  • Not only do they provide fluffing and softening to clothes while reducing static and wrinkles, but they are also incredibly affordable.Pros and Cons of Dryer Balls

On the flip side, there are a few cons worth noting. However, there aren't as many cons as dryer sheets. Some of the cons of using dryer balls include the following:

  • Dryer balls can create a lot of noise while they bounce around in the dryer chamber, which can be quite bothersome to some.
  • If you're looking for a fresh scent from your laundry, you won't get that with traditional dryer balls since they don't use any essential oils or fragrances.
  • Wool dryer balls can sometimes unravel in the dryer during its cycle, leaving behind little bits of lint that may be difficult to clean up and which can cause the machine to become clogged if left unchecked.

Bottom Line: What Should You Use?

Of course, this decision is entirely up to you. However, we would recommend that you utilize wool dryer balls for your drying needs. And, more specifically, we would suggest that you look into our laundry products at Tru Earth.

Tru Earth Dryer Balls

Tru Earth's 100% premium organic New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls are a natural and eco-friendly way to soften laundry, shorten drying time and save energy. These extra-large dryer balls are handmade with no chemicals or synthetic materials, making them perfect for people with sensitive skin and babies.

Each ball can last for more than 1000 loads, replacing the need for dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners and saving money in the long run. When used, 3-4 balls should be used for a small or medium load of laundry while 5-6 should be used for a larger load.

The wool material absorbs moisture, reducing the energy required to dry clothes while providing softer results that rival other fabric softeners. So, the bottom line is that, choosing the best product for your laundry needs, and the environment, will be the best option. This is why we hope you have gained some useful knowledge that can be incorporated into your laundry routine moving forward!

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