Natural and Thrifty in 365: #12 Add Essential Oils to Wool Dryer Balls

Dryer balls are an excellent “green” way to dry clothes faster, and they are also an excellent substitute for dryer sheets. I absolutely love using my felted wool dryer balls that I bought on Etsy, but I also really wanted something to help scent my clothes in the dryer.

So I grabbed my bottle of lavender oil, and placed a few drops on my dryer balls. Now my clothes come out smelling like lavender, and it is so nice to have them scented naturally.

One word of caution: Send the dryer balls through alone on a short cycle, or place them in a closed pillowcase, in the dryer after you first put essential oils on them. Otherwise you will get oil spots on your clothing. After the first run, they should then be fine.

I bought my felted wool dryer balls from DreamsweptAlpacas on Etsy, and they were well worth the $18 that I spent for four. They have lasted a very long time, and I don’t foresee them going anywhere for a while.

Photo courtesy of DreamsweptAlpacas on Esty.

Natural & Thrifty in 365 is a year-long series of 365 tips for living more green, natural and healthy while saving money. Do you have a natural and thrifty tip that you would like to share with The Thrifty Mama readers? Contact me here and let me know about it. You just might get featured as one of the 365 tips!

26 Comments:
  1. I don’t know if this will help, but I was just thinking of the needle and syringe that I use for refilling my printer ink. Maybe putting a tiny “shot” of oil into the center of the ball would help reduce oil spots on clothing?

  2. Oh that is a fabulous idea! My only concern would be hurting the ball itself and risking unraveling the wool. But I think it’s worth a shot!

  3. This sounds so much better than those plastic dryer balls I used briefly and had to throw out because our clothes started having a strange odor. Thanks for this series, I love it!

  4. I pick pieces of my lavendar plant and use them as air freshners. It is a perennial and comes back each year. I also use some in cooking. Flowers are always pretty and also have a great smell.

  5. I really want to have a lavender plant Susan. I may just have to go get one this week now after reading what you said.

  6. I have attempted to have lavender plants in the house in winter, but they just don’t seem to last. I also like Catnip, also very pretty and so dainty. I have a great recipe for Lavendar Tea Cake. I have made it several times for bake sales and it is usually a big hit! Makes my kitchen smell wonderful.

  7. You can make your own wool dryer balls for less then you can buy them for those who are interested. It’s fast and easy. There are istructions on ehow.

  8. Susan,
    Would you care to share your recipe for the lavender tea cake? I grow lavender and am looking for some recipes. Have you ever tried making lavender honey? Or scenting vinegar with lavender to use for fabric softener? I like to add some sprigs to the jug and it makes it smell so nice and our clothes end up having a very faint scent. (my guys don’t care to smell like lavender but don’t mind they bedding smelling like it! it just isn’t one of those fragrances teenage boys like to smell like, ha ha!)

  9. Oh you all are so creative! If any of you would like to do a guest post on how to make your own, I would gladly welcome it!

  10. A quick question….Do the dryer balls get rid of the static electricity? I would love to try these but I get shocked so easily. I really have to watch what I use with the dryer.

    • Yes I do not have a problem with static electricity at all using wool dryer balls. I probably should have mentioned that in the post, as that is another reason why I like using them.

  11. is it ok to use the wool balls if you add oil to them to dry cloth diapers?

    • You would need to check with the oils. There are certain ones that are not okay for child use. Lavender is one that IS safe and very gentle for the whole family.

  12. ok thank you! I love using my wool balls, but wanted to check first before I added oil.

  13. I’ve never used any kind of dryer balls. How much drying time do you think it cuts out? I’m very curious now! And I love the essential oil idea!

  14. I checked the ehow site and these are soo easy to make. Not having panty hose I will be buying knee hi socks at the dollar store. With a 40% off coupon from Michaels a skein of wool (not the washable wool) will make more than enough. I think I will give these as Christmas presents!

  15. Just wondering if the wool dryer balls can be used if someone is allergic to wool?

    • I checked these out on a make it yourself website, and someone suggested using alpaca wool yarn for people with wool allergies. So maybe alpaca wool is allergy friendly….

    • There is technically no such things as a full wool allergy – rather, it is typically a sensitivity to the fibres themselves (sheeps wool can be coarser/pricklier, which gives the sensation of allergic reaction to some people; alpaca wool tends to have finer fibres, hence less liklihood of reaction).

      I have not heard of woolen dryer balls creating reactions, as they are not worn.

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