We may receive commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.
I have a confession to make: Though my job is writing about wellness and green living, some of my choices are… less than well, and a questionable shade of green. When, for example, it comes to my hair, I will use whatever chemical creation makes it look best and smell best. Lightbulbs? I’m addicted to the soft glow of eco-unfriendly incandescents; never shall a long-lasting LED cross my threshold. And laundry? My dryer sheet of choice is a popular supermarket brand, chemical-laden and “disposable” — as in, contributing to the landfill and pricey. The cost of those sheets really does add up. So when I heard about a set of six natural wool dryer balls for only $19 on Amazon, I had to give them a whirl.
These doodads — which you toss in the dryer with wet clothes — promise to make clothes soft and shorten drying time. As someone who is obsessed with NOT washing and drying my clothes too much (it wears them out so fast and I don’t particularly enjoy doing laundry), I found this very appealing. Shorter drying time is not only easier on fabrics but it saves energy, which means lower energy bills. And less time doing laundry!
There are plenty of less expensive options that have great reviews, but the brand I’d been hearing about, Smart Sheep, are handmade in Nepal of pure New Zealand wool. That’s a lotta traveling already for something meant to save the earth, but still, I was excited to test them out. I saved up all my laundry (as in, I used this as an excuse to ignore the mounting piles of clothing sheets, and towels). Here, dear, reader, is how it went.
Meeting my new dryer balls
Smart Sheep Dryer Balls come six to a package, with a small instruction card. They look organic — like something you’d see in a decorative basket at a high-end home furnishings store. And my cat really, really wanted them.
Putting them to use
I shoo’d my cat out of the basement and followed the simple instructions: “Place wool dryer balls in the dryer with your laundry. Turn on dryer.” Simple enough.
The promise was that by bouncing among my clothes, the balls would “lift and separate fabrics,” increasing air flow, thus drying clothes faster — and making them softer.
I tossed in five dryer balls with a large load of workout clothes and jeans, reserving one in case I decided to gift it to my cat. I noted the time.
Instead of waiting for the dryer’s angry beep, I returned to the basement 15 minutes shy of the usual 30-minute dry time. Not only were my clothes completely dry and static-free, but they were SO soft — as if they’d spent an hour in there with fabric softener and my favorite (chemical-laden) dryer sheet.
Reveling in tactile enjoyment (no moisture, plus silky softness) as I felt through the basket, I retrieved the balls then repeated the experiment with a load of towels and pillow cases. Perfection.
Slipping on my favorite T-shirt, I thought I might miss the fragrance my dryer sheets provided — but I didn’t. My clothes just smelled … clean. If you like a little fragrance, Smart Sheep recommends adding a drop of essential oils like lavender or lemon to a dryer ball.
These dryer balls have eradicated chemicals from my life painlessly. That’s the kind of eco-move I love. No sacrifice, no discomfort and a huge financial savings — because at $18 for six, these balls do cost more than a large box of my (now former) favorite dryer sheets. But where that box gets me through 244 loads, my wool dryer balls promise more than 1,000 loads each — that’s more than five years’ worth of laundry! And because they cut drying time by two-thirds, I’m saving a bundle on my energy bill.
And they don’t add garbage to the planet — because if and when they lose their magic powers, my cat will make great use of them forever and ever.
Brooklyn Beckham and his wife Nicola Peltz are enjoying every minute of their lavish St. Tropez honeymoon – and they have the photos to prove it. MORE: Nicola Peltz stuns in boho babe dress during honeymoon with husband Brooklyn The eldest Beckham child took to his Instagram Stories on Friday night to post a sweet photo of his new bride curled up under a blanket on the deck of a boat. The couple appeared to be enjoying a nighttime sail and were surrounded by hotel-style bedding, glasses of wine,
Cruz Beckham has inherited his mother Victoria Beckham’s penchant for style and is becoming quite the fashionista himself. The 17-year-old attended the Kenzo Menswear Spring/Summer 2023 collection alongside a star-studded front row in an unmissable ensemble. LOOK: Romeo and Cruz Beckham's sellout Nike trainers are set to be summer's hottest trend Cruz sported a mustard and rhubarb two-tone suede varsity jacket from the luxury fashion house boasting the label’s statement insignia and a large elep
Loyal fans of the Today Show know that after years on air, the show's stars are truly like family. So much so, that naturally they know each other better than anyone, and that includes what they're really like off the air too. MORE: Al Roker and Deborah Roberts enjoy family reunion before son Nick's bittersweet departure for college During Tuesday morning's episode of 4th Hour with Hoda and Jenna, while Hoda Kotb is away for the week, Willie Geist took her place next to Jenna Bush Hager. The two
It goes without saying that the 1970s was a decade full of memorable outfits – I mean, the emergence of disco would warrant nothing less. Sister Sledge captured the fashions perfectly in their 1979 hit He's The Greatest Dancer – Halston, Gucci and Fiorucci are just a few of the designer labels that were hugely popular back then. MORE: Vintage shopping online: best apps and websites Grace Jones, Jerry Hall and Lauren Hutton were the It-girls of the moment, turning heads in some classic 1970s tren
Carrie Underwood touched down in the UK this week to promote her new album, Denim & Rhinestones - and she's already made quite the impression! MORE: Carrie Underwood shares unexpected family photo with husband Mike Fisher The country star appeared on Lorraine on Wednesday morning, and opened up about her family life away from the spotlight with host Lorraine Kelly. The Grammy-winning artist made a surprising revelation to the TV presenter too, admitting that while her life is incredibly glamorou
In an episode of Sex and the City, Carrie finds herself unsure about a fling with a guy who’s only in town for the week. “Whatever happens, there’s an expiration date,” she complains over mimosas — and thus the term ‘expiration dating’ was born. For many of us, when we’re enjoying spending time with someone, it’s easy to shrug off the pink flags and tell ourselves that these are simply Future Me problems; bridges to cross when we get to them. But when we know what we want and what we don’t, does
The director of the upcoming adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion has responded to the backlash from fans following the release of the Netflix film's divisive trailer earlier this month. MORE: Sanditon star Theo James shares first-ever photo of daughter for important cause Starring Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis and Henry Goulding, the period drama's first look sees the story's heroine Anne Elliot break the fourth wall and give knowing looks to the camera, in a style reminiscent of Phoebe Waller
Mara's death was confirmed by her manager, Craig Dorfman. "Mary was one of the finest actresses I ever met. I still remember seeing her onstage in 1992 in 'Mad Forest' off Broadway. She was electric, funny, and a true individual. Everyone loved her. She will be missed." Craig Dorfman, Mary Mara's manager, via statement. New York State Police report they responded to a call on June 26 for a "possible drowning." Upon arriving on the scene, they “discovered a female deceased in the St. Lawrence River”.
Get ready for a much-needed cooldown this month with Cancer season and Mars in Taurus. Unlike the go-getter energy of June 2022, your monthly horoscope for July 2022 is less about pushing through adversity and more about practicing patience and learning grace.