Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Drier Balls

No, they're not baby porcupines or my newest crop of durian.  What you see above, in my dimly lit laundry room, is my pair of drier balls.  (Insert your favorite naughty joke here.)

I love my drier balls, and I can't believe I've had them this long without giving them a blog feature.  Drier balls, as the name implies, are firm-but-not-hard balls you put in the drier with your clothes or towels.  They bounce around as the items dry, keeping the items separate so they dry faster and making them softer and a little less prone to static.  Because of this, they are a substitute for drier sheets, which makes them a huge budget win.

I bought these drier balls last February for $16, an exorbitant price.  However, a friend was selling items for her son's band fundraiser, and these were some of the only things I would actually use.  You should be able to pick up a pair at your local grocery or big box store for a quarter to a third of the price.

In spite of overspending, they have already paid for themselves because I have not purchased a single box of drier sheets since.  They do a great job of making my towels and jeans fluffy, and I use them in every load except extremely delicate ones, like satin.  And really, how often do you dry a load of satin clothing?  And if you do, would you please email me?  Your life sounds much more exciting than mine.

I only use drier sheets on rare occasion now, such as when I am drying a very staticky load.  Even then, I can usually get away with using a drier sheet twice on the "fluff" cycle, so my drier sheet usage is practically nil.  This means much less ongoing expense, and much less build-up on my drier lint screen. 

The Analysis

Fast:  The balls just live in my drier, so I'm actually saving a few seconds per load for not putting in a drier sheet and not picking the drier sheets up at the store.

Cheap:  At the rate I'm going, these balls will last forever, and I will be down to buying a box of drier sheets every couple of years at most.

Good:  Less money, no waste.  Now that's sustainable.
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