I recently stumbled upon the opportunity to test products for a company (something I have been wanting to do for a LONG time), and as it turned out, this company just so happened to be Woolzies, the 100% natural, handmade, New Zealand wool drier ball company. I have been wanting to get my hand on some of these ever since I started cloth diapering, as I heard that they helped reduce drying time, as well as... and this was the most important factor for me... help to naturally soften your clothes. You see, when you cloth diaper, you are not allowed to use any softeners in your wash routine, as this leads to build up in the fabric and will eventually leads to repelling, which then equates to leaks. Not good. So, you have to look for other tricks to help keep your diapers soft, without that magic bottle of Downey. Softening my diapers didn't really become a concern for me until I started using prefolds and fitteds, and since they are made from natural fabrics, they are more prone to becoming stiff and less squishy. So, I started researching my options. I tried vinegar in my rinse cycle, but that didn't really do much. Then I read about dryer balls, specifically the wool variety, and I became very interested in trying them out. They claim to cut down on dry time, by separating the clothing in the dryer and properly allowing the air to circulate, as well as naturally softening your clothes by, essentially beating them in the dryer. So, when I came upon this opportunity, I HAD to jump at the chance to test these things out!
My package of dryer balls arrived in the mail last week, and I immediately set to work using them. They come in a package of 6, and are approximately 10.5" around, made of felted New Zealand Wool. I used them both in drying my clothing as well as my cloth diapers, 3 times each, and while I didn't notice a notable decrease in dry time, I did notice that my laundry came out softer, which is what I was after in the first place. For me, personally, the softness factor with my clothing isn't as important as it is with my diapers, since I can just use fabric softener to get the same effect, but for my diapers, this was a big plus. Some how, these dryer balls actually managed to make my prefolds (the worst culprits of stiffness) softer than they were previously. It's not just a little bit softer, either, but a notable difference. Do they feel like they did when they were brand new? No. But I think that's largely to due to my hard water, which they've been washed in for so long, but they did feel a lot softer than they usually do coming out of the dryer, than when I dry them without the dryer balls. I'm interested in seeing what effect these have on my new diapers, which I just prepped this week, and have only been dried using these dryer balls. They're super soft, of course, but I'm really curious to see if these dryer balls help to extend that new fluffy feeling for much longer in these new diapers.
Anyway, my conclusion to all this, is that if you cloth diaper, especially with natural fibers, I would definitely recommend these dryer balls to help keep your diapers soft. They didn't really cut down on dry time for me, but they did manage to make my diapers notably softer, which is what I wanted them for in the first place. On top of that, the package says that they are good for up to 1000 dry cycles, so, if you plan to use them just for your diapers, like I do, that means that they will last about 5 1/2 years if you wash every other day, or almost 9 years if you wash every 3 days! Taking into account that the average child potty trains at 3 years, these dryer balls should get you through at least 2-3 children in cloth diapers (if this is all you use your dryer balls for). So, are they worth it? Ya, I think so.
So.... would you like to win a free set for yourself? Just fill out the raffle copter form below, and you will be entered for a chance to win a free 6 pack from Woolzies! The giveaway will be open until 12am EST on Friday January 18th.
To buy a pack for yourself, go to any of these reatailers:
Amazon, Drugstore.com, Woolzies, Clothdiaper.com
a Rafflecopter giveaway