10 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Dryer Balls

10 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Dryer Balls

November 09, 2021

10 Eco-Friendly Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Retired Dryer Balls


You’ve used, tumbled and loved your Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls. Now you’re wondering…

Is it time to swap them out? If so, what should I do with them now? Good news: there are countless ways to give new life to your retired dryer balls! Below are 10 eco-friendly alternatives to reuse and repurpose them – from crafting to composting. Since they’re wool to the core with no other fillers, the options are boundless!


When is it time to replace my old dryer balls?

First, let’s talk about when to switch out your current set of Eco Dryer Balls. At some point you will notice your dryer balls becoming larger and softer; this means the natural felt is unraveling. Keep in mind, this won’t happen for a very, very long time! As in, 1000 loads or more. If used properly (read up on best practices here), they’ll last somewhere between 2 to 4 years, depending on how many loads you do in a day. 

If your Eco Dryer Balls have designs or faces on them, eventually they may fade a bit. This is due to friction on the embroidery. Though just because they diminish doesn’t mean they are ready for retirement. As mentioned above, your dryer balls are good to go until they become soft and the felt loosens up. 

Alternatively, if you regularly dry on a high heat setting, you may notice your dryer balls become stiffer and compact (like a wool garment that’s been shrunk) rather than soft. If that’s the case, your balls might lose the capacity to absorb humidity; this will inhibit them from providing the desired vaporizing effect. If this has happened to your dryer balls, you may want to “recharge” them by giving them a wash; no need to add soap but if you do use a gentle one. This way your dryer balls will return to their texture and density. They may still have years left in them!

There’s one final reason you may decide it’s time to retire your Eco Dryer Balls: you see Friendsheep’s cute new designs and can’t help picking out a new set! We don’t blame you. And if that’s the case, no need to feel bad for the Planet because there are lots of ways to repurpose and give new life to your old dryer balls. Read on for fun and easy ways to reduce waste and repurpose your spent dryer balls. 

10 Eco-friendly ways to give a new life to old dryer balls 


1. Compost

    Since your dryer balls are wool to the core, your compost bin will always be a great final resting place for them (and you can speed up the composting process by cutting them up in smaller pieces). Though it may be fun to try some of the options below, first! Just know you can always compost the natural material when you’re done playing, or you can also opt for recycling them together with textile recycling.  

    2. Pet toys

      If you have pets, dogs and cats love our wool dryer balls! They make excellent indoor pet balls because they are softer on furniture and less noisy when bouncing. They also make great outdoor toys and are more eco-friendly than almost any other pet ball (100% natural wool; no plastic, and if you lose them they’ll naturally biodegrade). 

      Note: Always supervise your pets while playing with toys. Especially if your pet is a puppy or a chewer as they may eventually break the balls. If they do happen to chew them up, the balls can still be composted!

      A yellow lab is lying on a tile floor and playing with an old dryer ball


      3. Fabric fresheners

        Retired dryer balls make wonderful fabric fresheners and can be used to scent dry items. 

        Since they don’t get placed in the dryer’s heat, smells will actually last longer. Your Eco Dryer Balls can be charged with whatever essential oil you’d like. Use 3 drops per freshener (ball) – or spitz the ball if you’re using an essential oil spray – and then place them in your closet, your garment drawers, your gym bag… wherever you’d like! 

        Want to learn more about fabric fresheners, scenting your laundry, and creating your own DIY essential oil spray? Click here!

        4. Air fresheners 

          Similar to using dryer balls as fabric fresheners, they also make great air fresheners. To do so, charge them as mentioned above, then place them in your room, purse, car, or wherever you’d like.  And if you feel creative, why not making them look pretty with one of the crafts ideas below at point #7! You can also attach a string to your ball (this is easy to do with a large needle), attach to a hanger, and hang the ball to an entryway bench or in a closet to freshen your coats!

          5. Pin cushions

            Since they’re wool to the core, retired dryer balls make perfect pin cushions. Poke, pull, enjoy!

            6. Crafting

              If you can dream it, you can create it! Some of our favorite ways to craft with old dryer balls include: 1) Finger painting for kids – make silly faces on them! 2) Making planets by painting the balls, then hanging them and creating a solar system, 3) Covering the balls with fabric and using them as a base for handmade dolls, 4) Using them to sponge-paint/decorate a vase or bowl, 5) Creating holiday ornaments, 6) And countless other holiday and seasonal crafts (wreaths, snowmen, spiders, ghosts or a cute pumpkin patch... Stay tuned for our DIY tutorials!). The sky's the limit with this one!


              a cute black spider made with a repurposed dryer ball and some pipe cleaners


              7. Playtime

                Old dryer balls aren’t just good for pets. They are great for kids and toddlers, too! Use them for indoor or outdoor batting practice, to learn juggling, or to have an indoor snowball fight. (Just one note: we don’t recommend throwing them full strength at a window!) For a fun baby toy, place a few balls in a bucket, cover it, and let the little one drum away. They’re soft, quiet and tons of fun. 

                8. Therapy balls

                  When you’ve got tight muscles or a body ache, massage balls can be far too firm. Your used dryer balls offer a softer, more restorative option. Use one by leaning back in a recliner and placing it against the sore spot on your back. Minutely move it around to ease the pain – and don’t forget to breathe. 

                  9. Recycle

                    To reduce waste, we believe in the motto “use, use, use” and opt for repurposing over all else. However, because our dryer balls are wool through and through, you can treat them like a wool garment and may have recycling options near you. Try searching online for a “textile collector” in your area. If it’s difficult to find one, just remember – you can always compost your dryer balls or pass them along to a composting friend!

                    10. Participate in our Take Back Program

                    Didn’t see anything that excites you? Participate in our Take Back Program! We’re collecting used, loved and retired wool dryer balls and giving them a new life. If the balls are still intact, we donate them to animal rescues so that their residents can play with fun, non toxic toys. If they can’t be donated, we will recycle or compost them. But there’s more, if you send us 4 or more dryer balls you can claim a $5 off discount code to use on your next Friendsheep order - to help replenish your laundry room.


                    Let’s hear from you!

                    These are just a few ideas on how you can repurpose your Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls. If you have an idea of your own, please let us know! We love hearing new ways to get creative and reduce waste. 

                    Did the crafting option catch your eye? Do you need some help getting started? Stay tuned! We’ve got tons of DIY projects and repurposing fun coming your way!




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