. . . All you ever wanted to know about Friendsheep Wool Eco Dryer Balls . . .


Do I need to use fabric softener or dryer sheets when using the dryer balls? No, absolutely not. Done with the need for chemical loaded dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener! Your Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls will naturally soften your fabrics by gently tumbling with them in the dryer, giving you a naturally softer and fluffier laundry without the use of any harmful chemicals. Plus, they also help reduce drying time by 20% to 40%, making you save time, money, and energy!
Why are Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls better than any other fabric softener? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls shorten drying time, soften and fluff your fabrics, and help you reduce static and wrinkles in a completely natural and eco friendly way. They also help remove pet hair from clothes, and help your sheets and towels stay untangled. Folding your laundry will be easier and faster.
Why are Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls a better fabric softener than PVC balls or tennis balls? PVC and tennis balls are made of plastic. They contain synthetic materials that are stable at low temperatures but once heated can release harmful chemicals - that typical plastic smell... - that will not only deposit on your clothes and sheets, but will also cover up your dryer and dryer ducts. This will reduce your dryer’s lifetime and create layers of harmful particles that will dissolve and deposit on your next load of laundry. Using plastic balls in your dryer you are exposing yourself and your family to an unnecessary source of potentially harmful chemicals.
Wool dryer balls are also quieter, and are more gentle on fabrics than plastic dryer balls with nubs. 
Where are Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls made? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are hand made for fair wages in Nepal, and are not mass produced in China like most of the other wool dryer balls. Our artisans are people - mostly women - from underprivileged communities living in the Himalayan Valley of Kathmandu.
We believe that the best product should not only be made with the best materials, but also made with love, in the best ethical and environmental conditions by passionate people like our artisans.
How are Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls made? You can watch our "making of" video to see how Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are made, and the amount of love that goes into their making!
How do they work? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls soak up moisture in your dryer by absorbing up to 30% of their weight in water. Plus, their movement in the dryer helps separate your clothes and sheets allowing air and heat to circulate and dry them faster. As your laundry dries, the dryer balls fluff and evenly redistribute humidity in the dryer eliminating wrinkles, reducing static cling and providing a softer feel to your fabrics. The result is a quicker drying time, softer and more manageable laundry, all with less energy used, and more money in your pocket!
How many balls should I use? You can use 4 for small loads and 6 for full loads, but we suggest using 6+ all the time because it will shorten your drying time even more. In general, the more the better.
How long do they last? They will last for years! Your Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are reusable for 1000+ loads each ball. Most people will use them for 2 to 5 years depending on how much laundry they do.
Are my Eco Dryer Balls compostable? Yes they are! And so is the storage drawstring bag they come in! :)
How do I use them? Super easy! Just toss them in the dryer with your laundry, and always use a moisture-sensitive setting on your dryer. You can also stop the dryer 5-10 minutes before the end of its normal cycle. Do not over dry. Remember that over drying will produce static cling.
How should I store my Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls? Store them in a well ventilated area. Never store them in plastic. Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls come in a charming and handy organic cotton gift bag that is also ideal to store them. Many people prefer to just leave the balls in the dryer and use the bag for other purposes.
When do I know when my dryer balls need to be replaced? You will need to replace your Eco Dryer Balls when the felt will start to loosen up. You will see your dryer balls become larger and softer and at some point they will eventually unravel. Keep in mind that this won't happen for a very very long time! Probably 2 to 4 years but it depends on how many loads you do a day.

If you think it is time to change your Eco Dryer Balls consider repurposing the old ones before composting them. With a few drops of essential oil they make great fabric fresheners when placed in drawers and closets. If you have pets, try offering them your old dryer balls, they make great pet toys! For more ideas on how to repurpose old Eco Dryer Balls don't forget to check out the specific "repurpose" FAQ - last question here on this same page! :)

What if I have a washer/dryer combo machine? Can I use wool dryer balls? Yes, you can! Just remember to use the Eco Dryer Balls only during the drying cycle. Add the dryer balls when the drying cycle starts, only after the washing cycle has ended and all the water has left. As you may know Eco Dryer Balls are specific to dryers and don't like swimming in washing machines... High temperatures for prolonged times - like in regular washing cycles - have the effect of loosening the wool felt and shortening the dryer balls lifetime. To clean the dryer balls, we suggest either using a wet cloth on their surface - add soap or sanitizer if needed - either hand washing them in soapy lukewarm water.
What material is the drawstring bag made of? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls drawstring bags are completely organic and natural: unbleached cotton, cotton drawstrings, and soapberry seeds as closing beads. They are hand made and hand printed for fair wages in Nepal. At Friendsheep we take pride in not using synthetic fibers or plastic beads like many others do. Our products are natural and made from sustainable sources.
Are Friendsheep products packaged? Friendsheep products are package free or packaged in lokta paper bags. Our Lokta paper bags are environmentally friendly, wildcrafted and traditionally hand made for fair wages by village artisans of rural Nepal, recyclable and compostable.
What is "lokta" paper? Lokta paper is a tree-free paper that has been used in Nepal since the 12th century and is praised for its strength and durability. Lokta paper is wildcrafted and handmade from the bark of a species of laurel bush called Daphne Papyrus, harvested in the Himalayan forest of the Nepalese highlands. Today Lokta Paper is the most environmentally friendly paper on earth, a sustainable tree-free alternative that offers a reliable source of income to paper crafting families and village communities. Lokta paper is recyclable and 100% compostable, but please choose reusing before disposing.
Q: Do they help remove pet hair? Yes, they definitely help remove pet hair! Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls do their magic by gently separating your laundry in the dryer, therefore allowing larger flows of air to circulate, and increasing the efficiency of your dryer. The result is a soft and fluffy laundry, with less wrinkles and tangling, reduced static cling, and no pet hair.
They are magic! But you’ll still have to remove pet hair from your lint screen... ;)
Are they unscented? Yes, they are completely scent free and chemical free, which makes Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls ideal for hypersensitive skins. Even if you don’t add any fragrance, your laundry dryer balls will still leave your clothes smelling fresh. Our wool dryer balls are made of 100% New Zealand wool, which will naturally leave your clothes smelling clean.
Can I add fragrance to wool dryer balls? Yes, definitely! You can add fragrance and essential oils to your Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls. For a fresh scented laundry just add a few drops (3-5) of your favorite essential oil to each ball before each cycle. Allow absorption for a few minutes, then toss them in the dryer with your laundry. For maximum scent effect add the essential oil towards the end of your cycle, 10 minutes before the end, on a low heat setting.
Can I use Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls with my baby’s laundry and cloth diapers? Yes! Absolutely! Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are totally baby safe and are ideal for sensitive skins. In fact, they are the smart choice for cloth diapers and baby laundry. They are made of 100% organic wool to the core, and do not contain any chemical or additive at all. This protects your baby's sensitive skin, and at the same time prevents the deterioration of waterproof layers in baby diapers which are otherwise damaged by the chemicals found in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners. So your cloth diapers will perform better and for a longer time. Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are also scent free and hypoallergenic, so you can choose if and which scent to add your baby laundry.
Will they lint on dark clothes? No, absolutely not! Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls DO NOT LINT! They are meant to be used on dark, light, and colored loads. We've been using them on every load for years and never had any issue. To be extra careful, on their very first use we suggest to use them on a light load in the rare case there were some loose fibers on their surface. From then on no risk of lint at all!
I am allergic to wool, can I use Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls? There are different types of wool allergies. Allergy to lanolin in the wool is very rare. Only 6% of people allergic to wool turn positive when tested for lanolin allergy. The majority of the people with wool allergies are in fact sensitive to the short bristly fibers that irritate their sensitive skin and make them feel itchy.
Either way, lanolin is washed away during the wool pre-wash. Even if trace amounts remain and you have a lanolin allergy (you'd know this because you should also be allergic to all skin care - and makeup - products that contain lanolin), it will not transfer to your clothes. As for those short bristly fibers in wool, the only way the dryer balls could cause an irritation is if you rubbed them on your skin.
Therefore if you don't touch them directly, but for example use a cloth - why not a sock - to move them around, neither lanolin nor bristly short fibers should be an issue when using our wool dryer balls. You should be able to use them safely and enjoy the results! :)
That said, we always recommend using your brand new Eco Dryer Balls for the first time on a same color load in case there were some loose wool fibers on the surface - as suggested by Friendsheep user manual - included in your purchase (Lost it? No problem! You can see it here). Therefore if you want to be extra careful we suggest that you let your dryer balls run the first time by themselves. Just slightly wet their surface and toss them in the dryer for 10-15 minutes. After that you can rest assured, your Eco Dryer Balls will never pill.
Do I need to wash my Eco Dryer Balls before their first use? Nope, you don't! Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are hand felted with hot water and vegetable soap using only clean pre-washed and pre-carded organic wool. They don't need to be pre-washed and are completely safe to use. If you prefer to wash your dryer balls, or you will need to wash them in the future, we suggest washing them by hand with a mild soap in lukewarm water. Do not machine wash them - unless really necessary - because hot water for a prolonged time tends to loosen the wool fibers and damage the wool felt, eventually reducing your dryer balls lifetime.
Are Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls cruelty free? Yes, they are and they are Leaping Bunny certified. At Friendsheep we use organic wool from a consortium of family owned farms in New Zealand. Unlike in Australia and China, in New Zealand farmers operate under a range of regulations that ensure very high standards of environmental protection, sustainability, animal welfare and social responsibility. New Zealand's climate is mild and sheep graze free-range in open pasture all year round. There is no flystrike, and mulesing is not practiced. Livestock exportation from New Zealand is prohibited, and this prevents the practice of horror trips on cargo ships around the world. New Zealand also leads the world in shearing technique and ability. Sheep grow wool continuously and need to be sheared once a year to better allow lambing and avoid them becoming uncomfortable, stressed, and eventually ill. Highly skilled craftsmen ensure that shearing is quick and pain-free to cause minimal stress on the animal. Our farmers believe that well-treated sheep live a happier life and will grow better wool, so they make sure their flocks are well looked after.
Why should I choose Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls over other dryer balls? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are the best fabric softener you can find. They are the healthy and organic choice, always made of 100% premium organic New Zealand wool to the core, with no low-quality center fillers as many others.
They are traditionally hand made for fair wages in Nepal using water and natural soap, and are not made by mass production in China like most other brands. The designs are needle felted with love by our savvy artisans and the balls are then sun dried. No chemicals or tricks to speed up production, ever. 
Our artisans are amazing people from underprivileged communities living in the Himalayan Valley of Kathmandu. We believe that the best product should not only be made with the best materials, but also made with love, in the best ethical and environmental conditions by passionate people like our artisans.
Do these sheep have mulesing done to them? No, absolutely not, they don't. Mulesing is a cruel practice, and is very often performed without anesthesia or pain killers. It is very common in Australia, mostly on merino sheep. At Friendsheep we are totally against mulesing and any cruelty on animals. Therefore we are very careful in sourcing our cruelty free certified wool from New Zealand farms - and not Australia, or any other country. New Zealand farmers operate under a range of regulations that ensure very high standards of environmental protection, sustainability, animal welfare and social responsibility, and our sheep graze free-range in open pasture all year round.
Are you certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny? Yes! Friendsheep Sustainable Wool Goods are cruelty free and we are proud to be a Leaping Bunny certified brand. Check us out at: https://www.leapingbunny.org/brand/friendsheep
Are your products package free? Yes! All our products are package free or have minimal packaging - usually compostable, always reusable and recyclable (as for the essential oil bottles and catnip tins). We always ship in 100% recycled and recyclable paper packaging, and we carbon offset every shipment through our partnership with carbonfund.org. If you have any specific package free request please let us know we'll make it happen!
How do you color the wool? We dye our wool with eco friendly dyes, certified azo free, lead free, and compliant with the German Product Safety Act (ProdSG).
Do I need to "recharge" my eco dryer balls? I love my eco dryer balls! I've been using them non stop for a year and now I'm starting to have some static in my loads, what should I do? Sometimes after lots of runs in the dryer the heat over dries your wool dryer balls, they become extremely hard and dry therefore incapable of absorbing humidity like before. An easy way of restoring them is to "recharge" your dryer balls by washing them in hot water on a gentle cycle and then dry them in the dryer - or air dry, note that this will take longer. This will regenerate the wool and give the dryer balls a fresh recharge.
How big are they? Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls are the ideal size for softening your laundry: about 3 inches in diameter and 9.4 inches in circumference. About the size of a baseball. They are handmade so their size can slightly vary from ball to ball.
My dog keeps stealing them from the dryer, is it safe for him to play with the dryer balls? Absolutely! Our dryer balls are made of 100% wool and are completely natural, so your pet can definitely play with them. But of course expect them to get dirty and disappear into the yard! ;)
Note: As with every pet toy we recommend that you supervise at all moments your dog/pet while playing with the dryer balls, especially if they are puppies or big chewers since they may eventually break the balls. Our balls are made of pure wool to the core - and are compostable - but we definitely not recommend eating them!
What is the eco-friendly way to reuse or repurpose retired Eco Dryer Balls? They can be used as toys for toddlers and pets, as air fresheners, pin cushions and ornaments, and more. Continue reading for a few repurposing ideas, but for a comprehensive way to repurpose and/or dispose of your retired dryer balls read our blog: "10 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Dryer Balls".
If you have pets, dogs and cats love wool dryer balls! They make excellent indoor pet balls because they are softer on furniture than regular toy balls and are also less loud when bouncing. But they also make great outdoor balls - definitely more eco-friendly than almost any other pet ball. 
They're great for toddlers and kids. Used as an indoor/outdoor toy ball to practice baseball, to learn to juggle, or for indoor snowball fights.
For a baby, place them in a bucket, cover it, and let the baby drum away.
For crafting, they can be covered in fabric - they are the perfect base for handmade dolls. They are fun to finger paint as a kids' activity. You can make planets out of them to hang.
If painted they can be used to decorate a vase or a bowl. Then with a few drops of essential oils, they make perfect air fresheners!
As therapy balls: put one dryer ball between the back of a recliner and the sore spot on your spine and minutely move it around to ease the pain.
Repurpose them as air fresheners or as fabric fresheners in your drawers. Just put on each dryer ball a few drops of your favorite essential oil and put them in your drawers. Put a string on them - very easy to do with a large needle - and hang them to a clothes hanger to freshen your clothes in the closet.
Of course, these are just a few ideas to repurpose your Friendsheep Eco Dryer Balls. If you find new interesting ones please let us know! We love to hear new ways to repurpose and reduce waste!
Can't find your question?
Email us at hello@friendsheepwool.com and we'll be happy to answer it! :)