Washer & Dryer balls-do they work?

Are you doing this now that you live in Vortex land?


I’m a scientist dork & I like to try new things. I learned in university the adverse affects of surfactants (detergents) to our water supply (if you have updated scientific info, please do comment).

I also love the smell of fresh laundry + a Harry Potter movie. A weird comfort. Let’s move on.

I bought 2 things:

*Green clean eco washer balls (2 balls)

*Wool dryer balls (6)

The first victim was our living room blankie-a high-use item.

I washed Blankie on warm in a front loader for bulky items. I could hear the clunk clunk noise, so I figured Blankie was getting beat well by elephants. Upon the finished wash, I smelled Blankie. He didnt smell fresh but slightly dank.

Onto the dryer.

I put some essential oil on the dryer balls. (I drenched them really because, oops, no dropper and clumsy). Blankie in the dryer with 6 wool balls sounded like the old “frog shoes” we used to have as kids swimming in pesticide-laden irrigation canals. Our frog shoe trainers had the front toes cut off for summer and made a terrible sound in the poor Kenmore. Bang! Bang! Bang!

I closed our washing area door.

Once dry, Blankie was smell and stain-free but had static for several days until we snuggled him back into submission.

Delicates and darks

These came out surprisingly well and I used fewer dryer balls but still tended to accidently douse the dryer balls with too much essence of jasmine.

White towels

I’m picky about these and was sure the hand grime stains would not come out of our white hand towels. To my surprise, they did and looked great.

I did some research on the ceramic beads that are inside the balls and it was difficult to wade through all the trash “science”. The best I could find so far is that the ceramic beads are made of various dioxides (magnesium, silicon) and do what detergents do-increase the ph of the water to around 8 (at least the older ones). Whether they trap dirt and oil with ions is unclear. I certainly would still wash diapers, sheets and towels with detergent until I find more convincing info.

As far as the dryer balls, I’ll still use them and close the door on the elephants…


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