The Dryer Ball Obsession
It was October, 2014.
The kids thought she was going nuts.
But Abby blames Matt for what ultimately became her Dryer Ball Obsession.
“When we were first starting out, we would lasso the moon for a wholesale customer if they asked us to,” she recalls. So when one of their wholesale clients asked if the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill produced dryer balls, Matt could’ve said no. Maybe he should’ve said no. But he didn’t. Ever the salesman, his answer was “We aren’t carrying them currently, but sure! We can make them for you.”
Then he hung up the phone and looked wide-eyed over at Abby. “Babe? Do you have any idea how to make these things?”
And that’s how it all started. Before the end of the month, Abby had filled the house with roving, post office scales for weighing wool, and every material she could come up with to shrink the the fibers together to make the best quality dryer ball possible. “I had socks, panty hose, buckets of hot soapy water with pool cover bubble wrap,” she explains. And the experimentation didn’t stop there. “I was felting in hot, felting in laundry soap, felting in dish soap…”
And then the laundering started. Abby didn’t just try to make a presentable dryer ball. It had to be the best, most efficient dryer ball possible. She ran trials with different ball circumferences, different weights, varying degrees of roundness. When the Curtises ran out of laundry, Abby commandeered their family’s, friend’s and neighbor’s dryers and wet clothes, obsessively ordering more and more trials.
“By Halloween, Matt said he never wanted to hear the words ‘wool ball’ again,” she admits.
But it paid off. Thanks to Abby’s efforts, here at the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, we pride ourselves on having wool dryer balls to beat the band, made precisely to Abby’s exacting specifications. They’re so popular, we have to manufacture them twice per week.
Our customers love them as an ecologically friendly alternative to chemical-intensive dryer sheets, and they’ve been shown to reduce dryer time by 25%, cutting energy bills. Better still, they don’t clank around on the dryer drum, making that annoying loud noise that accompanies those hard, plastic drying balls.
How do they work? Basically, when you add a load of clothes to the dryer, all that wet fabric wants to clump together, even as the dryer tumbles it about. When you toss a few wool balls in with a load, they tumble around and pull the fabrics apart, continuously fluffing them, enabling the dryer’s hot air to circulate more efficiently through the clothing to evaporate the moisture.
Most people use three balls per load, but six balls will cut down on dry time even further. For maximum efficiency, we encourage you to do medium, rather than large loads. Two medium- sized loads of laundry with our wool balls will dry more efficiently than one over-stuffed load.
Still long for a fresh scent? Just add a few drops of essential oil to your balls a few hours before you use them (the longer the oils have to permeate the wool, the more effective scent distribution will be). And while dryer balls can help soften fabric and cut down on static, you can cut it down further by making sure your dryer doesn’t run too long, and by separating out synthetics and drying them separately.
Got more questions about dryer balls for Abby? Go ahead and ask her. She’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know, and she’ll present you with all her research findings to back it up!
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask in the comment area and she'll post her answer right away!