Although we raise cattle, occasionally we utilize products raised by other segments of the livestock industry. For instance, one product that I have found extremely beneficial is made from sheep wool, and not just any sheep wool, but 100% Premium New Zealand Wool. I don’t know enough about sheep wool to know if that is better than other kinds of wool, but I do know that I like their dryer balls.
The dryer balls that I use are made by “Smart Sheep” — none of that dumb sheep stuff for us!
Seriously, that is the name of the company: Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls. I like the fact that it is a family -owned business, and since I am on a mission to detox our home and use more natural products, these fit right in with my program.
Since purchasing the dryer balls over a year ago, I have ditched the chemical-laden dryer sheets. There’s no doubt about it, dryer sheets do a good job of getting the static out of clothes and leaving a fresh scent, but at what price? Not only do most dryer sheets have chemical solvents that can affect the nervous and endocrine systems, which some in the health field say can contribute to the development of chronic illness, but that fresh, springy, breezy scent is usually full of synthetic chemicals.
So how well do the Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls work?
Really well! After using them for over a year I have found it cuts the drying time down by a significant amount – I would venture to say at least by 1/3, but then I haven’t exactly penciled it out… but, for instance on large loads of jeans, I used to run the dryer one full cycle (60 minutes) plus another 30-40 minutes to get them dry. With the Smart Sheep Dryer Balls, they are dry after the initial 60-minute cycle. So I’m sure I am saving a little on electricty by using the dryer balls, which, as most ranch wives know, their rancher husbands will appreciate.
Just think, if you use the dryer balls, then when your rancher husband goes around turning all of the lights off to conserve energy, leaving you sitting in the dark, you can tell him you saved enough electricity doing laundry that you can keep the lights on!
The Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls do a good job of softening and fluffing laundry, and in my opinion, don’t stink up our clothes, house and closet. I never did like the smell of those dryer sheets! But I have heard that if you would like to add a little “safer” fragrance to your clothes, you can add a drop or two of essential oils on the dryer balls. I haven’t tried this yet as it has always been my experience that oils and clothes do not mix, but I’m sure the oil soaks into the wool and doesn’t pose a problem, so I will try it one of these days – perhaps on some old clothes just to be sure.
Although the Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls do cut down on static, I have found if I add a crumpled up ball or two of aluminum foil, this further cuts the static. Note: I don’t use the aluminum or dryer balls on really delecate items of clothing. It might work, I just haven’t been willing to chance it yet.
The Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls that I purchased came in a package of six and I throw all six in with a medium to large size load. I have had them for a little over a year and they show a slight pilling, but are going strong and I expect they will last a few more years.
My mother-in-law uses the Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls and places each ball in an old knee-high nylon stocking, which she says avoids the pilling and shedding of the wool.
I admit I was skeptical that the Smart Sheep Dryer Balls would do anything, but I don’t expect I will ever go back to doing laundry without them. And think of all of the money I am saving by not buying dryer sheets! I think I deserve a new pair of boots for that!
If you just love your dryer sheets and can’t do without them, you can check their toxicity rating on the Environmental Working Group’s website to see if you can find a brand with the least amount of toxins: http://www.ewg.org/guides/subcategories/53-FabricSoftener
Note: I did not receive any products or pay from Smart Sheep to endorse their dryer balls – I just bought them and I really like them!