How to Recharge Wool Dryer Balls

To recharge wool dryer balls, wash them in hot water on the gentle cycle. Then, in your clothes dryer, dry them on high heat.

Continue reading for a more in-depth explanation of how to recharge wool dryer balls, as well as tips on why and when to recharge them!

Quick links:

How do I clean wool dryer balls?

How often should I wash wool dryer balls?

When should I recharge wool dryer balls?

Benefits of recharged wool dryer balls

Do you need to wash wool dryer balls before use?

What to do with used wool dryer balls

Using wool dryer balls


Wool dryer balls can be used more than 1,000 times. Want to try them for yourself?  

Recharging Your Wool Dryer Balls

Over time, wool dryer balls become less effective at absorbing moisture during the drying process. To revive them, follow this simple process:


Toss the balls in with a hot water wash cycle set to gentle. Washing removes built-up lint and oil and rehydrates the wool fibers—restoring their moisture-absorbing power.

You can wash the balls alone or with a regular load. Either works.


Next, dry the freshly washed balls on high heat, solo or with a load.

Make sure they are completely dry on high heat before using them again. Even a bit of moisture will reduce their effectiveness during the drying process.


Now your revitalized wool dryer balls are ready for the dryer again. Enjoy their renewed absorbency and natural softening magic.

With occasional recharging, your wool dryer balls will keep drying efficiently and gently for years. Their eco-friendly benefits are well worth the minimal maintenance.

Read all about the benefits of wool dryer balls

How do I Clean Wool Dryer Balls?

If you leave old dryer balls unclean for an extended period of time, residue will accumulate, and they will no longer be as effective as they used to be. They may collect a lot of lint, pet hair, or be less effective at reducing static cling.

Here are two methods you can use to clean your wool dryer balls:

Washing Machine Method

  1. Use a razor to eliminate any lint from your wool dryer balls.
  2. Put the balls into a reusable bag and secure it shut. A mesh bag will protect them during the wash.
  3. Add a gentle detergent or Smart Sheep detergent strips, and wash your dryer balls in hot water in the washing machine. 
  4. After the cycle finishes, remove the bag and rinse the balls with cold water until they feel clean. Then, leave them to dry completely before using again.

Hand Wash Method

  1. Use a razor to eliminate any lint from your wool dryer balls.
  2. Put them in a large bowl filled with warm water and mild detergent.
  3. Leave them to soak for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove them from water and squeeze them out completely.
  5. Soak them again for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse them in cold water and use a cloth to scrub the balls with firm but gentle pressure until clean.
  7. Dry them completely before using again.

Bonus Tip: After washing the dryer balls, add a few drops of essential oils (or spritz with our scenting spray) to give them a fresh scent.

How Often Should You Wash Wool Dryer Balls?

Your wool dryer balls will start to look a little rough, and you’ll know it is time to recharge them. Or, you will notice they aren’t helping you achieve the same drying results as before. 

But don’t wait for them to start to wear down, just wash and refresh them every once in a while.

Our recommendation is to recharge them once every 100 loads. If we keep in mind that wool dryer balls usually last around 1,000 loads, it means you’ll need to refresh them 10 times.

When to Recharge Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls naturally lose their fluff and absorbance over time. Watch for these signs that it’s time to recharge your wool dryer balls:

Matted, Flattened Spheres

Wool dryer balls that look matted, felt-like, or pancaked cannot circulate laundry efficiently. They also will not absorb moisture well in this compressed state.

Reduced Drying Performance

Pay close attention to your laundry's drying time and texture. Are clothes taking longer than usual to fully dry? Do they come out stiff, crunchy, or prone to static cling after drying? These issues indicate that your wool dryer balls need recharging. Their moisture-wicking and softening abilities fade gradually with repeated use.

Do not wait until your wool dryer balls are completely inert and matted. Recharge them at the first hints of a decline in performance. Washing revives the wool's structure, absorbency, and natural softening capabilities.

Recharging your wool dryer balls periodically gives them new life for optimal drying power and fabric softness. With proper care, wool dryer balls will keep performing efficiently for many years.

Smart sheep 6 pack

Benefits of Recharged Wool Dryer Balls

Recharging your wool dryer balls every so often does wonders to keep them working like new. Here's how a fresh wash brings the power back:

  • Restores their moisture-absorbing superpowers, so no more wet splotches after a cycle.
  • Washes away built-up lint, dirt, and residue so they move freely again.
  • Renews their natural softening magic for ulta-fluffy fabrics.
  • Reduces static and wrinkles as the wool regains its energetic bounce.
  • Extends their lifespan for years of effective, eco-friendly laundering.

Do You Need to Wash Wool Dryer Balls Before Use?

Eager to start enjoying ultra-soft laundry? Our wool dryer balls can go straight into the dryer right out of the package, no washing required

If you want to wash them before that first load, it won’t hurt. A 1–minute gentle wash and dry is all it takes. Simply use a mild detergent and rinse cycle. Then dry the balls completely on high heat, and they're pristine and primed to work their magic.

Either way, our wool dryer balls are ready to start reducing static, shortening dry times, and softening fabrics naturally. 

How Can I Upcycle Wool Dryer Balls?

Wool balls have more to offer than just laundry power. Breathe new life into old dryer balls with these crafty upcycle projects:

  • Draft stoppers. Wool makes cozy draft blockers for under doors. Just slip a few balls into a tube sock or small cloth bag.
  • Dryer sachets. Add your favorite essential oils to refresh wool balls and tuck them around your house.
  • Pet toys. Furry friends love batting around wool balls for hours of entertainment.
  • Stress relievers. Knead and squeeze the wool balls to release tension. Much better than a stress ball!
  • Gardening helpers. Place wool under potted plants to help soil retain moisture. Or use them to prop up seedlings.
  • Kids' crafts. Let little ones make woolly creatures with googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom-poms and more.
  • With a spritz of our non-toxic scenting spray, old wool dryer balls act as perfect sachets for keeping clothes fresh. A green way to repurpose what you already have!

When you’re ready to toss your wool dryer balls into the landfill or compost heap, their 100% New Zealand Wool composition will ensure they biodegrade completely. 

How to Use Wool Dryer Balls?

Wool dryer balls are an easy way to soften clothes naturally. Here's how to use wool dryer balls:

  • Toss 3-6 balls into the dryer with wet clothes. Use more balls for larger loads.
  • Set the dryer to normal cycle. No special settings are needed.
  • When dry, remove balls and reuse. They last for 1,000+ loads.
  • To minimize wrinkles, put a ball back in and tumble clothes for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil to balls for light scent.
  • Store balls in drawers to freshen clothes.

Wool Dryer Balls FAQ

Do you need to recharge (refresh) wool dryer balls?

Recharge your dryer balls when they start feeling hardened and rough after months of use. This restores their softness so they can keep effectively reducing static and drying time.

How often do you need to recharge wool dryer balls?

You should recharge wool dryer balls every 100 loads or so to keep them effective. But you can also wash them every once in a while to keep them fresh—you don’t have to wait for them to wear down.

Do wool dryer balls stop working?

Wool dryer balls can last for a long time, but over time, their effectiveness may diminish. The wool fibers may become compacted or lose their shape, reducing their ability to separate and fluff the laundry. You can extend their lifespan by periodically running them through the washer.

Can wool dryer balls be reused?

Wool dryer balls can be reused in many ways, here are some of them:

  • Add essential oils to them and place them in a corner to freshen your air.
  • Add essential oils to them and tuck them into a closet to freshen your linens. Our anti-static essential oil scenting spray is perfect for this.
  • Practice juggling.
  • Play throw and catch with your dog.
  • Use them as pin cushions.
  • Use them as therapy balls.

How many times can you reuse dryer balls?

Dryer balls can be used for around 1,000 dry cycles. This means that each ball should serve you for nearly three years if you're running your dryer daily. 

How do you add scent to dryer balls?

You can add scent to your dryer balls by spritzing them with scenting spray or by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

How many dryer balls per load?

How many dryer balls you need depends on the size of your laundry load. Here is a little guidance:

  • For small to medium-sized loads, 3-4 balls should get the job done.
  • For larger loads, you can use 5-8 balls.
  • For extra-large loads, you may want to go as high as 9-12 balls.

Are wool dryer balls better than dryer sheets?

Wool dryer balls are better than dryer sheets for many reasons, here are some of them:

  • Dryer sheets are single-use, creating unnecessary waste with each load of laundry. They usually contain synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals that can irritate people with sensitive skin or allergies.
  • Wool dryer balls are a far better and more eco friendly option. These 100% organic wool balls are reusable for up to a thousand loads and produce zero waste. They naturally soften fabric, reduce wrinkles, static electricity, and drying times, thereby saving money and energy. 

Ditch dryer sheets with these eco friendly dryer sheet alternatives.

Do dryer balls work for pet hair?

Dryer balls help remove pet hair, fur, white lint, dander, and other debris from your clothes, bedding, jackets, dresses, blankets, sheets, and anything else that you wash and dry.

How should I use dryer balls?

Using dryer balls is super easy. Simply toss a few of them into the dryer with your baby’s laundry, clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, and more. Don't add anything else, our dryer balls act as a natural fabric softener and decrease drying time, so you won't have to wait as long.

Further Reading

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Do wool dryer balls reduce static?

What is the best natural stain remover for clothes?

Essential oil recipes for wool dryer balls

What are the best dryer balls for down jackets?

Where can I buy wool dryer balls?

Should I put tennis balls in the dryer?

What are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin?

What are the best fabric softener substitutes? 

Do wool dryer balls really work?