Why put safety pins on wool dryer balls?

On their own, wool dryer balls reduce static, but safety pins can amplify their anti-static powers. We’ll explain how.

Quick links:

Why should I use wool dryer balls?

Should I add safety pins to them?

What is the best way to remove a safety pin?

What will happen if it gets lost in my dryer?

If you'd like to experience the magic of natural wool dryer balls, you're in the right place. Buy Smart Sheep wool dryer balls today and get softer, static-free laundry.

“Replacing dryer sheets with these wool balls is a move I wish I had made sooner. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they also prove to be more effective. My clothes come out feeling softer and free of any static cling” —Ahmad Babaa, Verified purchaser (five stars)

6 pack penguins

What are wool dryer balls?

Wool dryer balls are a popular natural alternative to dryer sheets and chemical-laden fabric softeners. Ours are hand-felted by Nepalese artisans using 100% premium New Zealand wool.

Wool dryer balls work to lift and separate clothes and allow air circulation. This reduces drying time by up to 25%.

Our organic wool dryer balls soften fabrics by absorbing and distributing softening oils, breaking up lint, and preventing static cling. They reduce wrinkles and make clothes feel fresher.

Wool dryer balls slowly release small amounts of moisture as they tumble, helping keep laundry smooth and comfortable by preventing over-drying. The moisture also acts as a natural wrinkle releaser.

When properly cared for, our high-quality wool dryer balls can be reused for over 1,000 loads, providing a sustainable green solution compared to chemical-laden dryer sheets. They are also hypoallergenic and gentler on sensitive skin than commercial fabric softeners.

With all of these benefits, wool dryer balls will become an indispensable part of your laundry routine. They’re definitely a worthwhile investment.

“After switching to a cleaner laundry detergent, I stopped using dryer sheets; however, our laundry was coming out very wrinkled. After research, I purchased these wool dryer balls and they have been an amazing, clean alternative to dryer sheets. There is a significant difference in how wrinkly our laundry is.” —Erin, Verified purchaser (five stars)

What good do safety pins do in wool dryer balls?

Some wool laundry ball users choose to insert small safety pins into the balls before use. This may seem curious, but there are good reasons behind the practice. 

  • The pins provide an easy, safe way to pick up the balls. This avoids compressing or felting the wool over time.
  • The metal pins provide conductivity which helps dissipate static charge that builds up, cutting down on clothes sticking together with static cling.

Safety pins can be a nice DIY addition that might maximize the benefits of wool dryer balls over the long haul.

“Biggest plus is that the [Smart Sheep] dryer balls reduce drying time...saves cost of drying especially heavy quilts and king sized sheets. & comforters.” —j m, Verified purchaser (five stars)

How to remove safety pins?

If you choose to insert safety pins into your wool dryer balls, you can remove them at any time. Just follow these safe removal tips:

  • Locate the sharp point of each pin among the wool fibers. Gently move the wool strands aside to access the pin.
  • Carefully grasp the pin between two fingers and pull straight out in one smooth, gentle motion. Avoid yanking or tugging.
  • Set aside each removed pin in a secure place out of reach of children and pets. Pins could cause injury if handled carelessly.
  • Use your fingers to fluff up the wool fibers in the area where the pin was inserted.
  • Repeat the process until all self-inserted pins have been removed as desired.
  • Discard the pins or save them for other household uses.

With some gentle care, you will be able to safely remove any pins from your wool dryer balls to optimize their functionality. Don’t worry—your precious wool dryer balls still will be fluffy and ready for the dryer!

What to do if I lose a safety pin in the dryer?

Accidents happen, and a safety pin can occasionally come loose from a wool dryer ball during drying. If this occurs, take the following steps.

  • Finish the current dry cycle. The turbulent motion helps bring loose items to the lint trap.
  • Carefully clean the lint trap and inspect it closely for the missing pin.
  • If not found in the trap, check the dryer vent hose and use a flashlight to look inside the drum for any sign of the pin.
  • Vacuum the dryer drum thoroughly using a crevice tool attachment. Go slowly and watch for the pin.
  • Run the dryer empty on air fluff mode for 5-10 minutes then check again for the pin.
  • Use a strong handheld magnet around and inside the dryer to locate the pin.
  • If all else fails, contact a technician. A loose pin left in the dryer risks damaging the drum or heating element.

Wool dryer balls FAQ

Do you put anything on wool dryer balls?

If you want to use essential oils in your laundry, you can add them to wool dryer balls for an easy way to add natural fragrances.

One easy way: buy our essential oil spray, spritz each dryer ball a couple of times, and toss them in the dryer.

How can I make my wool dryer balls work better?

Here are some things you can do to make your wool dryer balls work better:

  • Refresh balls monthly by soaking in a white vinegar solution
  • Allow balls to fully air dry between loads
  • Separate laundry items in the dryer so balls can tumble freely
  • Insert safety pins to maintain shape and surface area
  • Brush balls to remove excess lint and pet hair
  • Reshape matted balls and stretch back into shape
  • Store in a breathable bag or basket, not a sealed container

How do you keep wool dryer balls from shedding?

Hand wash gently, air dry completely, brush loose fibers off, and use a lingerie bag when drying to contain loose wool strands.

Does a safety pin stop static?

The metal in a safety pin helps reduce electrostatic charges. When the pin touches the dryer surface, electrons flow from the wool into the grounded metal machine instead of clinging to clothes.

Do dryer balls damage electric dryers?

Wool dryer balls do not damage electric dryers. In fact, they can actually help improve drying efficiency by reducing drying time and softening clothes naturally. They are a safe and sustainable alternative to single-use dryer sheets and do not cause any harm to your dryer.

How do you make dryer balls anti-static?

The wool fibers in dryer balls have natural anti-static properties that help prevent clothes from clinging. As the balls tumble, they absorb and distribute any static charge buildup across fabrics.

How do I make my dryer balls last?

Some of the ways to make your dryer balls last longer are:

  • Allow balls to completely air dry after each load to avoid mildew
  • Fluff up and reshape balls by hand between loads as needed
  • Place balls in a mesh lingerie bag when drying to contain any loose wool strands
  • Refresh balls monthly by soaking them in vinegar solution for 1 hour then air drying
  • Avoid compacting or felting the wool fibers over time
  • Store in a breathable container, not an airtight sealed box

How do you recharge dryer balls?

Recharge your dryer balls in either of these methods: 

  1. For the washing machine, place balls in a mesh bag and wash them in hot water with detergent. Rinse thoroughly in cold water afterward. Or you can use an extra rinse cycle.
  2. To hand wash, soak balls in mild detergent, rinse and scrub clean, then let air dry completely.

Before washing, use a razor to remove excess lint. Always allow the balls to fully dry before returning to the dryer.

You can also add 1-2 drops of essential oils or spritz them with our scenting spray to get a fresh scent.

What kind of fabric is more prone to static cling?

Synthetic fabrics, such as rayon, acetate, polyester, and nylon are all notorious for static cling. When it is possible, avoid synthetic fabrics. Opt for more natural fabric, like cotton, wool, silk, or linen.

How many wool dryer balls should I use per load?

Here are some general rules that you can follow to learn how many dryer balls you should use per laundry load:

  • For small and medium loads of laundry, use 3-4 balls
  • Use 5-6 balls for larger loads
  • For extra-large loads, you can go as high as 9-12 balls

Further reading

How often should I recharge my wool dryer balls?

Should I use tennis balls in the clothes dryer?

Are laundry detergent sheets better than liquid detergents?

Do dryer sheets contain harmful chemicals?

Is it safe to use dryer sheets on my baby clothing?

What is the best stain remover for baby clothes?

Can I use dryer balls in the washing machine?

Are aluminum foil balls safe for the clothes dryer?

What are the best natural alternatives to fabric softeners?

Are plastic dryer balls good?

Wool dryer balls vs. dryer sheets—which option is better?