How to Clean Wool Dryer Balls? [For Optimal Performance]

wool dryer balls in washing machine

Have your once-mighty dryer balls seem to have lost their magic touch? Your clothes aren’t as fluffy, static creeps in, and that delightful scent is fading. Like a superhero who needs a recharge to save the day, your wool dryer balls can regain their laundry-transforming powers with care and cleaning.

Wool dryer balls may attract lint over time, and you might think it’s time to put them in the bin. But did you know you can reuse these balls by cleaning them?

I’ll share all the nitty-gritty of how to clean wool dryer balls effectively, ensuring they maintain their fluffiness, static-reducing powers, and fabric-softening magic. 

Related: Dryer balls vs. dryer sheets.

How to Clean Wool Dryer Balls?

You can either machine wash or hand wash your wool dryer balls.

1. Machine Wash

  1. Remove lint from the surface of the wool dryer balls using a razor or sweater shaver.
  2. Wrap the balls into a mesh bag that fits well into your washer and fasten it tightly. 
  3. Add a mild detergent to the washer.
  4. Set the machine’s dry cycle to high heat. Wash wool dryer balls in hot water only.
  5. On completion of the cycle, take out the bag and wash the balls with cold water. Flush out all the suds and dust until you find them clean.
  6. Let the wool dryer balls dry before you reuse them.

2. Hand wash

  1. Remove lint from the wool dryer balls. (as mentioned in point 1 for machine washing.)
  2. Take a large bowl and fill it with warm water.
  3. Add a mild detergent.
  4. Allow the wool dryer balls to soak for about half an hour.
  5. Remove the dryer balls and squeeze them to remove all remnants.
  6. Again, put the dryer balls in the water to soak them for 30 minutes.
  7. Then rinse them well in cold water.
  8. Scrub them using a clean cloth, firmly but gently, to clean them. (If you notice detergent residue in the balls, rinse them thoroughly again.)
  9. Before reusing the dryer balls again, ensure they are completely dried.

When Should You Recharge Wool Dryer Ball?

A few indications help you understand when to recharge your wool dryer balls.

  1. They start giving off a rough appearance.
  2. The wool dryer balls do not perform well and fail to dry clothes effectively compared to their previous performance when new.
dirty wool dryer balls

How Often Should You Recharge Wool Dryer Ball?

It’s a sane idea to recharge your dryer balls at regular intervals instead of waiting for them to wear out.

Recharging the wool dryer balls after every 100 loads will keep them in good shape for a long time. According to most wool dryer ball manufacturers, wool dryer balls can sustain at least 1000 loads. If you work on the math, the wood dryer balls must undergo ten recharges in their entire lifespan.

It’s not mandatory to have a count of loads. It may put unnecessary stress on you. Set a reminder on your smartphone and do it once the alarm goes off.

Wash Cycle FrequencyCleaning Frequency
Once a dayApproximately every 3 months
Every other dayApproximately every 6 months
Once a weekApproximately every 1.5 years
Twice a monthApproximately every 3 years
Once a monthApproximately every 8 years

These are approximate guidelines, and the actual cleaning frequency may vary based on factors such as the size and weight of the load, the condition of the dryer balls, and personal preferences.

When Should You Throw Away Wool Dryer Balls?

Throw away your wool dryer balls when:

  1. The wool dryer balls start falling apart.
  2. They appear shabby or peeled out.
  3. Wool shows up on your dried clothes after removing them from the dryer.

It’s better to be alert and keep a watch on the condition of your wool dryer balls. If you think they aren’t performing effectively compared to when they were new, it’s time to throw them away and replace them with new ones.

wool dryer balls for soften clothes

Why Does Wool Dryer Ball Need to be Recharged?

The wool dryer balls may become brittle and less absorbent over time. This is because overusing the dryer balls causes them to lose extra moisture. Recharging helps to add the required dampness back into the dryer balls, which enables them to absorb more water, enabling the dryer balls to perform well for effective drying. As strange as it seems, it’s workable.

natural wool dryer balls

What Can You Do With Old Dryer Balls?

Throwing away the old dryer balls is the easiest option. You don’t have to worry about the environmental effects. Wool dryer balls are 100% natural and biodegradable, irrespective of where you throw them.

However, if you are creative, you can convert them into toys for your pets if you have any. Alternatively, you can use them as scented balls in your drawers or cupboards. Adding a few drops of essential oils will convert them into scented balls.

wool dryer balls and essential oil
  • Do I need to wash wool balls?

    Wool balls may gather lint and fail to dry clothes effectively. When you wash wool balls, you help them use their full potential to dry clothes.

  • How many times can you use wool balls?

    A typical wool ball lasts for 1,000 loads of laundry.


It’s apparent to decide to throw away wool dryer balls when they wear out. However, there are methods to recharge and clean wool dryer balls before reusing them. Cleaning and recharging are a few methods to achieve the desired drying results.

Recharging helps the dryer balls absorb moisture from the wet clothes, while cleaning helps remove lint from them. You don’t need an expert to perform these tasks. You can do it on your own. It’s better to recharge your wool dryer balls regularly, depending on your washing load.

Related: What do dryer balls do?