Earlier in the year, my sister sent me two dryer balls she swears by. They are white felted wool with a face drawn on each one. The idea is you throw them in the dryer with a load and voila you get soft clothing. They are supposed to replace dryer sheets.
Some of the big reasons, I've seen for using dryer balls is that they are more economical to use, cut down on the amount of chemicals you and your family are being exposed to, and are ecologically sound if you buy the wool ones.
Apparently, dryer balls move through your laundry, separating pieces so they dry faster and more evening due to being exposed to the hot air. In addition, they fluff your laundry, reduce the number of wrinkles, and bash it to make it softer. However, they should only be used in small and medium loads because they need space to move in. A large load does not have as much space available so the dryer balls do not work as well.
Dryer balls are made out of several types of materials but the wool ones are supposed to be the best because they are made out of 100% wool and are completely natural. The nice thing about wool dryer balls is that you can add a few drops of essential oils them so they release the scent when drying. Be sure to let the balls set for 10 to 20 minutes after putting the essential oils on so they are absorbed into the ball.
One claim is that dryer balls also cut down on the amount of static cling after being dried. I honestly don't know if that claim is true because I haven't owned mine long enough to check that out. I have to wait till spring before my static cling season arrives.
If you are into making things yourself, all you need to do is get a skein of 100% wool yarn. Just make sure its not super wash or machine washable because those will not felt. Make a ball out of the yarn by creating a core and going around and around and around, much like you do when you take a skein and turn it into a wrapped ball for knitting.
When the ball gets to the size you want be it tennis ball, baseball, or softball, tuck the end of the yarn in the ball with a crochet hook. Place the ball in a nylon stocking (Use those ones with runs), tie it securely inside with a couple pieces of yarn and throw into the laundry with a load on hot wash and cold rinse. When done, place the whole thing in the dryer on the highest heat setting. At the end, you should have a dryer ball ready to use.
I'd love to hear your experiences with dryer balls. Have a great day.