Giveaway and Review : Woolzies Dryer Balls

Green-Resolutions

I’m excited to host my very first Giveaway! I’ve teamed up with the Green Moms Network to be part of the Green Resolutions Giveaway Hop, which is hosted by Happy Mothering and Mama Chocolate. There are a ton of eco-friendly giveaways in the Hop, including more chances to win dryer balls.

And that’s what we’re here today to discuss – dryer balls. Specifically, Woolzies.

woolzies

As some of you might know, a few months back I made some DIY dryer balls. I made two different kinds – some from felted wool sweater scraps, and some from wool yarn. I wanted to make a few from batting and roving as well, but those materials proved to be either too difficult to find or more money than I was willing  to experiment with. So, I crafted my own dryer balls – 4 of them, to be exact. I had no idea what size to make them (the tutorials I read said “tennis ball sized” but I sure don’t play sports), and even tho my sweaters were pre-felted from making diaper covers out of them, the dryer balls shrunk *quite* a bit with 2 months of daily use. The yarn balls didn’t shrink as bad, but one of them has already unravelled on me (Boo!). They were all admittedly cheap (damn near free) to make, but it took a TON of time and effort. We’re talking about an hour or so per yarn ball, and about 4 hours per scrap ball because I tacked down the beginning and end of each scrap to make them more stable. Someone might be awesome enough to do these things quicker – but this was a project I did while actively nursing a baby.

What does all of that have to do with Woolzies? Well, those 4 DIY balls I made might’ve only cost me $3 in cash – but they also took in total about 10 hours of work, a few more hours of research and material gathering, and then one of them fell apart. If at the very least you considered my valuable time to be worth minimum wage, those 3 dryer balls I have left cost me $90 ($87 in labor hours + material costs). As I’ve grown older, wiser, and busier, I now appreciate the real value of time. Woolzies come in a pack of 6, with a retail value of $34.95. That boils down to a little under $6 each – which is less than an hour of minimum wage (and quicker than I could personally make one with scraps or yarn).

So, let’s talk about some practical reasons to switch to Woolzies dryer balls:

  • Dryer sheets are annoying to buy. Anything that eliminates the need to ask myself “Do we need more..?” in the grocery store is a good thing. With dryer balls, there’s no more purchase upkeep to occupy your mind – you got ’em at home. They are “guaranteed to last for 1,000 loads or your money back.”
  • Dryer sheets are clingy! Ever gotten all the way to work and have a co-worker peel a dryer sheet off your clothes? It’s embarrassing. Finding a dryer sheet randomly on the floor because it unclung from its mystery fabric host is annoying.  Sifting thru a basket of finished laundry to find that sheet before it’s forgotten is also annoying.
  • Dryer balls reduce your drying time. With my DIY 4, we found this to be untrue – but I suppose it took either more or larger ones to really work. 6 Woolzies get my prefolds dry in one cycle, which the 4 DIY’s could never do. The company says it shortens by 25%, but all I know from personal testing is that it DOES shorten the time. And this saves you money from running that dryer less.
  • Good for allergies and sensitive skin. It’s one way to avoid the chemicals and scents in softening sheets, and doesn’t bother people with wool allergies.
  • Good for Cloth Diapers. This is the reason that converted me – it both softens and lowers the dry time for diapers.
  • Woolzies are quieter than some DIY options. My scrap and yarn balls were crazy loud in the dryer – I feared they were going to damage it. I can still hear the Woolzies through the closed laundry room door, but it’s a soft tumbling, not an alarming clanking.

woolzies2

This contest will run through January 30, 2013 at 9:01 pm PST  (January 31, 2012 at 12:01 am EST). The winner will be chosen the  following day and announced here on Nephrendil. No purchase necessary. US entries only. Must be 18 years or older to win. The sponsors provided me with free samples of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and only formed by my personal experience with the product. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to Nephrendil and not to Facebook.  Please note that Nephrendil, the Green Moms Network and the Green Resolutions event bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation that they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 4-6 weeks for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.

To enter the contest, open the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Advertisements

Been a While

Well. It’s been a healthy while since my last post. Little Man has started to “come alive” and require more of my attention and energy. He still can’t *quite* roll over yet, but it will be very soon I think.

The toys I made for him have been a big hit. While pregnant,  I made 3 toys from scrap fabric, some plastic (for crinkle interior), and about a dollar worth of ribbon bits from Wal-Mart (since it was the only place I could still get ribbon cut into 1/8 yard bits). It took 3 months for him to really take notice of the toys, which was getting discouraging, but he finally enjoys playing with and chewing on them.

The wool dryer balls have been rocking, as well. They don’t speed up drying time all that significantly like most internet resources I found claimed they would…. maybe that would take more than 4 of them. But where they shine is their function as a natural fabric softener. Since his diapers never had a fabric softener used on them before, it made a drastic difference with them. Our prefolds used to feel almost crunchy before, but now they’re soft and pliant. We started using the wool balls on some of our regular laundry as well – with the same positive softening effect. The only real downside to them has been a minimal amount of static. They simply can’t fight the static generated from our fluffier laundry like fleece. I think that’s a very reasonable price to pay for a renewable, free (made from scraps I had lying around), chemical-free replacement.

I’ve been stockpiling supplies to make a pile of diapers. It’s taken weeks of reflection, discussion, and number crunching but we finally settled on a plan for the gigantic project. More to come on that later – but tonight I finished a Proof of Concept diaper to make sure our plan will work. Snaps and touchtape have arrived, so we’ll start testing to see which style we prefer.

The diaper I sewed tonight has double gussets! Woot! I made a fitted just to test the gusset process, and am very happy to have finished it without any major problems. Pictures pending, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow.

Busy week!

Well, I had hoped to post more often..  But, we have made some progress with the house construction, so I have been busy with moving things around in-between baby things (diapers, nursing, laundry, etc etc).

I hope to post the dryer ball tutorial soon – I managed to make 4 of them and have been testing them this week. 2 are made from upcycled sweaters, and 2 are from a cheap skein of yarn I found at a craft store. I’m having a small issue with them, so I’m going to have to separate them and figure out if it’s the sweaters or yarn causing the problem.

We ordered more microfleece for liners. As it turns out, my little man burns through the 21 we had in a day. It made for some tense laundry moments, wondering if the dryer was going to finish before we ran out of his last liner or two. Thankfully we kept the remaining flushies around, so we had those to toss on a couple of times. New fleece showed up, however, and is all cut up and added to the stack. Advice is to buy at least 2 yards for your liners if you intend to use them every change and don’t want to do laundry at the exact same hour every day. Maybe some folks are that awesome at keeping a daily routine, but I’m sure not yet.

Also – Samhain is coming up! He’s too young to make memories, but I feel happy bringing him to celebrations. We agreed to raise him neutrally in terms of religion, but he’s still too small to remember – and I’m not quite comfortable yet with a babysitter option for that many hours. Until he’s a bit older, I’ll get to hold him by the bonfire, and listen to the drumming and chanting, pray for the Kindreds to watch over him. We did a beautiful Naming/Blessing ritual for him at the Autumn Equinox. I hope that one day when he’s older he decides to come with me to a High Day celebration and see what it’s all about – but I would settle for a healthy respect (if not love) of nature. Until he’s old enough to be sheltered from it, I’ll simply enjoy my time with him by the fires, and make memories enough for the both of us.

Wool Dryer Balls

We have a big bag of wool scraps in the house. They’re left over from when I made the baby’s wool covers (longies and shorties) back when I was pregnant. None of the bits left are big enough to go into new covers, so I was using them to cut out appliques for the covers I’d sewn. Those came out cute – but time consuming! Since my Little Man has been born, I haven’t had the slightest chance of doing more applique. So, we have a bag of scraps.

As I browsed among the countless cloth diapering blogs and pages, I kept hearing about dryer balls. It would seem the prevailing method of choice is to use wool batting or yarn (or unravel your sweaters for yarn), but I did find a small bit of advice for using your sweater scraps.

I’ll post a whole DIY tutorial at some point soon, complete with pictures, but I wanted to get at least 3 finished and test them out first. I spend a vast portion of my day tied to the couch because I’m nursing – so I only work on the dryer balls when Little Man goes into his milk comas, and get interrupted a lot with diaper changes and feeding/hydrating myself. All of that being said, it’s taken me a week to finish 2 balls! So…. hopefully I’ll get better at it, figure out some shortcuts, or manage distractions quicker. And if not, I should get the 3rd finished and start testing them sometime next week. Then I’ll post the tutorial and what I’ve learned from the process.

%d bloggers like this: