I seem to be a bit fixated on laundry and shopping the past few months with my personal life and small business "go greener" makeover, but the more info I find the more I realized as green as I thought I was being, I still have work to do. I know, your thinking what does this have to with Felted wool dryer balls?
A lot really, I think a lot of the time when we are trying to make positive changes in any area of our life we can get stuck in these little ruts that give us the illusion that we have reached our destination. There is no destination. Its all a journey and we need to grow, expand and revise our goals, repeatedly. I think its ok to take time to master a skill or develop healthy habits, but not be limited by them once we have reached that goal. You can always be and do better. This is not say we shouldn't be satisfied or have a sense of accomplishment and appreciate what we have accomplished, only that we really never are able to fathom what we are really capable of until we are pushed and motivated.
I had been using Biodegradable Laundry Detergent for about 5 years, over time this naturally progressed into making my own laundry soap with handmade soap http://www.etsy.com/listing/49748245/house-bd-biodegradable-eco-friendly and storing it in repurposed containers. Its been a lot of fun experimenting with making my own cleaners and soaps, something my Great Grandmother and other ancestors must have done. Admittedly, most of what they used would have been washing soda, borax, vinegar and bar soap that was purchased.
I honestly believe when we have this creative process to make what we need, it gives us a much deeper connection to the universe, as opposed to stopping by the grocery store a buying it. This is part of living in the present moment. My sense of appreciation for what I have is much deeper, because "I made it". This applies to a lot of aspects of my life; Growing my own food and preserving it, making laundry soap and my own cleaners, crocheting, sewing, practicing Dru Yoga, playing with my kids, sharing my skills with my kids, etc.
Felted wool dryer balls do work! They cut drying time because they retain heat and help your clothing move and open up in the dryer more. I noticed a significant difference in the drying time. (Not that I use my dryer much this time of year as the weather outside has been incredible for drying clothes. I agree, using a dryer is not very "green", but the truth of the matter is most people use the dryer. Not to mention, "going green" is usually done in steps by most people, and not everyone is able or willing to go as "green" as others are. ) My clothes were soft as normal, I also did not notice an increase in lint. As for static, I felt there was less, but we don't own much synthetic clothing so static has never been a huge issue. This was a fun recycling project for me. I had this super coarse wool from one of the first sweaters I took apart. I was having a hard time finding something to use it on it was so scratchy. Needless to say, I found a use for some of that wool. I was thinking of using the rest of that wool to make more, but then what to do with them? I end up with a lot of little scraps that are perfect for making these as it doesn't matter if you have a bunch of knots throughout the ball. They are a fun little project. Here is the link: http://goodmama.typepad.com/goodmama/2008/05/make-your-own-wool-dryer-balls.html The tutorial suggests washing the balls to felt them. I just threw them in the washer whenever I was doing a load.