When I opened up the dryer to pull out my laundry, an overwhelmingly foul scent immediately escaped. It was the scent of a dinosaur passing gas.
How we got there:
I researched how to make wool dryer balls on DIY Natural. A sustainable alternative to dryer sheets was the second project in the Mother Nature’s Maid Service Challenge, and these dryer balls promised to be just that. So away I went.
I made a special trip to my local Jo-Ann Fabrics for some 100% wool yarn. Apparently yarn is a very important material for serious crafters, because I was bombarded with two aisles and approximately 200 brands of it. I checked what must have been 150 labels (probably more like 10…) before I found Patons 100% wool with a sheep on the front. Sold to the gal wearing homemade deodorant!
I bought a purple spool and a blue spool, just to make things more fun. That night, I twisted up my yarn balls and wrangled them into an old and dilapidated nylon stocking to ensure that they would felt correctly. Felting is basically how dryer balls are made – you roll them up, stick them in a stocking, run them through a hot/cold laundry cycle, and then blast them to hell and back on your highest dryer setting. If they felt correctly, you should be able to run a fingernail across the surface without loosening the yarn. Then you’re free to toss them in your dryer at will.
The very next night, I excitedly threw my dryer balls into the washing machine with a load of sheets and towels. They came out unscathed, and I tossed everything in the dryer to finish them off. I nervously waited. Then came the buzz: It was time.
I ran down the basement to collect my (hopefully felted) yarn balls. When I opened up the dryer to pull out my laundry, an overwhelmingly foul scent immediately escaped. It was the scent of a dinosaur passing gas. I stuffed my head in the dryer – in search of the odor – and buried my nose in my sheets, horrified that they would emit this gaseousness. But there was nothing. My sheets and towels didn’t smell like anything. How were they unscathed? The source had to be somewhere!
And then I turned to the dryer balls. I picked them up tentatively and smelled them one by one. Purple 1: fine. Purple 2: fine. See that? It wasn’t the yarn ba– Blue 1: FART. Blue 2: FART. I dropped the balls like hot potatoes and shoved my face at our “Cotton Breeze” dryer sheets. Trust me, it was terrible. It was as if I’d wrapped the blue yarn balls around hard-boiled eggs or blocks of cheese and then thrown them through the laundry cycle. I carried them upstairs, holding them as far away from me, my nose, and my sheets as possible, and then shoved them under Carrie’s nose. She recoiled and threw my yarn balls across the room as if I’d just tossed a bag of thousand leggers at her (which, in the defense of my dryer balls, would have been a way worse scenario, no matter how foul the yarn smelled).
So we’re working now with two dryer balls – the purple set only, obviously. I’m not really sure what happened to the blue – maybe it was the color, maybe it was the spool, maybe that sheep had a love of beans and leafy greens. I will admit that much of the odor has diminished since they’ve been left out in the open, but I’m not sure whether I’ll ever be brave enough to try them again with my laundry. Smelling like homemade deodorant is bad enough, but smelling like a gigantic fart is is definitely above my pay grade.