The Aluminum Foil Balls in the Dryer Trick: Does It Work?
If you regularly use a dryer, you must have encountered static before. You know, that situation where your clothes cling to each other during drying. It can also make lint and other particles cling to your clothes, especially towels. That’s why people are always looking for ways to get rid of dryer static. And while some turn to commercial solutions, some of us go for more convenient remedies like placing aluminum foil balls in the dryer. But does this trick work?
What causes static in your dryer?
As your clothes move around in the dryer, they keep brushing up against each other. In the process, they exchange electrons. Some of these electrons are positively charged and others are negatively charged.
So when the tumbling in the dryer finally stops, the negatively charged electrons get attracted to the positively charged ones and cling to them. This manifests as static cling.
During winter, static is more common. This is because the air usually contains less moisture during this season, making it harder for the static charge to dissipate.
What does putting a ball of aluminum foil in your dryer do?
When you put a ball of aluminum foil in your dryer, it discharges the static energy in there. Keep in mind the bigger the load you have the more aluminum foil balls you will need to get rid of the static energy.
When done successfully, this will keep your clothes separated while drying and speed up the process. The best part is you can reuse the same aluminum foil balls for up to 2 months, saving you some money.
Is it safe to use aluminum foil balls in the dryer?
Yes, it’s safe to use aluminum foil balls in the dryer. They won’t damage your dryer or cause a fire inside it. They will just make it louder than usual. The only risk associated with these balls is that they can snag on your clothes if they are not crumpled up properly.
A step-by-step guide on how to use the aluminum foil balls in the dryer
If you want to use aluminum foil balls in your dryer, follow the steps below:
- Get a sheet of aluminum foil and cut it into strips
- Tightly roll the strips into balls of around 2 to 3 inches. Make 3 to 5 balls depending on your load size
- Place your wet clothes and the balls in the dryer, close it, and turn it on
Advantages of using aluminum foil balls in your dryer
- They are free of any harmful chemicals
- They are effective yet cheap
- You can reuse them severally
Disadvantages of using aluminum foil balls in your dryer
- They will make your dry cycle noisier than usual
- They won’t soften clothes or give them a nice scent. You’ll have to add other solutions to the load if you want this result
What alternatives can you use instead of aluminum foil balls?
If you don’t want to use aluminum foil balls in your dryer, here are some effective alternatives:
1. Dryer sheets
Using dryer sheets is the most common solution to dryer static. They are sheets doused with fabric softener and can be bought at local stores. When you add them to the dryer with the load, they develop positively-charged electrons during tumbling. These electrons then counteract the negatively-charged ones on your clothes, reducing static.
Although dryer sheets are effective, they have the following drawbacks:
- You can only use them once; this isn’t environmentally friendly
- They can clog lint traps and vents
- They expose your clothes to chemicals
Vinegar can soften your clothes and reduce static. To use it, just spray it on a piece of fabric and then add it to your dryer load. You can even use a sock or washcloth for this. Ultimately, the heat in the dryer will even remove the smell of vinegar from your clothes.
Another way to use vinegar on your clothes is to add it to the rinse cycle while washing.
3. Wool balls
These are made of 100% wool and you can buy them from a store or make them at home. When added to a dryer load, they absorb water from the clothes and create a humid environment that helps static charge dissipate.
Monitor your drying habits
While there are several ways to get rid of static from your dryer, they will never be as effective or as sustainable as not using a dryer in the first place. Hang drying your clothes not only eliminates static but also saves you electricity and energy.
So try it out once in a while; you may just like it!