Nellie’s Dryerballs

A new marketing trend is to promote organic, natural, or green-friendly products. I don’t know if you have noticed, but these items can be pricey. I am not a slave to overpriced trends, but I do believe in making eco-friendly decisions that are within my budget. If there is a product that will prevent my kids’ exposure to chemicals, then I am willing to use it. Nellie’s Laundry Products are touted as providing natural solutions to consumers and saving time & money. When I saw these dog-looking-chew-toys being promoted, I wanted to see if they would work. Julie asked for a sample and Nellie’s quickly sent two sets to The Gadgeteer Team.

Once I had my third child, we stopped using dryer sheets. For some reason, my son’s skin was sensitive to chemicals found in laundry solutions, lotions, and some hand soaps. Even before Jason revealed his sensitive skin, I was annoyed with dryer sheets. Sure they can make clothes smell better and prevent static cling, but they also leave a slimly coat on my clothes and on the dryer drum. This was affecting the flame-retardant materials in the kid’s pajamas, as well as some stain-resistant clothing. The other thing bugging me was I wanted to dry my bed sheets and towels faster. After visiting Nellie’s site, it appeared the Dryerballs would solve my laundry desires. They were invented to reduce drying time and soften fabrics naturally without using chemical fabric softeners. The idea is that the Dryerballs tumble around the dryer and lift and separate the fabrics. This increases the air flowing around the clothing, and relaxes the fibers. According to research by Nellie’s, your clothes will dry 25% faster and softer more efficiently when using the Dryerballs.

Specifications:
Set of two Dryerballs
Made of durable PVC plastic

Measures 3″ long and 2″ wide
Made in China

With a family of five, I wash clothes at least every three days and had plenty of opportunity to test Nellie’s. In fact, this was the longest testing of a review product for me. Prior to using Nellie’s, I purchased a shiny, Kenmore washer and dryer set. The set proved to be an incredible addition to my family. For the first time in 11 years, I was able to dry a load of towels with only one cycle and in 50 minutes. However, if I overfilled the washer, I would need to extend my dryer setting by 15 minutes. Much to my surprise, when I started tossing the Nellie’s Dryerballs in the load, I no longer needed to extend the 15 minutes. This was not a one-time thing or that I placed less towels in the dryer. The time-saving came from using the Dryerballs. Check out their demo videos showing how the Dryerballs are used.

Nellie’s also claims the Dryerballs naturally soften fabrics, reduce lint, and lessen the need for ironing. I used three loads of laundry to test these aspects. The loads were divided into towels, king-sized sheets, and cotton/linen clothing. I washed the sets without dryer sheets, fabric softener or Nellie’s Dryerballs, so they could get an equal start. I then split the loads in half with the same fabric types or clothing used in each half. The first half was washed with liquid softener, and the second half used only the Dryerballs. After each washing and drying, I did a side-by-side comparison of the laundry. Since it is difficult to show you the soft test, you’ll just have to go on my word. The liquid softener sets were clearly the softer of the loads. The loads used with the Dryerballs were not rough, but just did not have a fluffy, soft feeling and did not smell as fresh. I should note that the water in my city is incredibly hard. Fabric softener is needed to lessen the harshness of our water.

In addition to testing by feel, I used the same loads to compare the wrinkly appearance. Again, I placed the items side-by-side. There was minimal difference in the bedsheets, T-shirts or pants. Okay, you caught me, I do not iron any of these laundry items. I did use them, since it provided an easier comparison of the wrinkles. As far as the lint, well, I had the same amount of lint regardless of the product I used. Again, this could be contributed to the harshness of our water.

As always, I believe in sharing the love with a product. Nellie’s graciously sent two sets, and Julie used the other one. She tested them and found the Dryerballs are loud in the dryer. When a cycle starts, the balls bang in the drum like a pair of tennis shoes. Julie pointed out that once the clothes started drying, the sound was reduced. I overlooked the loudness, but I think that’s because Max (her cat) is a lot quieter than my kids.  Once Julie pointed out the sound, I got the kiddos to settle down, and then I too noticed the loud banging. They were loudest when I was drying thin linens or small loads. With my jeans and towels, the sound was not that noticeable. For Julie and me, we overlooked the sound since our towels were drying faster. Oh, the simple pleasures. LOL

Overall, I found my day-to-day routine perfect for reviewing Nellie’s Dryerballs. After a few months of testing, I can agree that these dried my clothes faster. If I forgot to toss the balls in the dryer, I would have to touch up my clothes after the dryer cycle was complete. That typically added 15 minutes to the dryer cycle. I was indifferent about the lint results, since that was an aspect that does not annoy me. Wrinkles are something that never bothered me, but once I started paying attention, I became of fan of using the Dryerballs. My sheets consistently came out of the dryer fluffed, instead of being twisted into a big ball and heavily wrinkled. As for the softness, I think I’ll shy away from the eco-friendly aspect of the Dryerballs. I wanted the fresh smell and soft feeling to my towels that comes from liquid softener. Looking at the product as a whole, Nellie’s Dryerballs are a great addition to my laundry needs. They saved me time and ultimately money by reducing my dryer cycle and the damage caused by twisting my clothes. Perfect!

 

Product Information

Price:19.99
Manufacturer:Nellie's Laundry
Retailer:Nellie's Laundry
Pros:
  • Buy-back guarantee for 2 years
  • PVC plastic withstands high temperatures and is durable
  • Lifts and separates clothes
  • Reduces drying time
  • Lasts 3-5 years
  • Non-toxic and allergy free
  • Safer than dryer sheets, since there is no residue left behind
Cons:
  • Does not add a fresh scent to the laundry
  • Did not notice a softer feel in the clothes
  • Bangs dryer drum when drying linens or light loads
Posted in: Home, Kitchen

2 comments… add one

  • Julie October 8, 2007, 4:02 pm

    Post your comments here on the #Nellie’s Dryerballs review.

    http://the-gadgeteer.com/review/nellie_s_dryerballs

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • mryanaz October 9, 2007, 10:25 pm

    Our family has used these balls for 2 years and they are really great. Less wrinkles, faster drying and no dryer sheets. Highly recommended.

Leave a Comment