It all starts with the Merino Sheep. Cared for in the most loving and greenest of ways here in Michigan.
Shorning or shearing the sheep are done by hand with no stress or harm to the animal.
Ready to be washed. We wash our wool using organic soap, boiling hot water and a lot of elbow grease.
Carding, which really is like combing, the wool. We do not spray our wool with synthetic oils like most mills do during this process.
We strategically roll a 36 foot long ribbon of wool, called roving, into a ball to form each dryer ball. No flux centers here!
Our balls are so large we do have to use a special felting/shrinking procedure for the last few steps of making our wool dryer balls.
Please be aware there is a difference in wool capabilities and strengths based on scientific fact. We, unfortunately, cannot advise on others, especially imported ones that, most likely are made with substandard wool, a non-wool center filler, and an unknown (all-important) finishing process.
Unlike toxic dryer sheets and fabric softener our much-larger-than-normal Merino wool dryer balls:
Woolly Wonderfuls stay dry during the drying process by moving air through little vents in the wool fiber. This process is referred to as the wool “breathing”.
Based on this science, the more wool dryer balls you have in your dryer, the greater the drying time cut is. Woolly Wonderfuls are so large 3 are usually sufficient enough to cut your laundry drying time up to 50% small to midsize loads.
Yes, we have big balls. And, size does matter. So does the wool used to make wool dryer balls.
The magic of any wool dryer balls is the wool’s capability to wick moisture. Each type of wool has different levels of wicking capabilities. Alpaca is known to have no wicking capability, while Merino is known to have the highest wicking capability. All other types of fleece and wool fall in the range between the two. We use 100% Merino wool from right here in Michigan.
The structure of a Merino wool fiber is unique. Each fiber can absorb and release up to 30% of its own weight in moisture while still feeling dry to the touch. This, is referred to as the wool “breathing”; each fiber is hollow with side vents that draw in moisture from your wet fabrics. Then air passes through, releasing the moisture quickly, cutting your drying time.
The larger the dryer ball, the more vents; the more vents, the more of a drying time cut. Our finished 4” in diameter, 36’ of solid Michigan Merino wool roving used for each ball will give you up to a 50% drying time cut on average, whereas others, at best, only 25%.
Woolly Wonderfuls will also give you naturally soft, fluffy, wrinkle- and static-free clothes without using chemical-laden dryer sheets or fabric softener.
Not only do they remove any pet hair from your fabrics, but your fabrics will start to repel pet hair after 3-6 months of continual use. Our Woolly Wonderfuls changing the electromagnetic polarity of your fabrics because of the type of wool they are made of and their size. This does not harm fabrics or dryers but does allow you to hug up your fur babies without looking like one. They remove Kleenex left in your pockets and lint, which goes onto the lint catcher and does not stick to the balls.
Merino wool is also the softest known wool. Its softness and high-wicking capability make it the wool of choice for wool socks, nautical, athletic, outdoor wear, hunting gear and issued Military wear.
Do note the more Woolly Wonderfuls you have in your dryer, the more your drying time will be reduced.
Please remember these Questions and Answers pertain to Woolly Wonderfuls and not all wool dryer balls are the same.
Reach us at Homesteading@ChickapeaFarms.com if you cannot find an answer to your question.
Yes, you can. Wool itself is hypoallergenic. There are three reasons people are allergic to wool.
1) They are allergic to the lanolin on the wool. Woolly Wonderfuls are washed six times, leaving little if any lanolin on the Wool.
2) Most wool mills spray a man-made synthetic oil on the wool to control static when they are carding (combing) it. These synthetic oils cause many people to have allergic reactions to them.
3) The person's skin had contact with just plain itchy wool that irritated their skin.
Yes. Dryer sheets or fabric softeners leave toxic residue on anything they touch, including your skin and the air you breathe! This residue will also plug up the special vents in Woolly Wonderfuls’ wool fiber causing them not to be able to wick moisture from wet laundry and create their wonderful magic.
Cold Turkey! Replace your dryer sheets and/or fabric softener completely with three or more Woolly Wonderfuls dryer balls. Once you make this replacement, use your Woolly Wonderfuls for four weeks then wash them. Repeat this for the first four to six months. Upon completion of this time frame, use Woolly Wonderfuls continually and wash them once a year.
If you have never used dryer sheets or fabric softener disregard the step, use Woolly Wonderfuls continually, and wash them once a year.
Use the leg from a pair of pantyhose. Tie the toe into a knot. Place a dryer ball into the nylon and tie the open end so the ball is tightly snug in the nylon. Cut the nylon off above the second knot and repeat so each ball is snug in a piece of the nylon.
Once you have them all done, throw them in with a load of hot water laundry – we recommend some towels. Wash as you normally would, adding laundry detergent and 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar, but no bleach. The white vinegar will re-balance the Ph in the wool. It will also deodorize, soften, and sanitize the fabrics and washer drum but it will not leave them smelling like vinegar.
When the load is done, remove the dryer balls from the pantyhose and put them in the dryer with that same load.
All done. Try to remember to wash them like this once a year or every other year.
We guarantee you will love your Woolly Wonderfuls and with an annual hot water wash, they should last at least 20 - 30 years!
They should not come apart with normal laundry use. If one ever does, give us a call, and we will replace it free of charge upon receipt of the defective one. They should not shed wool fibers either but they will remove lint and pet hair off of fabrics.
Nope. The wool has been thoroughly and organically washed at the mill, removing grime and the majority of natural lanolin from it. Then we wash it multiple times during the felting process. This leaves Woolly Wonderfuls not only without any wool scent but without any scent.
Nope. Unlike tennis balls, plastic spiky dryer balls, or other smaller wool dryer balls, Woolly Wonderfuls' overly large size allows them to be quiet and unheard in the dryer as they tumble around with your laundry.
Woolly Wonderfuls will remove lint and pet hair from the fabric. So make sure to check your lint screen regularly. Neither lint nor pet hair will stick to Woolly Wonderfuls. It will go onto the lint screen.
You should have NO static when using Woolly Wonderfuls! They do work the best in eliminating static in natural fiber fabrics though.
If you have a few items of synthetic fabric in with your natural fiber laundry or live in a colder climate, we recommend you securely pin a few large safety pins well onto the surface of the Woolly Wonderfuls. The safety pins will act as a conduit for the static. We don’t recommend using an aluminum ball in your laundry because aluminum has been questioned in connection with harmful health effects in humans. We would rather you be safe than sorry.
If the safety pin doesn't remove a satisfactory amount of static, we recommend you wash and dry your synthetic fabric separately from other natural fabrics. When you dry a load of synthetics only turn your drying time down 75% and temp to low heat or air fluff. Adjusting these two things should eliminate all static from synthetics.
We do recommend you use White Vinegar in your wash cycle to help cut down on static and aid in additional softness to your laundry.
Don’t forget to set your timer back on your dryer so as not to over-dry when using Woolly Wonderfuls. Moisture sensing timers will automatically react to the shorter time. But, even so, check your laundry load when using a moisture sensor. We have found that even with sensors they can also be set to half the time.
If you still have static, call us at 248-667-6366, and we will try to figure out why and how to eliminate it with you. You shouldn't have any!
Yes, you can place a few drops of essential oil on one or more of the wool balls, depending on the strength of the aroma you would like on your laundry. Depending on the quality of the oil and how dry your fabrics are when you add the oil (the drier the better), you should be able to get 2 to 3 loads of aroma.
If you add the oil after your fabrics are dry to get the strongest aroma make sure your dryer is set to “air fluff or no heat” as adding heat to fabrics that are already dry will cause static.
We recommend using three or more Woolly Wonderfuls without essential oils to reduce your drying time and achieve all the other great benefits Woolly Wonderfuls provide; setting aside one to two balls for aroma use only.
For Instance, we have heard from our customers that they will keep one Woolly Wonderfuls with Lavender essential oil on it and one with a "pick-me-up" essential oil, such as Lemon or Citrus aroma. Before they go to bed they will toss their pajamas or pillowcases into the dryer with the Lavender scented Woolly Wonderfuls for a few minutes on air-fluff/no heat. The Lavender aroma will aid in falling asleep faster and obtain a night of more restful sleep.
In the morning, folks will toss their clothes for the day in the dryer for a few minutes, on air fluff/no heat, with the Woolly Wonderfuls that have the chosen pick-me-up essential oil aroma to get a fresh step aroma to start their day.
With over 250,000 Woolly Wonderfuls out there, we have yet to hear of essential oils staining fabrics. Some oils will leave a spot on the Woolly Wonderfuls but it will eventually disappear.
Yes, because they are tumbling around with your clothes they will form small pills on their surface just as a well-loved sweater will. This will not affect the wonderful results they will provide. If you don’t like the look of these small pills, they can be cut off in the same manner you would remove them from any other fabric.
Plain and simple, dryer sheets, and fabric softeners, cause hormone imbalance, neurotoxicity, respiratory problems, and even cancer!
They also pollute the environment inside your house AND out.
A FEW REASONS TO DITCH YOUR DRYER SHEETS AND FABRIC SOFTENER:
In addition to all the chemicals that end up on your skin, when heated, the fumes are also toxic. These toxins go straight to your brain’s most sensitive neurological centers and wreak havoc.
1. Artificial Fragrances–When you use dryer sheets, you are coating your fabrics with artificial chemical perfumes. These fragrances are known carcinogens that cause liver damage and cancer in mammals. A recent international study showed vapors emitted from dryer vents to have extremely high concentrations of acetaldehyde, acetone, and ethanol (two of which are considered carcinogenic).
2. Alpha-Terpineol–This chemical has been linked to disorders of the brain and nervous system, loss of muscle control, depression, and headaches.
3. Benzyl acetate–Benzyl acetate has been linked to cancer of the pancreas.
4. Benzyl alcohol–This upper respiratory tract irritant can cause central nervous system (CNS) disorders, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and dramatic drops in blood pressure.
5. Chloroform–Neurotoxic, anesthetic, and carcinogenic. All three are very toxic to human brains. Inhaling its vapors may cause loss of consciousness, nausea, headache, vomiting, and/or dizziness, drowsiness.
6. Ethanol– Another fabric softener ingredient that is on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list and linked to CNS disorders.
7. Ethyl Acetate–causes headaches and is on the EPA Hazardous Waste list.
8. Linalool–in studies, this chemical caused loss of muscle coordination, nervous system and brain disorders, and depression.
9. Pentane–causes headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and depression.
What’s the alternative to toxic dryer sheets?
Our 100% Merino Wool balls, Woolly Wonderfuls!
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