If your clothes don’t smell quite as nice as they used to after a spin in the wash, you might have been told to scent your dryer balls to get your clothes to smell nicer as they dry in the tumble dryer.
It seems fairly straightforward and harmless to do this, but this isn’t actually the case.
Dryer balls are safe to use in a tumble dryer on their own because they help to reduce static and wrinkles in clothes.
However, when you add essential oils, the most common product used to scent dryer balls, into the mix things change. The reason for this is because essential oils can be flammable, even more so when they’re exposed to high temperatures like that of a tumble dryer.
In short, by adding essential oil to your dryer balls you run the risk of starting a fire in your tumble dryer. And while lots of people may tell you otherwise, it would be better to err on the side of caution and to try safer methods to scent your clothes.
Oil, plus heat, plus material, isn’t exactly the best combination to put together. But, if you are set on putting essential oil scent on your dryer balls, you must be extremely careful, you must keep an eye on your tumble dryer at all times, and you try this method out at your own risk.
Should You Scent Dryer Balls?
As noted above, there is a debate about whether or not you should actually add your own scents to dryer balls. This is why people are concerned:
Some people are worried about putting essential oils into their tumble dryer because essential oils can be flammable.
In addition to this, items that have come into contact with essential oil in the past, but have not been washed on a hot enough temperature, can become quite hazardous.
There have been cases when linens, for example, that have been exposed to some essential oils have set on fire in the tumble dryer.
In this case the essential oil wasn’t washed out of the material correctly, so when the material was exposed to heat in the dryer it caught on fire.
So, you must be careful when you continuously expose your clothes to essential oils, and you must wash them correctly.
Other individuals are concerned about the oils damaging or discolouring their dryer balls and clothing. However, if dryer balls become stained, they are still usable.
If you choose to add scent to your dryer balls you do so at your own risk. Further to this, limiting the number of scented drops you add to the balls is a good idea, and you should wait for the drops to dry before adding the dryer balls into the tumble dryer.
How To Scent Dryer Balls
What you need:
- Dryer balls
- Essential oil
- Big jar
Steps to follow to scent your dryer balls:
Remember: You try this method out at your own risk.
- Grab your dryer balls, an essential oil of your choice and a jar.
- Pick up one dryer ball at a time.
- Sprinkle one-two drops of essential oil onto the dryer ball.
- As soon as the dryer ball has been scented, pop it into the jar.
- Continue to scent your remaining dryer balls in the same way.
- Close the lid on the jar when you’re done.
- Optional: Shake the jar around to get the dryer balls moving and to spread the scent around further.
- Leave the jar for at least two hours, then use the scented dryer balls when you need them.
- When you do use the dryer balls in the tumble dryer, you must keep an eye on the tumble dryer just in case a fire starts.
Note: If you’ve got plastic looking dryer balls you may need to add an extra drop of essential oil to them, because the oil may run off.
How Often Do You Need to Scent Dryer Balls?
If the dryer balls are used quite frequently, say around six times per week, you may need to re-scent them every week. But if you’re happy to only scent them now and again, you can do this.
Also, the type of scent you use, and the type of dryer ball you have, will affect how long the smell lasts for. Scents may stay for longer on woollen dryer balls, but not for so long on plastic dryer balls.
Note: Keep in mind that if you continuously expose your clothes to essential oils, even if it’s oil from your dryer balls, you need to wash your clothes on a high temperature to get rid of the essential oil residue that’s embedded in the material. Failing to do so could be very problematic for you.
What Scents Should You Use?
When it comes to picking a scent, it really does come down to personal preference. But here are some ideas to get you started:
- Lavender – Good for pj’s and bedding because it gives off a calming effect.
- Balsam Fir – This has a very Christmassy smell to it.
- Eucalyptus – Extremely relaxing.
- Lemon – This is a strong and zesty scent.
- Orange – A summery smell.
Alternatives To Scenting Dryer Balls
If you’re not sure about scenting your dryer balls, but you still want to scent your clothes, you could try out the alternative methods below.
- Use scent sachets. You can pick sachets, like Tillmann’s Wardrobe Fresheners, up online and you can find different versions in shops too. They usually come in lots of different smells, and they’re small enough so that they won’t encroach on your space. All you need to do is add a sachet to your drawer, bottom of the wardrobe, or hang it up and leave it there.
- Make a mist. You could create your very own spray mist to spray your clothes with.
- Dry your clothes on the line. If you dry your clothes on the line, they’ll pick up the natural smells that are around you. Of course, this may not be ideal for everyone!
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!