essential oils on wool dryer balls

Will Essential Oils on Wool Dryer Balls Stain Clothes?

Adding a few drops of essential oil to wool dryer balls makes them extra pungent. And this aroma eventually makes its way onto your laundry as the balls and clothes tumble around in the dryer together.

It’s generally not too expensive to add some essential oils to wool dryer balls, and it’s a very easy way to get your laundry to smell pleasant.

However, there are a few precautions you need to think about before you try adding essential oil to wool dryer balls.

Namely, you’ve got to make sure that you use the right kind of oil, you shouldn’t use too much oil, and you must allow the oil to dry on the ball before tossing it into a tumble dryer alongside your laundry.

If you don’t take note of these precautions, you run the risk of staining or damaging your garments as they get dried.

Let’s look into this in more detail.

Note: It isn’t necessarily safe to use essential oils in a tumble dryer because they are known to be flammable.

So, while scenting your laundry by adding oils to wool dryer balls may seem like a good idea, you must remember that it is risky to do this. If you plan on adding essential oils to wool dryer balls, you do so at your own risk.


Do Essential Oils on Wool Dryer Balls Stain Clothes?

essential oils and wool dryer balls

If you add essential oils to a wool dryer ball, you do run the risk of the oil staining your clothes in the dryer. However, you can prevent this by adhering to the advice below.

Keep the tips below in mind when you add essential oils to wool dryer balls.

You need to use the right amount of essential oil

If you plan on adding some essential oils to your wool dryer balls, you should only add one to three drops of essential oil to each ball.

Provided that you follow the other precautions noted below, this amount of essential oil shouldn’t affect your laundry. Instead, it should make your load fragrant, but not overly scented and yucky!

You shouldn’t saturate an entire ball in essential oil. If you do this, your laundry will come out of the tumble dryer stained, or at the very least discoloured.

Your clothes will also stink, and not in a good way! The scent will be quite overpowering, especially if you add multiple oversaturated dryer balls to the tumble dryer!

Plus, this is also a major fire hazard, so best to avoid doing this anyway!

If you have added three drops of essential oil to each dryer ball, but your laundry still isn’t as pungent as you’d like it to be, don’t add more essential oil to the existing dryer balls.

Instead, add another wool dryer ball to the dryer, and pop a maximum of three drops of oil onto it. It’s better to add more balls to the drum, rather than adding more oil to the balls.

It’s important to note, if this is your first time using wool dryer balls with essential oil on them, that you should only add one drop of oil to each ball.

Although this might not seem like a lot, it’s actually a very good starting point for you, because you can build up from this point.

For example, if you add one drop to each ball, but your laundry doesn’t smell different to normal, you can add two drops to each wool dryer ball next time. (Don’t exceed three drops).

The first few times you use essential oils on your dryer balls are going to be a case of trial and error. This is when you’re going to learn how strong you want your laundry to smell.

So, don’t worry if you find yourself experimenting, and adding an extra drop of essential oil to each dryer ball, or tossing in another dryer ball as you try to work out what works for you.


You need to use high-quality essential oils

If you’re going to put essential oils on your wool dryer balls, you should choose high-quality oils that are free from synthetic chemicals. Synthetic chemicals can sometimes cause colour damage to clothes, so it’s best to avoid them.

Ideally, you should try to pick natural or ‘pure’ essential oils that aren’t packed with artificial chemicals. And it’s generally worth buying your essential oils from a reputable company that tells you where they source the ingredients for the oil, and what the essential oil contains.

It’s worth keeping in mind that high-quality, pure essential oils can come with a hefty price tag sometimes. So, make sure you choose the right oil(s) for yourself/family.


You need to allow the essential oil to dry on the wool ball

allow essential oil to dry on wool ball

One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they load their laundry into the dryer, grab their wool balls, drop some essential oils onto them, and then throw them into the drum immediately.

This means that the damp balls make contact with the laundry, and any oils that are on the balls then transfer onto the clothes in the dryer. This can stain or discolour the items.

To avoid such a mishap, add your laundry to the dryer’s drum, grab your wool dryer balls, and pop a few drops of essential oil onto them.

Once you’ve done this. you can leave the dryer balls on a flat surface to dry for about ten to fifteen minutes, or longer if needed.

Then you can add the dryer balls to the dryer alongside the laundry knowing that you’ve limited how much damage could be done.


You should choose the essential oils wisely

Essential oils come in various scents. However, you should be mindful about what oil you decide to use.

Sometimes citrus-based essential oils can discolour or stain clothes. So, it’s better if you stick to essential oils that you know are fabric safe!

You also need to make sure that you don’t choose an essential oil that is listed as a flammable product!

If a bottle of essential oil has a flame symbol on it, you should avoid it. This means that the essential oil has a flash point that is below 23°C.

When you combine this low flash point with the heat of the dryer, the higher the chances are of the liquid solvent igniting!

Ideally, you want to pick up a bottle that doesn’t come with a flammable symbol and isn’t listed as a hazard, and has a very high flash point. That means it will be less likely to ignite when it’s in the dryer.

Some fragrances are also more flammable than others. These include tea tree, rosemary and lemon. See our guide on whether essential oils are safe in the dryer for more information.

In addition to this, you need to choose a scent that you actually like. You don’t want to be wearing clothes that stink and make you feel sick!

Think about what aromas you like, what smells other family members enjoy, and what’s going to be a calming or gentle fragrance that you don’t mind having around your home!


You need to remove your laundry from the dryer when the cycle ends

clothes dryer

If you’ve followed the precautions noted above, the essential oils on your wool dryer balls shouldn’t stain your laundry.

Nonetheless, it’s important that you don’t leave the dryer balls and your laundry to sit in your tumble dryer for too long after the drying cycle has finished.

Allowing the balls to rest unagitated on the material can occasionally cause staining. But this is quite a rare occurrence, especially if you take care of your dryer balls properly beforehand.

You should take your laundry and dryer balls out of the machine, put your laundry away, and store your wool dryer balls ready for the next load!


How Many Drops of Oil Do You Put on Wool Dryer Balls?

You can add one to three drops of essential oil to a single dryer ball. If you’re new to the scene, and you’ve never tried adding oils to your dryer balls before, start with one drop on each ball and work up from there. You’ll soon learn how smelly you like your clothes!


Do Dryer Balls Leave Stains?

Pure, untainted dryer balls, that don’t have essential oils or any other type of fragrance on them, generally don’t leave stains on laundry.

If you’re concerned, you can always do a colourfast test or a patch test on your garment just to make sure that the dryer ball won’t damage/discolour the material.


Alternatives to Adding Essential Oils to Wool Dryer Balls

scented sachet, spray mist and dresses in clothesline

Essential oils are known for being flammable. So, putting this kind of oil inside a tumble dryer that heats up to extreme temperatures isn’t really a good idea.

Instead of adding essential oil to your wool dryer balls, why not try these alternatives that can help to make your laundry extra pungent:

  • Pop some scented sachets in your wardrobe. All you need to do is pick up some scented sachets that you like the smell of, then hang them up in your wardrobe or pop them flat in your drawers.
  • Create a scented mist and spray your laundry with it.
  • Dry your clothes on the line outside.