Tag Archives: eco-friendly laundry

Why Everyone Needs an Extra Pair of Balls

Hi and welcome to Sensational Saturday’s!

I’ve found that there are all kinds of weird topics I want to blog about that aren’t writer/craft oriented, and they sure aren’t paranormal. Nope, they’re regular everyday stuff. Like dryer balls.

What? You heard me: dryer balls.

Every time I do the laundry I think “Who came up with these things and why are they blue?”

Yep, I have a pair of blue balls in my dryer. With spikes.

I gave up fabric softener a few months ago. I hate the cost and I want to put less chemicals into the environment. So I started adding vinegar and baking soda to the wash. (WARNING: Unless you want a Mentos explosion in your washing machine: Don’t put them in at the same time! I have a front loader with several small compartments for additives. I put the baking soda in with the laundry soap and the vinegar in the bleach compartment so they never mix.)

Supposedly baking soda softens your clothes and the vinegar takes care of the static cling. Well it doesn’t. I soon had crackling loads of laundry that knocked me on my butt every time I pulled apart a pair of socks. And don’t even get me started on the hair! I have very fine, long hair that actually stands twelve inches in the air when properly charged. Not very Mary Tyler Moore when folding clothes.

So I went looking for another solution, and found the balls. Several years ago they were on those infomercials. You could buy a pair for $19.99 (I’m guessing) and get a second pair free or maybe a third. Everyone needs three pairs of balls (you’ll find out why in a minute).

I hadn’t seen a commercial for them in a long time, so I headed out to the store. And there they were. In the laundry section. Pairs of sky blue balls that looked like soft plastic hedgehogs in clear wrappers. I blanched.

Do you mean I have to put these in the cart, next to my coffee filters and feminine hygiene products? Actually place my plastic wrapped balls on the counter where someone (usually a teenage male) will pick them up and make me pay for them? No way!

So I stood in the laundry section. Looking at two rows of packaged poky balls trying to decide if saving money on my fabric softener was worth it. In the end, I placed them in the cart and bought my very first pair of blue balls. Then I took them home and presented them to my husband.

You see in my house, ninety percent of the time, my husband does the laundry. (We’ll cover that another day.) So I needed to instruct him in the proper use of the balls. He picked them up and rolled them around.

“What are these for again?”

“To cut out the static cling, we’re still adding baking soda for softening.”

“Why do they have the spikes?”

“I have no idea.”

“And why are they blue?” Okay, we had a long discussion, that you can have with your own laundry partner, about why the manufacturing company chose blue. Suffice to say that now we use the balls.

Now my husband endevours to do the laundry utilizing the latest craziness introduced by his wife. Have I mentioned how tolerant he is of my idiosyncrasies? And one day he comes to me and says “I’ve lost one of my balls.”

Say what?

It seems the dryer balls like to hide. Inside the pockets of fitted sheets. Inside coat pockets. Inside of the net thingie that lines men’s swimming trunks. You get the picture. We still haven’t found that first ball. I think its lurking in a drawer somewhere waiting to jump out and scare the living &*@! out of us. So again I went to the store, and faced the clerk. This time I purchased two pairs and I’m grateful every time I do the laundry because inevitably I have my head stuck in the dryer looking for that third ball.

We’re down to three.

I don’t know what happened to the rest. I suspect it’s like socks.

Thanks for joining me on my meanderings. If you use dryer balls, leave a comment. Even if you don’t, leave a comment anyway!

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