Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tennis Balls in the Laundry

One way to cut back on energy use is to air dry the laundry. This works for most clothing, and may actually reduce wear and tear, since the lint in the dryer is evidence of loss of fibers when clothes are machine-dried.

But the scratchiness of air-dried towels has not gone over well in our household. One trick I've heard of is to air-dry towels, then put them in a dryer with a tennis ball or two, using the unheated fluff cycle to soften them up. Worth a try.

One can actually buy specially designed balls to use in the dryer with wet clothes. They reportedly speed the drying.


  1. You don't even need the tennis balls. Just give the towels a quick toss in the dryer and they're fine. (I always do this anyway to remove any pollen that settles on the laundry as it dries on the line.)

    Another trick for speeding up drying (useful during the months when the clothesline is unusable): toss a clean, dry towel in with your wet clothes. It absorbs and redistributes moisture--sort of like rubbing your hands together under the hot-air dryer in the restroom.

  2. Interesting ideas! I'll give them a try. In winter, we use drying racks indoors, which I like to think helps humidify the air while avoiding use of the dryer.