They’ve tossed, they’ve turned. They’ve dried and fluffed hundreds of loads of laundry and they’re worn out.
They may be frayed, but wool dryer balls have more to offer after their glory days in the laundry room are over. Wool dryer balls last hundreds of loads—which equates to about a two-year lifespan. You’ll know it’s time to retire these workhorses and when the balls become soft and the wool starts to fray and they lose their shape.
Before you throw out your LooHoos, consider the following useful ways to repurpose these laundry staples:
A little dab will do ya when it comes to freshening up a space. Simply add two to three drops of your favorite essential oil to your dryer ball and place in a drawer, closet or under your pillow. Scented wool balls can also freshen up the interior of your car.
Essential oils are extracted from the leaves, seed and flowers of plants, therefore making them all natural. Some oils such as sage, patchouli and bergamot have soothing properties, which are relaxing and calming, while lavender helps you sleep and lime and lemon are known to improve your mood.
But remember, not all essential oils are the same. Look for 100 percent pure, high-quality, certified organic oils and avoid those with additives. Oils should be in dark, glass containers without a dropper to protect their components. Avoid oils such as fragrance, perfume, nature identical or aromatherapy listed on the label.
Dogs and cats love LooHoos—they’re the No. 1 plaything in our house. Pets enjoy the texture of the wool and perfect size for pushing with their nose or carrying in their mouth. While LooHoo carries wildly popular braided wool pet toys, the dryer balls make durable plastic-free, all-natural toys that withstand endless playtime. If you notice that the fibers on the balls are coming loose, simply snip them off to keep the balls safe for pets.
Pets aren’t the only ones who love wool dryer balls! Kids, by nature, love to throw, roll and bounce things. Most balls are relegated to the outdoors to prevent broken windows or other damage in the house. But due to their soft nature, wool dryer balls are great for an indoor game of catch or a makeshift round of bowling.
Also, wool balls are quieter and gentler on furniture, walls and molding, which means no scratches or scuff marks.
With so many hues to choose from, LooHoo’s subtle color invites imagination. LooHoo foundress Cyndi Prince, for example, strings old wool balls and creates a garland to hang outside her home during the holidays. Balls can also be used to craft a decorative wreath or remade into ornaments. Kids can transform the balls into dolls with fabric scraps and paint or use to create texture on a paint project.
Physical therapists have long used rubber balls to help relieve stress in the back and shoulders, so why not wool dryer balls? Experts say self-myofascial—also known as self-massage—has proven effective at increasing circulation, blood flow and joint flexibility, eliminating muscle tension and reducing mental stress.
Wool dryer balls are about the same size and firmness of a tennis ball and work great on smaller areas of the body. For the shoulders, simply lay on the floor with knees bent and head resting on a pillow. Place the ball under your shoulder blade and hold in place about 20 to 30 seconds to release tension.
This practice can also be used to relieve hip, back and foot pain. Sitting too long in front of a computer? Ease neck pain and reduce tension headaches with a few minutes of exercise. Place a ball behind your neck, just to the right of your spine and under your skull. Sink into the tennis ball and roll your head slightly to the right and left, avoiding your “bony bits.” When you find a tight spot, hold your position for 30 seconds. Continue for a minute or two then switch sides.
According to Prevention.com, relieve back tension by lying on the ground with two balls between your bottom and your ribs. Breathe deeply while shifting your pelvis from side to side so balls cross your entire lower back. Continue for about five minutes.
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