If you've ever done a small load of laundry, you'll understand the concept behind this week's "Does It Work?" product. Sometimes you put your clothes in the dryer and they just ride on top of each other, round and round and it seems they take forever to dry because they're not really tumbling. Dryer Max Dryer balls are supposed to cause those clothes to separate and dry faster, saving you money. Ah, but "Does It Work?"
For our test, we'll use two identical stacks of towels. While the first set is in the wash, we'll get our first good look at the product we're testing. There are lots of claims on the package considering they look like a couple of pet toys. "Softens fabrics naturally, cuts drying time, hy-poallergenic, reusable." And here's the best part, they're supposed to save you hundreds of dollars.
Before we test them, we have to dry our "control" stack. These get a dryer sheet only. We check on them periodically so we can catch them when they first reach "dryness." After checks at 10, 13, 17 and several others, the "control" stack with the dryer sheet reaches "dryness" in 30 minutes.
We're ready to dry a matching stack of towels with the Dryer Balls.
We check at 10, 13, 18 and 22 minutes the "Dryer Ball" towels finish drying at 27 minutes. That's 3 minutes quicker than the "control" stack. Up to 25 percent faster drying time, as stated on the package? We got a 10 percent savings. But perhaps the greatest benefit was the effect made by the little nodules on the balls. The balls did seem to fluff, even soften the towels. The towels that were in the dryer with the Dryer Balls stacked significantly higher than the control stack. They were softer and fluffier with no chemicals. An important issue for allergy sufferers.
"Does It Work?" We give the Dryer Balls a "yes."
As for the energy savings, let's take an average family. If you dry six, 30 minute loads of laundry a week, that costs you about 100 dollars a year, just for the dryer. Cut that drying time by 10 percent, or down to 27 minutes, and you're saving 10 dollars a year, plus about 25 dollars a year in dryer sheets. For the year, that totals a 35 dollar savings per year. The balls last two years, so the highest value we can put on them is about 70 dollars over two years for an average family.