Turns out, foil has more uses than wrapping baked potatoes or lining your baking sheets. Indeed, you may have heard of some people who use aluminum foil balls in their dryers.
It’s a cleaning trick that reduces static electricity and contains no dangerous chemicals – goodbye dryer sheets! To do this, simply create two or three balls of aluminum foil about 8 to 10 centimeters in diameter and throw them with your laundry. Although aluminum foil balls in the dryer help reduce static electricity, there are some things you need to know to protect your clothes.
A little reminder about static electricity.
While we’re all familiar with the unpleasant feeling of fabrics sticking to the body, let’s take a closer look at how static builds up during the drying cycle.
During the drying cycle, the fabrics are spun and mixed, causing them to rub against each other and transfer electrons. This creates static electricity. Conductors, such as foil balls, pull electrons away from the tissues, reducing the buildup of static electricity.
Aluminum foil is an excellent conductor. And conductors allow charged particles to pass through them easily. This is why aluminum foil is an ideal material to allow electrons from tissues to transfer onto it. The result ? Less static electricity!
Is aluminum foil suitable for the dryer?
The main concern with using a clothes dryer is the potential threat of fire. Aluminum foil is very unlikely to catch fire in the dryer. Its melting point is 660 degrees Celsius, which means it can withstand extremely high heat. If you’re concerned about using sheet metal in your dryer, it’s best to check the manufacturer’s user manual.
Advantages and disadvantages of using aluminum balls.
No solution is perfect. Below are the pros and cons of aluminum dryer balls.
Here are 4 reasons to put aluminum foil in the dryer
- No harsh chemicals : Unlike commercial dryer sheets which contain chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment, aluminum foil is fortunately less toxic. Simple science (rather than harsh chemicals) enables this metallic conductor to reduce static electricity buildup in laundry loads.
- It’s economical : you can use as many aluminum balls in your dryer without breaking the bank.
- Recyclables: Aluminum foil is fully recyclable. When you are finished, all you have to do is throw it in the bin provided for this purpose. Did you know that the aluminum recycling process uses 95% less energy than making a new aluminum sheet? This is an excellent reason not to throw aluminum in the trash!
- Easy to do: Unlike other cheats online, this solution is really simple and easy. It only takes a minute or two to make your aluminum dryer balls, and each one should last you several months.
Disadvantages of aluminum balls.
- A bit noisy: if you don’t mind the occasional sound of metal dryer balls, that’s no problem.
- Does not smell the freshness of daisies: Unfortunately, your laundry won’t smell like a spring meadow.
- Abrasive: Aluminum foil can be abrasive when rubbed against clothing. It is not recommended to use it with clothes likely to snag, such as knitwear or delicate clothes. Watch out for loose pieces of foil in the dryer!
- Does not act as a fabric softener: These metal dryer balls only reduce static electricity.
How to use aluminum balls in the dryer?
Now that we know how aluminum reduces static electricity in your laundry, let’s see some tips for getting the most out of this trick.
Make several aluminum balls :
You need more than one. Most laundry loads work well with two or three aluminum scoops. This reduces static electricity evenly across all items.
Make them 10 to 15 cm wide :
Make each ball of aluminum foil about 8 to 10 centimeters in diameter.
Roll them up tight :
It is important to squeeze the foil tightly to form a tight, smooth sphere. This prevents clothes from snagging.
Do not leave synthetic and delicate fabrics in the dryer :
Synthetic fabrics (like sportswear) tend to build up a lot of static electricity in the dryer. It is best to air dry these items. Also, avoid adding delicate clothes to the drying cycle, in case the foil ball catches on the fabric.
Replace them periodically :
Keep an eye on your DIY dryer balls and replace them every few months if necessary.