Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets: What Are the Differences?

People use dry sheets to add some fragrance, soften the clothes, and reduce static cling. These dry sheets are cheap and safe to use. If we talk about dryer balls, these balls are considered as a chemical-free alternative to dryer sheets. These balls not only soften the clothes but also reduce the drying time.

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If you are looking for a brief difference between dryer balls and dryer sheets with pros and cons, here is everything you need to know about them Let’s have a look:

How Dryer Sheets Work

Dryer sheets have three primary purposes, soften clothes, reduce static cling, and add a fresh fragrance to each load.

These are small and rectangular sheets made of polyester and are coated with specially formulated chemicals and compounds. These chemicals and compounds become activated by the hot air or friction with the laundry. Once these activated, they release those chemicals onto the clothes to start working their magic.

Dryer sheets are effortless to use. You have to place one layer into the dryer before starting the cycle. Moreover, these sheets are very affordable.

Soften Clothes

The main ingredient in dryer sheets is a surfactant. These are compounds that lower the surface tension between two liquids, a liquid and a solid or a liquid and a gas. In the case of dryer sheets, this surfactant contains both a fatty molecule.

When you turn on your dryer, the fatty molecule activates and proceeds to coat your clothes throughout the dry cycle. Moreover, it also adds a smooth and soft feeling to the touch.

Static Cling

To understand how dryer sheets eliminate static cling, it is essential to realize that how static cling happens in the first place. It is reported that when clothing rubs together in the dryer, the electrons move from one item to another. When this happens, clothes stick together due to opposite charges.

Dryer sheets have the ability to remove static cling by releasing the ions that are stored in the surfactant. Those ions equalize the imbalance of electrons and prevent clothes from sticking together.


Dryer sheets are also scented with beautiful aromas that make your clothes smell attractive, friendly, and fresh. However, it is essential to note that the chemicals added to dryer sheets for aroma are hazardous to your health as they are linked to dermatitis, asthma, and migraines. On the other hand, some articles refuse this claim and consider it as safe.

How Do Dryer Balls work?

Dryer balls are made out of plastic or wool. Unlike dryer sheets, dryer balls do not contain any added compounds or ions. These balls are marketed as a chemical-free alternative to dryer sheets.

However, dryer balls have three primary purposes; reduce drying time, limit static cling, and soften clothes.

Reduce Drying Time

Dryer balls are used to reduce drying time by enhancing the effect of tumbling dryers create that. As they bounce around in the dryer’s chamber, they create more separation that allows the air to circulate more comfortable and dry clothes faster.

Dryer balls have a great ability to reduce the time it takes for clothes to dry. In this way, you can save your gas and electricity over time.

Static Cling

Although dryer balls do not eliminate static cling, they are known as best to reduce the amount of static. They create separation between clothing items to decrease overall friction and fewer opportunities to create static. Moreover, dryer balls absorb and hold onto moisture. The moisture helps to elevate humidity, which limits the chances of static.

To enhance this effect, it is suggested to spray wool dryer balls with water before starting the cycle. As wool is denser than most materials, so it will hold onto that moisture.

Soften Clothes

Dryer balls are considered as best to soften the clothes. They don’t smear a fatty molecule all over the clothes. However, they agitate the fibers and make it fluffy as they tumble along with the load.

Dryer balls result from the clothes into fluffy clothes as they dry. Furthermore, it also contributes to reducing static, softening clothes, and reducing wrinkles. Dryer balls present no health risks as there is no addition of harmful substances in it.


Interesting related article: “How to make your laundry energy efficient.”