Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Day Sixty-Four - Great Balls of Fire

Using Laundry Balls In Lieu of Fabric Softener

OK, it's been about a week and I'm officially over my maniacal rant about the packing nuts who sent me my dryer balls. I've been using them faithfully (once I was able to steal them back from the kids) and they really seem to work.

I have definitely seen a decrease in drying time. I'd say a reduction of about 15 minutes which reduces my dryer time to under an hour for a full load. I have absolutely no static -- but I think that may only be a seasonal thing anyhow. I don't really notice a big difference in softness, but some 100% cotton items do feel a bit more stiff -- kind of like they had been line-dried. It doesn't bother me in the least. I like crunchy underpants. TMI?
In addition to the energy savings, I'm obviously saving on water pollution, by not increasing the amount of chemicals I put in the laundry water. Of course, since I switched to Natural Laundry Agents, that hasn't been too big of a concern for me. Nonetheless, it's still contributing to slightly cleaner grey water for our sewage facility to process.
OK, my favorite part of the post -- the math calculations -- OMG I am such a nerd. Let's see now, if an average load of laundry usually takes 1.25 hours and it has been cut to only 1 hour, that's a savings of 20%.
Our model dryer runs at 3,000 watts x 1.25 hours per day x 260 days per year = 975 kWh/yr
But with same dryer using balls, we get 3,000 x 1 x 260 = 780 kWh / yr
That's a savings of 195 kWh per year. At my current rate of +- $0.10 / kWh, that's a dollar savings of $19.50. Plus I'm also saving the cost of fabric softener too!
Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5
Once I was able to convince the kids they weren't new playthings for them, it was easy. Simply toss them in the dryer and let them do their thing. They don't make very much noise -- not as loud as drying sneakers in there -- so other than the shorter drying time, there's really not much difference.


Felix said...

Oh! I see you have eliminated fabric softener after all. I guess you can discard my last comment. This seems like a good solution, especially since it cuts down dryer time and electricity usage. Kudos! -Simplify-Your-Life guy :)

Nadine said...

I have some dryer balls like these (but a different brand) that are absolutely worthless. They didn't reduce the static one iota. But I recently started adding vinegar to the rinse cycle and that has helped a lot. No more dryer sheets or fabric softner! And the vinegar kills bacteria. Win, win.