I've made the felted wool yarn and tin foil dryer balls. Both have failed for me, and here's why.
First, the felted wool dryer balls that I first posted
about in January worked for nine months. Then the inevitable pills that formed on them started coming off on my clothes. What are all these little brown balls on my clothes? Pieces of the dryer balls. Can't have that! It's just making more work for me.
I did two sets of these felted yarn balls, all from 100% wool yarn. After the first set pilled almost immediately, I bought more expensive yarn online that was supposed to have longer fibers to eliminate pilling. They pilled just as much as the cheaper wool yarn from Joann's. For the price of the yarn and the amount of work required to do the felting, these are not worth making for their nine-month lifespan in my not so humble opinion.
As for the tin foil balls, they didn't make it through a day.
First, they have tiny sharp edges all over them. No matter how much I tried smoothing them out, they had these sharp spots that I fear would damage fabric in the long run. It just can't be good to have all these tiny points scratching at your clothes wash after wash. I decided to try running the foil balls through with a big load of towels to see if that process would smooth out the edges. That led to the second problem. They were freakin' noisy! That surprised me. How much noise can tin foil make? As it turned out, enough to have me racing back to the dryer to stop the racket on that first try.
This whole process led me to researching the need for laundry softeners in general. The only reason I use softeners is to eliminate static cling. According to the information I read, static cling is caused by over drying. If I don't leave the clothes in the dryer too long, I don't have static cling. That's what I've been doing lately with great success. Off to remove those dryer ball pins from my boards.