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What Really Happens If You Put Aluminum Foil Balls In
The Dryer
Although dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners impart a fresh smell, soft touch, and lack of static cling, they could be causing you more harm than good. However, distilled white vinegar can be used for that fresh smell, baking soda can be used for that soft touch, and aluminum foil balls can be used to get rid of static cling.
When pieces of laundry tumble around in the dryer, electrons are exchanged — making the pieces become negatively or positively charged — and once the cycle is over, the oppositely charged pieces stick to one another (static cling). However, aluminum foil balls help disrupt this process and speed up drying by discharging static buildup and keeping clothes separated.
To make your own at home, take about three or four square feet of aluminum foil, squeeze it into a ball between two and three inches in diameter, and smooth down bits that are sticking up. Most loads will require two or three balls to effectively combat static, and your DIY dryer ball should last for months.