I'm always skeptical of “hacks” I see on the internet. Sometimes techniques touted as life hacks can be – well… hacky! On the flip side, we've tested a few hacks here on Curbly before with surprising success. I've seen these two laundry hacks pass through my media feeds a few times, and decided to finally give in and try them out myself. Both are supposed to optimize your dryer. Do they work? Let's find out!
Dryer Hack #1: Replace dryer sheets with rolled up aluminum foil
THE THEORY: You may have seen this one. It's usually accompanied by words like, “Never use a dryer sheet again!” Theoretically, you put a rolled up ball of aluminum foil in the dryer instead of using a dryer sheet, and then you can say good-bye to static cling! Our first tip of these two laundry hacks is also supposed to save money, as when you've finished a load in the dryer, you can save the aluminum foil ball for next time. I've been skeptical, but decided to check it out, because, 1. static cling is a real thing here in the dry Midwest, and 2. I love not having to spend money, and dryer sheets have always felt like a waste.
THE RESULT: You guys – it works! I rolled up two balls of aluminum foil, and popped them in the dryer with my wet clothes. The moment the load was done, I stuck my hands in the dryer immediately, listening out for that teeny “pop” sounds that accompanies static electricity. Nothing. The entire time the clean laundry was in motion, from dryer to basket, basket to folding – not a zap. You better believe I'm not buying dryer sheets again.
Dryer Hack #2: Use tennis balls to evenly dry bulky items
THE THEORY: The second of these laundry hacks circulates a little less frequently on Pinterest, but still makes the rounds. The idea is that if you're trying to dry bulky items like blankets, bedding, curtains, etc., you put a tennis ball (or two) in the dryer with them and the tennis ball will push the laundry around, allowing cramped or folded spaces access to warm air. Seems legit, but I wanted to find out for myself.
THE RESULT: I put a few towels and a quilt from my bed through a wash cycle, then into the dryer. I've washed this quilt several times before, and after each drying cycle, it always ends up with a couple of damp patches. Typically I have to drape it over a drying rack to fully air it out. Not this time, though! Two tennis balls in with my load of laundry did the trick. While it was a little unnerving at first hearing the “thud” of the tennis balls against the side of my dryer, no harm was done to the machine, and my quilt came out drier than ever.
Do you try hacks from the internet? I'm pleased that both of these laundry hacks worked out so well. What's the weirdest hack you've ever tried? Let me know in the comments.