Dryer sheets leave our clothes smelling so good, but did you know they’re full of toxins? Make your own reusable dryer sheets for non-toxic, all-natural great-smelling laundry.
To me, clean laundry has a “clean” smell. Which is why I love the smell of Gain laundry detergent and dryer sheets. It softens my clothes and makes them smell amazing.
However, according to Martha Stewart, clean doesn’t have a smell. In fact, if your clothes are clean they shouldn’t have a smell at all.
The “smell” in most commercial cleaning products is actually an artificial scent that contains toxic substances. These can harm your health as well as pollute the air inside your home.
I want my clothes to smell good, yet I also want to stay healthy.
What’s a girl to do?
Make her own reusable dryer sheets, of course!
How Commercial Dryer Sheets Work
Commercial dryer sheets are covered in a thin layer of electrostatically conductive lubricant to reduce static electricity and soften clothes. The lubricant is released from the dryer and goes into the clothes under the heat when they are tumbled during a drying cycle.
Have you ever noticed that when you take the dryer sheet out of the dryer that they seem super thin and frail? That’s because the chemical has removed itself from the sheet and made its way inside your clothing. Not only is the chemical now inside your clothes, but it’s also released into the environment along with the fragrance.
The toxic chemicals in the lubricant is an indoor air pollutant and can cause long-term health problems. These include asthma, hormone disruption, heart disease, cancer, congestion, nausea, eye irritation, and headaches. It also makes contact with your skin whenever you wear clothes, dry off with a towel, or sleep on sheets.
Are reusable dryer sheets sounding better to you now?
How to make reusable dryer sheets
The best way to make sure your cleaning products are 100% non-toxic and safe is to make them yourself. While I make my own laundry detergent and laundry scent booster, static was still an issue. I decided to try out my own reusable dryer sheets to see how they would work on cutting out the static.
I couldn’t believe how well it worked! Not only was the static gone, but our laundry felt even softer!
What you need:
- 1 ½ cup white vinegar
- ½ cup distilled water (or boiled water that has been cooled)
- 20 drops of essential oils
- Cloth sheets
- Airtight container (Tupperware, mason jar, etc.)
For the cloth sheets, you can use cloth baby wipes, old t-shirts, old baby blanket, washcloths, or anything you have on hand. I use washcloths for mine.
The essential oils I use for my reusable dryer sheets are lavender and eucalyptus. Since I already use that for my homemade laundry scent booster, I didn’t want to mix scents. (You can see other scent combos with that recipe.)
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What you do:
1. In an airtight container, mix together the vinegar and water, then add 20 drops of your favorite essential oils.
2. Cut your cloth similar in size to a regular dryer sheet, or 5″x7″ is a good size. You want to make sure to cut it with pinking shears or at least cut it in a zigzag shape. This prevents the cloth from fraying over time. I used an old washcloth for mine and just cut them in half. You can also use a full-size washcloth.
3. Soak your cloths in the mixture for about an hour before using.
To use: Ring out the dryer sheet before tossing in the dryer. You want it to be saturated, but not dripping wet. Toss one in the dryer with your freshly washed load of clothes. When it’s done, put it back in the container to be reused later.
How long do reusable dryer sheets last?
Since I use a washcloth, they last a really long time. The only problem is when the edges begin to fray. These can be cut off each time, but it can still become a pain after a while.
How long does the mixture last?
This completely depends on how many loads of laundry you do a month and how big your cloth is. For example, for a family of four using a full-size washcloth, more mixture may need to be added each month. It lasts longer for us because we are a family of three using a smaller size washcloth.
More natural tips for removing static
Keep in mind that the amount of static you get in your laundry depends on several things. The hardness of your water and the humidity where you live, for example. If you experience a lot of static, here are some more natural ideas for you to dry. It’s also safe to combine these with the reusable dryer sheets.
1. Wool dryer balls: These can be added to the dryer with the dryer sheet to prevent static. Wool dryer balls also help soften the laundry and speed up drying time.
2. Aluminum foil: Crumple up a piece of aluminum foil into a ball and add it to the dryer to reduce static.
3. Dry halfway: Clothes that have synthetic fabrics attract a lot of static. Try drying them until they still feel a bit damp, then hang them to finish drying. Not only does this reduce static, but it also reduces wrinkles.
Overall, reusable dryer sheets are easy to make and save you a lot of money every year. They are chemical-free so they are safe to use for anyone. Keep yourself and your family healthy and save money by making your own dryer sheets!
Have you ever made your own reusable dryer sheets? What’s your favorite essential oil to use for homemade cleaning products?