Reusable Dryer Sheets

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.

reusable dryer sheets

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.

cut the fabric in a zig zag

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.

You only need 3 ingredients!

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?

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reusable dryer sheets

Thank you for sharing!
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61 thoughts on “Reusable Dryer Sheets”

  1. This is such an awesome idea, Michelle! I’ve tried those dryer balls and while they work great on the static, I really missed the pretty scents of fabric sheets. Martha may disagree but I LOVE when our clothes come out smelling like my favorite scents! So this is perfect for me! Pinning! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. I know what you mean! I’ve read that people put essential oils on their dryer balls, but I’ve just never tried it. It seems to work better for me this way. Thank you for pinning! I’m so glad this works for you! 🙂

  2. MICHELLE!! I am far too excited about this. ? This is an amazing recipe you’ve just shared. I guarantee you I will be making these in the very near future. You are a lifesaver!

    In all seriousness, I’ve been trying to reduce the chemical load in our home more and more. Our cleaning sprays and wipes, various household stuff, all nontoxic. You make extremely valid points about just how easily the chemicals spread, onto us and our environment.

    Amazing, amazing post Michelle! Easily one of my favorites from you! I’ll get some of those wool balls too. Thank you so much for writing this! ♥️ Love you my friend. You’re the best!

    1. Lol!! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets excited over things like this. 😀
      It’s so hard to believe some of the ingredients they put in cleaning products. I can’t even pronounce some of those words!
      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Love and hugs to you!

  3. Ohhh I love Martha Stewart 🙂 I never thought of the dryer sheets having such chemicals. Thanks for sharing this, I will look into making this, it’s really so simple.

  4. They sound great! We had to stop using dryer sheets because I have really sensitive skin and the stuff they put in them was really started to irritate it. But these ones sound really simple and a lot better for sensitive skin x


  5. This is great idea, Michelle. I honestly did not know that the dryer sheets have so much toxic chemicals. I will certaiy try your method. As a matter of fact I use to make my fabric softner with vinegar baking soda and essential oil. The clothes use to be fresh and soft. Much better than the softner in the stores.

    1. Thank you! Making your own laundry products is great for when you’re sensitive to certain smells. You can add just a little bit of scent with essential oils or just leave them out. 🙂

  6. I love this idea. I don’t have a dryer. But i have been using dryer sheets for the insides of my boxing gloves. To help absorb the sweat and smell and give it a nicer fresher smell.
    However, i might hust be giving this a try soon.
    Thank you once again Michelle for inspiring ideas 🙂

  7. A practical and environmentally friendly post. You always have the best solutions. I still plan to make my powdered soap, now I will have to make this one as well.

  8. I love the idea of making your own dryer sheets especially when you really don’t want to be in the stores all the time.

    It is also a great way to save money.

  9. Wow, I never thought about that! That clean clothes shouldn’t smell at all. Good point Martha! I’ve heard again and again that essential oils can be very irritating to the skin. Do you find you have any problems when using them with laundry?

    1. So far I haven’t had any issues. As long as they are diluted they should be fine for most people. I would never put undiluted oils directly on my skin, though. They can definitely cause irritation.

  10. You’ve just given me another idea of how to incorporate more cotton crochet into daily living! I’m going to use crocheted cotton dishcloths for scented dryer sheets. I’m going to share this idea with my friends. Love your blog!

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