Make Your Own Dryer Softener Sheets
Winter is the time of year when the clothing coming out of our dryer sure seems to be filled with a lot more static. Maybe it’s because winter air is more dry, or maybe it’s that there are more fleeces and sweaters and other static-prone items in the washloads. Whatever it is, I don’t like my laundry crackling and snapping back at me when I take it out of the dryer.
So this year I decided to try a homemade solution for DIY dryer sheets that I’ve seen around for awhile now, but for some reason had never tested out for myself. I don’t know why, because it’s really easy and really cheap – two of my favorite things! Usually I’m all over it when it’s cheap and easy!
So why is it easy? All it takes to make your own homemade dryer sheets is to soak some washcloths in fabric softener, wring them out a bit, and then let them thoroughly dry. That’s it! Now you have some reusable dryer sheets that you can use many, many times before needing to resoak them again with fabric softener.
And why is it cheap? I used dollar store fabric softener and the most inexpensive white washcloths that I could find at Walmart. I only spent a few bucks and will be able to use these supplies over and over for many, many months (and more likely for a few years!) to get some fabric softening and anti-static help on laundry day.
I’ve been using my homemade dryer sheets for at least a couple months now and have been happy with their performance too. They do indeed seem to reduce the static.
The hardest part of using my homemade dryer sheets is remembering to toss them in the dryer ~
And that’s not the fault of the dryer sheet 🙂
This strategy is not as natural of an option as my homemade wool dryer balls – BUT – I very much like that they’re not noisy like dryer balls (they kind of bang around), and several readers had commented they had a hard time getting the dryer balls to felt even when they used 100% wool. So if you’re not opposed to store bought fabric softener and you want to save some money, this method might be just what you’re looking for.
Here’s how to do it:
Homemade Anti-Static Dryer Sheets
You Will Need:
- Fabric Softener
Note: I used new, plain white washcloths. However I’m sure this would work OK with some clean old washcloths you may already have around the house too.
Put your washcloths in a bowl and pour in enough fabric softener to soak them well. Let the washcloths sit for a few minutes in the fabric softener to make sure they have soaked up as much as they can.
Then squeeze or wring them out a bit (so that they are not drippy) and hang them somewhere to dry completely.
Once they are completely dry you can start using them the same way as you would any store bought dryer sheet. Just toss one into the dryer with a load of clothing.
You can resoak and dry your washcloths as needed when you feel the fabric softener power is wearing off. I have used mine for a little over 2 months now and still think they are going good so you should be able to get several months performance out of them before needing to re-saturate them.
One final note . . . I had some concerns when I started using these homemade dryer sheets that I might see spots on my clothing from fabric softener rubbing off or something. I’m happy to report that has not been a problem at all. No spots – just softening and anti-static help!
Bonus Idea: If you have fabric softener in the house, you might want to make your own wrinkle release spray too. The recipe uses only a few teaspoons of fabric softener and works great!
Bev, Thank you! so much for all your easier ways for laundry soaps-
I have done a full year now on your baking soda, washing soda Epsom salt. This is my favorite, thank you! the clothes are not stinky
Yes, I notice the homemade copycat Molly suds laundry soap recipe does a fine job of getting rid of odors. I’ve been faithfully using it too!
Beverly: I was doing laundry and was out of fabric softener, so I substituted hair conditioner and it worked great. I now buy cheap conditioner in the $ store to use.
Why not just dilute softener with a water (1:1), throw a few sponges in the mixture and when you’re ready to dry the clothes, squeeze the sponge out a bit and through it in the dryer? No waiting for the sponges to dry. Wonder if anyone has tried this technique.
Lisa I have been using sponges in a bottle with inexpensive hair conditioner. add small amount of water to fill container i like this method and can change to any smell or non smell
wouldn’t putting the softener in the wash/rinse be simpler?
That could be true Eve,but I find it easier to remember to toss a homemade sheet in the dryer.
Yes, but wouldn’t be saving any money or helping as much with static from dryer.
I have been using the hair conditioner/vinegar/water recipe for years now. In summer, clothes are out on the line; in winter, they hang in house to dry. However, some clothes end up stiff and wrinkled. Solution: I make cleaning cloths out of well-used towels, about 12″x12″ – cost: free. I wet the cloth, wring it out well, then pour a regular cap’s-worth of my homemade softener on it. Stiff clothes go in the dryer along with the damp cloth. There’s enough steam produced in 15 minutes of drying time to de-wrinkle and soften the entire load. Dead easy, and has really cut expenses for winter laundry! Thank you for your hard work and excellent blog!
Might be good to use some dark washcloths for dark clothes.
That’s a good thought as some light washcloths could potentially leave lint. I haven’t had any issues, but I used the really cheapo washcloths from the store too.