Let’s talk about dryer sheets. Apparently, they’re pretty terrible little creations. They are full of chemicals that are known to cause cancer, and they are really hard on your dryer. Innocently tossing them in with your clean clothes and linens could actually make you and your family sick. Plus, they coat your lint trap with a film that makes it harder for air to pass through, and puts extra strain on the motor, causing your drying to wear out sooner. But I love the scent of fresh laundry as much as the next person, so what’s a gal to do?
Don’t worry! I’ve found a solution so easy that it will make you wonder why you’ve been putting it off: Simply, make your own dryer sheets. This may sound like a lot more work than tossing a box of tried-and-true dryer sheets into your cart, but I promise it’s not. DIY dryer sheets only require about 5 minutes and 4 items, most of which you probably already have on hand. Oh, and did I mention that they’re reusable? So, let’s get started!
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Materials for DIY Dryer Sheets:
Glass container that will seal in moisture (like this one)
Cotton fabric (I used super absorbent cleaning clothes from the dollar store, similar to these. But you can use any cotton fabric like old t-shirt scraps or dish towels)
½ cup white vinegar
10-12 drops Essential oils (I used 8 drops of sweet orange and 4 drops of lemongrass, but I’ve heard that lavender and eucalyptus work well together too)
Directions for DIY Dryer Sheets:
- Cut your fabric into pieces that will fit in your container. I cut my cleaning clothes into 6 rectangles, so they were big enough to absorb a good amount of the mixture that you’re about to make.
- Mix together the vinegar and essential oils of your choice in your glass container. Add your cotton fabric to the jar and let it absorb the vinegar mixture. Shake the jar some if you need to.
- When you’re ready to use one, squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and toss it in the dryer with your laundry. When your laundry is done drying, just put your dryer sheet back in the container and let it re-soak.
Tips and Tricks for your DIY dryer sheets:
- You may need to double the mixture if your fabric absorbs all of the liquid without saturating each of your fabric sheets. (I definitely had to do this!)
- If you find that your fabric isn’t very absorbent, toss in 2-3 dryer sheets at a time.
- When choosing your cloth, consider how much it will fray if you don’t sew the edges. If the fraying will bother you, and you don’t want so sew the edges, opt for reusable cleaning cloths or wipes.
- Experiment with different essential oils until you find a blend that works for you. There are so many essential oils that have aromatherapy benefits so keep that in mind while you’re trying out different oils.
Making these DIY dryer sheets was so easy that I’m thinking it may be worth trying to make my own laundry soap too! However, replacing my laundry detergent is a bigger commitment. I’m just imagining all those sweaty socks and greasy jeans that my husband contributes to the laundry… So, it may be a while before I find a natural alternative that is just as tough on those extra dirty loads! Stay tuned for that post!
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your experience with these DIY dryer sheets! What fabric did you use? What essential oils did you use? Let me know in the comments!
Update 10/15/17: It’s been about 2 months since I’ve started using these all natural dryer sheets, and I still love them! However, I’ve learned a few things after using them in many loads of laundry. Here we go:
- Athletic fabrics need extra vinegar mixture, so don’t wring out too much moisture when using them in loads that have spandex-y type materials.
- Large loads take two dryer sheets. They just do. I’ve found that they need the extra anti-static effect of the vinegar, and using one nearly-soaked dryer sheet doesn’t work as well as two wet ones.
- It’s almost time for me to remake my vinegar mixture, so I would say it lasts about 2 1/2 months. This time around, I’ll be making a double (or maybe even triple) batch, just because I can! That way I don’t have to make anymore for 5-7 months. Woo!