You Can Use WHAT?! Instead of Dryer Sheets?

Use It Again

This tip is one that will depend a lot on how you prefer your clothes as to whether it makes sense for you. personally, I find that even after cutting a dryer sheet in half and using it once, I can use it a second time and still have my clothes come out fine (I don’t like my clothes overly soft although i do like them static free). An important thing to remember is that if your clothes come out with a lot of static cling without a dryer sheet, you are probably drying your clothes too long (and wasting energy) When I don’t over-dry clothes, the dryer sheet works fine a second time, but not nearly as well when I accidentally over-dry them. Experiment a few times and you will quickly be able to determine how many times you can use a dryer sheet and still be satisfied with its effectiveness.

Removing Deodorant from Clothes

Some people claim that used dryer sheets are an effective way to remove the white deodorant dust that sometimes sticks to your close while you are dressing. Lightly swipe the sheet over any area of the clothes that has the white deodorant residue, and the dryer sheet should pick it right off the clothes.

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What Happens if I Dont Use Dryer Sheets?

Without dryer sheets, certain types of fabric will

Without dryer sheets, certain types of fabric will become stiff. Why does this happen? The short answer is that the cloth fibers will rearrange themselves when dried without being disturbed. As a result, they become more rigid; this makes them feel coarser.

The buildup of soap can also make your clothes stiff. Ultimately, what happens is that they get stuck within the cloth fibers—a normal rinse (even with the machine) will not be enough to get all of it out. For this reason, you should always heed the instructions when adding laundry detergent. Remember, less is more in some cases.

Static charges can also build up in the machine. This occurs as a result of the fabrics rubbing against each other in the dryer (mainly due to the tumbling action). The static cling is particularly worse during the winter months when the humidity in the air is low. In contrast, it tends to be a little better in the summer.

Things to Remember When Using Dryer Sheets

As mentioned earlier, it’s important that you take out the dryer sheets after every use. If you don’t, the lint from the sheets will continue to scatter throughout the machine. Not only will your laundry be covered with lint, but the residue can clog the dryer filter, which can be a fire hazard.

Even if you to take out the sheets, it’s good practice to clean the lint filter once in a while. Simply use a soft-bristle brush and a little bit of detergent to clean the screen. Occasionally, the softener sheets can get stuck in the filter. For this reason, be sure to check it every time before you use the dryer.

Rarely, dryer sheets can cause skin irritation (they contain a myriad of chemicals after all). Stop using them immediately if you experience any itchiness. In severe cases, it can lead to swelling and hives.

Sewing hacks using a dryer sheet

18. Dryer sheets make an ideal embroidery backing

If you embroider, you’ll know how important backing is for both the process and the results. If you’re out of backing or have some leftover dryer sheets to use, they will make a great substitute for your usual material.

Place behind your embroidering ring, pin, and stitch as normal.

19. How to prevent your thread from tangling

A dryer sheet makes sewing easier.
A dryer sheet makes sewing easier.

There’s nothing more frustrating than a knotted thread, preventing you to pull the needle through your work.

To prevent such inconveniences, a great tip is to pass your needle and thread through a dryer sheet before you start sewing. It sounds bizarre, but a dryer sheet will condition the thread slightly to prevent it from knotting.

Get Rid of Embarrassing Static Cling

​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

I don’t know which is worse, socks or panties stuck to your clothes, or your pants creeping up and clinging to your calf.

If you often get caught with your socks clinging to your shirt, use fabric softener or a dryer sheet in the laundry room to reduce static cling.

If it is the latter, one way to remove static cling quickly is to rub a dryer sheet directly onto your legs, socks, or tights to get rid of static cling. No more riding up.

Tame Flyaway Hair

Brook Rieman / Getty Images

Keep a few dryer sheets in your desk or purse to calm flyaway hair. Just rub the sheet over your hair to smooth it out. Opt for an unscented variety if you don’t want it to compete with your perfume.

*Affiliate Disclosure

This blog contains affiliate links.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Natural Dryer Sheets and Other Alternatives

You’ve decided to get rid of your standard dryer sheets and try something else. But again, there’s a cornucopia of choices, including reusable sheets, fabric softeners, dryer balls and gentler detergents. Even a kitchen staple — vinegar — makes the list.

Before choosing which option is right for you, think first about what you’re trying to accomplish. Remember, dryer sheets offer three main advantages: eliminating static, softening clothes and adding a fragrance. If you want the first two but not the last, several companies already make fragrance-free dryer sheets aimed at people with allergies or other skin conditions.

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If you want an eco-friendly option, some companies offer products labeled as “natural,” but this could mean any variety of things. The government doesn’t regulate these claims, so there is no guarantee that these products are any different from others. Even natural products won’t satisfy everyone, though, and environmentally-conscious consumers might also object to disposable single-use dryer sheets and instead prefer a reusable option. Here are some popular choices:

The makers of dryer balls claim that these rubbery orbs not only soften clothes and stop static, but also reduce drying time. Balled-up aluminum foil and tennis balls have been suggested as frugal — albeit less-effective — alternatives.

Reusable sheets are often a piece of specially knitted polyester that has no or few chemicals or fragrances. Some stores also sell scented sachet bags, and you may find other reusable options.

You can create your own homemade sheets by soaking squares of cloth in fabric softener or even hair conditioner. However, these probably won’t work as well as commercial sheets.

Some people prefer to pour a bit of white vinegar onto their clothes during the washing machine’s rinse cycle. As with fabric softener, vinegar can soften clothes, and it has a mild anti-static effect. As a bonus, vinegar works well to get rid of mildew.

Whatever alternative you use to dryer sheets in the washer or dryer might work on your clothes, it likely won’t have as many interesting off-label uses as standard dryer sheets do. We cover some of the best in the next section.

On the Line

If you don’t want to use dryer sheets but still want to add a fresh fragrance to your laundry, try adding a few drops of lavender or your favorite essential oil during the washer’s spin cycle or as you throw the clothes into the dryer. But take caution, because some oils can irritate the skin.

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How to Choose the Best Dryer Sheets

When shopping for the best dryer sheets for your home, look at these important details.

What’s the purpose of the dryer sheets? In general, it should be to soften clothes, eliminate static and wrinkles. But some also have properties that eliminate odors or add a scent. Others are ideal for removing pet hair, and others are great for people with allergies. First, determine what you need the sheets for, then get to shopping!

We always recommend prioritizing eco-friendly products. We have many environmentally-friendly dryer sheets on this list which use plant-based ingredients and essential oils to scent their products. Also — look for dryer sheets that are reusable or compostable so that you aren’t depositing them back into the environment. However, we understand that some of the most effective sheets aren’t eco-friendly. So if you need to bust out bad odors or as much static as possible, you might have to sacrifice the eco-friendliness of your dryer sheets.

If you have sensitive skin, asthma or allergies, look for a hypoallergenic and unscented dryer sheet option. The fragrance oils and chemicals in certain dryer sheets can flare up these issues, especially if you have asthma. They can also make your fresh new load of laundry super uncomfortable.

When shopping for dryer sheets, look at the cost per sheet to know what you’re getting. In general, eco friendly or natural dryer sheets will be slightly more expensive. But you’re getting good value for money because you’re paying for natural and sustainable dryer sheets. However, if you’re on a budget, there are lots of options on our list that will suit you.

Lastly, consider the fragrance. Some are unscented, some are naturally scented naturally while others use fragrance oils. If you have allergies or asthma, we recommend choosing an unscented option. But if you love scented laundry, you’ve come to the right place because we have lots of options!

What are Dryer Sheets Made Out Of?

Dryer sheets are often made out of polyester material, though it differs from brand to brand. Despite being thin, they are covered with a cocktail of chemicals. More specifically, they contain various softening agents; these surfactants have two different sides—one that grabs ahold of the fabric. In some cases, the sheets also contain fragrances; this is another reason why many people choose to use them—they want their laundry to smell fresh.

How do I use dryer sheets?

Regardless of what type you have in your home, you can use dryer sheets with both gas or electric dryers. Start by transferring your load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, then add a fresh dryer sheet to the top of the pile, before starting the dryer cycle. Some larger loads may call for two sheets, but it’s always best to reference the product packaging for specific recommendations before use. Be mindful that laundry needs to tumble freely to dry properly, so you should always avoid overloading it for the best results. Dryer sheets can more easily get stuck in one place if laundry is crowded, potentially melting concentrated softener onto your clothes and leaving behind messy stains. When unloading, be sure to always take the used dryer sheet out of the dryer.

Things You’ll Need

Using Liquid Fabric Softener

  • 1 cup (240 mL) of fabric softener
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Air tight container
  • Clothesline or drying rack

Trying Vinegar and Essential Oil

  • 12 cup (120 mL) of white vinegar
  • 8 to 10 of drops essential oil
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Air tight container

Combining Hair Conditioner and Vinegar

  • 34 cup (180 mL) of hair conditioner
  • 14 cup (59 mL) of white vinegar
  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cotton fabric
  • Scissors
  • Air tight container
  • Clothesline or drying rack

Personal uses for dryer sheets

23. How to remove sand from the beach

There’s nothing like a warm, summer‘s day spent at the beach. Sand is so silky soft when it’s dry. When it’s wet, however, it’s a different story.

Remove sand that’s stuck on your body by dusting yourself over with a dryer sheet. It’s quick, easy and will get you feeling comfortable enough to enjoy the sun again in no time.

24. Use a dryer sheet as a DIY insect repellent

It’s rumoured insects can’t stand the ingredients in dryer sheets. This is good news for us humans, especially over those Summer holidays.

Simply pop a dryer sheet in your pocket to keep bugs away.

25. Soften your feet at home using a dryer sheet

Silky soft!
Silky soft!

This list ends with the most unusual of uses for dryer sheets – getting silky soft feet.

Soak your feet in a warm bath, then rub with a used fabric softener sheet. The softened and conditioned material will leave feet feeling smooth and smelling great.

Weird, huh?

We’ve gone from never using dryer sheets to running out. I think I might buy some more! Do you have any unusual uses for dryer sheets you’d like to share?

Static Cling is Not Your Friend

I actually really like my dryer sheets and can always tell right away when I’ve forgotten to add one in. Static cling when you’re trying to fold a load of laundry quickly is not your friend. I use a brand that’s natural, biodegradable, healthier, safer, and smells great, but it’s still nice to know there’s another option out there for when I run out. Plus it’s just neat to do little experiments and try stuff out!

You start out with 2-3 sheets of aluminium foil (*update: The sheets were about a foot long each, although I don’t think exact size matters*) and you ball them up together.

Then you toss it into your dryer along with your clothes! That’s it!

The ball came out looking a little smoother afterwards from bumping around in there, but other than that, no real visible change.

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