Disaster! Nothing is more annoying than running around trying to do all your weekly chores and realizing you are missing a crucial item, dryer sheets.
As if the laundry wasn’t irritating enough. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other options out there.
If you are looking to save money, go for a more natural option, or you are just out of them, there plenty of alternatives you should consider.
Several benefits can be derived from using your method of emulating dryer sheets. Not only does it include economic and environmental factors, but it can also be utilized to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals on a daily basis.
There is a variety of methods that can be easily implemented, such as wool or aluminum balls to using more accessible compounds like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. These produce similar, if not better, results.
There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.
What Do Dryer Sheets Do
These innocuous white sheets we stick into our dryers may appear to be a largely insignificant part of our arduous laundry routine. However, even those who religiously use dryer sheets often don’t fully understand their various valuable functions.
Not only will they improve the freshness of your newly dried clothes, but they offer a reduction in the risk of dryer-related fires.
The most appreciated purpose of dryer sheets is to act like liquid fabric softener. The miniature sheets pack a punch when it comes to effectiveness.
One sheet can easily take on one whole load of washing, as they are soaked in a concentrated serum. As a result, the synthetic material begins to melt and coat your clothes during a hot cycle, ultimately making your clothes feel cozy and soft.
Another more obvious benefit is that they make your clothes smell great. They are also soaked in artificial fragrances or essential oils, which is a fantastic benefit to a fresh load of washing.
Dryer sheets’ static reduction qualities are hugely significant and one of their most undervalued benefits. This means your clothes don’t stick together once the load is finished.
It also prevents the build-up of lint which can be time-consuming to remove.
Beyond sticky cloths, static electricity reduction can help prevent the risk of dryer fires. A Build up of highly flammable lint can cause significant concern.
They are combined with static sparks, creating a highly combustible environment. An average of 3000 homes per year report a dryer as the source of a fire, so it is definitely worth your concern.
Due to the chemical composition of the sheets, they make superb cleaners for day-to-day tasks around your home. They are sent combined with their ability to stick to dust particles means that they are excellent at brightening up your home.
Why use an Alternative
Dryer sheets may seem like the perfect product. With multiple uses and benefits, it appears they are ideally suited to every home’s needs.
But, there are some potential issues that should be reviewed considering the more natural and existing alternatives.
There has been some research that suggests the chemical composition of the average dryer sheets contains potentially harmful material. It is soaked in chemicals such as alcohol ethoxylates, fragrance oils, and benzyl-acetate.
These synthetic compounds are unnatural and have been said to cause issues and irritation, particularly to those with sensitive skin. Environment implications have also moved some people away from dryer sheets.
They are a single-use product generally made with non-organic material and do not biodegrade quickly. An alternative method can give you peace of mind that you are not contributing harmful material to the environment.
Although they may seem reasonably inexpensive, using dryer sheets for every laundry cycle can be very costly over time. That is why some favor using more sustainable alternatives that can be used repeatedly or with fewer resources.
Make Your Own
Some of the best results can come from homemade alternatives, which you can tailor precisely to your needs. That is why making your dryer sheets can be a great option, allowing you to fine-tune your method and use only the fragrances and compounds you wish.
There is also the added benefit of making the sheets out of old garments that would have otherwise been wasted. The method is:
- Cut or gather cloths of approximately the same dimensions and put them in a large container.
- Pour a cup of distilled white vinegar, add a few drops of your preferred essential oil, and mix thoroughly.
- Add the liquid to the container and mix them all. Make sure every piece of clothes gets coated in the solution.
- Now leave to rest for 15 minutes and pour out the residual fluid.
- Store your damp sheets in an air-tight container to stop the fluid from evaporating, and now you are ready to add one to your next load!
One of the best methods for tackling static electricity issues in your dryer is to use aluminum foil. This method will help prevent clothes from sticking together, massively increasing the drying speed.
This is a useful last-minute option because almost all of us have kitchen foil in our homes. The aluminium foil ball can also be used repeatedly, so there are some excellent environmental benefits to having this technique ready to go.
The method is straightforward:
- Unroll a substantial strip of foil around 3 feet (1 meter)
- Scrunch the foil into itself and try to shape it into a ball
- Be careful on the edges of the foil as it can be a little sharp; gloves would be recommended.
- Now that you have your ball, you are ready to put it into your next load and many to come.
Another practical and eco-friendly method would be to use wool dryer balls. These are reusable wool balls made from a highly sustainable material and can last for years.
They work by reducing static energy build-up while physically separating clothes in the dryer, reducing the drying time.
These have an added benefit to aluminum foil balls as they can absorb fragrances and essential oils. The balls will distribute these sents around even larger loads of washing and will quickly leave you with soft and fresh laundry every time.
White vinegar has extensive applications in a plethora of cleaning rituals around your home. It is a highly practical resource for tackling grim, cleaning floors, and polishing windows.
It is also a great alternative to dryer sheets too. It has static battling qualities combined with the ability to soften clothes gently.
You will most likely be lucky enough to have a forgotten bottle of the stuff lurking at the back of your kitchen cupboard. Don’t worry. It is effortless to use, and I promise your clothes won’t come out smelling like a salad.
- Dampen a cloth in a container with a cup of white distilled vinegar.
- Put the cloth into a medium to high washing cycle.
- Then toss the clothes as usual into your dryer, and you will be surprised at the results!
Baking soda is another natural home remedy that has countless practical applications, of course, that includes being an alternative to dryer sheets too. Baking soda is scentless, natural, and cheap.
It is simple to use as you just have to think ahead a little, so it is definitely worth a try.
- Put in ½ a cup of baking soda to your regular washing cycle.
- Take your clothes out and put them in your dryer.
- If you prefer, you can add a few drops of any fragrances or essential oils at this point if you want for a bonus.
- Take your clothes out of the dryer and see how effective baking soda can be!
Avoid Using The Dryer
This may be a more prominent and less desirable option. Nonetheless, all the issues pertaining to drying clothes can be irradicated by drying them outside or drying rack at home.
This is the most environmentally friendly option as you are substantially reducing both your electrical usage and chemical compounds being unnecessarily used.
Of course, the downside is that you will have to hang your clothes up and wait far longer for them to dry. But, depending on your goals, for some, this may be the best option of all.
Dryer sheets have been a staple for every home since almost the invention of dryers. Although there are great at their job, there are a lot of benefits to using alternatives.
Not only can you save money, but you can also alleviate some of your environmental guilt by using more sustainable and less wasteful mains to achieve the same results.
All of these methods are safe and natural. So why not give them a try? You could save yourself some cash, and maybe even the environment too.
Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API