Thursday, January 3, 2013

Trying It Out- DIY Dryer Sheets

Last Saturday, I posted about Homemade Febreeze. While I was doing my search, I found out that a lot of people believe that fabric softener and dryer sheets can be toxic or carcinogenic. So, what are we supposed to do now? Make our own, that's what!

A while back I came across a recipe for homemade liquid fabric softener, and we tried it, but still had an issue with static in our clothes, even though I also use dryer balls. So, I went back to dryer sheets since they seem to be the only thing that keeps the static at bay.

The homemade liquid fabric softener calls for the use of conditioner and white vinegar... I really don't want the scent of vinegar in my dryer, even though I know it'll dissipate after a while. You can find the recipe here, at One Good Thing by Jillee: My Homemade Laundry Products “Cheat Sheet”

Apartment Therapy posted an all natural alternative, but I'm not sure how much help it would be for static: DIY Dryer Sheets

Other alternatives mentioned elsewhere were:

Aluminum foil balls

Natural wool balls

Avoid drying your synthetic fabrics with your natural fabrics

Spray a little white vinegar on your wet clothes in the dryer

Wash with baking soda and rinse with vinegar

Use plain old conditioner instead of adding the vinegar

Too many choices!

So, I decided to try a little something of my own. Plain conditioner was mentioned, but that wouldn't give your clothes a lot of scent. If you're like me and like some scent to your clothes (not too much, or I get a headache), then you like your fabric softener or dryer sheets to have a nice smell.

What I did:
  • 1/2 Cup warm Water
  • Purex Crystals (or Downy Unstoppables, or the Gain things...)
  • 1 Cup Hair Conditioner (I had Garnier Fructis, two bottles of it, which I'm not currently using)
  • Old fleece fabric (I had white)

I added the crystals to the water and mixed until dissolved:
Then I added the conditioner

Then I added the cloths (I had 9 already cut)

Then comes the messy part: squeezing the glop off the cloths and letting them dry. I tried drying them flat, but that was a fail:

So, I hung them on a hanger with clothes pins:

It took two days, but they were finally dry... very stiff, though. I wondered if they'd work. So I put a very fuzzy blanket in the washer. One of those cheaper blankets, maybe made of poly fibers, not fleece. Totally synthetic, I'm sure. If it came out static free, then I'd know they worked.

It did NOT come out static free. Boo! Thank goodness I had a regular dryer sheet left. This week's tryout is a FAIL.

Back to the drawing board...


  1. Thanks for letting us know about this! This was one of those things that I had wondered about and thought about.

  2. Yep, lots of hype, so I had to find out!

  3. I love that you are doing the legwork for us! :O)

  4. Another fantastic fabric softener alternative is Epsom salt and essential oil. 1 cup Epsom salt to 10 drops essential oil, mix, and use 1/8-1/4 cup per wash...depending on how big the load is. If the scent isn't strong enough for you, you can always add more essential oil! This mixture is great because it's dual purpose... alternative fabric softener and purex crystals scent enhancer! :)

  5. Oh, great info! I would have never thought of Epsom Salts! I need to get some new essential oils. I only have one and I'm not crazy about the smell of it on my clothes.