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Homemade dryer sheet recipes

Filed Under: household hacks, staying green, cleaning

bounce-dryer-sheets; fabric-softener, cheapI love the smell of fresh clothes still warm from the dryer, but then again, who doesn't? What I don't like is having to pay an arm and a leg for dryer sheets. I cut dryer sheets in half so that a box of 80 becomes a box of 160, but then that little half sheet curls up in the dryer, and the clothes don't smell as fresh.

Most of the time, I use vinegar in my wash machine, and it works just as well as liquid fabric softener to freshen and soften my clothing. In the dryer, I always pop a half sheet of Bounce, but I want a cheaper way to get my clothing static free. Thanks to Curbly, I found that way, with these recipes for making your own dryer sheets.

  1. Pour fabric softener into a spray bottle, spray an old washcloth 4-6 times, and then put in the dryer with the wet clothes. A small refill carton should last you over 1 year.
  2. In a pail, such as an ice cream container, mix one gallon water and one cup concentrated liquid fabric softener. Every time you do laundry, dip an old washcloth into the mix, wring out, and dry with your clothes. Put the lid on the pail and don't forget to label both the pail and lid.
  3. Pour a 50/50 mix of fabric softener and water into a spray bottle, spray your wet clothes 3 or 4 times, or an old washcloth, then put the rag in the dryer. Basically the same as the first recipe, but less concentrated.
  4. Mix equal parts hair conditioner and water in a spray bottle, spritz a washcloth, and dry with the wet clothes. I wouldn't recommend this recipe too often, as hair conditioner can be very expensive.
  5. Vinegar with a few drops of essential oil misted on an old washcloth works just as well, and is much cheaper than dryer sheets.
One fabric softened rag should last about 5 loads before you have to wash it. Old pieces of flannel work great too, if you don't have any old washcloths kicking around. Don't forget to wash your rags every once in a while too, not only to remove build up, but to keep them from smelling funky.


  • Francesca Clarke

    I've tried giving up dryer sheets, but I just can't. This is a great solution!

  • melody_yesterday

    Dryer balls made from scrap yarn & fabric softner in a nylon stocking
    just made these this morning & got the pic up !

  • amateur6

    Sorry to be late to the party, but -- what about static? Do these options eliminate it, or is that something that only "real" dryer sheets can do?

  • Muzhik

    These should eliminate the static, or at least minimize it. My dryer sheets NEVER completely eliminated static. But having the fabric softener in the dryer should do the trick.

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