Thursday, January 13, 2011

Reusable Dryer Sheets

We do lots of laundry. Actually, to say we do lots of laundry is an grand understatement. Because of this never-ending chore, we've noticed how many dryer sheets we use and figured that there had to be a way for us to make them ourselves. Not only were we looking for a homemade option but one that was greener too. After all, all those dryer sheets just end up in our landfills after one use, and we knew there had to be a way to make reusable ones. Turns out we were right! We were first turned on to this idea by "Homemade Nana", and we think she found it here.

What You Need:
  • Strips of flannel (ours were scraps we had on hand but you can also use worn-out sheets or cut up that old shirt of your husband's!)
  • Scissors
  • A medium-sized plastic container with lid (we re-purposed a cleaned-out sour cream container)
  • A favorite brand of liquid fabric softener (we had some from when we made our Wrinkle Release Spray!)
  • Hot water
Pre-wash your flannel and cut it into strips that are about 3x5" (just eyeball it - no one is going to sneak in your laundry room with ruler). At this point you can hem your edges or you can be lazy like us and just cut them with pinking shears.

Place your strips into your container, making sure they all fit comfortably and the lid can go on.

Mix up a solution of 4 parts liquid fabric softener and 10 parts hot water. Pour the solution over the strips of flannel in the container, secure the lid, and shake it up to make sure the strips soak up the solution. Let it sit for at least two days...although to be honest we couldn't wait and used it the same day we made it!

When you are ready to do some laundry, just pull out one strip, squeeze out the excess solution, and throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes like you normally would with a commercial dryer sheet! Used strips can be put back into the container with the solution and used again!
This is a great way to green up your laundry and is the perfect accompaniment to our Homemade Laundry Soap!
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32 comments:

  1. great idea! i will have to start doing this! thanks!

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  2. Interesting! I've never heard of doing this. Thanks for the idea!

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  3. Good tip. Unless you can find dryer sheets really cheap, this is a great way to make sure the clothes are soft and wrinkle-free. :-)

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  4. I use tennis balls in the dryer like dryer balls. When I used dryer sheets I cut them in half and used 1/2 a sheet twice or sometimes 3 times before it was ready for the trash.

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    1. So what does the tennis ball do? Never heard this! Just curious. :)

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  5. we don't even use dryer sheets in our house. We found that the easiest and greenest way to have soft laundry is to use vinegar in the rinse cycle. Trust me, once everything comes out of the dryer, you DO NOT smell vinegar!

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  6. You are a genius! I LOVE this idea. We do a ton of laundry too and I would much rather buy the liquid than the sheets (but it's too expensive.) This will make it last so much longer! Thanks

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  7. does this help with STATIC like the store bought dryer sheets do??

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  8. SO happy you guys like this idea!
    @ Team Romey: yep! With this dry winter air we're having around here static would be a BIG problem, but the homemade sheets are doing the job perfectly - just like store-bought!

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  9. I love this idea, I've been flirting with diy dryer sheets for a while, but I don't even use them regularly......I am a horrible laundry washer lol

    popping by from Fire Flies & Jelly Beans

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  10. Fabulous! I love home laundry stuff.

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  11. I LOVE this idea - can't wait to try it!!

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  12. I.AM.SO.EXCITED!!! This is a great idea and my eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw a link to a post you did on wrinkle release spray! My husband uses that up non stop. I am beyond excited to try this!!

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  13. Brilliant! This could save so much money! Thanks for posting, I can't wait to try this. :)
    Amie @ kittycatsandairplanes@gmail.com

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  14. This is perfect! I can't always find dry-sheets in the stores where I am, so when I can, I stock up on several boxes. Now I won't need to as there's always bottles of fabric softener in store. Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. cant wait to try this! Thanks for posting.

    Please check out my new blog... :)

    http://ktdlzll.blogspot.com/

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  16. Oh man... just what I needed without even knowing it. I bet when they are dry they are wicked to keep in your wardrobe as well to keep your stuff nicely scented!

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  17. I just found this post through pinterest, and wanted to pop over and see if it was different than the one I just made and it is a LITTLE bit. But not much.

    I made my own liquid fabric softener. (super easy 1/2cup vinegar, 1/2 cup cream rinse, 1 cup water. I used a layered microfiber towel, zigzag stitched closed after I cut it to the size I wanted. I got two out of one of them. It was an old hair drying towel we never used anymore) I soaked it in my softener, squeezed the excess out and then let it dry before I used it. I have enough fabric softener left to do this two or three more times when it runs out. I figure when it quits smelling, I will refill it. We've used it ten times or so, clothes are soft, and no static *unless socks are inside out*

    I just thought I'd let you know what I did, because ringing out wet fabric while in the middle of doing a pain in the butt chore seems like a pain in the butt. But if it's already there ready to use anyways. Even better! :)

    Marie

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  18. Hi! Just wanted to say that I make my own dryer sheets, too from homemade fabric softener. Instead of putting mine in a bucket, I repurposed one of those hard plastic wipes containers. I don't add a lot of fabric softener to it, just enough to make each "sheet" moist. If you layer the sheets carefully when putting them in the container, they will dispense like kleenex! A definite time-saver for me. :)

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    1. great idea - I've got a container to use right now!

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  19. I loved this idea and couldn't wait to make them. I was excited every time I tossed my reusable sheet into the dryer . . . until a few weeks later and my husband complained that all his clothes have had a lot of static and he wondered if I was still using dryer sheets. He said he has to keep a spray can of static guard in his car because it's so bad. Guess I'm gonna have to go back to the disposables.

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  20. It's not really "green" if you're still using a conventional fabric softener, which has lots of toxic chemicals. A natural, vegetable-based fabric softener, or vinegar would be the best way to have "greener" laundry.

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    1. Do you have a recipe for the vegetable based fabric softener?

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    2. Lindsay, she didn't say it was green. She said it was greener than throwing out multiple dryer sheets. RTFA.

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  21. I agree with Lindsay, vinegar, or even the tennis ball sounds better to me, a lot greener, and cheaper.

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    1. How is vinegar cheaper? The cheapest store brand vinegar at my local grocer is $3/gallon. At the recommended 1/2 cup per load, that's 9.4 cents per load. The dryer sheets are all less than that. The ones I get are 2.8 cents per load and I use each sheet for 3 loads before putting them in my drawers to fragrance my clothing. And vinegar does not prevent static in my machine.

      As far as vinegar being "green" or "natural", that is definitely up for debate. It's hardly a matter of letting a bunch of grapes lie around in the sun where artisans then bottle up the result. The submerged fermentation method uses manmade Acetozym nutrients to speed things along. And lots of electricity for the heaters & pumps. And bleach to clean the machinery. The generator method uses way more electricity in a process that takes WEEKS. Vinegar is perfectly fine but just understand that it came from a factory, having been manufactured much in the same way as everything else that you label unnatural or not green.

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  22. Has anyone noticed any spotting on their clothes? When I use commercial dryer sheets, sometimes I get an oily spot where the softener has been in contact with the clothes. I really want to try this, but the fear of spots has me hesitant!

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  23. I know that fabric softener can stain if it comes in contact with clothes and it's not diluted properly. It can leave an oily spot or a dark brown stain. Much like Cauleen I am curious.

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