How To Make Your Own Dryer Sheets

Get Soft, Fresh Clothes for Little or No Money

Woman removing sheets from dryer in laundry room
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Dryer sheets are nice to have on hand. They give your laundry a fresh scent and take care of static, but you don't have to buy them at the store. Making your own dryer sheets is easy, cheap and you will love how they make your clothes feel.

You will quickly find that homemade dryer sheets are better than any commercial brand for many reasons. First of all, they cost next to nothing to make and you can save money on the first load.

If that isn't reason enough, you can also create your own scents, avoid harsh chemicals and reuse them again and again.

Pair either of these homemade dryer sheets with wool dryer balls and your laundry will be fresh, soft and free of static cling. To further sweeten the deal, these dryer sheets will last as long as the fabric holds up.

Homemade Dryer Sheets with Fabric Softener

These fabric sheets are very easy to make and all you need are a few old washcloths and your favorite fabric softener. This is a great trick if you already buy liquid fabric softener or have some to use up because the same product takes care of two tasks.

It should take just a few minutes to prepare the sheets and you will need to let them dry completely. After that, you should be able to use each sheet a dozen times or more before it needs to be dipped and dried again.

What You Need:

    How To Do It:

    1. Dip several washcloths in fabric softener until they are fully saturated.
    2. Ring out each cloth and allow them to dry.
    3. Toss one in the dryer with each load of laundry.

    Natural Homemade Dryer Sheets with Vinegar

    Many families have concerns about chemicals in laundry products and are trying to find natural alternatives.

    If you don't want to spend the money on chemical-free fabric softeners to create dryer sheets, there is an alternative.

    The inexpensive answer to eco-friendly fabric softener is vinegar. It can be used in the washer to replace liquid fabric softener and to create your own dryer sheets. A single bottle can keep your laundry soft and fresh and eliminate the need to buy both fabric softener and dryer sheets.

    The combination of vinegar and essential oils in these dryer sheets is perfect. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener and the smell disappears when it dries. This leaves the oils to add a subtle fragrance, which you can customize and change out as you like.

    What You Need:

    • 1/2 cup white vinegar
    • 6-8 drops essential oil of your choice (tea tree, lavender, citrus and geranium are good choices)
    • Several pieces of cloth
    • A glass container with a tight-sealing lid (a wide mouth is convenient so you can grab cloth)

    How To Do It:

    1. Fold each cloth and place them in a pile inside the container.
    2. Mix vinegar and essential oils in a separate bowl or jar.
    3. Pour enough vinegar over the cloth until they are damp, but not saturated or soaking. (Save excess vinegar to use as fabric softener in the next washer load.)
    1. When you're ready to dry a load of laundry, remove one cloth and ring it out over the jar to remove any excess vinegar before tossing it in the dryer. 
    2. Place the cloth back in the jar after each use and it's ready for the next load. Add more scented vinegar as needed (it shouldn't be often, maybe every month or so).

    Ideas for Free Dryer Sheet Cloth

    There is no need to buy fabric because you probably have something in your home to recycle. You should be fine with just three or four dryer sheets, so scrounge around the house for some scrap fabric.

    If you're storing them in a jar, be sure the fabric is thin enough to stack inside. 

    • Old washcloths, dish towels and cloth napkins work perfectly. It gives them a new purpose once they get a little too worn out.
    • This is a great use for scrap fabric from sewing projects, including most cotton and fleece material. Cut them into equal pieces of at least 5-inches square and do a quick stitch along the edge if you think it will fray in the dryer.
    • Are you ready to cut up your husband's ratty old t-shirts? Cotton shirts work wonders as dryer sheets and it's a perfect way to make them disappear.