Monday is laundry day in my house. Well, its clothes laundry day anyways. I do clothes on Monday, Cloth Diapers on Wednesdays, Sheets and Towels on Fridays, and Diapers again on Saturday. Sounds like a lot of laundry, but to me, breaking it up like this always makes it more bearable! Mondays always take the longest because I have at least 4 different loads, if not more. The other days are usually just one. Maybe two on Fridays.
Regardless, that means I use a LOT of dryer sheets. I love the way dryer sheets make our clothes feel! So soft and fluffy, without static! (I hate static) And they give just a tiny bit of extra “fresh and clean” scent, too. BUT, dryer sheet prices have gone up not once, but twice in a very short period of time, and I have a hard time paying more money for the same old thing. I figured there HAD to be a better way, and I was right! (I usually am, just ask my husband hehe) 😉
After trying out several different dryer sheet alternatives, including regular ol’ fabric softener in the washer, plain vinegar in the washer, wool dryer balls, and foil balls in the dryer, I decided that while some of those alternatives worked fairly well, I wanted something more like the dryer sheet, but something that could be reused instead of just thrown away. I found the solution to my problem on One Good Thing by Jillee. I should have known Jillee would have my solution….I should have known!
So here it goes: How to make your very own reusable dryer sheets!
What You’ll Need
- Fabric softener of your choice- I used Gain because I already have some on hand, but you can use whatever brand you prefer. You can also use plain vinegar, which works great as a fabric softener, or make some DIY fabric softener to go with your DIY dryer sheets 😉
- Wash cloths or kitchen sponges- Jillee used dishcloths cut into smaller squares. I’ve also seen people use the kitchen sponges cut into strips. I found some bright, lime green wash cloths on sale (6 for $1) at K-Mart so I jumped on that! I love that they’re so brightly colored because I can find them easier to separate from the load when I’m done with it.
- A clothes line or place to dry your cloths.
What To Do
- Make sure your dish cloths/wash cloths/sponges are clean and dry before beginning.
- Put your cloths into a bowl, and cover with fabric softener. Make sure they are thoroughly soaked. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric softener, (a heck of a lot less than I expected) so you’ll likely have some left over for next time 🙂
- Squeeze out as much liquid as you can, and hang your sheets up to dry. In the hot Oklahoman sun, this really only took about an hour, but I left them out overnight just to be thorough. You want to make sure they’re completely dry before using because the liquid softener is often the culprit behind dark spots on your clothes. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- Done! Place them in an airtight container to use next time you have a load of laundry!
Once dry, throw one sheet into the dryer with your wet clothes just like you would a regular dryer sheet. Pull it out once the clothes are dry and place it back into your airtight container. You can use the sheets for about 12-15 loads before they need to be re-soaked in fabric softener and dried again. That means I can do over 75 loads of laundry before I have to “make” more dryer sheets! And since I don’t use fabric softener or dryer sheets on my cloth diapers, these homemade sheets will last me about 3 months worth of laundry loads for pennies on the dollar what it would cost to buy dryer sheets. I’ll take it 🙂
…But Do They Work?
Yes! My clothes come out soft, fluffy, static-free, and heavenly smelling EVERY time. I almost like them better than regular disposable dryer sheets because I get to choose my scent! (and of course, because they’re cheaper, last longer, and are saving the environment on thrifty-mama-home at a time)
What About You?
What are your favorite laundry alternatives for store-bought items? If you’ve made your own dryer sheets before, tell us what worked for you (and what didn’t!)