What Can I Use Instead Of Dryer Sheets?

If you’re tired of spending money on disposable dryer sheets and concerned about the downsides of using them, you’ve come to the right place. 

Dryer sheets offer many benefits in laundry sessions, making your fabrics softer, smoother, and smelling fresh while reducing static. However, they can only be used once, which means the costs can quickly add up. 

In this article, we’ll look into some fantastic alternatives to dryer sheets such as dryer balls and ice cubes that are not only cost-effective but also kinder to the environment and your skin.

Why You Need To Find Dryer Sheet Alternatives – ASAP

Dryer sheets are those handy little laundry products we toss into the dryer during our laundry sessions. They make fabrics feel softer, reduce static electricity, and leave a pleasant scent to our laundry. However, there are several reasons why people are increasingly looking for alternatives:

Cons Of Using Dryer Sheets

They’re Expensive

Buying dryer sheets might seem harmless, but when you consider that they’re single-use, the costs can add up quickly. 

In the UK, a pack containing 200 dryer sheets can set you back around £30, which makes the expense a significant part of your household budget.

May Leave A Waxy Residue On Your Garments

Ever pulled your clothes out of the dryer only to find them coated in a strange waxy residue? 

That’s a common issue with dryer sheets. This residue can make fabrics less absorbent and even clog your dryer’s vents, reducing its efficiency.

Not Environmentally Friendly

Disposable after a single use, dryer sheets contribute to unnecessary waste that ends up in landfills. With increasing environmental concerns, this is a significant drawback.

May Cause Irritations

Dryer sheets contain chemicals that can irritate the skin, especially for those with sensitive skin or skin allergies like eczema. The desire for a more skin-friendly alternative is driving many to look for alternatives.

Best Alternatives To Dryer Sheets

While dryer sheets aren’t all bad, there are alternatives that offer similar benefits without the big drawbacks. These alternatives can make your laundry smell great, reduce static cling, and save you money in the long run.

Dryer Balls

Dryer balls are a game-changer when it comes to laundry. They are budget-friendly, eco-friendly, and effective at softening clothes, reducing static, and even speeding up drying times!

The most popular are wool dryer balls and rubber dryer balls.

Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are fantastic at drying your fabrics more quickly because they effectively ventilate your garments inside the drum. 

This results in fresher, cleaner-smelling laundry and a lower energy bill. A pack of three wool dryer balls will give you the best value for your money, compared to buying sheets that you can only use once!

TIP: To make your clothes smell great, just add 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil to your wool dryer ball, but make sure it’s completely dry before tossing it in the dryer.

Chinchilla® Dryer Balls Made of Sheep Wool| Sustainable Dryer Balls for Fluffy & Soft Laundry | Plastic-Free & Long Lasting
  • Sustainable and plastic-free: the Chinchilla dryer balls with practical cotton storage bag are made from 100% New Zealand sheep's wool and are suitable for all textiles. Your environmentally friendly alternative to conventional chemical fabric softeners in plastic packaging.
  • Soft washing: the ecological tumble dryer balls are completely odourless and ensure fluffy soft and fluffy laundry. With the help of the natural water absorption capacity of the dryer balls, you can reduce the drying time up to 40% and thus save time, money, electricity and CO2.

Rubber Dryer Balls

Rubber or plastic dryer balls are another option, and many people like them due to their affordability. However, they can be quite loud, especially if you’re not used to the squeaky, banging sound rubber dryer balls make once the spinning starts. 

rubber balls

While they may not be as long-lasting and effective as wool balls, they do an excellent job of agitating your laundry and ensuring your clothes dry evenly.

SEE ALSO: How Many Dryer Balls Do You Need To Use Per Load?

Tennis Balls

If you’re not quite ready to invest in dryer balls, tennis balls can serve as a temporary substitute. 

While they may not perform as efficiently as dryer balls, they can help reduce wrinkles and static in your clothes. However, be aware that they can shed fibres and give off a rubbery smell, so they’re best used at lower temperatures. 

tennis balls

NOTE: When using tennis balls, there is the possibility of dye transfer. Make sure to soak your tennis balls in water first to determine if they’ll leak dye or not. 

SEE ALSO: Do tennis balls really help in the tumble dryer?

Other Options

Besides dryer balls, let us give you an idea of other alternatives that can help you achieve excellent laundry results without the need for traditional dryer sheets. Here are some of them:

White Vinegar

White vinegar can be used as a fabric softener and deodoriser, leaving your clothes smelling fresh without the need for synthetic fragrances. 

white vinegar going into washing machine

Just add half a cup (or more depending on load size) to your washing machine’s fabric softener compartment to soften your fabrics. The best part? You won’t even have to worry about residue like you would with a regular fabric softener!

Aluminium Foil

Don’t have dryer or tennis balls? You can use aluminium foil to create your own!

Ball up some aluminium foil until they’re around 7cm in diameter. Toss it into your dryer and you will reduce static from your fabrics and leave your clothes feeling soft and less wrinkly.

Ice Cubes

Believe it or not – ice cubes can be dryer sheet alternatives as they are effective in smoothening out your fabrics. 

ice cubes inside tumble dryer

Toss a few ice cubes into your dryer to help remove wrinkles and static from your clothes. As they melt, the steam they produce relaxes the fibres on your garments, which removes the wrinkles efficiently. 

SEE ALSO: Does Putting An Ice Cube In The Tumble Dryer Take Out Wrinkles?

Damp Sponges

Similar to the effect that ice cubes have, damp sponges are great alternatives to dryer sheets at a fraction of the price. 

Dry Towel

Yes, something as simple as a dry towel can be a good substitute for dryer sheets. 

Adding a clean, dry towel to your dryer can help absorb excess moisture, reducing drying time and energy usage!

Dampen a sponge and toss it in the dryer to help reduce static and wrinkles in your clothes.

Baking Soda

Yes, you can use bicarbonate of soda for more than just baking. 

Baking Soda

In fact, baking soda is an extremely versatile household item that can help soften fabrics and neutralise odours in the dryer. All you have to do is add a teaspoon to your wash load, and you’ll notice that your garments will smell fresher than usual. 

DIY Dryer Sheets Made Of Old Fabrics

Who says you need to buy your sheets from the shops?

Make your own reusable (and free) dryer sheets by cutting up old clothing or fabric scraps and adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil!

Line Drying

If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, consider the most natural option: line drying. 

Clothes on a clothes line

Hang your clothes on a clothesline, and let the fresh air and sunlight work their magic. It’s eco-friendly and cost-effective! Not only will your laundry smell better, but you will save energy and money without exposing your skin to unnecessary chemicals. 

Do Your Laundry The Sustainable Way!

While dryer sheets have their advantages, they also come with drawbacks that make exploring alternatives a wise choice. 

From wool dryer balls to tennis balls and various household items like vinegar and baking soda, there are plenty of options to choose from. These alternatives offer cost savings, environmental benefits, and are often gentler on the skin, making them worth considering for your laundry routine. 

So, why not give them a try and see which one works best for you? Your clothes, your wallet, and the environment will thank you!

Do you have questions? Feel free to share them below!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need dryer sheets?

Dryer sheets are used to make fabrics softer, reduce static, and add a pleasant scent to your laundry. However, they are not essential for drying clothes.

Can you dry clothes without dryer sheets?

Absolutely! You can dry clothes without dryer sheets and still get great results.

What can I use if I don’t have a dryer sheet?

If you don’t have a dryer sheet, try alternatives like dryer balls, white vinegar, aluminium foil, or even line drying.

How do you make homemade dryer sheets?

Create homemade dryer sheets by cutting up old fabric scraps, adding a few drops of essential oil, and using them like regular dryer sheets. However, you can reuse your DIY sheets as they are made from cloth.

What is the best way to dry clothes indoors?

The best way to dry clothes indoors is by using a drying rack, ensuring good air circulation, and keeping the room well-ventilated.

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