DIY Dryer Sheets

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 DIY Dryer Sheets

It really doesn’t get much easier than this! Per load, use one coffee filter and 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of liquid softener (depending on the size of the load) and rub the liquid softener into the filter and throw into your dryer. Save money? Check. Easy? Check.  WORKS? Double Check!! Enjoy!!


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  • Pam Powers

    Great idea. I like the idea of storing them in a container. Years ago I had a recipe for homemade baby wipes using half a roll of paper towels. You chopped the roll in half, put it in a baby wipe container (or some other container that fit the roll), and poured in watered down baby wash. The towels absorbed the wash, you could pull off one at a time, and it worked.

    Seems like you could stack the filters in a large oatmeal container and pull them out as needed.

  • Karen

    What about using a spray bottle with slightly diluted fabric softener . Then spray it onto a wash cloth or a coffee filter or even a soft cloth and use in the dryer that way?

    • Kelly

      Karen, This is exactly what I do. I have a spray bottle filled with equal parts water & fab.soft., then spray the heck out of an old wash cloth. I dilute it so much because my husband doesn’t like smells & I usually get fab.soft. on sale/cheap that has a scent. If I don’t dilute it I personally tend to use too much in regard to my husband’s liking.

      • lanagee

        I’ve been doing this for years! I mix 1/2 water with 1/2 fabric softener and place in a spray bottle. Spray washcloth and drop in dryer. After spraying a few times washcloth will need a occasional spray. No ‘silicone like’ dish towels from too much softener and quite a money saver!

  • carol

    I have put 2 parts softener to 1 part water in a squirt bottle then squirt a wash cloth and throw it in the dryer. Usually 3-5 squirts is good. I have not had any problems with stains, the only problem is that the wash cloth gets very soft so I usually only use it for about 4 loads then move on to another clean wash cloth. When I do a load of towels and sheets I put a half a cup of white vinegar in the wash load in a downy ball….this softens the towels and sanitizes them too. During the summer when I hang up my laundry to dry the towels smell outdoor fresh. White vinegar is relatively inexpensive.

    • Shawn

      I use 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 cup any scent cheap hair conditioner. Mix them well and dip wash cloth in then wring out well. Worked amazing for static and scent all winter, and I live in Iowa where it is so cold and dry that almost nothing works.

      • Chantal

        I don’t know how cold and dry it is in Iowa but in Edmonton Alberta Canada I used dryer sheets on my hip length hair in our -35 winters. It really helped with static arcs I kept getting in the office and in department stores. Now living in Ontario it’s not so cold and dry but still we suffer with the static issue. I will definitely try your method of vinegar and conditioner. Thanks

  • MommaTarr

    Hi. I make my own fabric softener w/ cheap hair conditioner, water and white vinegar. This is a great idea, I think I will start spraying my solution onto a filter or rag from now on. Thanks

  • Kathleen McKenna

    I would be careful spraying the solution on the filter. It would coat the filter and not allow it to do it’s job. 😉

  • melissa olszewski

    just tried this tonight OMG great thank you! 5.00 for downy free and clear 1.00 for he filters(dollar store) 6.00 for way more then you would get at the store especially for the free and clear ones!

  • Jaci

    Don’t forget to WASH WITH WATER your dryer lint catcher!!! Buildup of residues from any type of faric softener, can impair good air flow and possibly cause fires.

  • stacialee

    I use a small bottle of fabric softener to 1 1/2 bottle of water and store it in a container with sponges and just squeeze out the sponge and toss in dryer. I like the idea if the coffee filters.. may give that a try, too.

  • Donna E.

    Do you think it would work with Dreft (the baby laundry soap)? I need to find or do something for my kids blankets they seem the get static because of the material and I brought the baby kind’s (dryer sheet’s) and they broke out in hive’s cause of it.

    • CMMC

      Dreft is highly perfumed & I never understood why it’s marketed for babies who have the ultimate in sensitive skin. I use All Free & Clear laundry detergent & dryer sheets and have never had any issue w/ my sensitive skin or my son’s (he’s so sensitive, he can’t even wear Pampers Sensitive Diapers). If I can find All Free & Clear liquid fabric softener, I’m going to try this DIY coffee filter method. For now, I only use 1/2 of a dryer sheet per load, which is a money saver (been using the same box for almost a year) & that always does the trick to eliminate static & keep the fabrics soft.

      • Bree

        I never understood Dreft either! It stinks to high heaven. For fabric softener, I use vinegar rinse and wool or dryer balls or aluminum foil. Works great! And I am in a dry/high static state.

    • LaPetiteCroissant

      Static is actually caused by over drying. I like to use wool dryer balls to absorb and redistribute moisture in the dryer.

      They cut down on dryer time, make towels fluffy, and are reusable.

      I use vinegar in a fabric softener ball. My skin is happy (no chemicals), my clothes are happy (no residue) and my wallet is happy- vinegar is super cheap.

    • Nyghtfairy

      Another thing you can use to get rid of static is wad
      Up a piece of foil. Throw it in dryer with clothes.

  • Rachel

    I’ve taken a washcloth and put fabric softener on it when I’ve been out of dryer sheets. It’s worked just as good….anything to save us some money. I’ve been buying lavender scented dryer sheets at the Dollar General…they are $1.00 for 34

  • Robin

    Was wondering if you have thought about soaking the filters and than letting them air dry, an than storing them for when needed in the dryer. Would like to know if you think this would work.

  • Moon

    I use old receiving blankets cut up with zigzag scissors into squares and kept them in a baby wipe box. I pull one out and spray it with diluted fabric softener I keep in a bottle. When the dryer is done I just pop it back into my baby wipe box. I throw them in with the wash after about 5-6 loads and start over with them. Also, using colorful blankets instead of washcloths they don’t end up in the towel closet and back in the wipe box. 🙂 I heard people using old socks, ripped up t-shirts, cut up towels, outgrown mittens, I guess anything will work! 🙂

  • Melissa

    Just keep a good quality tennis ball in your dryer nothing else needed! Keep it there until it seems worn out (mine lasts over a year and with a family of six that is a LOT of loads) no chemicals to worry about or vinegar smell, I have a kid with eczema and serious detergent & soap allergies and this works fantastic for us!

  • Amanda13

    I would take coffee filters and soak them in fabric softener and set them out to dry so their like the sheets you can put in the dryer so you can just fold it up and put them in a box easy store

  • veda

    i love making these i even rigged up a small cloths line to dry them seperatly i make dryer sheeys by the hundred and put them in empty kleenex boxes very stackable and dont take up much room

  • Pat Woosley

    I iron out used dryer sheets, cut them to 6″ and use them for a base for my strip and crazy quilting. No need to remove them.

  • Pat

    I’ve done this for over 30 years and I swear by it. Take an ordinary sponge and cut it in 1/4. Drop the sponges into a shallow jar. Fill the jar with 1/2 water and 1/2 fabric softner. Replenish mix as needed. To use with your wet wash squeeze out the sponges draining the excess back into the jar and throw them in with the wet wash. When the clothes are dry throw them back into the jar. They are always ready for the next load of wash. If you loose a sponge check the pocket of a fitted sheet. One bottle of softner and 2 sponges will last you for years!

  • Diane

    Can’t you just spray it on an item you’re tossing into the dryer that you just washed? Love the idea of DIY but seems like we should be able to omit the coffee filters or extra rag or sponges or something…?

  • Deja

    The best way to save money on fabric softener and dryer sheets is to not use them. They are full of nasty chemicals that are really terrible for your health. If you want soft clothes, and less static, you actually have to start with your laundry detergent. Most detergents are full of fillers, and the fillers are responsible for much of the static when you dry your clothes. The fillers in the detergent don’t fully rinse out of your clothes, and they act as an “agitator” that rubs against the fibers of your laundry… it’s this agitation that contributes to static. It’s the detergent residue in your clothes that also contributes to them being stiff and crunchy rather than soft. Switch to a filler free laundry detergent, and use a small amount of it.. you will notice a big difference! Someone also mentioned vinegar, which helps to strip soap residue from the fibers of your clothes and makes them soft without needing fabric softener. Also, you can purchase Norwex dryer balls, that help dry your clothes faster, and reduce static – they’re cheap, because they last for years (I’ve had mine for 5 years), and cost under $20!

  • nikki

    I have a butter bowl that I keep on the dryer and just take one out as I need it. I make my own softner. It works great and saves alot of money in the long run. I now make them for the whole family.

  • carol

    I use an old plastic coffee container holds the the filters perfectly …..sometimes I leave some of the homemade fabric softener in the bottom of the container just to maintain some moisture on my filters…..but if they dry out it does’ t matter works great either way….

  • PaMama

    I just read another blog about this that I thought was interesting. You soak a hand towel completely in fabric softener and let it air dry completely. The person said it takes about 2 days for it to dry with the softener on it. Then you just through it in the dryer with the wet clothes and it is supposed to be good for 40 to 50 loads. I will be trying this method and keeping track of how many loads it lasts.

  • Maizie

    Hotels give away toiletries, little bottles of hair condition. Some thrift shops have them also. I like the idea of drying whatever is used. I’ve just rolled three tennis balls in a small amount of conditioner, vinegar and water. Will put one in with a puffy coat to hopefully fluff it as it dries. I expect it will be noisy. I will let two dry for future use. So many suggestions all with merit, do what’s best for you!

  • Sue

    I use diluted fabric softner and put in a container and cut up a sponge soaking them always with a lid , just wring out and throw in dryer reuse when done!

  • Yvonne browning

    I thought I was the only one that used dryer sheets and color catchers for strip piecing on quilts. Works great and lasts for ever . Dryer sheets work great for appliqué also.

  • Michele

    Maleluca laundry detergent is the best! Use a tblsp per large load. It is manufactured here in Idaho. Grandma always used amway, bought it in 50 gallon bags, swears by it, has a coffee scoop to measure it. (I have had the same bottle of maleluca for over 4 months; only 2 of us in the house though.).

    My point is the comment aboiut laundry detergent is partially correct. Using a quality detergent is the first priority in the longjevity of your clothes. I have read lots of reviews about home made laundry soap and have bought all the ingredients to make it myself, but have not yet so I can’t say that I know it works as well as the 2 I mentioned before.

    I won’t ever give up my fabric softner! I love the smell of clean laundry, its the one reason I love doing laundry; putting them away is the one reason I don’t like laundry day!) yet, if using some of these suggestions can make my softner go further I am definately going to try some until I find what works best for me. Thank you…all of you for your suggestions, tips, and ideas.

    • Mama T

      I too love Melaleuca I do however use the sponge method for softener I use one cap softener to 3 caps water 4 sponges . I wring out one sponge per load I can do about 15 loads on this one mixture ❤️

  • Pamela

    I rip up old towels instead of throwing them out and I soak the towels in fab softner… let them air dry and use them as regular dryer sheets they last a few months before I have to resort them… love it

  • Betty Dahlstedt

    I soak a washcloth or rag in fabric softner and let it air dry, this works as an air freshner. I have one in each room. I can re-wet it many times and let it dry out. I grab one when I am doing the laundry and then put it back.

  • Linda

    I used an old dish towel and 1/2 teaspoon liquid fabric softener . Rub softener into towel and throw into dryer. Keep using the same towel. Don’t wash it. after a few loads, you’ll only have to add softener every 2 or 3 loads. No paper filters to buy. Saves even more money.

  • Susan Murphy

    For years, I have kept a spray bottle of 1/2 water & 1/2 Fabric softener. When in a rush, and something is wrinkled, spray the garment, toss it in dryer for 5-10 minutes and it comes out looking great

  • Donna Sentman

    I love this idea! But I live in a motorhome with a washer-dryer combo. Not sure this will work for my set up without stoppong the cycle prior to drying. Great idea though

  • Janis

    I love your money-saving tips. But more than that, I love that you have ideas for alternatives. There are some products that are not always available everywhere, and it is super cool to have ideas on how to make our own. 🙂

  • j

    Fire hazard?
    Plenty of ads about dryer fires.
    Have recently seen wadding up 3 sheets aluminum foil individually into 3 tight balls (tight so they don’t snag clothes) and tossing them into dryer. Good for about 6 months. Haven’t tried this either. Seems like it would be a little safer way to cut static clean, but I do like my lavender serenity fabric softener, especially on bed sheets, so this idea intrigues me. My husband died a year ago, and I don’t drink coffee, so this would be a special way to use the large pack of filters he left behind to create that “snuggly softness.”

  • Taji

    Try 1 cup of Downey and 1cup of water in a container. Then buy the cheap small sponges from the dollar store . You just sqeeze extra liquid off sponge and throw them in the dryer. You can recycle the sponges.

  • S.Reynolds

    It sounds quick and easy….but putting liquid fabric softener on your dryer’s lint filter will reduce the drying of your clothes…spending more gas/electric to get your clothes dried. Even dryer sheets will leave a coating film on the dryer filter….which should be washed with soap
    frequently to prevent your dryer from over working and heating up more than necessary. Any appliance repairman will tell you to wash the dryer lint filter frequently to avoid overheating the dryer.

  • janet hargrove

    I am going to look into this. I can’t use dryer sheets because of psoriasis. I will look for a “clean” solution for fabric softener. I am sure I can find one on Pinterest.

  • Nancy Crofoot

    They say you learn something new every day. I thought I had a lot of simple money-saving tips. Kudos to the out of the box thinkers that will make our lives that much easier and save us a little money.

  • Marg Hawrysh

    Have been using a tennis ball for many years. All clothes and linens come out wrinkle free and fresh smelling.