Giving "Bounce" Dryer Sheets the Bounce!

At the risk of annoying you with yet another “tale from my laundry room”, I have one more D.I.Y. laundry idea I have been using for a couple of weeks now that I just have to share. I’m hoping you will humor me. :-)

I have been buying Bounce Dryer Sheets as long as I can remember. LOVE the smell! Never really even considered an alternative until I started making my own laundry detergent. This cast a rather unflattering light on all those little dryer sheets I was using and throwing away each week.

I had seen a couple of D.I.Y. fabric softener sheets ideas before…but they all seemed to me to be just a bit too much work than they were worth.  So, I actually came up with this idea all by my little self!  (Although I realize that most likely it is not an original idea…I’m sure it’s floating around out there on the internet somewhere…I just haven’t come across it yet.)

A drawer full of new dishcloths!
One of life’s little pleasures!

I got the idea when I decided to “splurge” on a new stack of bar mop dishcloths. (I know, I’m wild and crazy sometimes!)  I don’t know about you, but I LOVE these things!

I started using them several years ago and I’ll never go back to fancy dish towels. They are super absorbent and I love that I can buy a whole stack of them for cheap and not feel guilty about grabbing a clean one whenever I feel like it.  I tend to go through a lot of them.  I have this “thing” about using “dirty” dishcloths for too long.

But I digress…………

My OLD dishcloths don’t look that bad in this picture,
but trust me, they were nasty!

So, because I had a whole bunch of OLD dishcloths to get rid of, I decided to cut them up into small squares and toss them in a container with some fabric softener to use as dryer sheets.  I had a bottle of Febreeze scented Downy hanging around, so I used that.  (LOVE Febreeze!)

Now each time I put a load of clothes in the dryer, I just grab one of the little DIY dryer sheets out of the container, wring it out little bit, and throw it in with the load. When the load is dry (including the dryer sheet) I just drop it back in the container.  No need to even wash these babies.

Since it was my own idea and not from some “expert”, I hesitated to share it before I thoroughly tried it out, but I’ve been using them for a couple of weeks now and am super happy with the results.  I think they are even better than the disposable dryer sheets.  My towels, etc feel softer and, of course, smell wonderful!  I’m sold.

So there you go….once again I have written probably WAY more than necessary about this particular topic, but I know there has to be others out there that obsess about laundry as much as I do. :-)

I promise to lay off the laundry blogging for awhile. Well, I’ll try.

And that’s…..

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  1. Anonymous says

    My mother has been doing this for close to 40 years. She uses old wash cloths and keeps them in a mason jar with the softener.

  2. Jill Nystul says

    zoe…I think the reason dryer sheets became popular in the first place is because not many washing machines had an automatic fabric softener dispenser in them and so you would have to "babysit" your load of laundry waiting for the last rinse cycle so you could add the liquid softener. Dryer sheets just became much more convenient. Unfortunately, convenience usually means we end of sacrificing somewhere else.

  3. zoe says

    can i just ask, because its not really a "normal"thing here in australia to use dryer sheets, ( actually most people rarely use the dryers unless its rainy season) why dont you just put your softener in the washing machine?
    if the softener is "in"the clothes before they get to the dryer you wouldnt need the sheets
    we never do?

  4. Anonymous says

    I can't remember a time my Mother didn't do this, and she passed away 10 years ago. Just a quick note, when using this method, wash your dryer vent on a regular basis. The softener can build up on the vent reducing the air flow and making your dryer work harder.

    • says

      you are so right, my husband is in insurance and more fires are started this way he stated. GOOD SUGGESTION….

    • Margery says

      Had a repair man out recently to work on my washer and gave me some helpful hints about things. One of the things he told me about was the film that builds up on the dryer vent from fabric softeners. He said it reduces how well your dryer performs in addition to being a fire hazard. He ran water over mine to see how much beading there was and thankfully there was little but he told me to be sure to rinse it on a regular bases to avoid having to replace parts that burned out having to work overtime to dry. He also said he does more house calls and replacements for people using those pods. He said they will desolve in water but it takes really hot water to do it effeciently or quickly and even with heating elements they do not wash away well and end up clogging the pumps in dishwashers and washers.

  5. MsCupCakeGirl says

    I also thought i'd use old socks, instead of throwing them out, i'd used them as dryer sheets…

    • eanowakattack says

      Wow, that’s a really great idea for all those mismatched socks I’ve been holding onto for years!

      • Bonnie says

        Really good idea…why DO we hang on to those socks anyway?! I just threw a bunch out because we moved and I was in that kind of mood…but it doesn’t take long to have a few laying around. Thanks for the idea!

      • jenny says

        I don’t keep the socks. I just toss them and buy new ones. I am OCD about soft new socks. I think the world should be slippered in soft white new socks. LOL. wish I was rich enough to buy new ones once a week. wear and toss. LOL. dang lazy. OK really though if you want to soften clothes like t’s and socks… do this… disolve once cup sea water in the HOT HOT HOT water and put what you want softened in the washer. RUN a small load on HOT for wash and when the tub fills before it agitates dump the salt water in there and let it sit for an hour or so. OK… run the washer the rest of the way through the spin cycle and start it over with a larger tub of water and your detergent. IF you have a new fancy washer that don’t let you do the above… use your sink plugged. YOU will just need to squeeze excess out to drag to washer for the wash load.

      • Leslie says

        Lol… that’s funny. I had an ex who did that. He worked at Big Lots at the time, and every paycheck bought a bag of their super cheap socks (I’m pretty sure he was getting a dozen for a buck or so). He’d wear them once and throw them out because he felt like all people should have a chance in their lives at least once to wear nothing but fresh, clean, new socks right out of the bag…. and it was his time.
        I took to grabbing them out and donating them at least! But, it was still funny.

      • says

        I always buy black or white socks, but I never have mismatched because I don’t fold the pairs together. More work to do, so I just throw them all in a drawer, and I never know if there is an odd number. :)

    • AMoore says

      I’ve been using a sock for 10 years. I just pour on a little fabric softener, perhaps a tablespoon, rub the material together to soak up the liquid and toss it in the dryer. I don’t care too much for most fabric softener scents (too flowery), so I don’t reload it every time, maybe every 4 or 5 washes. Eventually the sock will get stained all grey, but it makes it easy to pick out of the whites and all those other socks that way. And after a LONG, LONG time (like I’m on my third sock), the sock will fall to pieces, but there is never a shortage of unmatched socks just waiting their turn to be useful. This also makes your fabric softener last for a LOT longer than pouring it into the washer.

  6. MsCupCakeGirl says

    I also thought i'd use old socks, instead of throwing them out, i'd used them as dryer sheets…

  7. MsCupCakeGirl says

    I think you could use some sort of perfume oil to your laundry detergent and fabric softner… Then the whole house and your clothes would smell like Vanilla Cupcakes which is my fav… I'm STOKED about this idea… Homemade laundry stuff, here I come!!! Wooo too the Hooo

  8. Anonymous says

    I started making my homemade detergent, fabric softener sheets, etc last year and I use pieces of scrap fleece I had leftover. I also have started using an old fork to get it out of the container (which I use the exact one you are using) and I wrap it around the fork to squeeze out the excess. You only need to use your thumb and finger to do that. And I am so OCD that I kept track of my use. One container like what we use can do 65 loads of laundry and for me that's only 1 cup of softener and the rest water. I would also like to point out that I use white vinegar for my rinse cycle.