Make Your Own {Reusable} Dryer Sheets!

I’ve been using my own homemade “dryer sheets” for about 9 months now and have been very happy with the method.

But even though I may be an “old dog”…I can be taught “new tricks”. :-)  When I saw this idea from Heather at Living On Love and Cents recently I decided it was worth trying something new.

The thing that appealed to me most about this idea was it eliminates the fishing out and squeezing dry step. Which, to be honest, doesn’t really bother me, but then again…it’s not necessarily my favorite thing either. :-)


So, here is my updated version of “Homemade Dryer Sheets” for your consideration.

I decided to start with 4 white dishrags I already had on hand in my stash. (I have a “thing” for white dish towels and rags from Walmart. It’s just one of those things I can’t really explain.)

I happened to have JUST ENOUGH Downy Fabric Softener left in this bottle to make this work. I have literally had this bottle for over a year because I dilute it so much I hardly use any of it.

I thoroughly soaked all four dish rags with full strength Downy. (You can use whatever kind you want. I think next time I will try my Homemade Fabric Softener. Don’t know why that didn’t occur to me until just now!  DUH!)

Allow the towels to dry THOROUGHLY!  I took mine outside and draped them over a plastic chair.  Even in this uber dry state I live in…they took awhile to dry COMPLETELY.  Of course it didn’t help that a RAINSTORM came through and blew the chair over and got the towels WET!  ugh.  I finished the drying process indoors. :-)  Here they are hanging from my mini-clothesline in my laundry room.

Throw one sheet in with a load of clothes. You should be able to use each dryer sheet a dozen times or more, before it needs to be dipped and dried again

So I have used this new method on about 4 different loads of clothes now and have been very pleased with the results. Clothes are VERY soft and VERY nice smelling. :-) But MORE importantly (and the MAIN reason I use fabric softener) NO STATIC CLING!


Another PLUS about using these “dry” cloths vs. the kind that are wet is there is less worry about getting any “spots” on the clothing that you are drying. I’ve never had that problem…but I know others have complained about it.

So give it a try and let me know what you think.  I think you’ll like it too. :-)

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  1. Megan says

    I live in a very dry climate & have had lots of issues with static, but then I tried a tip I found via Pinterest of loosely crumpling a fabric-softener-sheet-sized piece of aluminum foil and tossing it in with the dryer load. I was amazed at how well it took care of the static! And you can reuse the foil ball a few times, just uncrumple it each time. Hope that helps!

  2. Lauren says

    Oooo, love this idea! I didn’t love the idea of getting my hands in the fabric softener every time, so I folded my cloths up baby wipe style, soaked in a little fabric softener, and store in an old baby wipe box that has a small slit to wring out the extra softener for me. I like that these have more than one use before having to resoak them, though. :)

  3. Dawn says

    Dryer sheets irritate me. I’ve tried disposable and reusable. The end result was I still had a sheet to find in the clothes and either dispose of or get back into the fabric softener bowl. Now I just put fabric softener in a small spray bottle and spray 6-8 sprays into the dryer full of clothes. A bottle of fabric softener will last me 9 months or so. Just my two cents!

  4. Erika from Italy says

    I wish I could use this, but I hang all my clothes out (or inside if the weather is bad). My hubby may hate how everything is “crunchy,” but I love the fresh smell AND the huge savings. (Electricity is taxed at 51% here.) Plus, it’s great for the environment.

    • Kari says

      An easy way to get rid of the crunchy (though it does use the dryer a little bit!) is to just throw in your dry load on just the air setting (no heat) for a couple of minutes. It helps to fluff, but saves you the money of using your dryer to dry your clothes. I do this with the towels I dry outside, makes a world of difference!

  5. Elisabetta says

    It’s only a month I “ereditate” a dryer, I am onest and I used it only once.
    So, my question is, what is the reason why you use these sheets? don’t you use softener when you wash? or it’s only because clothes smell good after drying in machine?
    thanks for your help!

    • Megan says

      For me, I’ve used dryer sheets my whole life, I don’t really know why, nobody has ever asked before. Hubby bought some liquid softener by mistake (thought it was detergent) so we bought a Downy ball and tried to use it. Even with it sitting right there we forgot more often than not to use it. I have a little left still that I want to get rid of and this is perfect, thanks Jillee!

    • Debbe says

      I’ve always used dryer sheets, and my mom always used dryer sheets. The reasons why are because they’re more convenient than using softener, and the clothes smell good, afterward, and feel nice and softer, and the main reason, to get rid of static cling caused by using the dryer. I have a major problem with static cling, even when I use TWO dryer sheets per load! I only do that when I know there’s a few pieces in my laundry that will cause static. Or if I really don’t feel like dealing with the static. I never use softener in the washer. In the “olden” days, you used to have to “remember” to add it after the rinse cycle started, and I never remembered.

  6. says

    I am going to try this. How easy. You are the BEST!!! Keep up the good work. Can you imagine how much money you are saving all of us collectively? :-)

  7. says

    Hi Jillee!

    I was just wondering, would you use the same soak-and-dry method with your homemade fabric softener or do you recommend the spritz method for that? I’m completely new to fabric softener of any kind…I usually just use dryer sheets, but I still have a lot of static cling problems and am looking for a solution, preferably homemade :}


    • Jillee says

      Ashley….I think you could TOTALLY use the homemade fabric softener in the exact same way. I’m going to give it a try next time I make these. I figured I would use up what I had left of my year old Downy bottle. :-)

      • Angela says

        Hi Jillee,

        i just made the homemade fabric softner from the other post and did this method with it. I have five washrags drying in my laundry room from soaking them in the new homemade fabric softener and my entire upstairs smells like vinegar and i’m just wondering if my clothes are going to come out of the dryer smelling like vinegar? Should i use a more heavily scented conditioner? i just used what i had on hand which was actually a kind of expensive brand, and i even added lemongrass essential oils because when i was mixing it up i found that the vinegar scent was so strong. anyway i’m a little nervous to put any of the dry rags in the dryer with actual clothes for fear i’ll walk around smelling like vinegar! :) your thoughts would be great.

        p.s love love LOVE your site!

      • Neely says

        The smell of vinegar vanishes when dry. This is why you can use vinegar for your clothes, hair, dishes and not have a residual smell.

        Once dry, the vinegar smell will dissipate.

      • Jennifer says

        I had the same problem. I used coconut scented conditioner so the coconut/vinegar scent was pretty overpowering and gross as I was making it. I have no problem with the vinegar smell once I use the homemade dryer sheets though. I don’t really smell much of the coconut either but mostly the homemade laundry detergent. :o)

  8. says

    Hi, I just wanted to add one thing here. For people who use fabric softeners (I don’t. I have soft water, and static cling has never been a problem for me), make sure that you CLEAN your lint filter regularly. Do you know that a clogged lint filter is one of the reasons dryers fail? They can’t breathe. By cleaning, I don’t mean, removing lint. What I mean, is, take out your filter, take it to your sink, and run some water on it. If the water runs through, you are ok, but if the water sits on top, your filter is coated with fabric softener, and it doesn’t allow the air through it like it should. Just wash it with some soapy water, rinse, and you are good to go again.

    • Beth says

      Lint filters not being cleaned regularly and thoroughly is the cause of many house fires.
      It is not just the filter that you pull out that need cleaned you need to clean the space under the dryer where the remaining linty air passes up into the dryer hose that leads outdoors. As the air is pushed up the hose lint falls and collects at the base near the floor. If you are doing alot of drying in the dryer it can get pretty hot and very dry and combustible. Get your vacuum hose down in there or even a ‘snake’like long wire brush to reach and pull this stuff out. Also, harder to do, pull out the dryer and detach the hose and clean out from there. You could be surprised! I used to be a homemaker and the dryers in the senior apartment building always smelled so hot. It’s a wonder we don’t hear about fires in these residents.
      We like our outdoor fresh line dried laundry and dry minimally through the winter and hang on racks to finish drying. :)

  9. says

    can i say i love your blog!! Its the best site ever!! Man all your posts are really helping to change my home to just where i have always wanted it to be cheaper wiser less wasteful and fun : )