Best Dryer Sheet Alternatives For Sustainable Laundry


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Dryer sheets are generally dangerous and toxic to both humans and the environment. Some best dryer sheet alternatives include vinegar, wool dryer balls, soda, ice cubes, aluminum foil.

Despite their intended purpose, laundry activities contribute to pollution by releasing hazardous chemicals and plastics into our homes and the environment. 

While using dryer sheets helps keep clothes smooth and reduce static clings, remember that you put many of these sheets into the trash each time you do laundry. 

This is why using natural and reusable dryer sheet alternatives instead of commercial dryer sheets is better for the environment and your clothes. Additionally, you and the environment you stay in are in danger from the chemicals and scents found in dryer sheets. 

Without dryer sheets, you’ll have to deal with static cling and wrinkled clothes, but there are eco-friendly dryer sheet alternatives you can try out.

We have you covered whether you’re concerned about the environment or want to protect your health. Now, let’s look at some of the best dryer sheet alternatives you can use for sustainable laundry.

What is a Dryer Sheet?

dryer sheet alternatives
A hand dropping dryer aromatic sheets in a washing machine

Dryer sheets are little pieces of fabric that contain various chemicals. Some examples of these chemicals are perfumes, lubricants, and cloth softeners. However, the chemicals don’t simply remain in the dryer; they also stick to your clothes and pollute the air ducts. 

In case you didn’t know how they work, dryer sheets work to reduce static cling by attracting and reducing static electrons and ions with positively charged ions. 

If you have noticed, clothes that have just come out of the dryer tend to cling to one another due to static electricity. Static cling occurs when fabrics rub against one another during tumble-drying, causing an electric charge to build up. 

Most people experience static cling in the winter because of the dry air. The coating on the dryer sheet provides all of its anti-static properties. This is where the dryer sheet helps lower static cling.

Dryer sheets work because their lubricants cover the fibers, stopping them from sticking to each other and keeping your laundry neat. In addition, the reduced friction between garments, thanks to the lubricants, helps keep wrinkles at bay.

Like liquid fabric softeners, commercial dryer sheets have become a mainstay in many American households because they help soften damp garments and lessen static cling. 

However, using them has several drawbacks, as they can get caught in unusual places, like dryer vents. Considering these drawbacks and saving money, you will see why using some dryer sheet alternatives is essential.

List of The Best Dryer Sheet Alternatives

Some of the best dryer sheet alternatives you can try using include:

1. Hang Your Clothes

You might be familiar with doing this, but one of the best things you can do to avoid dryer sheets entirely is to hang your clothes to dry. 

Using nature’s energy is your best bet if you’re looking for one of the most sustainable alternatives to a dryer sheet. Commercial dryer sheets might cause flammable lint to build up in dryer vents.  

Another issue is that when you heat these sheets, it can discharge the chemicals they contain. Due to these factors, hanging your garments to dry is preferable to using a dryer sheet. In most cases, drying clothes by hanging them in a warm room is faster than using a dryer, resulting in less form loss.

Hanging your clothes indoors in a warm environment is an effective alternative to drying them outside in the cold. Drying clothes indoors on a clothesline adds humidity to the air, which is especially welcome in the dry winter air. 

When air-drying clothes in the sun, it’s important to remember that your clothes can fade or get destroyed if left out in the rays for too long. 

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent multi-purpose product and one of the most affordable dryer sheet alternatives that can help keep your laundry fluffy and odor-free. 

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You can use it to remove soap residue and leave your clothes smelling fresh. It’s important to mention that it isn’t that great at eliminating static cling. 

However, it does a great job of keeping towels and sheets soft and smelling fresh without reducing their ability to absorb water. 

Also, don’t be put off by the vinegar odor, as it will be gone from your clothes in no time. Let’s show you how to use vinegar as a dryer sheet alternative below:

  • You can use a clean, old cotton towel or rag. 
  • Put together a bowl of half a cup of water and half a cup of white or apple cider vinegar.
  • Put the towel inside the basin. 
  • To dry your clothing, throw the vinegar-soaked cloth in with them and run the dryer as usual.

While this technique won’t speed up the drying process, it eliminates static cling and eliminates static cling and leaves your clothes feeling soft. 

3. Baking Soda

You can use baking soda instead of dryer sheets for a more environmentally friendly option. Additionally,  baking soda is a natural softener and deodorizer on filthy garments. 

This method effectively eliminates micro-organisms and odors by neutralizing the water’s pH.This works best when you use it during a washing machine cycle. 

Remember that combining baking soda and vinegar will cause an explosion of foam and bubbles, so use them separately at all times. If you like going extra with the scent, add a few drops of essential oil to the rinse water.

4. Soap Nuts

environment freindly natural soap berry
environment freindly natural soap berry

If you have been hearing about this option of dryer sheet alternatives, then this is your sign to use them. Soap nuts are an effective alternative to conventional laundry detergents and softeners. 

Not to exaggerate, but before the advent of chemical cleaning agents, people used the saponin found in soapberry tree berries as a natural detergent. 

If you are looking for a sustainable alternative, this is a good choice because they are waste-free and sourced ethically. In addition, the trees help reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses by reusing carbon dioxide to produce oxygen. 

And if you’re on a budget, know that a box of soap nuts can clean up to a hundred loads of laundry! Pour a handful of shells into a small cloth bag and throw it in the dryer with your wet clothing to use in place of dryer sheets. 

The dryer’s heat will release the saponin in the shell, leaving clean, soft garments with a pleasant scent. The best part is that you can reuse these nuts repeatedly by drying them out after each use.

5. Wool Dryer Balls

Due to their ability to absorb moisture and reduce static cling, wool dryer balls are one of the dryer sheet alternatives. 

You can get dryer balls from different brands and at different prices. They increase airflow, speeding up drying times and softening garments.

In addition to helping to cut drying time by up to 25% for each load, wool dryer balls can also help separate items in the dryer by bouncing off them. You can reuse them for as long as you want, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon.

Wool dryer balls are easy to use; just toss them in the dryer with damp clothes. The dryer balls will assist in absorbing moisture as the dryer operates. 

You can use a washcloth or an old sock instead of a dryer ball if you decide to make yours at home. Wool naturally absorbs static electricity while softening and separating the garments.  

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One thing people love about this dryer sheet alternative is that it naturally softens and separates the garments. If you want your laundry to have a pleasant scent, add some essential oils to wool dryer balls.

Always check the label to be sure the wool dryer ball is safe for you, your family, and your pets.

6. Aluminium Foil Balls

If you’re in a bind and have no other choices, this is your best bet! Aluminum foil is a common kitchen item, so you probably have some to spare. Aluminum foil is the most cost-effective and hassle-free solution for static cling. 

Although this throwaway item is not our first choice for long-term food storage, it can be good to put it to good use if you have any hanging around. 

You can use it like dryer sheets by bundling up a ball of aluminum foil and throwing it in your dryer. However, you do not have to toss it away after a single usage. 

You won’t have to worry about static cling thanks to the aluminum foil’s negative ions. Also, remember that this dryer sheet alternative does not soften clothing and can simply lessen static cling. The best thing is that you can reuse this aluminum foil ball as much as you want.

7. Lavender Dryer Bags or Dryer Sachets

If you like the crisp scent of lavender, you can use sachets made from dried lavender flowers instead of dryer sheets. It’s more economical and waste-free to use lavender-filled dryer sachets.

In addition to its other benefits, lavender acts as a natural fabric softener by lowering the amount of static cling in your laundry. 

To use it, put dried lavender flowers in little fabric bags and dry them together with your clothing in the dryer. As the clothes dry, the heat will release the pleasant perfume. 

You can reuse these lavender dryer bags as much as you want. However, ensure you add new dried lavender flowers to the sachets occasionally. You can even make your lavender dryer bags from lavender grown in your garden. 

8. Bamboo Dryer Balls

Bamboo is an evergreen plant that grows quickly with little irrigation and produces 35% more oxygen than trees. You can spin it into yarn to sew garments or make eco-friendly dryer balls. 

Since they do not contain animal materials, bamboo dryer balls are among the best dryer sheet alternatives to traditional wool balls for vegans. These dryer balls usually contain naturally activated charcoal, which helps attract and absorb odors for cleaner, less-stinky clothes.

9. Ice Cubes

The use of ice cubes in a dryer may seem odd at first, but it’s an excellent way to reduce static and prevent wrinkles in medium to small loads of laundry. You may be wondering how this dryer sheet alternative works. 

You only need to throw a few ice cubes into a hot dryer to create steam. The steam will promote a uniform drying process that will prevent creases. Additionally, toss the ice cubes in during the final 15 minutes of the drying cycle for the best ironing results.

10. Make Your DIY Dryer Sheet

If you are not into any dryer sheet alternatives listed, you can make one yourself. To use this, gather a few dish towels and carefully fold them into squares. The next step is to place them inside a container, one on the other.

Put a half cup of white vinegar and 8-10 drops of the oil of your choice in another basin and stir to combine. Pour the solution over the washcloths in the jar, but don’t use too much because you only need to use a small amount.

Before putting a load of clothes into the dryer, remove one cloth and wring it over the jar to eliminate any excess vinegar. 

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Just let the dryer run as usual, and when you are done, return the washcloth to the container containing the vinegar solution.   If you are worried about how long your DIY dryer sheet will last, the secret to extending their useful life is not washing the cloth too often.

You can switch between different pieces of fabric rather than always using the same one. Additionally, try not to use the dryer’s high heat setting if you can help it.

Why Should You Stop Using Dryer Sheets?

For several reasons, you should explore other dryer sheet alternatives instead of using dryer sheets. Some of these reasons include:

1. It contains harmful ingredients

Dryer sheets usually contain several chemicals and fragrances. Some people may be allergic to the compounds that they have. The same applies to regular dryer sheets you buy at the store.

In addition to irritating persons with hypersensitive skin, they also include ingredients that set off allergic reactions in some people. 

Research shows dryer sheet smells cause various health issues, including eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, contact dermatitis, and asthma symptoms. They also leave a layer of dust on your garments, which can aggravate your sensitive skin if you have one. 

These sheets also contain chemicals that can permanently stain clothes and cause them to fade faster. Over time, this buildup sticks together to produce a film that. Also, if chemicals accumulate inside the dryer, it can affect the functionality of the dryer.

It’s also worth noting that using dryer sheets might reduce the absorbency of your towels, making them less efficient at drying. 

2. The companies do not always disclose the ingredients 

Reading product labels is one way to ensure you’re buying harmless goods. However, manufacturers do not always have to list all their ingredients. 

Most consumers are unaware that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) maintains very loose rules on product information disclosure. 

The CPSC offers manufacturers a lot of discretion when listing ingredients; they can list all, some, or none of the substances. For instance, if a product contains 20 ingredients, the manufacturer may include all of them or list only the most essential five. 

Because of these loose disclosure rules, it is more challenging to determine which goods are eco-friendly by simply reading labels.

3. They contribute to waste

From a sustainability perspective, dryer sheets are unnecessary and contribute to waste. As disposable items, they cause excessive garbage and can release dangerous chemicals into the air. 

After most people use them, they discard them in landfills, contributing to the problem of plastic pollution.  

Dryer sheets contain synthetic fibers that drop microplastics, which can pollute streams and endanger marine life. The environment should avoid using dryer sheets and get dryer sheet alternatives for sustainable laundry. 

Also, dryer sheets typically contain polyester, which is not biodegradable. They usually contain biodegradable materials like cellulose or cotton, but their coatings may prevent them from being biodegradable. 

4. Dryer sheets increase your carbon footprint

Using dryer sheets increases your energy use and, by extension, your carbon footprint. As we mentioned earlier, they usually contain various chemicals, which all add to an individual’s carbon footprint.

To some, dryer sheets are a waste of industrial resources and costly, regardless of the lack of health concerns or air quality risks they may pose. This is why most people opt for dryer sheet alternatives.


Using dryer sheets frequently is not only unhealthy but also costly. Not to worry, your clothes will be soft and chemical-free if you swap out conventional dryer sheets for non-toxic and eco-friendly dryer sheet alternatives. 

We hope this post has motivated you to begin your laundry day with these dryer sheet alternatives. Feel free to drop more suggestions for achieving a sustainable way of living. 

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