Making your own reusable dryer sheets is so quick, easy, and cost-saving that I am not sure why I didn’t start doing this before.
What I like best about this project is I can turn my favorite liquid fabric softener into a dryer sheet and can stretch that bottle from 40 loads to 400 loads. And instead of spending approximately $60 a year on fabric softener, I end up spending $6 (or maybe less if I can get a few more flannel strips in there.)
I choose to use Seventh Generation products, so my cost savings are based on a $4.99 bottle of fabric softener (available at that price at Alice.com). In a front loading washer it will soften 40 loads and costs about 12 cents a load. If you have a top loader, you may need to use more softener which will end up costing more per load and you will spend more money on fabric softener a year, but if you make your own dryer sheets you will also see an even greater savings.
I have a small child still in diapers, so I have some plastic wipes containers waiting to be re-purposed. I simply cut out a circle in the lid so I can easily fit my hand inside and now I have a container to hold my dryer sheets. Otherwise, any other plastic container with a lid will work. Try to find something you might have thrown away because it couldn’t be recycled in your area to help cut down on landfill waste.
To make the strips of reusable dryer sheets, cut some some flannel or some other very absorbent material. Leftover scraps or old pajamas will work great. Also, if you have pinking shears, I would advise making your cuts with these so that it helps to minimize fraying. Next, place your strips in the bottom of your plastic container and pour your fabric softener mixture over the top of the strips. No need to move them as the liquid will quickly be absorbed. Allow at least an hour for the mixture to absorb into the strips before using.
Dryer Sheet Fabric Softener Mixture: Mix 4 T liquid fabric softener and 10 T water together
Just toss one in the dryer with each load and save the dried sheet at the end to reuse for your next batch of DIY dryer sheets. If your dryer sheets start to dry out before you can use them all just pour some water on them to moisten them again. You can use each sheet a couple times before you need to wash them.
By re-purposing a baby wipes container and old pajamas, I had no additional cost to making my dryer sheets. My final cost per sheet is about 1 cent, which saves me 11 cents per load by using my DIY dryer sheets instead of putting softener in my front loader.
I know some people might not be fond of having to pick out their dryer sheets and storing them to make another batch, so I have an alternative option for you, a fabric softener spray.
Simply combine 5 T of fabric softener and 10 T water in a spray bottle. Shake before each use to make sure it is mixed well and spray about 10 sprays on your wet load before you put it in the dryer, which equals about 1 tsp of spray.
The spray also costs about 1 cent per load and you will get about 360 loads out of that one bottle of fabric softener, instead of 40.
And if both of these options seem like extra work you don’t want to do, try using 1/3 to 1/2 the amount of fabric softener in your washer to see if you can use less and still have soft & static free clothes. Another option will be to cut your dryer sheets in 2-4 pieces (depending upon what seems to work best for your laundry.) A box of Seventh Generation 65-ct. dryer sheets also cost $4.99 (8 cents a piece.)
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