Most of us know that DIY skincare creations such as lotions, creams and body scrubs not only help us to save money but also reduce our exposure to potentially harmful chemicals found in conventional beauty products. When it comes to our homes, however, few consider going the DIY route. We use bright blue liquid soap to wash dishes, squirt surfaces with bleachy-scented cleaners and wash our clothing with powdered laundry detergent (followed by a spin in the dryer with a chemical-coated fabric softener sheet). It's time to rethink these habits!
Why make your own dryer sheets?
Making your own dryer sheets is smart for several reasons. Consider safety first! Most conventional laundry products are laced with fragrances and chemicals that can irritate skin, trigger allergies and cause other discomforts (and possibly health issues when used long-term). No thanks!
Disposable dryer sheets are also wasteful. Think of all the laundry you do over the course of the year (it's estimated that the average American household washes between 300 and 400 loads). If you toss in a dryer sheet each time, it really adds up.
Lastly, you're likely spending between $5 and $10 a box each time you purchase conventional dryer sheets. Why throw money down the drain when you can easily make your own with a few simple supplies you probably already have at home? To start, you'll need some small cloths, which you can find at any dollar store, superstore or fabric store. Or, recycle some old t-shirts or other fabric to save even more money and reduce waste.
DIY Dryer Sheets
What you'll need:
- 10-15 small fabric cloths, cut into 3x5 inch pieces
- Large mason jar or another glass container with lid
- Large glass or metal bowl
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 3-5 drops essential oil of choice (lavender, geranium, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree and lemon are all nice options)
What to do:
- In large bowl, combine vinegar and essential oil drops. (Note: The vinegar acts as a natural preservative and cleansing agent for the sheets, but your laundry won’t smell like vinegar, so don’t worry!)
- Submerge cloths in bowl so they're completely covered with liquid. Don't leave them to soak; you want them to be damp and fully coated. They'll dry out a bit over time, so it's OK if they aren't perfect.
- Place cloths in mason jar or container. To make it easier to remove them, add them to the jar one at a time, stacking sheets on top of each other.
- Seal the jar and store in your laundry room. Add a sheet to the dryer when you dry a load of laundry.
Note: Feel free to wash your dryer sheets after several uses, or whenever you want to change the scent.