How to create your own tumble dryer sheets
When it comes to putting a load into a tumble dryer, it’s important to use tumble dryer sheets. They not only help your clothes feel softer following a drying cycle, but they reduce static electricity during a cycle too. This not only means you don’t get any electric shocks from fabrics rubbing together and creating static electricity, but they reduce lint and stains on your clothing.
However, they are also an extra cost on your shopping bill and when things are financially tight, they’ll be one of the first things to disappear from your shopping list. Thankfully, you don’t need to rely on shop-bought dryer sheets. If you’ve got a spare minute or two, you can even make your own. This won’t just provide you with financial savings, but you’ll end up with sheets that have less chemicals and additives in them. This is particularly great for people who have fragrance allergies or if you’d prefer for your clothes to smell a certain way.
To do it, you’ll just need a few ingredients and items – nothing exotic. You’ll just need some scraps of white or clear fabric (preferably cotton, but most fabrics are fine), half of a small cup or glass of white vinegar and a container that can be sealed (preferably glass, like a mason jar). To make it so your sheets have a scent, have some essential oils (such as tea tree, citrus or lavender) at hand too.
Why vinegar? Well, vinegar is known to not only be a softener, but it also helps to reduce static. This makes it the perfect equivalent to the more chemical solutions you’ll find in commercial dryer sheets. If you’re worried about the smell transferring to your clothes, don’t – your clothes will be free of any strong odours. If you use essential oils, your clothes will smell like the essential oils.
First of all, start by making some squares from your fabric of choice. Anything from 10 to 15 centimetres will suffice. To avoid damaging and fraying the fabric, it’s best to use some pinking shears. This will make your sheets last longer as you’re going to be re-using them across multiple loads; however, it isn’t an essential to making them. Any scissors will do the job, just don’t expect the sheets to last as long.
Next, it’s time to create the softener that you’ll use to coat your sheets. You’ll want to take your cup of vinegar, place it in the container and then mix in about 5 to 10 drops of the oil you want to use. If you want different scents, then mix it up. For example, you could do a few drops of orange and then a few drops of tea tree oil.
When you’ve done that, stick your fabric squares into the glass container. Seal the container and give it a shake, ensuring that your sheets are fully covered in the mixture. You can either let them sit if you’re in no hurry to use them, or shake vigorously and remove them right away. To do that, remove a sheet from the container, wring it out to get rid of any excess moisture and then throw it in with your clothes during a drying cycle. Wring out the sheet over your container to retain and reuse as much of the mixture as possible.
When your clothes have been dried, make sure to put your sheet to the side so you can use it again. Top up the sheet by placing it back in the glass container. However, there should still be enough coating left on after the drying process to make it last for another dry cycle. And there you go – home-made dryer sheets that are cheap and toxic-free! Also, in a time where we are all trying to be more environmentally-friendly, home-made dryer sheets are a great way to make another small reduction to your carbon footprint.