|

9 of the Best Dryer Sheet Substitutes: Non-Toxic Alternatives

This page may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of our affiliate links, we'll earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.

Best Dryer Sheet Substitutes

Doing laundry is a chore that many of us carry out with minimal enthusiasm. Its time consuming, often costly, and depending on the size of your household, it can be pretty physical work. One of the few things many of us enjoy about completing the wash and dry cycle is the feeling of warm, fuzzy laundry fresh from the dryer.

Dryer sheets are a staple in many people’s laundry cycles, they leave clothes, towels, and sheets feeling soft, smelling fresh, and free from any annoying static. Something you might not be aware of though, is the harm that these dryer sheets can do to you, your pets, and the environment. And that there are great natural dryer sheet substitutes that exist.

Some of the most common ingredients found in disposable dryer sheets are benzyl acetate, alcohol ethoxylates, and synthetic fragrance oils. You don’t have to be a chemist to know that they don’t sound like the most eco-friendly or natural ingredients.

In fact, dryer sheets containing these chemicals as well as other toxic ingredients can be extremely harmful to your health. They can induce headaches, breathing difficulties, skin irritation, and even central nervous system disorders.

As well as this, the toxins found in these dryer sheets are also incredibly harmful to the environment, polluting both water and air as a result of the chemicals and fibers they release.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, there is a huge range of dryer sheet alternatives and dryer sheet substitutes that provide the same fresh scent, softness, and anti-static properties, without any of the unsafe ingredients and adverse repercussions.

Dryer Sheet Substitutes

Listed below you will find nine eco-friendly, cost-effective alternatives to disposable dryer sheets.

1. Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are available to buy online and at most local stores. They’re un-fragranced and non-toxic, making them extremely safe to use and one of the best dryer sheet alternatives.

The balls are placed directly in the dryer with your laundry, helping the clothes to dry faster and reduce static. They’re reusable, natural, and environmentally friendly, making them a great dryer-sheet alternative. Check out our post How to Use Wool Dryer Balls, and Why You Should to learn more.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
  • Replace chemically infused dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners with an eco-friendly alternative
  • Save energy costs by reducing drying time by up to 25%
  • Reduce static cling
9.7
Check Price on Amazon
Moonbrook Wool Dryer BallsMoonbrook Wool Dryer Balls
  • Saves 15%-30% of drying time, reduces wrinkles, anti-static, twisting, tangles, lint and pet hair
  • Reusable for 1,000+ loads each ball
  • Hypoallergenic and baby safe
9.6
Check Price on Amazon
SnugPad Wool Dryer BallsSnugPad Wool Dryer Balls
  • An eco-friendly alternative to plastic dryer balls that are most frequently seen on television
  • Anti-static quality will help reduce your need to iron your clothes
  • Reusable for up to four years and 1,000 loads
  • Perfect for sensitive skin and babies
9.5
Check Price on Amazon

As well as reducing both static and drying time, wool dryer balls also soften and fluff fabrics without any of the sticky residue left behind from dryer sheets or liquid fabric softeners. It’s thought that some high-quality dryer balls could last up to five years. The balls can be ‘recharged’ to restore their effectiveness by simply washing them in hot water before drying on high heat.

Making your own dryer balls is fairly easy and involves tightly wrapping yarn into a ball before felting in the washing machine. There are many easy-to-follow tutorials that can be found online.

Related: 6 Benefits of Wool Dryer Balls

2. Dryer Balls with Essential Oils

If you find that wool dryer balls work well for you as a dryer-sheet alternative, but you’re missing that fresh laundry smell that dryer sheets leave on your newly-washed clothes, there are non-toxic and eco-friendly ways of replicating this.

Essential oils are great for adding fragrance and freshness to your dryer balls. Lavender and chamomile are great for bed sheets as they help to induce calm and restful sleep. Eucalyptus and Balsam Fir will help you achieve that fresh, floral scent. The fragrance is entirely customizable and can be chosen to suit your personal preferences.

You can add essential oils to homemade or store-bought dryer balls. Simply add a few drops of the oil onto the ball before drying them to ensure that all of the oils have been absorbed and no oil marks will be left on your laundry.

One thing to consider here is that some essential oils may be harmful to your pets. Cinnamon, citrus, and peppermint are just a few examples of essential oils that can be toxic for dogs, but there are others to be aware of if you have pets in the house. Make sure you do your research before adding these into your laundry routine.

Top Pick
Plant Therapy 7 & 7 Essential Oils Set
  • Includes 7 top single oils and 7 powerful synergy blends 
  • Great for people new to essential oils or anyone looking to restock
  • They can help with relaxation, focus, tension and sleep. 

Here's what's included: Lavender, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange, Peppermint, Lemon, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus single oils. Synergy Blends include: Germ Fighter, Immune Aid, Tranquil, Invigor Aid, Sensual, Relax and Energy.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar has a range of uses when it comes to cleaning your home. It’s great for cleaning windows, dissolving grease, and cleaning floors. It’s also extremely useful when it comes to your laundry.

There are two main ways vinegar can be implemented into your laundry routine in place of toxic, heavily fragranced liquid or dryer sheet alternatives. The first involves adding vinegar into the wash cycle as a great way of softening laundry and reducing static. Alternatively, you can dampen a washcloth with vinegar and add this to your dryer as a make-shift dryer sheet.

White or apple cider vinegar are your best choices, and the smell will dissipate throughout the cycle, so you don’t need to worry about your laundry smelling like vinegar if you choose to use this method. It’s also one of the most inexpensive dryer sheet substitutes.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda offers another great natural dryer sheet alternative. It’s excellent for softening clothes and won’t leave any lingering odors.

Instead of adding baking soda into the dryer, add it in during the wash cycle. As well as acting as a softening agent, baking soda also has disinfectant properties, ensuring the cleanliness and freshness of your laundry. It’s particularly great at restoring the brightness of white items.

Baking soda is an eco-friendly ingredient and is used in many green cleaning products. It’s completely biodegradable and won’t cause water or air pollution.

5. Reusable Dryer Sheets

Not all dryer sheets are toxic and harmful to you, your pets, and the environment. Reusable dryer sheets can be found without any of the added, harmful ingredients. Buying reusable dryer sheets means less pollution and less waste.

High-quality sheets can be used for up to a year and are made of chemical-free, natural fabrics.

Purecosheet - Reusable Dryer Sheets | Cost Effective (500+ Loads), Chemical Free & Vegan Dryer Sheet | Safe for Infants & Allergy/Eczema Sufferers | Hypoallergenic Purecosheet – Reusable Dryer Sheets 

Like reusable dryer balls, these sheets tend to be unscented, but essential oils can be added in the same way as they are to wool dryer balls. Simply add the oils to the dryer sheets before drying thoroughly and using them as normal. This way you have toxin-free, eco-friendly dryer sheets that produce little waste and no chemical pollution.

6. Environmentally-Friendly Fabric Softeners

There is a multitude of fragrance-free, non-harmful liquid fabric softeners available to buy. With the current climate emergency at the forefront of much of our daily news and consciousness, many brands are striving to produce products that won’t add to the issues of pollution and excessive waste production.

Eco-friendly fabric softeners are often scent-free, but you can also find naturally fragranced alternatives that will leave your laundry soft, static-free, and fresh-smelling without the presence of any harmful substances.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Dryer Sheets, Fabric Softener, Reduces Static, Cruelty Free Formula Infused with Essential Oils, Honeysuckle Scent, 80 Count Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dryer Sheets

It’s also possible to make your own eco-friendly fabric softener using many of the ingredients already mentioned in this list as dryer sheet substitutes. Vinegar and baking soda are great ingredients and essential oils can be used to add natural scents. Again, there are many online tutorials detailing how to make your own DIY eco-friendly fabric softener.

7. Aluminum Foil

Probably the cheapest and easiest alternative to standard disposable dryer sheets, Aluminum foil is excellent for reducing static in your laundry. It won’t do much for the softness or fragrance of your clothes, but its anti-static properties are second to none.

Roll a strip of foil into a ball roughly the size of a baseball and toss it in your dryer. The ball is reusable and should last many cycles. As well as reducing static, the balls also detangle and separate your laundry throughout the cycle. This helps in speeding up the drying process, saving energy, and making your laundry cycle much more efficient.

8. DIY Dryer Sheets

Making your own dryer sheets is an excellent way of ensuring you’re not absorbing any harmful ingredients or producing any excessive waste. Dampen a cloth with vinegar and essential oils and keep in an airtight container. Whenever you need a dryer sheet simply add one of these in with your laundry for fresh, soft, naturally fragranced laundry.

If you don’t have an old cloth lying around, you could use an old t-shirt or towel to make your dryer sheets, a great way of recycling unwanted items and getting further use out of them. Try to use natural fabrics as these are less likely to emit plastics or other toxic chemicals into your laundry and dryer.

Again, if you choose to add essential oils to add fragrance to your dryer sheets, just make sure to do your research and choose ones that suit your needs and won’t be harmful to any pets in your household.

9. Air Dry

It might not always be a viable option, but allowing your laundry to air dry is a great way of reducing the amount of energy used throughout your laundry cycle, as well as reducing costs on dryer sheets, balls, or liquid conditioners.

Air drying your laundry can be done using indoor drying racks, some of which come with built-in heaters to speed up the drying process. You might also choose to air dry your laundry outside (weather dependent of course). This gives laundry a great fresh smell without the need for any synthetic, chemical fragrances. Just try to avoid direct sunlight, as this can dye fabrics over time, causing them to lose their vibrancy.

Overall, if you have the space and the facilities, air drying your laundry is a great, cost-effective alternative to drying with harmful, disposable dryer sheets.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
  • Replace chemically infused dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners with an eco-friendly alternative
  • Save energy costs by reducing drying time by up to 25%
  • Reduce static cling
9.7
Check Price on Amazon
Moonbrook Wool Dryer BallsMoonbrook Wool Dryer Balls
  • Saves 15%-30% of drying time, reduces wrinkles, anti-static, twisting, tangles, lint and pet hair
  • Reusable for 1,000+ loads each ball
  • Hypoallergenic and baby safe
9.6
Check Price on Amazon
SnugPad Wool Dryer BallsSnugPad Wool Dryer Balls
  • An eco-friendly alternative to plastic dryer balls that are most frequently seen on television
  • Anti-static quality will help reduce your need to iron your clothes
  • Reusable for up to four years and 1,000 loads
  • Perfect for sensitive skin and babies
9.5
Check Price on Amazon

Final Thoughts on the Best Dryer Sheet Substitutes: Non-Toxic Alternatives

You might be surprised to learn that the dryer sheets you use regularly are causing such substantial damage to your own health as well as that of the environment. Luckily, there are plenty of viable dryer sheet substitutes that won’t cause the same harm.

Upon reading this article you should have gained some insight into the importance of using eco-friendly cleaning products, and the plethora of environmentally friendly, effective options that are available to us.

Disclaimer
SavvyNaturalCleaning.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.