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Saving Money on Dryer Sheets

Tips for saving money on dryer sheets and fabric softener from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own techniques here.

Homemade Dryer Sheets From Washclothes


Dip a washcloth in liquid fabric softener, then hang it on a towel rack until dry. When you dry clothes, pop this washcloth in with the load. It can be reused a couple dozen times, then repeat the procedure. A bottle of liquid softener will last almost forever!

Just to add to my post shown here from June 2004, I am still using from the same bottle of fabric softener that I was using at that time. It is a 200 ounce bottle of Snuggle that I bought at Sam's in Sept of 2003. I dilute it with equal parts of water, and do about 30 loads before I have to resoak my cloth.

By Harlean from Arkansas

Soak a clean rag in ultra fabric softener and let dry. Put the dry rag in your dryer and leave it there. This will soften your clothes like a dryer sheet, but will last a long time. I have just started using it and have done 30 loads and the same rag is still working. I have another rag ready and waiting for when this first one runs out.


By Lady Sharon

I also soak a few old washclothes in fabric softener, hang to dry and put them in a linen bag so that I can easily keep up with it in each load of laundry. Every couple of weeks, I resoak and hang to dry and start all over. I started doing this in January 05, and needless to say, I am still using the same bottle of softener. I hate I didn't know this years ago!

By Suzi Homemaker

Spray Bottle

I have heard of filling a spray bottle with fabric softener and diluting it a little. Then they just spray a few squirts into the dryer while drying.


Line Dry Instead

I have never found a reason for fabric conditioner or dryer sheets unless you have a lot of synthetic clothing which collects static electricity. If you are able, save even more money by giving the fabric softener/dryer sheets a miss and line drying for a fresh clean smelling wash!


By Jo

Cut In Half

Regarding laundry, don't use the entire dryer sheet! I have a large family, use the cheapest dryer sheets I can find, and always tear mine in half.

By Christy

When I buy a new box of dryer sheets, I use my scissors and cut the sheets in half. Each load gets soft with half a sheet and now my box of 80 uses lasts through 160 uses!

By Bayyore

Foil For Static

If your main reason for using fabric softener sheets is to control static, I've not found anything better than a wad of aluminum foil. If you need softening power too, just use 1/2 fabric softener sheet plus the aluminum foil.

By Terry

Use Herbal Alternatives

I don't use dryer sheets at all. With family members with environmental illnesses and severe allergies, the least amount of chemicals used in the house are the best. I use vinegar in the final wash and dryer fragrances in the dryer. (bags of lavender, which I sell in my online store) Regular dryer sheets leave a chemical residue in your dryer that you don't need. The herbal fragrances are refreshing and not toxic.


By Lois Ann

Cleaning with Used Dryer Sheets

I have to say that I ALWAYS got with the "cut 'em in half" method, it works just great. Then, once they have been through my dryer, I save them and clean the bathtub with them. I know, sounds crazy, but I swear, nothing works better for removing soap scum!

By Tori

Dryer Sheet Strips

Dryer sheets are so expensive. Instead of tossing in an entire dryer sheet, tear one sheet into 6 to 8 strips and toss in only one at a time!

By Stacy

Name Brands Work Better In Smaller Pieces

I have to amend one of the tips I sent in. I sent in a tip about tearing or cutting your dryer sheets in half. That works well if you use one of the name brand, better brands of dryer sheets, but I tried it with a store brand and it did not work well at all. So I only recommend doing that if you use one of the more expensive, name brand dryer sheets.


By Robin

Use Sponges In Fabric Softener

I get a large jar, cut up a sponge and put the pieces in it. Then take a couple of capfuls of Downy, or whatever kind you want, and fill the rest with water.

When you need a dryer sheet, reach for the sponge. You just wring it out, throw it in, then when the laundry is done, put it back in the jar! This works wonderfully and save a lot of money and garbage from the dryer sheets.

By Gypsy357

Use The Sheet Four Times

I was taught that a fabric softener sheet can be used four times. Each time you use one, cut off a corner. When you get to fourth one, throw it away.

By Linda

Other Uses For Dryer Sheets

Used sheets can be used to clean TV screens, PC screens, bathroom mirrors and dusting. New sheets can be put in pillow cases, linen closets, drawers with clothes, under chair cushions, luggage that's stored. They go all over the house.


By Elayne

Harmful Chemicals In Dryer Sheets had an article in Feb (I think) about the harmful chemicals used to make dryer sheets. They suggest using vinegar and/or baking soda in the washing machine instead of dryer sheets. Articles from their e-mails can be found on the Sixwise website.

I bought some environmentally friendly liquid fabric softener today at Wild Oats and plan to try soaking a cloth in the liquid, allowing to dry, then using this as my fabric sheet. Hopefully this product has is made with chemicals that are less toxic/harmful. BTW the bottle was only $3.69 and if the technique to make your own fabric sheet with liquid fabric softener works, this should be very cost effective and healthier than Snuggle or Bounce.

By Sandy

Use Dryer Balls Instead

I used to be married to an appliance repairman! The dryer sheets are bad for the dryers, gunking it up, I think was the prognosis. My Ex worked for Sears and this was what he learned. Find another alternative like the blue dryer balls they sell at Walmart. They cost $10, they help with static electricity, You don't have the smell from the softener is the only drawback. I haven't used softener in years and haven't needed it.


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April 6, 20070 found this helpful

I have never used dryer sheets - but I found that diluting a nice smelling fabric softener with water 1 to 2 or 3 that I can make a wrinkle spray for my cottons/knits. (I really don't like the regular fabric softener scent - but I have discovered other, better scents!)

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April 6, 20070 found this helpful

I do the same as Pamphyla- works as good as Fe-breeze and goes further, to dilute fabric softener with water in spray bottle. If you're in a hurry and find only a couple wrinkles in clothing, spray it with this and use a blow dryer to steam the wrinkles out. I also use liquid fabric softener (my personal favorite is Gain Original scent) and water in a pump spray mist bottle for a quick air freshener around the house.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 6, 20070 found this helpful

Instead of buying those 'dryer balls', buy tennis balls from the dollar store. Sometimes 3 in a pkg for one dollar. they work just as well. Put one under clothes, one on top

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 6, 20070 found this helpful

I stopped using dryer sheets when I found out that they leave a waxy residue on the lint test..rinse the lint filter after removing all lint.. and if the water beads up instead of flowing thru the lint filter , wax build up and can be a fire hazard.. I stopped using as it makes the materials weaker so your clothes dont last.. I dry mine out side on a clothesline... jeans, and towels, sheets, etc. I only dry underwear as I dont want undies and bras outside. I also switched to an organic detergent and use mostly cold water.. I only use when an illness to kill germs

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April 6, 20070 found this helpful

I too have never used dryer sheets, I always dry my washing outside in the fresh air. Only on rare occasions of bad weather do I use my dryer at all. Much more economical and healthy I say.

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April 7, 20070 found this helpful

I never use fabric softener on my towels; I read that it cuts down on their absorbency. I dry them in the dryer and they are very soft. Also, my dryer has a sensor that stops the dryer when the clothes are dry rather than using a timer. I read that the fabric softner sheets will coat the sensor over time and it won't work any more.

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April 7, 20070 found this helpful

I line dry, but find that items like T-shirts and jeans always end up being kinda crunchy. Does anyone know of a good natural product I can use as a fabric softener in the rinse cycle? I'm inclined to think white vinegar might work, but haven't tried it.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 10, 20070 found this helpful

i tried dryer balls and got them on line and they became a good Cat Toy.. that was it was not at all worth the money for me and my dryer, nothing got dry quicker and the static was horrendous.
Sorry but for us it did not work for us at all and the noise oh my! lol
Living in a small trailer and all the banging around was not welcome at all.

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By guest (Guest Post)
April 10, 20070 found this helpful

I want to try the idea of using a cloth as a dryer sheet. Call me blonde, (which I am!) do you pour the softner in a small bowl or something to dip the cloth in? Would this not be wasting alot of liquid?

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April 11, 20070 found this helpful

I saved a list of how to safely use household products to make your own cleaning and laundering solutions. In reference to your question about white vinegar, it says to use one cup in the rinse cycle for a full load before line drying. I've not tried it either, but plan to once the snow and cold temps decide to stay away!

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 14, 20080 found this helpful

Something else to consider--I tried the soaking a washcloth in fabric softener trick today and I can't wait to start using it, but I did want to say that rather than just hanging your 'dryer cloth' on a towel rack, I hung mine from the pull string of the living room fan and turned the fan on high. Fabric softeners are notoriously delicious-smelling (I use Gain original sent which is my favorite smell in the whole world!), and it serves two purposes--it dries the sheet and scents the whole room delightfully!

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May 13, 20090 found this helpful

Okay, don't know if anyone has posted this sorry if I repeated haven't looked. However I use Any kind of good smelling Conditioner which I got for $1.00 and Duster sheets (the kind you use on a swiffer). I bought at the Dollar Store I got 20 in a pack for $1.00. I keep a bowl with a little conditioner and fill the bowl up with water Stir and stick a Duster sheet in there to soak over night. Then once everything is dry I stick it back in the bowl to soak. I do not let it dry I wring it out and just throw it in there.

The Dryer will dry it, not to mention it will leave an awesome smell for weeks I love it been doing it for a year now and I will not stop. I have saved so much money on this. I recommend it to anyone. I would say about 1/4 cup conditioner and about 2 cups of water. That's what I use I have had so many complements I just love it thanks Mandy

Oh I also make my own Laundry detergent too. :) I have saved so much Money!

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

First defense is not over using detergent and for the crunchy jeans and such with line drying ( again ) use the air only on the dryer, love my air only selection

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February 7, 20150 found this helpful

Dryer sheets are very bad for the environment; they do not decompose. I use old washcloths soaked in fabric softener as well. It's a cheaper and environmentally friendly alternative.

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