How to Make Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets help to prevent static cling, add freshness, and remove odors from clothing. If you use the fragranced sheets, they can even add a nice scent to your laundry. Store-bought dryer sheets are only good for a single use; after that, you have to throw them away. Making your own dryer sheets is simple and only requires a few basic ingredients. Best of all, they are reusable, so you are not only saving money, but also the environment!
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Using Liquid Fabric Softener Cut squares from old towels or washcloths. Cotton fabric, old T-shirts, and flannel also work well. How many squares you cut is up to you, but 12 is a good starting amount.[1]

Fill a bowl with of liquid fabric softener. The type of fabric softener that you use is entirely up to you. If you choose to use a fragranced one, however, make sure that it's a scent you like.[2]

For a gentler version, use 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of fabric softener and of water.[3] Soak the fabric squares in the fabric softener. Dip the stack of fabric squares into the bowl, then press down on them with your hands to submerge them. How long you leave the fabric squares in the bowl doesn't matter as long as each square is thoroughly soaked.[4]

If you have sensitive skin, pull on a pair of rubber gloves. Alternatively, use a stick or jar to press the fabric squares down. Wring the fabric softener from the squares. Working 1 fabric square at a time, pluck them out of the bowl, then twist them to squeeze out the excess liquid. Smooth out the wrinkles caused by the wringing, then set them aside.[5]

The fabric squares will still be wet at this point, so make sure that the surface you’re setting them down on is water-resistant. Hang the fabric squares up to dry completely. A clothesline would be the easiest route, but you can also tie a long piece of string between 2 chairs and use that instead. The length of the string doesn’t matter, as long as you can fit all of the fabric squares on it. Alternatively, drape the fabric squares over a drying rack.[6] How long it takes for the fabric to dry will depend on how hot and humid it is. It will dry faster in warmer, drier climates. Expect to wait a few hours, however. Don’t use a dryer to speed up the process. You want these to air dry. If you diluted the fabric softener with water, you don't need to let the fabric squares dry. Simply store them in an airtight container until you're ready to use it.[7] Store the dryer sheets in an airtight container. This can be anything you want it to be: a jar, a plastic box, or even an empty baby wipes container. You can roll the sheets up into bundles or fold them up into squares. Don't be afraid to get a little creative here![8]

If you soaked the fabric squares, pour some of the diluted fabric softener into the container too. This will prevent them from drying out. You want these to be wet when you use them. Add 1 sheet into the dryer the next time you want to dry your clothes. If you diluted the fabric softener with water, toss 1 wet sheet into the dryer along with the rest of your laundry.[9] A single sheet made from full-strength fabric softener will last 10 to 12 loads. After that, you'll have to re-soak and dry it again.[10] If you used diluted fabric softener, you'll have to re-soak your sheets with more diluted fabric softener before every use. [Edit]Trying Vinegar and Essential Oil Cut some fabric into squares. Any sort of cotton fabric would work here, including quilter's cotton, old T-shirts, flannel, or even towels. You can cut however many squares you want, but 12 squares would be enough. Pour of white vinegar into a bowl. This is the magic ingredient for your dryer sheets. Vinegar has natural deodorizing and fabric softening properties, so it's a great choice for all-natural dryer sheets.[11]

If you're using a thick, absorbent material, such as towels, use of vinegar instead. Stir in 8 to 10 drops of essential oil, if desired. This is completely optional and only there to give your laundry a nice fragrance. You can use just 1 type of oil, or you can mix fragrances. For example, you could use 6 drops of lavender essential oil and 4 drops of tea tree oil.[12]

If you doubled the amount of vinegar, then double the amount of essential oil. About 16 to 20 drops will do. You can find essential oils online and in health food stores. Do not use fragrance oils meant for candle-making or diffusers; they're not the same thing. Soak the fabric sheets in the solution. Take your stack of fabric squares and dunk them into the bowl. Press down on them with your hands or a glass jar to submerge them. How long you leave them in the solution will depend on how absorbent the fabric is. It shouldn't be more than a couple of minutes, however.[13]

Avoid handling the vinegar with your bare hands if you have sensitive skin or any cuts on your hands. Vinegar is very strong and may cause a burning sensation. Store the solution and sheets in an airtight container. Use a glass jar with an airtight glass lid, if possible. Avoid jars with metal lids, as it may react with the vinegar.[14] Other options include plastic tubs and boxes, such as baby wipe containers.

You need to include the solution in the container because you'll be using the sheets while they are still damp. Wring the excess solution out from 2 sheets. Take 1 sheet from the bowl and twist it so that it's no longer dripping wet. Set it aside, then take another sheet out of the bowl. Wring that sheet as well. Leave the other sheets in the vinegar.[15]

This should be enough for 1 load of laundry; if you're drying only a few articles of clothing, then 1 sheet should be enough. Toss the wet sheets into the dryer along with the rest of your laundry. Do not dry the sheets out first. Simply toss them into the dryer, then add the rest of your laundry. Start a dryer cycle like you normally would.[16] After the cycle ends, take the used sheets out and place them back into the vinegar solution with the rest of the dryer sheets. They will absorb the vinegar and become as good as new! [Edit]Combining Hair Conditioner and Vinegar Cut old towels or washcloths into squares. You can also use other types of cotton fabric, such as flannel, old T-shirts, or quilter's cotton. You can cut however many fabric squares you want, but 12 or so will do. Mix of conditioner with of white vinegar. Pour of hair conditioner into a bowl, then add of white vinegar. Stir them together carefully with a spoon so that you don't create any bubbles or froth.[17]

You can increase or decrease the amounts, as long as you use a ratio of 3 parts conditioner and 1 part vinegar. If possible, use a natural, organic hair conditioner that's free of sulfates, parabens, dimethicone, artificial preservatives, and synthetic fragrances. Use whatever type of conditioner you want. Since this isn't going to do anything for your hair, a cheap, inexpensive brand would work just fine. Dunk the fabric squares in the solution, until they are soaked through. Place the stack of fabric squares into the bowl, then press down on them with your hands until they are completely submerged. It shouldn't take very long for the fabric to get soaked through.[18]

Pull on some gloves or use a jar to press down on the fabric if you've got sensitive skin. The conditioner won't hurt you, but the vinegar might cause a burning sensation. Wring the solution out of the fabric and let it air dry. Take a fabric sheet out of the bowl and twist it between your hands to squeeze the excess solution. Untwist it, smooth out the wrinkles, and set it aside. Repeat the process with the other sheets, working 1 sheet at a time. Set the sheets out in a sunny spot so that they can dry completely.[19]

You can also hang the sheets from a clothesline or a drying rack. How long it takes for the sheets to dry will vary. They'll dry faster in hot, dry climates, however. Don't speed the process up by using a clothes dryer. The sheets need to air dry. Store the squares in an airtight container until you're ready to use them. This container can be anything you want it to be: a plastic box, an old baby wipes container, or even a glass jar. You can crumple the sheets up and stuff them in, roll them into tight bundles, or fold them up into neat squares.[20] Use 1 sheet per laundry load. The next time you do laundry, take a sheet and toss it into the dryer along with the rest of the laundry. Start a cycle like you normally would. When the cycle finishes, take the sheet out and put it back into the container with the other sheets.[21] Each sheet will last about 3 loads. After that, you'll have to re-soak the sheets.

[Edit]Tips Use pinking shears to cut the fabric sheets to reduce fraying. You can also serge the edges or go over them using a zigzag stitch.[22] These dryer sheets won't last forever and will eventually start to fray. Because of this, consider using old, ruined, or stained fabric rather than brand-new fabric. The dryer sheets weaken a little each time that you use them. Depending on the size of the load that you put into the dryer, they may weaken faster. If you have very sensitive skin, vinegar and essential oil might be the safest option. You can also try using old socks or sponges. If you choose to use sponges, you don't have to dry them first; just squeeze the excess solution out before tossing it into the dryer.[23] If you made dried dryer sheets (as opposed with wet ones), consider have 2 boxes: 1 for used dried sheets and 1 for unused dryer sheets. [Edit]Things You'll Need [Edit]Using Liquid Fabric Softener of fabric softener Small bowl Spoon Cotton fabric Scissors Air tight container Clothesline or drying rack [Edit]Trying Vinegar and Essential Oil of white vinegar 8 to 10 of drops essential oil Small bowl Spoon Cotton fabric Scissors Air tight container [Edit]Combining Hair Conditioner and Vinegar of hair conditioner of white vinegar Small bowl Spoon Cotton fabric Scissors Air tight container Clothesline or drying rack

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