How to make Homemade Dryer Sheets

Do you want to know how to make your own dryer sheets?  Homemade dryer sheets are so simple to make, and there are multiple ways to do it.  If you want to ditch store-bought dryer sheets, I’ve got great news for you!

Today, I’m going to share with you two ways you can make your very own. I’m going to show you how to make homemade dryer sheets with vinegar, and then I’ll explain how you can customize it to make homemade dryer sheets with fabric softener.

For many months of the year I don’t use dryer sheets because I like to hang out my laundry on the line.  There’s nothing quite like the smell of clean clothes that have been dried by the sun.

However, I live in Canada.  And while I’ve seen some serious, hard-core Amish women hanging their laundry in -20 weather (that’s Celsius, -4 for you Fahrenheit people) I just don’t want to live that kind of life.  I’m all for doing things the old-fashioned way and I love to embrace many of those methods.  

However, I will always thank God for creating the person who invented dryers to use in our cold Canadian winters.  Same goes for the washing machine.  I like to do a lot of things myself, but washing my clothes by hand is not one of them.

When I’m doing laundry throughout the winter and using the dryer, I don’t want my clothes to come out stiff and crunchy.  Towels are the worst for that.

But, I also enjoy the frugal way of life.

So, if I can save money on something in a very simple way, I’m going to do that.  Plus, if I save money on things like dryer sheets, it allows me more money for the more expensive, good quality coffee beans. 

The ones I’m enjoying at this very minute to hopefully give me some motivation to go switch my load of laundry for the third time today.

So. Much. Laundry.

Anyways,  reusable dryer sheets are a great option for so many reasons. And you can whip these up in about 10 minutes. These are DIY dryer sheets with essential oils, but if you don’t want any scent to them, just leave the oils out and you will have a nice batch of unscented dryer sheets.

You can also pair this with a batch of my homemade laundry soap.  Natural laundry products are simple and cheap to make, whether it’s dryer sheets or your own laundry detergent.

 This dryer sheet recipe uses vinegar, but scroll to the end for how to make homemade dryer sheets without vinegar.  If you are making this recipe with the vinegar, let me assure you that once your clothes dry, there is no vinegar smell in them.  All that’s left in your clothes once your laundry is finished is a nice scent, no static cling, and soft clothes.

Before I get into how to make these DIY dryer sheets, I want to give a warning.  Never use vinegar with bleach. 

How to Make Homemade Dryer Sheets

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supplies for dryer sheets

Gather your supplies.  You’ll need:

  • glass jar or container of some kind
  • Measuring cup
  • Cloths (make sure it’s cotton)
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Essential oils (optional)


Step 1:

If your cloths are normal sized cloths or bigger, you’ll probably want to cut them.  Mine were full-sized old washcloths so I just cut them in half.  Baby cloths are a great option and don’t need to be cut if you have some of those around.  My youngest “baby” is almost 12 so our baby cloths are LONG gone.  I just picked up some washcloths at the thrift store and gave them a good washing.  

wash cloths and essential oils

Alternatively, you could use pieces of an old t-shirt, old towels, or an old sheet.  Just make sure whatever you use that it is cotton as you want it to soak up the liquid fabric softener you are making.  Fabrics made from things like polyester just won’t soak up the liquid like you’ll want them to.

Cutting cloths for dryer sheets

Step 2:

Pour into your jar a cup of vinegar and a cup of water. 

Pouring vinegar into a jar

Step 3:  

Add in 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil.  I used bergamot this time for a citrusy scent.  

essential oils for dryer sheets

 Step 4:

Put the lid on and give it a good shake to mix it up.

shaking liquid in a jar

Step 5:  

Roll up your washcloths so you can fit them in the jar nicely.  I find enough washcloths for a snug fit makes the process easier.

rolled up washcloths

Step 6:  

Stick the washcloths in the jar standing up.  Half of the cloths should be sitting in the liquid while the other half won’t be (depending on the size of your jar, of course.)

dryer cloths in a jar

Step 7:  

Put the lid back on your jar and put it upside down or swish it around to allow the liquid to cover all the fabric.

Step 8:

To use, pull out a cloth, wring it out a bit if it’s wet enough to be drippy, and stick it in the dryer with the rest of your cloths.  When your clothes are done in the dryer, just roll the cloth back up and stick it back into the jar to use as part of your laundry routine again and again.

putting dryer sheet in the dryer

And that’s all there is to it to making natural dryer sheets.  

How to Make Homemade Dryer Sheets without Vinegar

For some people, they prefer to not use vinegar in their machines.  That’s fine – you can make homemade fabric softener sheets without vinegar!  All you need to do is use the above method, but instead of using vinegar, you would use a store-bought fabric softener.  

If you have sensitive skin you can buy a fabric softener that is unscented and gentler than the full strength ones.  This will help you avoid any skin irritations you may be prone to.  

If you use a fabric softener, you don’t need to add drops of essential oil to it as the fabric softener will already have a fresh scent of some kind (unless it’s unscented, of course.)

While no one likes doing loads of laundry, hopefully making your own DIY dryer sheets will make your laundry room time a little more enjoyable.  Save yourself the extra cost of conventional dryer sheets and make them yourself with this easy method.

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