8 Best Dryer Sheet Alternatives for Sustainable Laundry

Dryer sheets are loaded with chemicals and fragrances that can harm both you and the planet. it's important to remember that living a sustainable lifestyle requires making small changes in all areas of your life.

Shape Green Hive
8 Best Dryer Sheet Alternatives for Sustainable Laundry

Table of Contents

Our Top Picks

Green Hive is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To understand our thorough approach to rating brands and products, explore our comprehensive methodology.

Our Top Picks

Green Hive is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. To understand our thorough approach to rating brands and products, explore our comprehensive methodology.

Looking for a safer alternative to those pesky traditional dryer sheets? Look no further! In this post, we'll explore eight safe alternatives to regular dryer sheets that will leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

So whether you're looking for a more eco-friendly option or you just want to avoid any potential health hazards, we've got you covered. Your laundry room will benefit greatly from having these eight amazing dryer sheet alternatives. Keep reading for more information!

The function of a dryer sheet

A dryer sheet is a small piece of fabric that is coated with a variety of chemicals. These chemicals can include fragrances, lubricants, and fabric softeners.

Static electricity is responsible for making your clothes stick to each other when they come out of the dryer. The anti-static properties of dryer sheets help them to reduce static cling.

The lubricants in the dryer sheets coat the fibers and prevent them from clinging to each other and keep your clothes separated. In addition, the lubricants help to reduce friction between clothing items, which can minimize wrinkling.

The fabric softeners help to soften clothes and make your clothes more static resistant. Dryer sheets can be used multiple times before they need to be replaced.

What happens if you dry clothes without a dryer sheet?

Drying clothes without a dryer sheet is perfectly fine and will not cause any damage to your clothes. In fact, there are a few benefits to drying your clothes without dryer sheets.

For one, dryer sheets can be expensive, and if you can avoid using them, it can save you money in the long run. Additionally, they can leave a coating on your clothes that can eventually make them feel less soft and comfortable. If you want to avoid this, simply replace dryer sheets with some reusable dryer sheet alternatives like wool balls or homemade dryer sheets.

Why should we stop using dryer sheets?

Dryer sheets can add a layer of dust to your clothing that can irritate sensitive skin. They contain certain chemicals that some people may be allergic to. This is the same in the case of conventional dryer sheets, or store-bought dryer sheets.

The chemicals in dryer sheets can leave a residue on your clothes, which can lead to premature fading. The residue accumulates over time, forming an adhesive layer that clogs the lint filter's screen. More lint will be left on your clothes due to the inadequate air flow in the lint filter.

In addition, the chemicals can build up inside your dryer, leading to increased wear and tear. Moreover, dryer sheets can reduce the absorbency of towels, making them less effective at soaking up moisture. For these reasons, it is best to avoid using dryer sheets altogether.

Ultimately, it's up to you whether or not you want to use dryer sheets, but know that there are no negative consequences if you choose not to use them.

Are Dryer Sheets toxic?

Dryer sheets are one of the most commonly used laundry products, but their safety is often called into question. The chemicals and fragrances in dryer sheets can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems.

However, it's important to remember that all chemicals used in dryer sheets have been determined to be safe for human use by the FDA. In fact, the FDA has even designated some of these chemicals as GRAS, or "generally recognized as safe."

While dryer sheets may not be completely harmless, there is no evidence to suggest that they are any more dangerous than any other household cleaning product. Check our list of natural laundry detergent

What is the cause of static cling in the laundry?

Static cling is caused by static electricity, which is an electric charge that builds up on the surface of an object. When a dryer sheet is placed in a clothes dryer with your wet clothes, the heat of the dryer causes the chemicals to vaporize. The vapors then attach to the clothes, reducing static cling and imparting a fresh scent.

When clothes are dry and there is low humidity in the air, this electricity can cause clothes to cling together. Static cling can be annoying, but it is not harmful. You can eliminate static cling by air drying your clothes, or by adding moisture to the air with a humidifier.

Best dryer sheet alternatives:

Check out some of the safe alternatives to dryer sheets such as wool dryer balls, aluminum foil balls, reusable lavender dryer bags, soap nuts, vinegar, and baking soda.

Hang and Line Dry your clothes

Commercial dryer sheets can accumulate in dryer vents, leading to a build-up of flammable lint. Also, these sheets often contain chemicals that can be released into the air when heated.

For these reasons, it is advisable to hang dry your clothes instead of using a dryer sheet. Clothes hung in a warm room will usually dry relatively quickly, and they will retain their shape better than if they were tumble-dried.

Moreover, hanging your clothes outside will give them a refreshing scent that is free of any toxic chemicals which make your laundry smell fresh. So next time you do laundry, skip the dryer sheet and opt for hanging your clothes instead.


Apple cider vinegar can be used as a dryer sheet alternative. Replace your liquid fabric softener and simply add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to the detergent dispenser during the wash cycle. 

The apple cider vinegar will help to soften fabrics and reduce static cling. Don't worry about the vinegar smell. Your clothes won't be having an odor as the smell of vinegar vanishes quickly.

In addition, apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant that dissolves soap residue. This can help to remove any nasty smells from your natural fabrics and provides you with softer and fresher clothes.

Baking Soda

If you're looking for a more natural way to soften your clothes, baking soda can be a great alternative to dryer sheets. Simply add baking soda to your wash cycle before adding the laundry detergent. You may notice that the end result will be less wrinkled, softer clothes. It works as a natural fabric softener.

Moreover, adding half a cup of baking soda to your rinse cycle will help to soften clothes and absorb odors from your clothing. If you have particularly stinky laundry, you can even add a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda before adding it to your machine.

Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are made from the dried fruit of the saponin-containing trees found in South-East Asia. The saponin in the soap nut acts as a surfactant, meaning it helps to remove dirt and grime from clothing.

To use them as a dryer sheet alternative, simply place a few shells in a small cloth bag and add them to your dryer along with your wet clothes. The heat from the dryer will release the saponin from the shells, and you will receive fresh-smelling and soft clothes from your dryer.

Best of all, these nuts are reusable - simply dry them out after each use and they'll be ready to go again with your future loads.

What is the best natural alternative to dryer sheets?

Soap nuts are an attractive alternative for people who are looking for a more natural laundry solution. Also known as " soapberries," these small fruits contain saponin, a compound that breaks down when exposed to water and acts as a natural laundry detergent. They are one of the best dryer sheet alternatives which are naturally available.

Wool Dryer Balls

Are you looking for alternatives to dryer sheets? If so, you may want to consider wool dryer balls.

Wool dryer balls are considered excellent dryer sheet alternatives, as they absorb moisture and help to mitigate static cling. There are several brands of dryer balls on the market, and they are relatively inexpensive.

To use wool dryer balls, simply place them in your dryer with your wet laundry. As the dryer runs, the dryer balls will help to absorb moisture. You can also use a wash cloth or an old sock as a dryer ball.

Aluminum Foil Dryer Balls

Have you ever tried an aluminum foil ball in the dryer instead of dryer sheets?

These balls are cheaper than sheets and they don't leave a residue. Aluminum foil balls can be reused over and over. When compared to a fabric softener, these balls will not coat your clothes. Aluminum foil balls are eco-friendly and safe for all types of fabrics. They are easy to make - just crumple up a sheet of aluminum foil into a ball.

Lavender Dryer Bags or Dryer Sachets

Using dryer sachets with lavender inside is a less wasteful and more cost-effective choice. Lavender is a natural fabric softener that also helps to reduce static adhesion. Simply place a sachet in the dryer with your clothes and let it do its work. You can reuse each sachet several times before discarding it.

Use Nothing or Skip the Drying Cycle

Skipping the dryer sheet and drying cycle can save time and energy. Simply hang your clothes on a line or rack to air dry. Not only will they come out just as clean, but they'll also have a fresher scent. And you'll save money on your energy bill each month. If you don't have an outdoor space for drying clothes, invest in a small clothesline that you can use indoors.

Can You Make Your Own Dryer Sheets?

DIY dryer sheets are typically made from scrap fabric, like old t-shirts, and essential oils. These are eco-friendly reusable dryer sheets and can be utilized over and over again. To make your own dryer sheets, simply cut the fabric into small squares and add them to a separate bowl.

When you're ready to use them, simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to each square and toss them in the dryer with your wet laundry. The heat from the dryer will help to release the essential oils, leaving your clothes smelling fresh and clean.


Dryer sheets are loaded with chemicals and fragrances that can harm both you and the planet. While reducing your use of dryer sheets from your laundry routine is a good choice to start, it's important to remember that living a sustainable lifestyle requires making small changes in all areas of your life.

There are many ways to reduce your environmental impact and make choices that are better for the planet. We hope this article has given you some ideas about how you can get started on your laundry day. What other ways do you know of to live a sustainable lifestyle? We'd love to hear from you!


Cafasso, J. (2019, September 18). Are Dryer Sheets Safe to Use? Healthline. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/dryer-sheets-toxicity

Back to Top