DIY Dryer Sheet Replacements

These DIY dryer sheets really work!

These DIY dryer sheets really work!

Have you been wanting to ditch the toxic dryer sheets? My husband and I came up with DIY dryer sheets to keep us static-free without harsh chemicals!

My husband Dave can’t stand even a little bit of static. Even in summer he is uncomfortable! We have been trying for years to stop using toxic dryer sheets for good, and we finally found something that works! We have tried all manner of store-bought dryer balls to no avail, but the homemade hearts pictured above are doing the trick!

Until about a year ago, we were still using dryer sheets, and it made me so sad. Every natural anti-static solution we tried just wasn’t good enough. Then, last August I found out that I was pregnant and along with not changing the litterbox anymore, I decided it was time to ditch those dryer sheets for good. Coating our own clothes in toxins was one thing, but there was no way I was going to expose our little one to potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.

UPDATE! I finally discovered how these work.  The pins divert the static electricity, so it discharges before you get your clothes out of the dryer. One pin will work, but two seems to work better. They’re like miniature lightning rods in your dryer. SCIENCE, y’all.

We used to just pin our safety pins to our clothes, but that can be risky. If the pins get snagged, you end up with a hole in your shirt. If we used something sturdier like towels, we’d forget they were on there and not have them for the next load. Making these little hearts gives you something big enough that you’ll remember to pull it out for next time. Sure, you could make squares or use rags, but aren’t these hearts a lot cuter? Laundry should be cute, y’all.

Ditching those nasty dryer sheets for good really amped up our search, and after a lot of digging, Dave found DIY dryer sheets that work!

DIY Dryer Sheets Tutorial

We were using a pair of organic cotton nursing pads before I made these little hearts as a cute replacement. The pads worked fine, but they were white and hard to see in a pile of laundry. These are easier to retrieve as you’re unloading the wash, because the bright colors stand out.


  • brightly-colored scrap fabric
  • scissors, sewing machine, thread, pins, iron
  • two safety pins
  • white vinegar


DIY Dryer Sheets Cut Hearts

1. Cut your fabric into whatever shape you like – you’ll need 4 of whatever shape you cut out. I chose hearts, because I like hearts! Iron your cut pieces, pin them wrong sides together, and stitch them allllmossttt all the way around. You need to be able to flip them right side out!

2. If your shape has a curve: Make sure that you snip along the curve like in the photo above, so you’ll get a nice, smooth line when you flip your shape right side out.

DIY Dryer Sheets Snipped Curves

3. Flip your shape right side out and iron, tucking in that unfinished edge. Top stitch all the way around the outside of the shape to make it nice, sturdy, and finished.

4. Pin a safety pin to each one.

5. To do your laundry: Use 1/4 cup of white vinegar in your washing machine’s liquid fabric softener tray. When you move the clothes to the dryer, toss in your homemade dryer sheet replacements, and dry as usual.

Easy peasy, right? Have you found any other dryer sheet replacements that work?

This post originally appeared at Crafting a Green World.

21 comments on “DIY Dryer Sheet Replacements
  1. Hey so I just happened across this article and I wonder, do you use the vinegar instead of fabric softener? What do you do to replace the smell of it? I have this fabric softener that leaves a pretty scent on my clothes and I don’t know if I want to completely remove it from my washing.

  2. Pingback: How to Green Your Laundry | juicy green mom

  3. Hi, I use 2 mesh bags in my wash. One is for delicates and one is so I don’t lose my little ankle high socks. I put a safety pin in each to keep the zippers closed. All I need is to add vinegar to the wash! Thanks for the tip.

  4. Pingback: DIY Dryer sheets replacements - One Little Project

  5. Hi at first I had to read the direction a few times. Because it was saying it is easy to retreive them from the wash? I thought these were to go into the dryer. Then I was like do you wash these with the clothes and let them go into the dryer. I figured it had to be a writing error. Just to clarify, do these go into the washer and dryer or just the dryer?

    • We used to do that. The trouble is that half the time the pins would end up in the closet still on the clothes or on my dresser by where I fold laundry, so I’d forget to put then in the next load. You could have a couple of rags dedicated to this. I made the hearts because I wanted something cute that I would remember to toss in. :)

  6. This is awesome! This article ( implies that the vinegar and the safety pins aren’t dependent on each other, but both have their own static-reducing effects that work well together. My guess is that the metal helps attract and neutralize any rampant positive or negative ions bouncing around, like a metal grounding strip that you touch before doing something electrical. I bet vinegar has some kind of conductive particles in it too, to do something similar?! Need more chemists in this discussion thread!! ;)

  7. This is interesting. I never use drier sheets but sometimes I sure wish I did. I always use vinegar instead of softener, so you’re saying if I throw in a fabric shape with a safety pin there will be no static? Have to try this. Thanks!

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