Homemade Dryer Sheets

Homemade Dryer Sheets

I saw this recipe for home made dryer sheets on the internet a few years ago and gave it a try. They worked out well so thought I would share the recipe. It’s my ULTRA Dryer Sheets.

16 ULTRA cheap washcloths
1  51oz jug of ULTRA Downey

I started out with the Ultra cheap washcloths from Walmart. They were 10 for $10.00, on sale for $5.00 so I bought 2 packages. I use these for everything from cleaning window sills and washing dishes to wiping the engine grease from Husbands hands to wiping up oil spills. They’re throw away washcloths (rags, really), so cheap, you don’t feel bad about pitching them in the trash when you just can’t imagine putting them in your washing machine. But for my homemade dryer sheets, they are valuable reusables.

The Downy I used was “Mountain Spring” but they have several scents to choose from. The container says it will do 60 loads and cost about $4.50.

I set the whole process up on my back deck. I just poured about half the jug of softener in a bowl and submerged a few wash cloths at a time to thoroughly soak them. Then I gently squeezed (not wring out) the Downy from each washcloth and hung them over a drying rack. A drip here and there is about right but if they are producing puddles under them, they need to be squeezed a little more. Keep adding softer and washcloths until all washcloths are soaked and hanging to dry.

I already had put most of them away. These were still a little damp.

These don’t dry quickly. It usually takes an entire day in the sun for these to thoroughly dry. After 4-6 hours, I turn them over so the sun can get to the other side. I will usually have some Downy left over so will double dip the new washcloths again the next day to get an extra build up of fabric softener. My washcloths from the previous year(s) only require one dipping.

I bought a square jar with a screw-on lid from Walmart which works perfectly for storing my dryer sheets, but you can use anything as long as it seals. I fold them in triangles and they lay great in the jar which sits on my dryer. I have a second jar in my laundry cupboard for my used sheets that will need to be redone next year.

Effectiveness

The original recipe stated that each dryer sheet will do 14 loads. I found that not to be true. At least in my Whirlpool dryer. Eight loads seemed to be each dryer sheet’s optimum, with it maxing out at ten loads. After that, static cling was showing up.

Calculating Quantity

How many dryer sheets you need will depend on your laundry situation. My usual is two loads a week which is probably light compared to most families. I estimated one dryer sheet a month (8 loads) so twelve for the year is all I really needed. I threw in the extra four because there is always stuff like beach towels, bedding from guests, visiting grandchildren that don’t sleep “dry” yet or muddy dogs or the blankets from the Forth of July party that have been drug through the dirt, grass or straw….and the list goes on.

Calculating Costs

My two loads a week nets me 96 loads for the year. That’s already a one third savings, (although micro tiny) because using the softener right out of the bottle nets me only 60 loads. But I made up four extra sheets giving me 32 more loads for a total of 128 loads for the year. That’s a little more than double the savings and one extra jug of softener I did not have to buy. That’s one less plastic jug floating in the ocean or struggling to decompose in a land fill. Of course that does not take into consideration the expense of the washcloths. But this is my third year so did not have to buy any this year.

The above benefits are nice but the real benefit to me is the feeling of being empowered to learn and implement an easy and cost effective way of doing something new. I have dryer sheets for an entire year that are stored in a small space that took me 20 min. over the course of 2 days to make. Throwing in a homemade dryer sheet in the dryer is less time consuming and less messy than measuring and poring from a jug 128 times.
They are easy, cheap, reusable, space saving and they work! Enough said.

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