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Are Dryer Sheets Necessary? (And 5+ Alternatives)

Are Dryer Sheets Necessary? (And 5+ Alternatives)

When it comes to doing your laundry, there are many choices to make. There’s the part where you have to sort your laundry either by texture or by color. There’s also the part where you have to select the best kind of detergent to use to avoid ruining your clothes. 

Perhaps, some other time we would focus on determining the best kind of detergent or washer to do your laundry in. But first, let’s direct our attention to knowing all about dryer sheets.

As the name implies, dryer sheets mostly come in the form of sheets packed in a box. And help as you wash your clothes. They also prove extremely useful by giving your clothes a pleasant after-wash scent. 

‘Do you feel dryer sheets are necessary?’ ‘What are dryer sheets used for?’ ‘Are there alternatives to dryer sheets?

We understand you are curious to find answers to these questions. Don’t worry. We’ll tell you all about dryer sheets. Then, we’ll address other similarly critical issues.

Dive in!

Is it Necessary to Use Dryer Sheets?

Now, unto our million-dollar question, ‘are dryer sheets necessary?’ the answer is NO, they are not necessary. Well, it’s simple. For something to be necessary, it has to be unavoidably important. That is, you must be unable to do without them.

While we admit that dryer sheets are handy and essential when doing your laundry, you must realize that you don’t always have to use them.

Some may even say you don’t need to make use of them at all because they are known to contain harmful chemicals. It doesn’t just stop there; there are various alternatives to dryer sheets such as the fabric softener.

So, yes, dryer sheets are useful. But they are for from necessary or unavoidable during laundry.

What is the Purpose of a Dryer Sheet?

Now, while we know they are not necessary, you still need to know their purpose. Precisely, what does a dryer sheet do for you? Well, here you go.

In doing laundry, there are essentially two purposes that the dryer sheets serve. The first purpose is to prevent your clothes from sticking together

You must have experienced this several times. Those periods where you find yourself struggling to untangle two or more pieces of cloth. Well, they occur due to static electricity. And a dryer sheet can help out.

All you need do is throw in a couple of dryer sheets into the washer while doing your laundry. Then, it’s bye, tangling.

Asides from this, it gives your cloth a lovely scent of freshness. Just imagine your pile of dirty clothes coming out of the washer with a nice and fresh after-scent. I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you?

Beyond this, dryer sheets also help to make cloth ironing easier for you. You also prevent your cloth from gathering lint with a dryer sheet. Great right?

Do You Have to Use Dryer Sheets?

Now, after all these purposes, you might be wondering how come dryer sheets aren’t necessary. Well, it’s simple, it’s because you don’t have to use dryer sheets.

Like we already stated, something is necessary because you can’t avoid it. Or better, do without it. However, when it comes to dryer sheets, this isn’t the case. 

Dryer sheets are optional. People are mostly fond of it due to its pleasant fragrance as well as the reduced static.

It is SAFE to say that if you don’t make use of dryer sheets while doing your laundry, you can still have a great experience doing your laundry. 

However, you might have to get accustomed to a less nice and fresh scent. And, of course, a dry and hard feel. Still, it’s nothing to worry about.

Why You Should Stop Using Dryer Sheets?

Dryer sheets are now quite the routine in laundry processes. However, as we already stated, that doesn’t mean they are necessary. Even worse, there are various reasons why you might stop using them.

Well, this is because they cause more harm than good. So, are you wondering what this is all about? Let’s find out.

1. They Contain Toxic Chemicals 

Have you ever thought of what goes into a dryer sheet? Or have you considered the possibility that the constituents might be bad for your health?

Well, dryer sheets are made up of toxic chemicals. And although they are used in small quantities, they still cause harm. 

Typically, these chemicals absorb static on your clothes and leave a scent behind. Unfortunately, these chemicals usually stay behind on your clothes. In turn, they get absorbed by your body.

Well, the thing is that these chemicals are harmful to you. They can cause migraines, asthma attacks, eye and throat irritation, and contact dermatitis.

Well, these are all dangerous. And, of course, not worth the scent they bring or static energy they absorb. 

2. They May Be Harmful to Your Dryer

Asides from the harm it poses to people, dryer sheets also cause harm to your dryer. This is because they leave residue in the dryer and coat the screen with a lint filter.

In turn, this causes the dryer to clog up. This is basically like suffocating your dryer and preventing it from breathing. It would subsequently cause the heating element of the dryer to fail. 

Well, you don’t want to spend heavily on a new dryer. So, it might be smart to avoid dryer sheets. However, you can still wash the lint filter regularly with soap, toothbrushes, and alcohol to avoid this.

3. Dryer Sheets Reduce the Quality of Clothing

If you’re used to dryer sheets as a part of your laundry process, then you should have noticed this. Dryer sheets tend to reduce your clothes’ quality. 

Certain pieces of cloth, especially for children, are usually flame-resistant. However, the constant use of dryer sheets dampens the flame-resistant quality. In turn, this reduces the quality and creates a flammable cloth which is dangerous.

So, to avoid this, it would be best that you avoid dryer sheets. Like we already stated, they are not indispensable. In fact, you’ll find various alternatives to dryer sheets. 


Can You Use Aluminum Foil Instead of Dryer Sheets?

Just before we get to other alternatives, you’ll need to know what role aluminum foil plays. That is if you can use aluminum foil in place of dryer sheets. 

Well, the answer to your question is YES. You can use aluminum foil instead of dryer sheets.

While usage is one thing, effectiveness is another, and that is what we shall consider here. But first, let’s find out how these aluminum foils work. 

It is simple, really; all you need is three aluminum foil sheets rolled up to form a ball. You then toss the ball into the dryer together with your clothes. For static-free clothes, this is all you need to do. Simple, right?

If you are still wondering how something as sophisticated as dryer sheets can be replaced with thin sheets of iron, it’s simple. The foil prevents the clothes from being static by absorbing the electrical charges, leaving your clothes static-free. Additionally, as the ball tumbles up and down, it softens the clothes.

Now, you have seen how you can use aluminum foil instead of dryer sheets. However, you might still be wondering about their effectiveness. And of course, what benefit it bears over dryer sheets. Well, let’s find out!

First, aluminum foil eliminates the danger of passing toxic chemicals from the dryer sheets onto clean clothes and into your body system. 

The easily recyclable aluminum foil helps to reduce dryer sheets piling up in the landfill. They are seen as a green alternative for preventing pollution and for the betterment of the environment.

It is budget savvy thanks to its reuse capacity. You can use the same ball for as long as six months. This way, you save money as you no longer need to spend on dryer sheets. 

However, you have to know that aluminum sheets have less effectiveness. Typically, they won’t come out as soft as when you use dryer sheets or fabric softener. Even more, your clothes won’t come out with the lovely scent of freshness that comes with dryer sheets.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Dryer Sheets?

Now, you’re already familiar with the pros and cons of dryer sheets. So, you’re scouting for alternatives to dryer sheets. You don’t want to use dryer sheets, but you want to get similar results. 

Well, you’re in luck! There are various alternatives that you can make use of instead of dryer sheets. Here are some for you.

1. Fabric Softener

The most popular alternative to opt for is a fabric softener. It typically does all that the dryer sheets do and maybe more. While it may share keen similarities with the dryer sheets, the fabric softener can be considered the lesser of two evils.

2. Dryer Balls

A healthy alternative to dryer sheets is dryer balls. They are made of 100% natural wool, and they don’t leave behind residue. It works effectively by dropping essential oils, e.g., citrus oil, on the dryer ball. 

The more dryer balls you used, the more scent you’ll have. Even more, the quicker your clothes get dried. They are also great for reducing lint and static on your clothes.

3. Vinegar

While the use of dryer balls may seem like the perfect alternative, you might also consider using vinegar. All you need do is to dampen your clothes with apple cider vinegar and throw it into the dryer. 

However, you’ll have to exclude the fact that your clothes come out unscented. After this, vinegar perfectly does the work of the dryer sheets and fabric softener.

4. Baking Soda 

You can make use of baking soda as an alternative to dryer sheets. It’s relatively cheap and easily accessible. It works perfectly, and no, your clothes won’t give off any weird smell.

5. DIY Dryer Sheet

Another simple alternative is a DIY dryer sheet. Well, you’re most likely wondering how. You can make your dryer sheets within your home with ingredients such as vinegar, cloth, and essential oil. That way, you can save costs as well as other resources. 

6. Air Dry

Lastly, the most straightforward alternative to dryer sheets to air dry your clothes. This can be done by simply spreading them out for the breeze to dry. 

While this takes up time and effort, it’s undoubtedly the cheapest and safest. Also, it does not require the use of chemicals like in dryer sheets.


We can all agree that while using dryer sheets is optional, drying your clothes isn’t. As such, it’s up to you to select the alternative best suited for you.

If you want the same results of using the dryer sheets without actually using it, your best bet would be to make use of the fabric softener, aluminum foil, dryer balls, or any of the alternatives mentioned above.