You should want to put your face in the freshly dried laundry and breathe in the fresh scent. Your clothes will smell, feel, and look better when they’ve just come out of the dryer if you use the correct dryer sheet.
Tumble Puffs, the predecessors to current dryer sheets, were invented in the late 1960s by a scientist looking to simplify the process of softening laundry. Dryer sheets have gone a long way since their inception. There are three key advantages to today’s best dryer sheets: They soften, de-stain, and freshen your garments all at the same time. The greatest dryer sheets can do more than just soften clothes; they can also infuse them with enticing scents.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Dryer Sheets
Get your soiled clothes in a hamper or a laundry basket and start the process of making them clean and supple again. We all have different washing needs and tastes, but in our opinion, the best dryer sheets have just the right amount of fragrance, help reduce static, and make your laundry soft and fluffy.. If you’re looking for the best dryer sheets, here are some things to keep in mind.
Disposable, biodegradable, and reusable fabric sheets are all options for fabric sheets.
- Nonwoven polyester squares coated with liquid softeners, lubricants, and scents make up most disposable dryer sheets. Dryer sheets in this kind are the most prevalent. Once they are used, they are thrown away.
- Infused with aromatic oils, compostable dryer sheets are manufactured from plant-based materials, such as unbleached paper.
- Chemical-free poly-nylon dryer sheets can last for hundreds of loads of washing before they need to be replaced. It’s true that they don’t soften clothes as well as the first two options, but they use less energy and produce less waste.
Natural vs. Synthetic
It is common for natural dryer sheets to be composed of rayon or paper that is coated with essential oils for scent. In contrast to synthetic dryer sheets, which typically contain chemical scents and colors, these dryer sheets can usually be composted. Products labeled “natural” cannot be regulated by the FDA or USDA in the United States, therefore buyers should use caution. The words “biodegradable” or “compostable” on dryer sheets are a good indicator if they are created from natural or synthetic materials. Wool dryer balls blended with essential oils are a safe bet if you wish to utilize a natural product.
In general, synthetic dryer sheets are constructed of polyester and covered with chemical compounds that treat your soft and static-free washing. Every brand of dryer sheets has a unique formula, although most of the ingredients are the same across all brands. Softening and anti-static agents, fatty acids, polyester substrates (the sheeting material), clays to aid manage the melting of the coating in the dryer and fragrances are all common constituents in dryer sheets.
It’s vital to choose a dryer sheet’s scent because it’s what you and your clothing will smell like as you go about your day. Unless you buy unscented dryer sheets, you’ll discover that most manufacturers utilize aromas that can withstand the high heat of the dryer and transform your laundry, usually inspired by florals or the outdoors. As a calming aroma, lavender is a popular choice. Antibacterial characteristics of lavender are well-known in aromatherapy, making it a good fit for a laundry brand. Linen, citrus, chamomile, and rain or mountain air-inspired aromas are some of the other popular scents for dryer sheets.
The use of laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets might irritate the skin of certain people. People with allergies or sensitivities can be aggravated by the chemicals and smells that are released when dryer sheets are heated. Dermatitis, which affects adults, is characterized by rashes, pimples, itching, and delicate skin on the face, neck, and arms.
Users of dryer sheets will never know if the items contain any allergens because producers are not obligated to list all of their components. As a result, many dryer sheet producers now produce goods free of dyes and fragrances for those with sensitive skin. The scents and dyes used in these products are the most common cause of skin sensitivity. Dr. tested and softer dryer sheets are available for those with sensitive skin.
Some laundry product manufacturers also create dryer sheets that are specifically made for newborns because babies’ skin is fragile and can react badly to chemicals in normal dryer sheets.
Laundry detergents and stain removers, not dryer sheets, are required for proper laundry care. In the family of fabric softeners, these sheets are designed to reduce static, boost softness and enhance the scent of your laundry. A sheet (or two, depending on the amount of clothing you’re drying) should be placed on top of your clean, wet laundry before you start the dryer.
A layer of fabric softener is sprayed on these sheets before they are placed in the dryer. Melting softener is transferred to the clothing in the dryer when the dryer hits high temperatures. Positive atoms are used in the surfactant compounds in dryer sheets to avoid static buildup.
Apart from laundry, dryer sheets serve a variety of other purposes as well. Dusting, freshening shoes and gym bags, polishing shoes, and keeping mosquitoes away are all possible uses for these items.
Our Top Picks
For example, the ideal dryer sheets for you will depend on what you value in clean clothes, whether it’s environmental effect or a great aroma. This is a list of the best dryer sheets on the market today, based on these standards.
Snuggle Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Static-free and aromatic, Snuggle fabric softener dryer sheets leave your garments and linens soft and squeak-free. Using floral, citrus, and woody scents, Blue Sparkle creates a delicate musk that smells clean and warm. Rather than disguising unpleasant odors, Snuggle’s dryer sheets use odor-eliminating technology to eliminate them.
Standard and high-efficiency (HE) dryers can safely use Snuggle dryer sheets. If you’re washing a regular-sized load of clothes, use one sheet; if it’s an enormous load, use two sheets. You may also use these dryer sheets to freshen up the smell in closets, bags, and automobiles. While out and about, have a spare dryer sheet on hand for quick relief from static cling. Simply rub the dryer sheet over the problem region and the static should be reduced.
Downy Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Softness, freshness, and anti-static properties are all provided by Downy dryer sheets. To soften your clothing and give them an April Fresh aroma, use one to three of these polyester sheets in the dryer, depending on how much laundry you have.
Downy is available in a variety of aromas, including cool cotton and others that are sure to appeal to a wide range of people. These sheets are designed to reduce the amount of ironing you have to do by helping to reduce wrinkles in your materials. You can use downy dryer sheets in various places of your home, such as between the bag and the bin in a garbage can or inside a stinky shoe.
Love Home and Planet Dryer Sheets
You may feel good about using Love Home and Planet dryer sheets. These dryer sheets and the box they come in are both biodegradable and recyclable thanks to their 97% biobased composition. They’ve been dermatologist-tested and are free of dyes and parabens, thanks to their unique formulation. Peta has also certified Love Home and Planet’s linens as vegan and cruelty-free because the company does not conduct product testing on animals.
Static control, softening, and a faint aroma are all benefits of using these dryer sheets. Lavender and rose petals are infusing the exquisite Moroccan argan oil with responsibly sourced French heirloom lavender.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dryer Sheets
There are paper alternatives to the usual polyester dryer sheets offered by Mrs. Meyer. Natural components such as plant-based softeners and essential oils are found in these sheets, which are made of compostable and biodegradable paper. The plants used to create their perfumes are carefully selected, and they integrate aromatherapeutic aspects. For example, a lavender scent may help alleviate weariness, and its floral undertones are relaxing.
Lavender, basil, lemon verbena, geranium, and honeysuckle are just a few of the garden-fresh scents available. It’s possible to alter the aroma a little by using two different dryer sheets at once. Paraben- and phthalate-free products are also included in this collection.
Grab Green Natural Newborn Baby Laundry Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets for newborns produced from plant and mineral-based components are safe for your baby and will not harm their delicate skin. There are no harsh chemicals, phthalates, waxes, fats from animals, or dyes in these products at all! Essential scents such as cedarwood, citronella and geranium have been added to these dryer sheets to help soften baby’s clothing while also reducing static cling. Small loads can be handled with half a sheet, while larger ones can benefit from the perforations.
Even though these NSF-certified dryer sheets are designed for babies’ delicate skin, they can of course be used by anyone, regardless of their age. Grab Green’s sheets are completely compostable and leave no residue behind, unlike ordinary dryer sheets.
all Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets for Sensitive Skin
This line of fabric softener dryer sheets is designed for people with sensitive skin who have had reactions to other brands’ dryer sheets. A dermatologist’s recommendation and clinically proved to be mild on skin, these dryer sheets are completely dye and perfume free, two of the most common dryer sheet components that can cause rashes and skin irritations.
For those with sensitive skin (particularly babies’ delicate skin), hypoallergenic dryer sheets are gentle and soothing because they leave no irritating residue behind. Make use of one to two sheets per load in order to maintain your clothing virtually static-free
Best Overall: Bounce Fabric Softener and Dryer Sheets
Even before you open the box, Bounce products have a distinct, enticing aroma that’s hard to miss. Many people swear by the scent of Outdoor Fresh since it lasts long after clothing have been removed from the dryer. Static cling, removing pet hair, and softness are all attributes that this well-known brand has to offer. It’s preferable to use two sheets for large or regular-sized loads. It’s available in a variety of sizes, the largest of which is 250 per box.
Best Budget: Great Value Ultimate Fresh Dryer Sheets, Original Clean Scent
You can usually buy this popular budget selection at Walmart for approximately two or three cents per page, which is created by one of Walmart’s house brands. There is no need to feel guilty about collecting extra sheets for jobs like cleaning cat hair or refreshing dirty shoes. These sheets, which come in a box of 240, have a citrusy aroma and some claim they are as effective as other well-known brands. Unless you need to dry anything twice or are using a high-capacity dryer, you just need one sheet each load.
Best Natural: Love Home & Planet Lavender and Argan Dryer Sheets
These dryer sheets, which are sold 80 to a box and contain 91 percent plant-based ingredients, are a good option if you want to avoid many of the chemicals added to common household products. Moroccan Argan oil and lavender essential oil are used in their smell and packaging, which is composed of recycled materials. In addition, Love Home & Planet contributes $40 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted to initiatives aimed at boosting local recycling efforts through its own self-created carbon tax fund. Each load of laundry will require one dryer sheet.
Best Unscented: Seventh Generation Fabric Softener Sheets, Free and Clear
This line of dryer sheets has 97 percent plant-based ingredients and is composed of compostable rayon paper, so you can rest easy knowing that they won’t end up in a landfill. You’ll need one sheet for each load. There are 80 sheets each box. Ingredients are stated in alphabetical order, but the exclusions, such as gluten, phosphates, and dye or fragrance, are far more extensive. With 35 percent of the packaging originating from post-consumer materials, it’s a 100% recycled product. A lavender-scented version is also available if you appreciate the Seventh Generation atmosphere but desire a little aroma.
Best Dryer Balls: Woolzies Wool Dryer Ball Set
Celsious is a Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based boutique laundromat and retail shop created by two sisters. To assist save on drying time and energy, these three-packs of wool dryer balls are available in white or gray and come in sets of three. Wool from New Zealand is used in the garments, which are expected to last for 1,000 washes. If you have a sensitive skin or allergies to wool, you can wear these because they won’t irritate your clothing.
Best Reusable: Purecosheet Reusable Dryer Sheets
To be sure, using compostable or biodegradable products is preferable to creating trash in the first place. These polyester dryer sheets, which must be used in pairs, are offered in packs of two and can handle up to 500 loads each. Add them to your rag collection when their laundry life is up and use them for domestic cleaning tasks. Because they don’t contain any chemicals, you may use them to dry goods like athletic wicking apparel, children’s pajamas, and delicates like cloth diapers that you wouldn’t normally combine with standard dryer sheets.
Best for Babies: Grab Green Fragrance-Free Natural Wet Dryer Sheets
With a limited ingredient list, Grab Green’s fragrance-free and hypoallergenic dryer sheet is an excellent choice for parents who love traditional dryer sheets but don’t want to sacrifice their children’s health in the process. 32 per package, and each one comes wet so that you can use it twice.. In addition, they can be composted or used as cleaning cloths, as the firm recommends.
Best Classic Scent: Downy April Fresh Dryer Sheets
When it comes to Downy products, dedicated customers can still get their hands on the April Fresh smell, which is still available in the same blue packaging. (For many, this smell is the ultimate “clean laundry” aroma.) You can use one every load, or two if the load is really huge, and they’re sold 240 to a box. It’s good news for environmentally conscious shoppers that Downy products are created in a facility powered entirely by renewable energy and generating no garbage for the landfill.
Best Odor Remover: Gain Dryer Sheets
In spite of Downy now selling lavender and vanilla-scented dryer sheets, faithful fans may still get their hands on the April Fresh aroma, which comes in the same blue packaging. “Clean Laundry” smells like this for many people.” In the event of a particularly large load, you may choose to utilize two of these per box (240 per box) instead of just one. It’s good news for environmentally conscious shoppers because Downy products are created in a facility powered entirely by renewable energy and generating no waste for landfills.
Liquid Fabric Softener vs. Dryer Sheets
Softening agents for clothes. Static-free clothing is a benefit of using these products. Moreover, many people like inhaling their fragrant aromas.
Which of these two types of softeners is superior, and how can you tell the difference?
How does fabric softener work?
Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are both effective at reducing static and wrinkles, as well as improving the texture and scent of clothing. However, each of them has a unique technique of accomplishing the same goal.
Addition of liquid fabric softener to the wash cycle allows fabric softener to permeate the fibers. It is possible that liquid fabric softeners, in addition to their many other advantages, will help protect clothes from stretching, fading, and gathering fuzz.
Liquid fabric softeners, on the other hand, are oil-based and may leave stains on clothing. They can also accumulate in the dispenser of a washing machine, necessitating regular cleaning. Adding liquid softener during the final rinse, when the tub is full of water, will help prevent stains if you don’t use a dispenser or softener ball.
Static is reduced by using dryer sheets, and the fabric’s cottony feel is enhanced. When the stearic acid coating melts in the dryer, it coats clothing and provides these advantages. Overfilling the dryer has been linked to stains, so use caution while loading it and lay a dryer sheet on top of the clothes before running it.
When not to use softeners
Several washing goods should not be exposed to softeners due to the fact that softeners coat fibers.
- Softeners can harm the dust- and spill-absorbent properties of microfiber clothing.
- As a result, you might not feel as cool while working out in athletic clothing with softener coatings.
- Manufacturers of children’s sleepwear must make the garments flame-resistant. Using softeners on children’s sleepwear will reduce this resistance.
- A soft, fresh-smelling towel is nice, but softeners can impair a towel’s absorption capacity.
Fabric softener alternatives
For these and other reasons, several people have experimented with alternatives to fabric softeners.
It has been observed that white vinegar can soften clothing, although it does not necessarily reduce static (and as a bonus, it does not leave a vinegar smell). To avoid bleaching and a vinegar scent, use one-half cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle instead of liquid fabric softener (for large loads).
They assist minimize static but don’t soften the fabric as much as dryer sheets do. Make three-inch balls out of aluminum foil and put them in the dryer for a few minutes to dry. Add more foil or new balls when the foil gets smooth.
Are Dryer Sheets Safe to Use?
Dryer sheets, which are also known as fabric softener sheets, emit pleasant scents that can elevate the experience of washing laundry.
To assist soften clothing and prevent static cling, these thin sheets are comprised of nonwoven polyester fabric coated with softeners and perfumes.
Aromatic sheets have recently come under fire from health bloggers who claim that they expose users to harmful “toxic compounds” and even carcinogens without their consent.
Being a conscientious consumer is a wonderful thing, but not all chemicals are harmful. The Food and Drug Administration has deemed nearly all of the chemicals frequently present in dryer sheets to be safe (FDA).
However, there is a persistent concern about the perfumes used in dryer sheets and other laundry goods. The potential health consequences of scented laundry products need to be investigated further.
For the time being, you may want to consider switching to fragrance-free products or all-natural dryer sheets.
What are dryer sheets comprised of? What kind of chemicals do they emit? And what is the current study on how they could harm your health?
Ingredients in dryer sheets
For the most part, the most prevalent substances in dryer sheets are as follows:
- A softening and antistatic substance, dipalmethyl hydroxyethylammonium methosulfate
- the emollient fat acid
- container made from polyester substrate
- As the coating melts in the dryer, the rheology modifier clay helps regulate the coating’s viscosity.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates items like dryer sheets that may contain scent compounds but are not intended for direct contact with the skin.
To be clear, the Consumer Product Safety Commission does not mandate that manufacturers include a list of ingredients on the product label.
On the dryer sheet packaging, some manufacturers specify only a few of the contents; on others, none are listed at all. Additional details may be available on the websites of the products’ producers.
“All of our scents meet with the safety criteria of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the IFRA Code of Practice, and conform with all applicable regulations where they are marketed,” explains Proctor & Gamble, the company behind Bounce dryer sheets.
What the current research says
Dryer sheets have become a source of controversy due to a slew of research looking into the dangers of fabric softener smells.
Study from 2011 According to Trusted Source, perfumed items cause:
- eye and respiratory tract irritation
- responses to the skin caused by allergens
- The pain of a migraine headache
- When an attack of asthma occurs
The smell of laundry goods emanating from a dryer vent has been linked in another study to unfavorable health impacts like asthma attacks, skin irritations, and migraines in as many as 12.5% of adults.
According to a 2011 study published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, dryer vents release more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (VOCs).
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
When products are used, they produce gases that enter the atmosphere. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be hazardous on their own or react with other atmospheric gases to produce even more dangerous air pollutants. Respiratory problems, including asthma and cancer, have been related to exposure to these chemicals.
Toxic compounds including acetaldehyde and benzene, which are known to cause cancer, were found in dryer vents after using popular brands of laundry detergent and scented dryer sheets, according to the Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health study.
SEVEN of the VOCs discovered in dryer vent emissions throughout the research are classified as harmful air pollutants by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (HAPs).
The American Cleaning Institute and other organizations representing laundry goods have disputed the findings of the Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health study.
Several scientific standards and controls were missing, and there was little information on the brands, models, and settings of the washers and dryers given.
That benzene, which is produced by some washing products, is a common ingredient in food and may be found in both indoor and outdoor air, is another point of contention made by environmental groups.
They further say that benzene is not utilized in fragranced items.
It should be noted that dryer sheets and other laundry products were not differentiated in the study. It was also found that dryer vent acetaldehyde emissions were only 3% of what’s typically found in automotive exhaust.
More studies are needed
There hasn’t been much research done to determine whether pollutants emitted from dryer vents are harmful to human health.
To demonstrate that dryer sheets produce harmful levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that endanger human health, more in-depth research is required.
Using fragrance-free laundry products has been shown to improve air quality, according to a recent study.
A potentially dangerous VOC called d-limonene can be eliminated from dryer exhaust emissions after making the switch to a high-efficiency dryer.
Healthier, nontoxic alternatives
Static cling can be alleviated without putting your health and safety in jeopardy by using dryer sheets. These homemade dryer sheet techniques can be used over and over again, saving you money.
Consider these possibilities the next time you wash and dry your clothes:
- Wool dryer balls that can be used again and again. They’re available on the internet.
- Vinegar that is clear in color. Spritz some vinegar on a washcloth and put it in the dryer, or add a quarter cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine.
- Sodium bicarbonate of soda. During the wash cycle, sprinkle a little baking soda on your clothes.
- Foil made of aluminum. To decrease static electricity, roll up the foil into a baseball-sized ball and place it in the dryer with your wash.
- Static-free sheets that can be reused. Nontoxic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free options include AllerTech and ATTITUDE.
- Air-drying. Use a clothesline to dry your clothes instead of using a drying machine.
When using dryer sheets, choose scent-free dryer sheets that fulfill the EPA’s “safer choice” label requirements.
Be aware that even laundry products labeled “green,” “eco-friendly,” “all-natural,” or “organic” may contain dangerous substances.
FAQs About Dryer Sheets
Dryer sheets are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and brands. Here is a collection of the most frequently asked questions regarding dryer sheets so that you can make an informed decision about which dryer sheets are best suited for your laundry needs.
Q. What are dryer sheets made of?
Nonwoven polyester is the primary material of many dryer sheets. Other materials include rayon, paper, and poly-nylon.
Q. Are dryer sheets harmful?
Chemcial substances delivered by dryer sheets soften, de-stagger, and freshen your garments. Those with skin sensitivities or allergies should be aware that even little amounts of these substances might irritate already-sensitive skin.
Q. Which dryer sheets smell the best?
It’s a matter of personal opinion which linens smell nicest. However, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dryer Sheets are some of the best-smelling dryer sheets on the market.
Q. Are dryer balls better than dryer sheets?
Since they both do the same thing, this is purely a matter of personal preference. The softness, static reduction, or scent that dryer sheets provide may not be replicated by dryer balls.
The perfumes found in dryer sheets and other laundry items may not be as harmful or carcinogenic as some health bloggers have claimed. If these scented goods are hazardous to your health, more investigation is needed.
Dryer sheets aren’t necessary to keep garments clean, which is better for the environment. Wasteful and potentially dangerous chemicals are released into the air as a result of their use as single-use items.