I have discussed in the previous post how do anti-static dryer sheets work, and in this post, I will teach you how to make anti-static dryer sheets at home and some alternatives.
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Why Do You Even Need to Use Anti Static Dryer Sheets?
Static electricity can prove to be a real nuisance in any household. This is especially true as we inch closer to the winter season.
The air becomes dry and just walking on the carpet in your warm, fuzzy socks shocks you with little jolts of electricity- not exactly a pleasant experience. But static charge on clothes is an issue that can happen all year round, especially if you use a dryer machine to dry your wet laundry.
While there is nothing more comforting than a newly washed sweater that is still all warm and fragrant coming out fresh from the dryer, you have to be wary because it will be carrying a lot of static charge. As your clothes tumble around in the dryer, the surfaces rub against each other and produce friction.
This causes the surfaces to transfer electrons between them- the ones losing them become positively charged while the ones gaining them become negatively charged. Positive and negative charges attract each other and you end up with laundry that is all bunched up together, sticking to each other because of static electricity.
To prevent this charge buildup, most people tend to use anti static dryer sheets. These are available from the store in a variety of scents and fragrances, designed to remove static charge from your laundry, soften up the fabric, and leave it smelling incredibly pleasant.
How to Make Homemade Anti Static Dryer Sheets for Laundry?
You decide to do your laundry one day and as you are preparing to put the wet clothes in the dryer, you realize the box of dryer sheets is empty. Or maybe you simply cannot justify fitting a box of anti static dryer sheets within your budget right now.
Regardless of the situation, you will be glad to know that there are many alternatives that you can employ to pretty much the same degree of effectiveness as store-bought dryer sheets.
Here is how you can make your very own anti static dryer sheets at home with fabric softener:
- Grab a few clean washcloths. They do not have to be particularly large or new.
- Grab a bottle of fabric softener. You have the freedom to choose whichever brand or scent is your favorite to make custom dryer sheets personalized to your tastes.
- Pour some of the fabric softener liquid into a bowl.
- Dip the washcloths in the softener repeatedly until you are certain they are concentrated.
- Wring out the washcloths to get rid of excess softener.
- Lay out the sheets and let them dry completely on their own.
- Voila! You have made your very own anti static dryer sheets at home.
You can use a single dryer washcloth up to 12 or so times. Once the softener in a given washcloth is all used up, you can dip the cloth in the liquid again, leave it to dry, and put it to good use once more.
On the other hand, some people prefer to use more natural alternatives. If such is the case, you can also make your own anti static dryer sheets using vinegar and essential oils:
- Take a bowl and mix in half a cup of white vinegar with 5-6 drops of your favorite essential oils.
- Grab a glass container with a lid that you can close tightly to prevent entry or escape of air.
- Fill the container with sheet-sized pieces of cloth, all piled on top of each other.
- Pour the mixture of vinegar and oils over the cloths so that they are a little damp. You do not have to completely saturate the cloth.
- Tightly shut the lid of the jar to make sure the vinegar does not evaporate.
- Throw in one cloth with each round of laundry in the dryer.
What Are Some Substitutes for Anti Static Dryer Sheets?
If you do not want to go through the trouble of making your own dryer sheets, there are a bunch of alternative ways that you can substitute to achieve the same, static removing results:
Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are an extremely safe and effective substitute for anti static dryer sheets. You can either make them at home yourself or purchase them from the store. From there, you simply need to add them to the dryer with your laundry.
Vinegar is extremely effective in helping remove static charge from all sorts of surfaces. If you combine equal parts of vinegar and water, you can use the mixture as an anti static spray for almost anything.
When it comes to your laundry, however, the best approach to take would be to dampen a clean washcloth with a little bit of apple cider vinegar and throw it in the drier with the rest of your clothes. The vinegar tends to evaporate quickly but does well to prevent any static buildup. Unlike popular belief, the vinegar does not leave behind any detectable smell on your clothing items.
Baking soda can not only help prevent static buildup during the drying process, but it is also often used as a substitute for fabric softener.
Cheap and extremely easy to find, all you need to do is add around a quarter of a cup of baking soda into the washing machine when you start your first load of laundry. This will soften your clothes for when they are ready to dry.
If you don’t have any wool on you, you can try using a ball of aluminum foil instead. Simply bunch up a length of aluminum foil and throw it in the dryer with the rest of your laundry. You can use the same, tennis ball-sized aluminum foil for multiple cycles and it will work just as effectively every time in removing the static charge.
How to Ration Store Bought Anti Static Dryer Sheets?
If you want to be able to extend the number of cycles that you can fit within a single box of dryer sheets, here is how to do it:
To begin with, you should know that a typical dryer sheet generally contains lots of fabric softener- often more than you actually need for one cycle. This means that you can further reduce the size portion of the dryer sheet that you are using for each round.
You can either cut up your store bought anti static dryer sheets into halves or quarters and then use a single piece for each load with the confidence that it will work adequately to remove the static charge and soften your fabric.