How to Use Dryer Sheets

Are you tired of lint collecting on your favorite sweater? What if I tell you that a dryer sheet tossed into the dryer can help remove lint while waiting for your clothes to dry? It’s an easier and more efficient way, right? Well, read on, and I will tell you how to properly use dryer sheets.

woman holding a dryer sheet

What is the main purpose of dryer sheets?

Dryer sheets are pieces of cloth-like, non-woven, synthetic fibers that are very useful since they have many advantages for your laundry. One of these is how they can reduce static cling between your clothes, making it less probable to get lint accumulation. Dryer sheets combat and neutralize the build-up of static by making the laundry softer. By using dryer sheets, your socks and your favorite sweater would no longer stick together as they usually do after doing a dryer cycle.

Dryer sheets are also used to make clothes softer. With many of them incorporated with fabric softener, these dryer sheets are essential in making your clothes feel more gentle and keeping the fibers’ optimal quality.

Another example of why dryer sheets are an important part of your laundry is eliminating odors and keeping your clothes fresher longer than just washing detergent. With all the awesome scents infused in every dryer sheet, your laundry room will surely smell like heaven, and your clothes will stay fresh as they have just come out of the dryer.

What are they made of?

The dryer sheet is primarily composed of liquid softener that contains fresh scent coated on each fiber sheet. They are usually made of polyester or cellulose fibers. What is more, dryer sheets are coated with softening agents that are beneficial in making your clothes softer.

The softening agents in the dryer sheet typically consist of fatty acids, or fatty alcohols, or alcohol ethoxylates. These softening agents are released when you use the dryer sheet on your clothes. If one of your main goals is to have a more scented sweater or pants, then using a dryer sheet as a fabric softener and deodorizer is surely a great addition to your laundry supplies.

Are dryer sheets safe for all types of clothes?

With all the great benefits you can get from using a dryer sheet, anyone can think that all types of clothing are safe, and we can include a dryer sheet every time we do our laundry. Don’t get too excited, though, as certain fabrics are not necessarily friends with these sheets. And knowing what kinds of clothes are not safe is important in avoiding accidents.

Here are a few of the fabrics that dryer sheets are not recommended:

  1. Flame-Resistant Clothing – These types of clothing are normally made of nylon or modacrylic fibers that are flame-resistant and are often used by firemen in their uniforms and shoes. 

    Since a dryer sheet contains chemicals meant to add softness and deodorize clothes, using it on flame-resistant clothing can affect the self-extinguishing capability of the fabrics. That’s why it is not advisable for us to use a dryer sheet since it will lessen the effectiveness of flame-resistant clothing.
  1. Towels – Now, this may come as a questionable item since most of us would immediately think of towels as one of the best candidates to use these dryer sheets. Let me explain why using dryer sheets on towels is not recommended. 

    Towels, especially bath towels, are made to be absorbent so that they can fully absorb all the moisture of our bodies after taking a bath or after a dip in the pool. Incorporating a dryer sheet into your laundry may harm the absorbent capacity of your towels since dryer sheets contain oil that can coat towel fibers and destroy their absorbency. 

    You may still opt to use a sheet now and then, but I would suggest keeping it to the minimum and not all the time.

How To Use Dryer Sheets

We have already established what a dryer sheet is and how valuable they are to our clothes. Without further ado, here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly use your dryer sheets that will maximize their usefulness and capabilities.

  1. You can use dryer sheets with either a gas or an electric dryer.
  2. Put your laundry load in the dryer.
  3. Place a fresh dryer sheet on top of the pile. Larger loads may require more than one sheet, so make sure also to consider how many sheets you have to use based on how much the laundry load is.
  4. Check the load for overloading as this may cause the sheet to be stuck in one place, making it harder for the fabric softener and deodorizer to reach all the clothes.
  5. Start the cycle.

How many dryer sheets to use

If you’ve been wondering how many dryer sheets to use, the number of dryer sheets to achieve freshness and for the scent to stay longer depends on how much dryer load you have.

For example, for small to medium loads that mainly consist of undergarments or small towels and shirts, you can include only one sheet. This can be enough since, most likely, these fibers are made of cotton and are often not thick that you would need a lot of fabric softener.

For larger loads, such as those with comforters or bed sheets, you can put in as many as three sheets to make sure the application of the softeners and conditioners are evenly applied to all the items. Don’t be afraid to add extra sheets if you feel they will not be enough. 

Should you reuse dryer sheets?

I believe this is a very valid concern, and the simple answer is no. When you use a sheet to get the best result, you cannot use it again because all the essential chemicals in the dryer sheet that makes it capable of softening and deodorizing your clothes are already released. So using it again will, unfortunately, be a lost cause.

Are there dryer sheet alternatives?

Sadly, some people may have more sensitive skin, and the chemicals released can cause allergic reactions. So first, it is important to know what these chemicals are. Looking for them in the box, or the instruction package will be better before using them.

If you have found out you or some other family member are allergic to the sheet’s contents, you can use a dryer ball instead. They are normally made of natural wool, and they even come in unscented form for those with sensitive skins or allergies since they are more gently to the skin and are less likely to irritate even the most sensitive skins.


Dryer sheets may look inefficient, but they are packed with lots and lots of advantages that will surely benefit you and your laundry. Many people prefer to use them instead of traditional laundry softeners since they are easier to use and are more affordable.

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About Elaine Jordan

Elaine is a contributor at Tidy Diary. She describes herself as a neat freak with an intense desire to always make sure things are clean and orderly. When she’s not writing (or cleaning), you can only guess that she’s spending time playing with her favorite dog, Bogs.