Spring seems to finally be peeking through the clouds here, and I’d like to forget the relentless winter we just made our way through. But before I go into my winter amnesia, I must revisit my post written in the dead of winter about wanting to get off the dryer sheet habit. I promised to report back my results from my tests with dryer sheet options, and after experimenting for three months, I think I’m ready to share my findings, even if they’re not that conclusive.
First of all, here are the combinations of things I tried (these are in addition to detergent):
- baking soda in the wash cycle/reusable dryer sheets in the dryer
- baking soda in the wash cycle/nothing added to dryer
- vinegar in the wash cycle/reusable dryer sheets in the dryer
- baking soda and vinegar in the wash cycle/reusable dryer sheets in the dryer
- vinegar in the wash cycle/nothing added to dryer
- nothing added to wash cycle/nothing added to dryer
- nothing added to wash cycle/reusable dryer sheets in the dryer
- nothing added to wash cycle/old school dryer sheet in the dryer (just to compare!)
Yes, this was confusing. But I felt that I needed to try every combination I could think of (several times each) to really tell the difference. The thing is, overall there wasn’t a ton of difference in any of these, except for maybe the time I tried using nothing in the wash or dry cycles. None of the things I tried were completely as cling-free as when using dryer sheets, but they also weren’t that bad. When clothes were initially clingy, I just shook them out and rubbed them a bit and then they were fine (or as fine as anything is in the super dry winter environment).
The combo I found that just edged out the others was using 1/4 cup of baking soda in the wash cycle and the reusable dryer sheets in the dryer. I’ve been happy with the results from these items enough to make them part of my laundry habit. Using these helps with the static, and the baking soda provides some softness that I thought the other options didn’t achieve. (Even though I’m continuing to use them, I’m still kind of on the fence about the reusable dryer sheets so I don’t know if I can recommend buying them. I would suggest first trying just baking soda and see what you think.) I found out that vinegar is good to use in the rinse cycle to help get rid of any residue, so I’m doing that monthly.
Thus ends my dryer sheet replacement laundry experiment. I’m glad to be rid of the sheets and have that many less chemicals in my life. I do need to go to Costco and buy a giant container of baking soda; I’ve been going through those tiny boxes really quickly!