When you toss those stiff, white dryer sheets onto your wet clothes in your dryer, do you ever wonder what is in them? What makes them stiff? What do they infuse them with that gives them that nice smell. Even more importantly, what do they transfer on to your clothes? Does it shorten the life of the garments? Is smelling the odor of them in your laundry room toxic? I decided to do some research and see if I could find out.
The first thing I found out is that there is no law that forces the manufacturers of dryer sheets to put the ingredients on the packaging. I found this rather troubling. I also read one study whose analysis found more than 25 "volatile air pollutants" including the carcinogens acetaldehyde and benzene to be present in dryer sheets. I read another study that stated that the fumes from dryer sheets cause irritation of the eyes and nose, and even throat and lungs.
Since I have respiratory problems and asthma already, I decided that I needed to find another answer to the problem of static on my clothes. After some reading on the internet and some experimentation, I made a dryer sheet that is reusable and works great!
Take one shirt and lay it out flat. With the pinking shears, cut up the side right next to the seam, stopping at the bottom of the arm hold.
Do the same to the other side and then cut across to the bottom of the other armhole.
You will now have two squares of fabric. Fold one layer in half and cut, fold the half in half and cut again, so each of the two large squares makes 4 smaller squares. Do the same to the other large square
Put the hair conditioner, oil and vinegar in a small bowl and stir to mix well.
Fold each piece of cloth in half and then roll. Do the same with all the pieces and then stand them up in the jar.
Pour the mixture over all the cloths in the jar and screw the lid on tight.
Turn upside down and shake gently a few times and let sit overnight.
By the next day, all the liquid should be absorbed. Open the jar and pull out one cloth and toss it in with your wet clothes in the dryer. It will smell of vinegar but the smell will disappear by the time the load is dry.
Theses sheets can be used over and over and will leave no residue on your clothes or in the air.