If your house is like mine, you go through a steady stream of laundry. It seems like an endless mountain sometimes. Fortunately, I just scored a few bottles of my favorite environmentally friendly liquid fabric softener for super-cheap. The problem: I like the ease of throwing in a dryer sheet.  I never really use liquid softener.

Since I’m a savvy KCL, I never shy away from a good opportunity to use my stockpile, so there was no way I was going to let that cheap softener sit there and gather dust. I already hopped on the bandwagon of making my own laundry detergent; why not try homemade dryer sheets?

Is it really worth your time to DIY? Recently there was a dryer sheet deal at Target. With a coupon, it still meant forking out $1.24 for 35 of the store brand sheets. At Wal-Mart my preferred Seventh Generation brand is a whopping $5.38 for 80 sheets. With this recipe I am able to make 160 for under $3.00! I am saving over 70%. The fact that they have the same ingredients as the store-bought ones makes this eco-friendly mom proud!


  • Pack of disposable Coffee Filters
  • Liquid Fabric Softener
  • Container to store if you plan to make multiples


  • Pour a small amount of liquid fabric softener into a bowl. Don’t worry about the amount. If you have excess you can pour it back into the container!
  • Separate out one coffee filter.
  • Apply a decent drop (1/2 to 1 teaspoon size) of liquid softener to one side of the filter.
  • Close the sides together and rub the liquid all around into the filter.
  • Repeat with the next coffee filter.
  • If you are making several of these at a time, then you can lay these out flat and make sure they are not soaking wet when you stack them together..
  • Stack them together and store in a sealed container.

If you don’t want to make enough for a week’s worth of laundry, you can put a stack of coffee filters where you normally keep dryer sheets and easily make one anytime you need to toss one in the dryer!

This has been a guest post by Clare from Houston, TX
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!

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26 thoughts on “DIY: Dryer Sheets”

  1. Anonymous says:

    On a somewhat similar vein for the folks who like to make their own household products,  you can make your own disinfectant wipes using a roll of paper towels and Lysol (or any other cleaner that will kill bacteria).  Separate the roll into separate sheets, fold to fit into a container (I used a square shaped Rubbermaid), add approximately 3 cups of Lysol. 

    And for those folks with little kids, you can also make your own baby wipes. Google for directions.

  2. Margie says:

    Do you know that the softener in dryer sheets can ‘build-up’ on your filter and cause a fire? You should scrub your filter at least once a week with soap and water to make sure there is no build up. Don’t believe me? Take out your filter after about a week of using dryer sheets and try running water through it. If the water does not go through the filter easily, you have fabric softener from dryer sheets ‘build-up’ on your filter. Please take note. My friend lost half her garage and the wall of her kitchen because of this. Her family could have lost their lives.She had to get a new dryer. You are better off using a few tennis balls which will actually make your clothes softer. I don’t even use fabric softener liquid in my washing machine any more. Check it out!! Be safe!! Be green!!

  3. Debbie Smyth says:

    another idea is to take an empty baby wipe container, put a small amount of fabric softener and add a little water, approximately 1/3 softener to 2/3 water, mix well, pour into the baby wipe container and throw in some small squares cut from sponges, or from some cloth diapers. These can be reused. just pull one out of the baby wipe container, squeeze out excess fabric softener and throw into dryer. replenish the mixture as needed .

  4. I have made my own dryer sheets before out of old wash clothes  I believe it was vinegar and  essential oils in that recipe. Save us a ton of money and I didn’t have to worry about my daughters allergies so much. Now I live with my MIL and she freaks about homemade stuff. So sad too!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Not bad… 

  6. I prefer the liquid fabric softner and I don’t have to worry about catching the rinse cycle because I use a downy ball.  They’re only about a $1.50 @ Walmart.  When I’m loading the washer I just fill my ball and throw it in.  I actually have 2 of the balls so I only have to fill the balls every third load:)

  7. Desiree Heck says:

    Someone on facebook said to use use one part water, one part FS, and a sponge.  I think I will try that first. A spray bottle and a sponge.

    • I use several sponges in a plastic bowl with lid, put one part fabric softner to one part water. Sponges absort the liquid, put one sponge in a load of clothes. I have saved alot of money, just keep adding water and fabric softner as needed. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dryer sheets contain carcinogens so staying away from them all together is a good idea. I make my own liquid FS. This is a great idea and keeps you away from the nasty regular dryer sheets!

  9. Dawn Harris says:

    Since I have a lot of old used dryer sheets, couldn’t I just recycle those? I keep them now for other cleaning purposes, such as wiping crayon off the walls. :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Try using an old washcloth instead of the coffee filters.  Saves having to buy filters and you won’t have to worry about the filter shredding. May need to add a bit more of the softener when using the washcloth.

    • Debbie Smyth says:

       If you know someone who has some cloth baby diapers or you find some for a good price, just cut them into small squares and use them and you can store them in an old baby wipe container. Just pour some fabric softener into an empty baby wipe container that you have washed out, and put your cloth baby diaper swatches in and close the lid. make sure all the diaper swatches have some softener on them and then  just pull one out each time you do a load of drying.

    • Or an old baby washcloth (we have lots still around – because we still have little ones). They are thinner, smaller and should do the same thing. I’m gonna try it! :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    How much are coffee filters?

    • Coffee filters are $.99 at our local Bi mart for 200 count.

    • You can buy Hytop brand at Walmart for cheap $1.00( 200) count

    • Anonymous says:

      we inherited an over load of coffee filters from work. they order them but when they order coffee I guess the get filters with the coffee order. not too sure but remember seeing an insane amount of coffee filters around my house. maybe this will make my downy last longer at $4 a bottle after coupons. I remember getting it the lowest of $3 at target last summer when I first started couponing and P&G gave us nice $1/1 coupons instead of cents off 3

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think You could reuse the filters until they are starting to shred.
    Question!… Can I still throw these in my compost pile when I can’t get any more use out of them? I’m thinking there won’t be enough softner left to harm my microbes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems that if you rinse the filters real well you can lessen any chemical contamination.  My husband brings home the used coffee grounds and filters from his office.  I toss it all in the compost pile and have been doing this for several years.  Since the filters are paper they will eventually decompose. 

      Coffee filters can also be used in the bottom of planters to keep the soil from falling out.

  13. Idea: Pour the liquid softener in a spray bottle, so whenever you need to make a dryer sheet, you simply grab the bottle and a coffee filter, and spray away.  No bowl to wash each time.

  14. Idea:  Put the fabric softener is a spray bottle, so when you need to “make” a dryer sheet, you simply shake the bottle (if necessary), spray it on a coffee filter, and you’re all set.  No bowl the wash each time.