the domestic tales of four sisters

Dryer Sponges: The End to Dryer Sheets

dryerspongesmainThis idea is not my own, but I don’t know who to give credit to either. I guess I could do a quick Google search and find someone out there who has a blog that has done this before, but truthfully I didn’t get it from there.

One night my husband and I were checking out what is going on in the world of his Facebook friends. One of them had shared this. I noticed that back in November, before I deleted my account, many were sharing these recipes/tips on their Facebook pages. Peeps who do this, have you discovered Pinterest yet? It’s a whole new world over there.

I digress. I just glanced at the photo, got an idea of what it entailed, and then purchased the “ingredients” this weekend to do on my own. So, to whoever invented this, I thank you for the inspiration. And I am sorry if you feel like I’m ripping you off. Maybe I should have clicked the Facebook post, and then found the link, and then clicked the link, and then read the link, and then went over to Pinterest and pinned the link to refer back to later … But it was 11PM and I am 34 weeks pregnant. I get a pass.

If you live in a dry climate you understand how desperately you need dryer sheets. And if you use homemade laundry detergent (Sami’s recipe can be found here) than you probably use dryer sheets just to keep your clothes smelling super fresh – even out of the dryer. Despite switching up my homemade laundry detergent (putting more Purex crystals in than called for, trying other scent bead products, ect.) it seemed that when it came out of the dryer the clothes didn’t have that, “ahh dump this whole basket all over me and let me huff in the deliciousness” smell. In fact I even stopped using the homemade stuff just because I was so frustrated that my clothes didn’t smell … well … like flowers. I blame my dad. He likes good smelling laundry, too.

These dryer sponges helped me get back to homemade laundry detergent (meaning I save massive bones) and helped me to avoid having to huff a cardboard box of dryer sheets in Walmart trying to determine if the actual smell (sans cardboard) is delicious and worthy enough for my laundry.

Let’s do this …

dryersponges dryersponges2

You Will Need:
– A medium/large jar or bucket that has a lid. You want the lid to seal relatively well to prevent major spillage in the event of a tip over. The jar that I selected truly isn’t the greatest, and if I had to store this any lower than the shelf above my washer I would opt for a different one. (1 gallon capacity should be more than enough room to accommodate your sponges and liquid mixture.)
– Basic sponges. (I purchased mine at Walmart for $2.38 or something a pack. I bought two 6 packs as I assume 12 is more than plenty for us. Buy accordingly. I recommend you check your local dollar store as well.)
– Fabric softener of choice (Drug stores like Walgreens are ALWAYS having sales on laundry items. Check there first.)
– Water from the tap

This is quite simple. So simple I won’t bore you with step-by-step. That’s just an insult to your intelligence.

Step 1: Stick your sponges inside your jar/bucket.
Step 2: Dump 2 cups of fabric softener over the sponges.
Step 3: Dump 3-4 cups of water over softener and sponges. Give a little mix with your hand to blend well.

dryersponges4I opted to make mine a little stronger so I did a 3 cups water to 2 cups fabric softener ratio. Works quite well!

Now the big questions!

How on earth do I use these?
First things first – if you live in a very dry climate and you can’t walk two feet without shocking your one year old (guilty) then you want these to be pretty wet when you throw them into the dryer. I give mine a little bit of a squeeze so that they aren’t sopping wet and dripping all over the place, but not so much that they’re close to dry. Here’s a good idea in picture form:
dryersponges5For all of you others who are blessed with humidity (I can’t believe I just said that … North Carolina me is reeling right now … ) you can use as little or as much as you’d like. Remember, the more you leave in the sponge the sooner you have to refill your solution.

Then you just toss them on top of your clothes in the dryer, close door, turn it on as normal, and walk away. Come back to fresh smelling clothes. Just don’t get caught when you’re huffing them and looking like a total crazy mess.


Do these leave stains on the clothes?
Not that I’ve found. I’ve used them 4-5 times with different loads and colors. I’ve used them merely to “fluff” a few items – meaning the items were dry. No stains. Just delicious smell.

Do these grow bacteria?
Anything in a moist, damp environment is prone to grow bacteria. I recommend purchasing bacteria resistant sponges. And following the solution-changing directions below.

When do you change the solution?
First I recommend that you always have clean hands when reaching down into your jar/bucket. This will help you avoid the solution getting too grimy. Because I am a clean-freak and semi-germaphobic I do opt to give the sponges a little rinse with tapwater before returning them to the solution. If you opt to just pop them back in right afterward, it’s perfectly okay. I would recommend that you change your solution every 4-6 weeks. However, if your solution is getting low before that point I would recommend that you change it then. Also, if for whatever reason your sponges develop any bad smell whatsoever, change it.

How many uses do you recommend per 1 sponge?
Your sponges will last as long as you take care of them. (Rinsing/solution changing) However, I recommend you use a sponge once for each trip to the dryer and return to your jar/bucket trying to get it more towards the bottom so as to rotate your sponges and keep them all used accordingly.

Do you recommend I still use fabric softener in my washer?
Do as you normally would to wash your clothing. I still add Purex Crystals to my homemade laundry detergent – which do act as a little bit of a fabric softener. Ultimately these only affect dryer performance.

How much money did you save?
Not as much as I could have – truthfully. These were made on a whim. Like I said I just ran to Walmart and purchased the supplies and went at it. Hindsight being 20/20 I wish that I would have gone to the dollar store first and purchased my sponges. As far as the sponges and fabric softener are concerned I spent $8.47. Because I continue to use the sponges and just need to replace the fabric softener I am sure overtime I will save some money. The overarching goal for me was to find a (cheaper) counterpart to my homemade laundry detergent that cuts down on static cling and imparts great scent. These sponges armed with the homemade detergent WILL save me money for sure.

dryersponges3 dryersponges7

Well, that’s it! Are you sponge-worthy? (Name that show!)

I love it!

Any questions? We read every comment and respond to every question that we can – so comment below!

I hope you’re having a great week so far. The good news is that tomorrow is Hump Day and I’m one step closer to pushing this kid out of my body. Hey-o!

Happy Tuesday!



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8 thoughts on “Dryer Sponges: The End to Dryer Sheets”

  • I cannot believe you are already 34 weeks!!! You need to get back on facebook so I can see pictures of your adorable daughter again! Also, I will definitely be trying this!

  • Seinfeld. My husbands favorite! And I’ve always been too scared to try these because of worries that they’ll leave those oily stains. You’re giving me hope. I wonder if the brand makes a difference with that?

    • Hey Kristi! I was worried as well – especially since I opted to use more fabric softener with less water. I have not noticed any stains and I actually went over all of our gray/dark colored clothing just to be certain. My idea was (if stains occurred) to use Purex Crystals disintegrated in really, really hot water and then just immerse the sponges in that. But because the fabric softener worked so well I don’t see a need. I would say that the more expensive “name brands” may require a little more water just to help avoid that, whereas storebrands are pretty watered down already and may require less. If that makes sense!

  • I’m making home made fabric softner do I still need to dilute that solution to add the sponges to it, or is that solution enough?

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