So I found this post on Pinterest called “Never Ending Dryer Sheets.” I must say that I was intrigued. Never ending, you say? Tell me about this money saving scheme! I looked it up and decided to give it a go. This is my experience: the good, the bad, and if it really does save money
It’s simple. All you need are:
- Your favorite liquid fabric softener
- Airtight container
Yep. That’s it. Her ratio is 1 part fabric softener to 2 parts water (1 cup: 2 cups). Her instructions were to cut the sponges so they soak up the softener, squeeze out extra softener, throw into dryer with wet clothes, and put back into the softener for the next time
So I tried it. I used Downy fabric softener and o-cel-o sponges, both found at Walmart.
I liked it. That’s it. I just… liked it. I didn’t love it.
Why I didn’t like it that much:
- The clothes didn’t smell amazing like she said. They just smelled like clothes. No ahhh factor.
- There was static to the clothes.
- It was messy (although after I dried my hands they were soft and smelled great. Haha!)
Why I liked it:
- The clothes were soft.
- It was easy… but come on so is a fabric softener sheet!
- It was economical.
- It did seem to save money (getting to that later).
But I was not willing to give up on this! I decided that I could do one of two things. Obviously my clothes weren’t getting enough softener because they had static. And honestly I wanted to smell that fresh awesome smell of Downy. So I decided to refrain from squeezing all of the softener out. I tried it but the softener started to disappear rather quickly, even though it did work great. That kind of defeats the purpose of being never-ending though. So I tried putting 2-3, sometimes 4, “halves” of a sponge into the dryer. It helped a little.
So I decided maybe it was diluted too much. I decided to do a half/half ration (1 cup of fabric softener to 1 cup of water). I still used 2-3, sometimes 4, “halves” of a sponge.
Problem solved! The clothes smell amazing and the static didn’t return. Also, it seems like the softener isn’t going anywhere near as quickly. As a matter of fact, I can’t tell after quite a few loads that it’s even disappearing at all!
I believe that the reason I had a problem at first was because my sponges were fairly small. The sponges in the picture seem REALLY big. So if she’s cutting them in half and using them, they’re probably the size of 1-2 whole sponges for me. So if you’re going to use big sponges, a half of a sponge might work for you. I personally like to add 4 “halves” (2 whole) of my sponges in my towels for extra ahh factor, but use 2-3 “halves” for the rest of my clothes. So if you’re using the big ones 1/2 would probably work for clothes and maybe a whole one for towels?
By the way, if you use small sponges like me there’s really no point to cut them in half if you have a bucket or big container. I personally used a butter bowl so it was a bit small even for my little skinny sponges.
So does it really save on money? Although I haven’t done the math I would say definitely YES! I really don’t know exactly how I could do the math for this without counting how many loads I got out of my 1 cup/1 cup mixture and then go from there. However I’m not sure how long that would take. All I can say is that without a doubt it’s cheaper than fabric softener sheets.
It’s just a bonus that you don’t have to deal with all of those dryer sheets floating down to the floor for you to slip on. True story.
Update March 9, 2014
I am still using this method and still love it! I am literally still on the same bottle of fabric softener and now and then I actually use some in my whites to mask the bleach smell and the towels for extra softeness! There’s still about 1/4-1/2 of a bottle left. I have only used about a cup or so of the fabric softener for this project so far.
I have come to realize that these, however, do not take any of the static away. It is kind of a bummer. When I thought that sometimes it was taking away the static, it was just a coincidence. I almost always have static now unless I use a fabric softener sheet!
NO NEED TO FRET! I have an alternative!
Usually, before I did this, I would use 2-3 fabric softener sheets in each large load. Now I only need one. I can also use the cheapest brand of non-scented. I don’t need the extra scent since my sponges do all of that for me.
But the alternative are wool dryer balls!
For more information on how to make them, visit Momal Always Finds Out. After I try it out, I will post a blog about it! PS: Another bonus is that you can add essential oils to the balls, let them dry, and you won’t even need the sponges anymore!
End of update.