I’ve tried a few brands and types of dryer sheets and decided to review them all together so you can compare. I’m basing my critiques on 3 criteria: effectiveness, “green”ness, and affordability.
Honest Dryer Cloths
$6.95 for 32 sheets (each cloth can be used twice)
- Effectiveness: The cloths are very effective at removing static and making my clothes soft. The fragrance is really nice but not overwhelming.
- Greenness: Like all Honest products, the cloths are free of SLS, fragrance, dyes, phosphates, 1,4-dioxane, chlorine, DEA, formaldehyde, and caustics and they are biodegradable, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, pH neutral, and vegan.
- Affordability: These sheet are pretty price, but you can use each cloth twice, so theoretically you get 64 loads in each package.
- Other: The cloths are pre-moistened. I really like this feature because I sometimes fluff my hang-dry clothes in the dryer, and this moisture creates a little steam that works to remove wrinkles.
Seventh Generation Natural Fabric Softener Sheets
$4.99 for 80 sheets
- Effectiveness: The sheets didn’t make a big difference. It got rid of static but didn’t seem to soften my clothes.
- Greenness: These sheets are unbleached, recyclable, biodegradable, and processed without chemicals containing chlorine; USDA Certified Biobased Product.
- Affordability: These are SUPER affordable.
- Other: They’re are made of unbleached paper, so you can compost them after they’ve been through the dryer.
Mrs. Meyer’s Dryer Sheets
$7.99 for 80 sheets
- Effectiveness: These sheets are moderately effective. My clothes didn’t have static, and they felt a little softer. The basil fragrance is lovely out of the box but doesn’t last on your clothes.
- Greenness: They are 99% naturally derived and free of phthalates, formaldehyde, artificial colors, parabens, and animal derived ingredients.
- Affordability: These sheets are on the expensive side.
Method Dryer-Activated Fabric Softener
$7.99 for 1 spray bottle (100 loads)
- Effectiveness: This spray works really well at softening my clothes and getting rid of static. The fresh air fragrance is pleasant and lasts on your clothes.
- Greenness: Like all Method products, the spray is free of ammonia, phthalates, chlorine, parabens, phosphates, and animal derived ingredients. And because there’s no sheet, there’s nothing to go in the landfill, and the bottle is recyclable.
- Affordability: Not the most expensive but not the cheapest.
- Other: To use, you can spray directly into the dryer once you’re clothes are in. I like to get a microfiber cloth damp, spray that instead, and throw it in the dryer. Alternatively, if you use those wool dryer balls you can spray them.
This is the third natural, cruelty-free laundry detergent I’ve tried (the first two were from The Honest Company and Method). The company, Eco Sprout, makes nothing but products that facilitate cloth diapering. I found its detergent at Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique in Cary, NC, while shopping with a friend. I don’t have kids to cloth diaper, but I do have an interest in super tough cruelty-free detergent, so I decided to give it a try.
This laundry detergent is different from the other detergents I’ve reviewed because it’s a powdered formula instead of liquid. It’s safe for HE machines. It comes in a pouch with explicit usage directions printed on the back: first time use, how much to use for different types of loads, use for clothes other than diapers, etc. I switched between this detergent and others over the course of several weeks, and I found that this product worked really well on my clothes, just like the others.
But because this is made to tackle some of the most disgusting messes imaginable, I decided to put it to a real test. I volunteer at a therapeutic horseback riding facility, and in addition to working with riders with special needs and grooming and taking the horses, I sometimes take home the horses’ saddle pads to wash. The saddle pads (the cloth pads that go between the saddle and the horse’s back) get washed maybe 8 times a year. They are used on 10 horses every day, including hot, sticky summer days (oh, and horses sweat, in case you didn’t know). So these saddle pads are filthy–I’m talking caked-on dirt and sweat that you could literally scrape off with your fingernails–and hairy and stinky. I used 4 tablespoons of this detergent (the max amount recommended), hot water, and the “heavily soiled” setting on my HE washer. The pads came out clean and sweet smelling. I have washed these same pads on several occasions over the years, and I have never seen them so clean. And speaking of sweet smelling, the green tea fragrance is fantastic. This is the best-smelling detergent I’ve ever used.
In short, give this stuff a try. You can buy a 4 ounce package to try on the Eco Sprout site for $2.95.
For the past few months, I have been trying three natural and cruelty-free laundry detergents. This week, I’ll be reviewing two of them (I already reviewed the third, The Honest Company’s laundry detergent). Overall, I prefer all of them to traditional synthetic detergents.
The first one I used was Method‘s Laundry Detergent. It’s a liquid detergent that comes in a tall plastic (recyclable) bottle with a pump dispenser. It’s ultra concentrated and safe for HE washing machines (learn much more about Method’s laundry detergent here). You only need 4 pumps of liquid for a normal load of laundry. That pump is reason enough for me to buy only this detergent for the rest of my life–I love that I don’t have to measure with a separate cup and possibly spill detergent (I know I sound like one of those inept infomercial people, but in this case it’s really true)–it’s SO convenient. The detergent itself works very well. The fragrance is subtle but very nice (I tried the Fresh Air scent). And when you run out, you can buy a very economical and environmentally friendly refill pack.
The company also makes a fabric softener, which is the only natural and cruelty-free fabric softener that I know of. I will definitely be trying that!
Also, if you buy any product on the Method site in the month of June, the company will donate 15% of sales to the ASPCA. That sound you just heard was my heart leaping out of my chest. 🙂