How to Get Dryer Sheet Smell Out of Clothes

Dryer sheets are a low-cost, environmentally friendly way to eliminate static cling and odors from your laundry. They’re also great for getting rid of wrinkles, and keeping your clothes soft and smelling fresh.

But if you’ve ever noticed an odor coming from your dryer sheets, you’re not alone. Dryer sheets are great for getting rid of wet clothes, but they can also leave a strong scent behind. If you’re not using them as your laundry detergent, you might not be aware of their smell.

How to Get Dryer Sheet Smell Out of Clothes

What’s causing the smell? And how do you get rid of it? Let’s find out together!

Cause of Dryer Sheet Smell In Your Laundry

The smell that comes from your clothes is caused by chemicals in dryer sheets. These chemicals can make their way into your clothes when you fold them, or when put in their dryer.

How to Get Dryer Sheet Smell Out of Clothes

You can get rid of that dryer sheet smell by following the steps below.

  1. Preheat the washer

If you want to get rid of a dryer sheet smell from your laundry, preheating the washer helps remove any lingering odors in the machine and prevents it from growing back once you wash them.

  1. Mix baking soda and water

Next up, mix some baking soda with water and scrub an entire load of laundry in small amounts. Use this solution to get rid of any lingering bacteria and any other smells that may be left behind by the dryer sheets.

  1. Rinse

After rinsing out the washer, run a second cycle without any detergent. This will help remove any remaining residue from the baking soda solution as well as any other lingering smells that may have been left over by your dryer sheets.

  1. Use vinegar

If you still notice a scent after washing, use some vinegar and water to wash your clothes again before putting them in the dryer again.

Vinegar works great at removing odors because it has an acidic pH level that can break down fatty acids like those found in fabrics such as polyester or cotton fabrics.

More Tips For Removing Dryer Sheets Residue From Clothes

Clean Lint Filter

The lint filter is a small metal or plastic panel that sits on top of your dryer. It’s where the dryer pulls air in and lets it out.

The lint filter collects all the debris and other loose fibers that get caught in your dryer. To help remove any lingering dryer sheet smell, remove the lint filter and clean it with a lint brush.

Switch Dryer Sheet Brands

To remove dryer sheet odor, switch to a different brand of dryer sheets altogether. This will help eliminate any residual scent left over from the previous brand.

Hang Outdoors

Another option is to hang your clothes outside in direct sunlight for several hours. The sun will help disintegrate the odor-causing chemicals in dryer sheets that are most likely responsible for lingering scents on clothing.

Deodorize with Household Items

If you’re still having trouble getting rid of the dryer sheet smell, there are plenty of household items you can use to neutralize or destroy any residual odor-causing chemicals left behind by old dryer sheets.

You can use baking soda (1/4 cup per load) or vinegar (1/4 cup per load) for this purpose.

What Can I Use in Dryer Instead of Dryer Sheets?


Vinegar is a great alternative to dryer sheets. It can help prevent static cling, and it will leave your clothes smelling fresh instead of mildew. You can use vinegar as a dryer sheet, or you can also spray your clothes with it before they go into the dryer.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another great alternative to dryer sheets. It’s easy to find in any grocery store, and it has no scent at all, so you won’t have to worry about the smell transferring onto your clothes. Baking soda works well on wool dryer balls, too.

Wool Dryer Balls

Wool dryer balls are another great way to get rid of static cling without using any chemicals. They’re made from 100% natural fibers and work really well for items like towels or sweaters because they don’t need much drying time at all before they’re ready to wear.

Dryer balls with essential oils

Dryer balls with essential oils are a great way to get rid of static in your laundry. They work by absorbing moisture, which can help prevent static cling and keep your clothes smelling fresh.

You can find these at many grocery stores, though they may be more expensive than dryer sheets or fabric softeners.

Reusable dryer sheets

Reusable dryer sheets are another option for getting rid of static in your laundry.

These sheets aren’t quite as effective at removing the terrible smell from clothes as the other options, but they’re still a great option if you don’t have a lot of space for storage.

Foil balls

Foil balls are another way to get rid of static without using fabric softeners or dryer sheets. They’re made out of metal foil, so they don’t leave any residue behind like dryer sheets do.

These can be reused over and over again without any issues, so they’re also an economical choice for those who want to keep their costs low when shopping for laundry detergent.


Cornstarch is an easy way to add extra moisture to your clothes without using chemicals. Place 2 cups of cornstarch in a bowl and mix it with 1 cup of water until it becomes a paste-like substance.

Apply this paste to your lint trap in the back of your dryer by rubbing it into the side of the dryer drum so that it sticks on the inside surface of the drum.

You can also use this method if you have hardwood floors near where you dry clothes because it won’t leave a residue behind that could damage your flooring.

DIY dryer sheets

You can also use dryer sheets made from natural ingredients such as baking soda and essential oils like lavender or mint. These dryer sheets will leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean!

The best part about using dryer sheets is that it’s a quick fix for those times when you need to freshen up a pair of jeans or socks on the go.

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