Our Laundry Blog

What Does a Dryer Sheet Do?

Dryer sheets are a surprisingly important player in the laundry process. When your clothes are clean, those little sheets add a final touch of softness and freshness to your finished load.

But how do they work? How do they lock in that field freshness or that crispness of a spring morning? How do they stop your Christmas sweaters from sticking together in ball of holiday horror?

The science behind dryer sheets is actually quite impressive.

Aw, shoot! I forgot the sheet!

You may ask yourself, what’s the point of using a dryer sheet? My clothes are already clean.

For those of you who have forgotten to add one in when drying, you know that final buzz from the machine means being shocked (many times) when removing your load.

Dryer sheets are used to create a guard against the buildup of static electricity in most fabrics.

But that’s not all. Dryer sheets also:

  • Work as fabric softeners
  • Help in the resistance of future stains
  • Prevent clothes from gathering lint
  • And make ironing easier

All that from one dryer sheet!

To top it off, dryer sheets add a certain burst of freshness and a pleasing scent. You can look at the dryer sheet as the garnish to your perfectly washed load of laundry.

But how do they work?

Dryer sheets may seem like magic, but there is a bit of science that goes into those static assassins.

Dryer sheets have a thin layer of lubricant, which is electronically conductive, resulting in softer feeling clothes and reduced static electricity. The chemicals that make up dryer sheet fabric softeners target electrostatic charges and eliminate those that linger on the top of fabrics thus resulting in no shock.

To sheet or not to sheet

Despite all the great benefits of dryer sheets, it is important to remember that a sheet is not needed in all wash loads.

Dryer sheets have a tendency to reduce the absorbability of some fabrics. Never use dryer sheets or fabric softeners for towels, diapers, or other fabrics that are meant to absorb.

Other than a few exceptions, be sure to take advantage of the humble dryer sheet—it provides a little extra help in the laundry room that anyone would be happy to have.

If you forget dryer sheets on your next trip to the laundromat, don’t worry. We sell dryer sheets at all our laundromat locations.