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Dryer Sheets Versus Fabric Softener

Woman holding fabric softener

Which Is Better?

Okay, so we all know that using dryer sheets or fabric softener will make your clothes smell fresh and help reduce wrinkles. But, when faced with the choice on the grocery store laundry aisle, which do you pick? We interviewed a mom we know, and did a little online research to get to the bottom of the fresh-laundry face-off.

Fabric Softener:


  • We interviewed a mom we know, Kimberly Denman, to get her thoughts on the two product options. She says she prefers using fabric softener on towels and sheets, because it makes them smell fresh longer, and feel softer.


  • Kim told us she doesn’t like using fabric softener on clothing, especially on dark-colored items. Sometimes, she says, she finds white residue or spots left behind by the liquid.

Dryer Sheets:


  • Dryer sheets are easier to use, because you don’t have the spill risk associated with fabric softener. If you’re looking to reduce static in clothing, dryer sheets are definitely the way to go. Also, you can use dryer sheets outside the laundry room. Kim told us she frequently tucks a dryer sheet in her dresser drawers, in suitcases, or even under car seats to help keep that spring fresh scent everywhere she goes!


  • It’s Kim’s opinion that the fresh scent doesn’t last quite as long when using dryer sheets versus fabric softener. Also, she says you have to watch out for lost dryer sheets in your loads, to be sure you don’t end up wearing a dryer sheet stuck on your pants to work!

A Truth and a Lie:

While researching we discovered an untrue rumor circulating the internet, and a fabric risk that’s true regarding both dryer sheets and fabric softeners. We found a great blog by Household Tips that offers more info on both. Read it by clicking here.

1. Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener Shorten the Life of Your Clothes Dryer:

The rumor goes that the residue that may build up from using either fabric softener or dryer sheets may shorten the lifespan of your dryer. This is simply not true. The lifespan of your dryer is directly correlated with the amount of regular use, and proper care and maintenance. For more information on an appropriate maintenance schedule, contact Mr. Appliance for info on regular tune-ups.

2. Dryer Sheets and Fabric Softener Will Shorten the Life of Your Microfiber

TRUE: Microfiber towels are designed with special properties to be super-absorbent. However, once exposed to heat, the material can lose that ability. The best options? Hang dry or lay dry. If you can’t wait that long, choose a dryer cycle that is no or low heat. This helps lower the damage potential.

So, there are mixed benefits to each of these laundry products. When it comes down to it, you’ll have to choose which fits your family’s specific laundry needs best!