Most of us use them every time we do laundry… dryer sheets. No more scrambling to the washer during the rinse cycle to add softener to the laundry. Dryer sheets were a godsend on that front. They make our clothes smell great, they remove static cling, but do they actually harm the dryer? That is the question we are going to try to answer today.
Did you know that the chemicals used in dryer sheets have to be approved by the FDA? While we obviously do not ingest them, and they do not come in direct contact with your skin, the products used in the dryer sheets are transferred to the clothing during the dryer cycle, and some of these ingredients can cause skin irritation.
I can tell you firsthand this is a fact. I remember having an unexplained rash around my neck that was driving me nuts and we could not figure out what the problem was. When I finally went to the doctor for the issue, we went through recent changes. The only thing that was different was that for the first time in forever, I had bought and used a different brand of dryer sheets. I changed them out, rash was gone.
Dryer sheets can have a more significant impact with people with more serious health issues, such as asthma. If you are experiencing symptoms after changing dryer sheets, the fix could be something as simple as trying a different sheet or looking for alternatives to use rather than using the dryer sheets.
If you ask 100 different “experts” if dryer sheets are harmful to your dryer, you are very likely to have 50 people on both sides of the argument. It is like politics, you have extremes on both sides, with the answer somewhere in the middle of both arguments.
One of the biggest “negatives” regarding dryer sheets is that they are coated with acids that can melt during the drying process and coat the inside of the dryer. I have never personally experienced this issue, but it is a documented problem for some. One of the best ways to avoid this buildup is to make sure your dryer filter is maintained and cleaned after every load. Point being, compared to detergent, the sheets are no more damaging to the dryer as long as you do the PM we always talk about, which includes general upkeep of the dryer and the dryer vent filter.