Dad vs. Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets have created a rift between my father and myself. He will not allow me to use dryer sheets, because he claims that they will ruin the dryer. I’m not sure where he got this notion, probably from some obscure magazine article or some learning channel show- who knows? I however, disagree with him, and love to use them on my clothes. But he makes me dry my clothes in a different dryer if I want to use them. Can anyone disprove my father’s belief that dryer sheets cause damage to dryers? My attempt at pointing out that so many people use them, and if they did damage the dryers- they wouldn’t, does not convince him.

Looking forward to drying my clothes at home


Ruin the dryer? Never heard that one.

But manny peoples will tell you to avoid using dryer sheets because of the chemicals released.

A sample suit discussing the issue:
Fabric Softeners = Health Risks from Dryer Exhaust and Treated Fabrics

If you really want to know if “dryer sheets” will ruin your dryer, just ask the manufacturer of your dryer.

(Of course, if your father really believes that dryer sheets ruin dyers he may have a fixed delusion in which case you’ll just have to keep using another dryer.)

I have been trying to convince him further, but to no avail. I mean, dryer sheets are a solid wax on the sheet and the heat of the dryer melts them and they stick to the clothes- but even if some would get on the “walls” of the dryer, those walls would be so hot as to keep the fabric softener wax in a liquid form, where it would then be transfered to the cooler clothes, soak in and stay. But with my crazy father I can never win. I’m going to try a liquid fabric softener…hopefully that won’t RUIN the washer. :wink:

The closest I have seen to this waxing problem is on industrial ironing machines.

These are called callendar ironers and use a series of large cloth covered rollers ,one after the other.
The beds sit under the rollers and are forced upwards by compressed air jacks, the item to be ironed is passed betweent the bed and the roller.

To reduce the friction, between bed and roller, waxed canvas is passed through from time to time. This wax can build up and cause problems in the ironing pathway leading to logjams.

I have not seen any problem like it in driers.

I found this.

And among other things, it said this (italics mine):

Perhaps your dad is confusing having the lint screen blocked with having the dryer vent blocked? Sometimes when you open the dryer door, depending on the model of dryer, you see the dryer sheet stuck in the lint screen. Maybe your dad heard somewhere that “dryer vents should not be blocked” and he saw a dryer sheet in the lint screen one day, and thought that’s what it meant. Would it be hopelessly sexist and age-ist of me to assume that he’s probably in his 60’s or 70’s, and that maybe when HE was growing up, WOMEN did all the dealing with dryers, so he may not be too clear on how they work? AFAIK, it doesn’t hurt anything to have a dryer sheet stuck in the lint screen.

Just a WAG.

He who pays the piper calls the tune. He may be wrong (I don’t know) but it’s his dryer to be wrong about. If you want to use dryer sheets, buy your own damn dryer. Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is. I get along fine with neither dryer sheets nor fabric softener.

If you don’t know, then why post? This isn’t a share your feelings board, it’s a q and a board.

Thanks for the advice, Mr. All Q and No A. In the future, please leave the moderating to the, uh, moderators.

As been stated, only the dryer manufacturer can give a satisfactory answer, unless someone did a thesis on this issue (doubtful).

However, you shouldn’t be using dryer sheets because they’re evil. Extra chemicals, extra competing perfumes – yech. Additionally, they work by waxing the fibers of your clothes, which make them not only soft to the touch, but also non-absorbent. And I’m guessing that they reduce the effectiveness of the wash, since the detergent in the wash now has to break down the wax (in addition to all your natural body oils you got on your clothes).

And it’s pretty creepy to use a nice, soft, plush terrycloth towel on oneself or on a wet table top and find that it didn’t aborb any water. Blech.

Do yourself and the environment and the people who smell you a favor – don’t use dryer sheets.


The biggest bitch I have about them is when they hide themselves in my jeans and I walk around at work all night with one flapping from my pants-leg.

Dryer sheets are also useful for keeping dust off of safety goggles, face sheilds, etc. Rub one across the surface of the item and it reduces dust cling a lot. This is a woodworker’s trick.

C’mon, tell your dad that this is America in the year 2000 and if dryer sheets caused fires or hurt dryers in any way the makers of the offending sheets would get their pants sued off. I use a lot of them and I’m trying to find a use for the spent ones after I take them out of the dryer. Like stuff a beanbag chair or something.