Aluminum Foil Dryer Sheet

1 Posted by - March 4, 2013 - DIY & Crafts

My post is late today. There’s a reason for that. In order to tell it to you, we must rewind to this morning at 6 a.m.

Husband and I were awakened by a tapping as of someone gently rapping at our windowpane. It was not a raven. But it was a bird. A persistent bird. A bird that would not give up its not-so-gentle tapping.

I was content to put a pillow over my head and sleep through it, but husband muttered something about “piece of crap stupid goddamn fucking bird,” and got up to smack at the window with a pillow. That worked for like 3 minutes.

And then husband came back with a step-stool and some sticky notes and worked up another solution. That worked for exactly 3 seconds.


Eventually we gave up. Husband left for work and I got up to start my day… and realized we had no internet.

And now we must rewind even further to the evening before, when husband tried to “fix” our issue with the failing UPS by plugging everything (including internet thingies) into a power strip.

So this morning, in my bird-induced sleep-deprived state, I went in to check on the router and all that other crap that makes the internet go and reported all lights to be turned on and flashy. But then I went back out to my computer and still no internet. I repeated this process a number of times. It wasn’t until about 2 in the afternoon that I went back there for something else, opened the curtains, and noticed that the little lights on the router thingies were no longer flashing.

knew those little fucks had been flashing earlier, so I crawled around under the desk and inhaled dust bunnies and other gross shit while I followed power cords and made sure everything was plugged in. I flipped the switch on the power strip off and on…

And then I had a slow-motion moment of clarity. The power strip was plugged in to the wall… where the lamp used to be… and the lamp could be turned on and off… with the light switch. I turned on the light switch and, lo, my internets returned.

And I texted my husband to tell him he was a butthole.

That is the story of why this blog post is late.

Today I am testing aluminum foil dryer sheets.

I know, I’m on a laundry kick this week. I’m just rolling with it, since it means I have clean laundry.

I haven’t used dryer sheets in years, mostly because I don’t care that much about my laundry being extra soft and smelly. I do use these:


They’re a little worse for the wear, and I don’t know if they do any good, but I always run them through the dryer with my stuff. So the idea of throwing something like a ball of aluminum foil in the dryer doesn’t seem that weird to me.

I did get a lot of interesting warnings when I pinned it though. Stuff like:

OMG you’ll catch your house on fire!

You’re going to tear up all your clothes!

The foil won’t catch on fire, but you might build up enough static to start a fire from the spark!

I appreciate you all looking out for me. But I tried it anyway.

I made a ball of foil about the same size as my dryer balls.


And then I took one of the dryer balls out of the dyer and replaced it with the foil ball.


And I did a load of towels.

I hate to be a spoilsport, but nothing caught on fire. And I realize I didn’t have any delicates in this load, but nothing got torn up either.


In fact, the only damage was a little further beating up of the one dryer ball I left in there.



My dryer was undamaged.


And my towels are… um… towely. As I’m not really sure what this thing is supposed to do, I guess it did it. I don’t have a huge problem with static in my towels anyway, but, um, maybe I would if I didn’t use dryer balls, or something.

In any case, you will not catch your house on fire if you do this. Go with my blessing, children.



  • Megan Anzalone March 4, 2013 - 6:30 pm Reply

    Doesn’t aluminum foil cost more than dryer sheets?

    • Lisa Gibson March 4, 2013 - 6:42 pm Reply

      I’m guessing you reuse the foil?

      • Breenah March 4, 2013 - 7:35 pm Reply

        You can reuse dryer sheets too. Or tear them in half.

      • Pintester March 4, 2013 - 9:40 pm Reply

        Yeah, the original post says you can use a foil ball for up to six months.

  • mamaD March 4, 2013 - 6:54 pm Reply

    You can reuse the foil ball a couple times but after that it starts falling apart and leaving little foil pieces everywhere! And it actually seems to take some of the static OUT, not make things static-y. And it takes less time to dry your items because the foil heats up and bounces all around with the clothes. My personal opinion is you just have to weigh out the pros and cons and it may or may not be good for everyone. And as for your switched outlets….aren’t they a bitch sometimes!?!?

    • Kasey Oliver March 4, 2013 - 7:12 pm Reply

      My dryer is broken and takes 200-300 minutes to fully dry a load. If I throw in a ball of foil the size of a softball or larger, will my clothes dry faster?

      • Pintester March 4, 2013 - 9:40 pm Reply

        Probably. To be safe, I’d put in two softball-sized ones. And also probably the testicles of a gray squirrel that have been blessed by an Earth witch.

        • Allison March 5, 2013 - 1:32 pm Reply

          Holy Random!

        • mamaD March 27, 2013 - 10:03 am Reply

          Sonja, HELP!! I can’t find an Earth with to bless the testcles I ripped off a squirrel. Now how can I dry my clothes?

      • Catherine March 6, 2013 - 9:25 am Reply

        5 hours to dry a load? A new dryer would pay for itself in the energy savings alone. It appears that you are trying to lower your debt so I assume you don’t want to finance a new dryer, but maybe you could hang them to dry and apply the energy savings from that towards a new dryer?

        • Kasey Oliver March 6, 2013 - 12:53 pm Reply

          I rent. And I do hang hang the clothes to dry…I hope you didn’t think I was asking a serious question about using a huge wad of foil to dry my clothes faster. The landlord won’t fix the dryer, he keeps avoiding my phone calls and I’m working on moving out.

          • Catherine March 6, 2013 - 1:04 pm

            No, I didn’t think you were serious about that, I was just concerned about the length of time it takes to dry a load. Here I was being serious when you were just trying to make a joke. I swear sometimes, I’m totally socially inept.

  • MightyLace March 4, 2013 - 7:30 pm Reply

    I’m going to try this tomorrow afternoon when I plan to do laundry and totally put wrap my lunch in the foil first. Multitasking! While my lunch is warming up, my laundry will be drying, freeing myself up for other mundane tasks that need done! Genius!

  • Sarah McMullin March 4, 2013 - 7:41 pm Reply

    When we went to Australia we kept complaining about outlets in our hotel room. Then in our friends house..and their parents’ house… Yeah, every single individual plug is controlled with an individual switch. Each outlet has two switches and I could have saved myself $50 on a new flat iron if I had realized that sooner. Damn eco-friendly tree hugging kangaroo lovers!

    • Katherine Horejsi March 5, 2013 - 2:44 am Reply

      Mmmmm, saves you a butt load on your power bill though. The power consumption nazis over here reckon it saves about $400 a year if you switch off the outlets when they’re not in use. And who are we to question it !!

  • heidibadger March 4, 2013 - 7:41 pm Reply

    Christmas Vacation. LOL!

    • rfoust March 4, 2013 - 8:43 pm Reply

      My thoughts exactly!

      • Pintester March 4, 2013 - 9:38 pm Reply


  • nortiebug March 4, 2013 - 8:38 pm Reply

    I did the same damn thing with the power. I had my nephews at the house and the power in our bedroom kept going off and on all day long. My husband leapt to every conclusion…from mice eating the wiring to a short…all which added up to having a pricey electrician over. And then I remembered the light switch…sonuva!

  • Crystal Puckett March 4, 2013 - 9:01 pm Reply

    Do those post-its have Poe quotes written on them?

  • Crystal Puckett March 4, 2013 - 9:02 pm Reply

    I really want to know the purpose of the post-its, was it from Pinterest?

    • Catherine March 5, 2013 - 9:12 am Reply

      It was in hopes of making the bird realize that it was flying into a window and not the sky.

  • Amy March 4, 2013 - 9:02 pm Reply

    What was the point of the post it notes? Did they have not-nice messages and death threats on them so the bird would read them, heed the warning, and move on to the next house?

    • Crystal Kelly Yzaguirre March 4, 2013 - 9:12 pm Reply

      I think so the bird would realize there was something there.

      • Pintester March 4, 2013 - 9:16 pm Reply

        Yeah, nothing as creative as all that. It was just to hopefully make the bird realize that the window is not sky. And, no, it wasn’t from Pinterest, as far as I know.

        • Llama spit March 5, 2013 - 8:31 am Reply

          The bird was Kamikaze! He was sent by a country who shall not be named to start another world war by waking you! DON”T FALL FOR IT!

  • DigitalChick March 4, 2013 - 9:59 pm Reply

    What do your original dryer balls do? I never use any of that stuff. I use detergent… but that’s all. The dryer sheets smell too perfumy for my taste.

  • Robert Aguilar March 4, 2013 - 10:43 pm Reply

    I guess you could say you really foiled those warnings.

  • linnefaulk March 5, 2013 - 7:12 am Reply

    I tried the foil ball. If you squeeze it tight, it will not fall apart. But it only seems to works for about a week before it needs to be replaced. I switched to felted wool dryer balls. They only looked nice until you use them but they seem to work. They don’t reduce the drying time but do reduce the static.

  • ChickieD March 5, 2013 - 8:55 am Reply

    Wow, you really saved some money there. Normally I spend like $8/decade on a dryer ball. So, that’s like, almost a whole dollar a year. You could, like, buy a stick of gum or something. People who do shit like this, are they like people who coupon like mad because they can’t bear to part with a single penny?

    • Brittany Lynne Borden March 5, 2013 - 12:44 pm Reply

      Well, I make my own dryer sheets, laundry detergent, and fabric softener. It isn’t that I’m too stingy to part with a single penny (I don’t coupon) it’s more so that the detergent is easier on my washer and my sensitive skin, and the dryer sheets are free of all the nasties that tend to be in dryer sheets.

      Plus it’s fun.

      You know what people say: Don’t assume because you–ah fuck it.

      • ChickieD March 5, 2013 - 4:17 pm Reply

        I use vinegar for the same reason. But a real dryer ball is also free of nasty chemicals. Oh well, to each his own. (wads aluminum up into a ball and lodges it into the trashcan)

      • Miranda March 6, 2013 - 8:40 am Reply

        I do the homemade stuff too…and it’s because I’m cheep! We’re a family of 6 on one income! And it’s also better on my machine and my skin (eczema loving skin). And come on, who doesn’t like spending $10 a year on laundry soap?!?!

    • embers618 March 5, 2013 - 1:33 pm Reply

      Maybe it’s because they’re allergic to actual dryer sheets. I haven’t used dryer sheets in years because I break out in hives.

  • KristenSue March 5, 2013 - 9:10 am Reply

    Once upon a summer, there was a bird that would fly into my bedroom window, every day, way to early for a kid on summer break. We put a rubber snake up there and that solved the problem. (and then you have a rubber snake for later!)

  • Lauren March 5, 2013 - 11:27 am Reply

    I use aluminum foil balls in the dryer because I read awhile back that it helps prevent static cling in the dryer in the colder months. Seems to work for me.

  • ChickieD March 5, 2013 - 12:08 pm Reply

    We work with aluminum at my work, so I thought the whole “catching on fire” warning seemed bogus and I Googled a bit. Via the Straight Dope I found the Alcoa materials saftey sheet for aluminum foil. Not flammable. (p.2, section 5) Booya!

    • Lalaith March 5, 2013 - 1:39 pm Reply

      I don’t think anyone’s worried about the aluminum itself catching on fire, but rather whatever’s in there with it. However I’m not sure why that would happen either. Maybe people are thinking of foil balls in microwaves?

      • Catherine March 6, 2013 - 9:22 am Reply

        Pintester said that as soon as she pinned it, people were commenting that she was going to set her house on fire.

  • Shannon Mcmanus March 5, 2013 - 12:48 pm Reply

    I tried these to get rid of static…and for me it was a FAIL!!!

  • Megan Clarke March 5, 2013 - 2:37 pm Reply

    My mom has two outlets in her living room that are controlled by the same light switch, but it only affects the top plug. She uses this to turn her Christmas tree on and off. One day over Christmas break when we were kids, my mom came in and turned the Christmas tree off. Unfortunately, my brother was in the middle of an intense round of Zelda (he had been playing for about three hours at this point and gotten further than he ever had before). Sadly for him, he had plugged his game system in the top plug, instead of the power strip plugged into the bottom plug. I still have yet to see a teenage boy cry as much as he did.

  • Korie Yarborough March 5, 2013 - 4:18 pm Reply

    You’re so funny. I busted out laughing (i’m at work) about your husbands quote about the bird!

  • Sara Lynne Walsh March 5, 2013 - 9:09 pm Reply

    I was really hoping you were going to tell us that you could stop birds from flying into windows by putting up aluminum foil and/or dryer sheets.

  • Joy Lu Vasquez March 6, 2013 - 12:47 pm Reply

    And Here, as I was reading, I was sort of hoping your husband used the stool to “shoo” the bird away…

  • Laura March 12, 2013 - 5:01 pm Reply

    I use aluminum foil in my dryer and it does work very well for static except with fleece or other high static fabrics that get staticy even with dryer sheets. I loosely wad up a ball of foil and use it for about 20 loads of laundry, then it gets tossed in the recycling bin. :)

  • Heather March 19, 2013 - 6:36 pm Reply

    You are fucking hilarious!! That’s all I have to say about that. On topic though, I tried the aluminum ball when my jerk brother in law stole my fabric softener and it didn’t work to stop static for me.

  • Summer France March 23, 2013 - 11:59 pm Reply

    My friend tried this… It is for static… she said it worked

  • Rebecca Bergmann June 6, 2013 - 10:49 pm Reply

    I was waiting for this not to end so well. My first reaction was yikes, but I was pleasantly surprised that the dryer did not catch on fire at all. I didn’t realize dryer sheets were for more than just static. Also you are hilarious.

  • Jill June 20, 2013 - 11:26 pm Reply

    If you want to retry this and want to generate more static, try combining synthetic and natural fibres in the same load. It causes a much bigger buildup of static.

  • Katie Marlin June 28, 2013 - 11:05 am Reply

    I use this for my daughter’s laundry (severe allergies so I use no perfumes in her stuff). It seems to work fine to reduce static.

  • JonasandDelice Herum December 18, 2013 - 11:22 pm Reply

    I am just sitting here laughing so hard. I love it. I will try it.

  • ecofriendly by choice and need March 2, 2014 - 1:04 pm Reply

    Ignitions from heat/sparks/static are a possibility but only if you have a gas fuelled dryer and a gas line leak. Or, you have doused your newly washed laundry load with lighter fluid, then placed them in the dryer for a good tumbling on high heat. One is much more likely to have a house fire from having the built-up layers of lint in the vent duct and/or lint trap/screen or around the drum itself. Those are a reality and should be dealt with immediately and regularly., if for no other reason that by cleaning your lint screen after EVERY load, it will perform more efficiently. If folks are getting a great deal of static electricity in their dried clothing it means they are over-drying their clothes because it is a symptom of lack of adequate humidity, just as furnace heated indoor air in cold weather dries out the air, nasal passages, wooden furniture, drywall…

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