can dryer sheets stain clothes

can dryer sheets stain clothes

Can Dryer Sheets Stain Clothing?

Dryer sheets are part of many households’ laundry routine, however they can come with some risks of staining clothing. This article will discuss if dryer sheets can stain clothing and how to avoid it.

What are dryer sheets?

Dryer sheets are useful sheets of fabric softened which reduce static cling and can help with fabric softening and scent. They are typically made of fabric softener, water and cationic softening agents. Dryer sheets are inexpensive and convenient, making them a popular item for many people doing laundry.

Can dryer sheets stain clothes?

Unfortunately, dryer sheets can stain clothes. The cationic softening agents, which are included to reduce static cling, can react with certain fabrics causing discoloration and bleaching of the fabric. The staining can be more severe if the fabric has been dyed in a factory.

How to prevent dryer sheets from staining clothes

There are several steps you can take to reduce the chance of your dryer sheets staining your clothes:

  • Wash with cold water: Hot water can increase the chances of staining from dryer sheets.
  • Use natural fabric softeners: There are many alternatives to traditional fabric softeners which are made with natural ingredients and pose a much lower risk of staining.
  • Check the clothing tag: Clothing tags will tell you what types of fabric softeners or detergents are suitable for certain fabrics.


Dryer sheets are a convenient part of many households’ laundry routine and are generally safe to use in moderation. However, they can stain clothing if not used correctly and with certain fabrics. Thankfully, following the steps above can reduce the risk of staining from dryer sheets.

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