Can You Use Dryer Sheets On Baby Clothes? – Safety Evaluation

This article is a must-read for all parents, so you could make a better informed decision, whether you want to use dryer sheets for your baby clothing. Keep on reading to find out if dryer sheets are SAFE OR TOXIC for babies.

Can You Use Dryer Sheets On Baby Clothes?

As a mom, you want the best for your baby. You want to make sure that whatever you are using is safe and non-toxic for your little one. Safe stroller, ergonomic baby carrier, non-toxic shampoo and body wash… Now, add products for washing and drying baby clothes to this list!

Do you really know what you can and cannot use for drying your baby’s clothes? Is it safe to use dryer sheets on baby clothes? Are they safe for your baby’s sensitive skin?

It’s overwhelming, I know!

With all the conflicting stories out there, it can be hard to know what to believe. But, if you don’t know the truth, you could be putting your baby at risk.

Read on to find out if dryer sheets can be used on baby clothes, whether they are toxic or not, and what precautions you should take.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

What You Need To Know About Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are a type of fabric softener used to reduce static cling in laundry. They are typically composed of a variety of chemicals like liquid softeners, lubricants as well as fragrances, coated on a layer of fabric (made of polyester or cellulose fibers).

Most dryer sheets contain a variety of chemicals. Common ingredients include quaternary ammonium compounds – which can trigger asthma attacks1. Dryer sheets also contain fragrances which are often made of harsh chemicals, which are not considered safe for babies.

Some dryer sheets may also contain additional ingredients, such as anti-static agents and fabric brighteners.

It’s important to check the label on your dryer sheet to make sure you know exactly what ingredients are included. It’s also important to note that these chemicals may be too harsh for a baby’s delicate skin.

As a parent you need to weigh the benefits of using a dryer sheet against the risks before you use them for your little one’s clothes.

What do dryer sheets do?

When you toss a dryer sheet into a tumble dryer, these ingredients will be released by heat onto your clothes.

They work by reducing static in laundry and making clothes feel softer and smell fresh.

Are dryer sheets necessary, or can you just use a liquid fabric softener instead?

Whether or not they are necessary depends on personal preference. Some people find that liquid fabric softener alone is enough, while others prefer the convenience of dryer sheets. There are a few alternatives to dryer sheets that are free from nasty chemicals – more on that later.

What are the benefits of using dryer sheets?

They help reduce static cling, make clothes feel softer, and can help reduce wrinkles. Additionally, they can add a pleasant scent to your laundry.

Can I Use Dryer Sheets On Baby Clothes

Can I Use Dryer Sheets On Baby Clothes?

I strongly advice against using dryer sheets on baby clothes.

Dryer sheets come with a number of dangers and they can be especially harmful to a young baby.

First of all, dryer sheets contain hazardous chemicals that are not meant to come in contact with a baby’s sensitive skin. Dryer sheets could leave a residue on baby clothes that would be difficult to remove and can cause a number of health problems.

These chemicals could lead to rashes and other skin irritations, as well as breathing problems.

The fabric softener on dryer sheets may cause baby clothes to wear out faster. This can be especially damaging to delicate materials like cotton, which can easily become damaged when exposed to chemicals.

Fragrances on dryer sheets may be too strong for a baby. These fragrances could trigger allergies or asthma, especially in young babies.

While some parents may be tempted to use dryer sheets on baby clothes, the truth is that there are much safer alternatives that don’t put the baby’s health at risk.

The only reason why parents should consider using dryer sheets on baby clothes is if the fabric is extremely wrinkly and needs to be smoothed out.

However, even in this situation, there are better solutions which are safer for the baby. If you still want to use dryer sheet on your baby’s clothes, you will need to be extreme cautious and be sure that you are using the safest dryer sheets and your baby is not exposed to any of the potentially hazardous substances found on majority of dryer sheets.

PRO TIP: You don’t have time to air dry your little one’s clothing? Read more on how to dry baby clothes in the right way – to avoid wrinkles and shrinking.

Is It Safe To Use Dryer Sheets On Baby Clothes?

No, it is not safe to use dryer sheets on baby clothes. Here are reasons why:

  • Dryer sheets can contain harsh chemicals that can irritate baby’s delicate skin, cause asthma and other respiratory issues.
  • The fragrances in dryer sheets can cause allergic reactions in babies. These fragrances can be toxic and have even been linked to hormone disruption.
  • Dryer sheets can leave a residue on baby clothes that may not be safe for baby’s skin.
  • Dryer sheets can make baby pajamas less fire-resistant, putting your little one at real danger.
  • Dryer sheets can reduce the life of baby clothes by leaving a waxy coating on the fabric.

Are Dryer Sheets Toxic To Babies?

Yes, dryer sheets can be toxic to babies. They contain a variety of potentially toxic chemicals, such as fragrances, phthalates, and benzene. These chemicals build up on babies’ clothing and can be especially dangerous for newborns and infants because their immune system is still developing and can be much more sensitive to the effects of these toxins.

The fragrances can irritate a baby’s airways and may even cause breathing problems. Phthalates are known to interfere with hormone levels, and benzene has been linked to cancer.

Dryer sheets also often contain quaternary ammonium compounds (called quats). Although there’s no data accessing toxicity of quats to humans, scientists have linked quats to reproductive and developmental problems in animals2.

For the safety of your baby, it is best to avoid using any type of dryer sheet on their clothes, as the risks simply outweigh any potential benefits.

Is It Safe To Use Dryer Sheets On Baby Clothes

Reasons NOT To Use Dryer Sheets On Baby’s Clothes

There are several reasons why you should NOT use dryer sheets for baby clothes (especially for newborn clothes):

1. They Contain Nasty & Dangerous Chemicals

These chemicals stop the static, as well as make the clothes smell good and fresh.

Most of them are considered unsafe for people because they are irritants or carcinogens, and babies should not be exposed to them.

Toxic chemicals that you can find in dryer sheets3:

  • Benzyl acetate
  • Ethanol
  • Chloroform
  • Limonene
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Fragrance (may contain phthalates)
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds (Quats)

2. Dryer Sheets Can Irritate Baby’s Skin

Babies’ skin is much more prone to irritation and rashes – including those that are caused by dryer sheets.

Chemicals and fragrances that are found in dryer sheets can cause skin irritation, red rash and even dry patches in babies4.

3. They Make Baby Pajamas Less Fire-Resistant

According to current safety regulations baby’s pajamas must be tight fitting or made from a flame-resistant material.

Using dryer sheets can actually decrees PJs fire resistance! Chemicals that in every dryer sheet build up on baby’s clothing5 and over time they block flame resistance, making baby’s pajamas more prone to catching fire when near an open flame.

This is another reason why you should not use dryer sheets for baby’s clothing.

Dryer Sheets Safer Alternatives

There are a few safer alternatives to dryer sheets that you can use to remove static electricity, prevent wrinkling and make the clothes ultra soft.

Best dryer sheets alternatives that are safe for babies:

Wool Dryer Balls

These are made from 100% wool and are a natural and reusable alternative to dryer sheets. They are non-toxic and free of chemicals, so they are a great choice for those with babies. Wool dryer balls help to reduce drying time, reduce wrinkles, and soften and fluff clothes.

Wool Dryer Balls Safer Than Dryer Sheets For Baby Clothing

Aluminum Balls

Aluminum balls are an effective, non-toxic alternative to dryer sheets. These balls stop static electricity and help clothes dry faster. They are also safe for use around babies, since they do not contain any harsh chemicals.


Adding a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your laundry can help soften clothes without the use of dryer sheets. It is also safe for babies and a natural way to keep clothes soft.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great way to soften clothes and reduce odors. It is gentle enough to be used for baby clothes and is a non-toxic alternative to dryer sheets.

Homemade Dryer Sheets

You can make your own all natural dryer sheets by cutting a cloth into small squares and spraying with a mixture of water, essential oils, and non-toxic fabric softener. These DIY static eliminator cloths are a great way to get the softening benefits of dryer sheets without the use of chemicals.

What Dryer Sheets Are Safe For Babies?

When shopping for a dryer sheet, look for one that is made with natural and organic ingredients like organic essential oils, baking soda, and glycerin. Additionally, to ensure that the dryer sheet is safe for babies, look for one that is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and optical brighteners as these ingredients can be irritating to a baby’s skin.

On the market there are some dryer sheets that are free from harmful chemicals and claim to be safe for babies. I actually found one type of dryer sheets for baby clothes – from Attitude brand. They are made from polyester and nylon and claim to be hypoallergenic and safe for little one’s delicate skin. Keep in mind that there are even better and safer alternatives which I’m shared above.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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