Another day, another TikTok hack that seems clean and safe but could actually be a total disaster in practice. While some viral hacks actually are as miraculous as they seem, a newer one suggesting you make a reusable dryer sheet by soaking a sponge in a fabric softener solution (and then tossing it in your dryer) is anything but.
One British woman has spoken out to her local press, claiming that after soaking sponges in fabric softener and water and putting them in her tumble dryer, the appliance caught on fire overnight. Prior to this horror story hitting the news, appliance experts were already speaking out against this hack, popularized on TikTok, by warning that it could stain clothes, anyway.
Still, TikTok is full of videos of people making “reusable dryer sheets” with sponges and fabric softener. If you’re a CleanTok lurker, you’ve probably already seen these clips or will soon. To correct your algorithm, click here for a video of another influencer slamming the hack for its potential to leave your clothes full of melted plastic.
That’s three reasons you shouldn’t use this tip: Potential staining, melted plastic, and, of course, a house fire.
How can you make clothes smell fresher?
This news might come as a surprise if you’re really into “fresh scents” on your fabrics, but you really don’t need harsh detergents to have clean-smelling laundry, as we’ve explained in the past. Something as simple as not overfilling your dryer or spritzing lavender water on your clothes before washing them can make your fabrics smell great without risking stains or fires. But avoid using essential oils for this, as they can stain, too. Keep your washing machine itself clean, too, to maximize its good-smelling output.