flammable dryer sheets, are they?

Are Dryer Sheets Flammable?

In Cleaning Products, Home Tips by Jamie

Dryers on fire are the biggest nightmare that more or less has the potential of happening to any home. Fire-proofing your home means going through every flammable product in it. It is uncommon to hear that dryer sheets can be the culprit in some house fires. But are dryer sheets flammable, or does something else trigger a fire in the laundry area?

No, dryer sheets are not flammable nor combustible and will not cause a house fire. They may, however, increase the flammability of some fabrics of pajamas, athletic wear, towels, and microfibers. It strips off the fire-extinguishing ability of the fabric, making them more susceptible to fire.

Dryers that have burst into fires are mainly because of lint buildup or wiring problems and not from dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are considered fire-safe. Hence, you do not need to worry about it being a serious source of fire in your home. But, there are still some things about dryer sheets that you need to know.

Are Dryer Sheets Flammable?

Bounce Dryer Sheets Laundry Fabric Softener, Outdoor Fresh, 240 Count

Dryer sheets are strips of synthetic fibers with fabric softener, lubricants, and fragrance added to them. The sheets are sometimes made of polyester or cellulose fibers. When added to the laundry dryer, the heat warms and releases the components of the dryer sheets into the fabric. The result are soft and fragrant clothes without the annoyance of static cling.

Dryer sheets will not catch fire by themselves as it was designed to disintegrate when heat is applied. But, it has the ability to burn easily when introduced to a naked flame. That is why it is also a good choice for emergency fire tinder.

Is the Dryer Sheet Container Flammable?

The laminated box that the dryer sheet comes with is not flammable. They are unlikely to catch fire even when placed near the source of heat.

What Happens if You Light Dryer Sheets in Fire?

When put under fire conditions, dryer sheets will burn. You may find that one of the nifty uses for dryer sheets is a firestarter in some camping hacks. The sheets can start a fire when an open flame is ignited. However, they are not as effective as some materials like paper, lint, or dried leaves because they wither away quickly.

Related Read: Is Laundry Detergent Flammable? 

Is Burning Dryer Sheets Bad for the Environment?

As the sheet burns, it releases carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. The combustion of hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide contributes to atmospheric pollution. One burning dryer sheet may not do much damage, but collectively and over time, it can create significant damage in our environment.

Is it Dangerous to Inhale Burning Dryer Sheet Smoke?

Fumes from burning dryer sheets are linked to some respiratory issues. They may release a fragrant scent that most people love. At the same time, it also burns chemicals that can trigger asthma and other health problems. Drying sheets being flammable is not much a question of concern, but rather the health and environmental implications it brings.

Why Do Dryer Sheets Catch on Fire?

Those wispy, square dryer sheets that soften clothes and reduce static cling are saturated with chemicals. It is made of surfactants, the slippery chemical that disintegrates as heat from the dryer is applied. The list of ingredients varies in every dryer sheet brand. But surfactants, although chemicals are non-combustible and non-flammable. They are meant to reduce the inter-surface tension in the water and prevent dirt from re-attaching into clothes while drying.

Related Questions

Are Wool Dryer Balls Flammable? Wool Dryer Balls - Natural Fabric Softener, Reusable, Reduces Clothing Wrinkles and Saves Drying Time. The Large Dryer Ball is a Better Alternative to Plastic Balls and Liquid Softener. (Pack of 6)

Dryer balls are made of plastic or wool that works similarly to dryer sheets. The makers of the dryer balls market the product with its ability to reduce the drying time. Wool or plastic dryer balls are also non-flammable.

The problem with dryer balls that increases the risk of catching fire is incorrect laundry practices. Some people may experiment with adding essential oils into the ball to give clothes their delightful and fresh scents. Unfortunately, most essential oils are flammable when introduced into the dryer heat. This malpractice increases the possibility of the dryer catching fire.

Are Dryer Sheets Bad for Your Dryer?

The heat from the dryer may melt the chemicals that coat the sheets. These chemicals will create a sticky coating in your dryer and may also clog the dryer lint filter in the long run. But, this issue can be addressed if you clean the filter regularly and do maintenance work on your dryer.

Final Thoughts

Dryer sheets are often the receiving end of blame in most residential house fires. The chemicals that these paper-like sheets are infused with have got people asking if dryer sheets are flammable or not. Thankfully, contrary to common belief, dryer sheets have nothing to do with dryer fires. The major culprit is the lint buildup that compromises the heating elements of the drum of the dryer.

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the Founder of My Home Dwelling. He is a homeowner and enjoys sharing his homeowner tips with others. He has real estate experience working as a new home construction Realtor. Jamie has worked on numerous residential construction sites helping with interior and exterior renovations. He loves refinishing furniture, DIY home projects, and sharing his knowledge online.