Obviously, as soon as I realized that even my eco-friendly dryer sheets were not-so-animal-friendly, I immediately set out to find a solution to my laundry dilemma. Fortunately, there are a number of vegan dryer sheets on the market now -- thanks to increased awareness and demand -- but you can also make your own or just not use them at all. At first I switched to using distilled white vinegar as a fabric softener and I was pretty happy with it. It seems to get the soap out better and left our clothes and linens soft and fluffy, but my partner didn't like how the house smelled like vinegar every time I did laundry, or the little bit of vinegar smell still on the clothes after they came out of the dryer (although I swear I can't smell it). So, now I'm using nothing in the washer and just dryer balls that fluff the clothes up in the dryer.
We haven't had any problems with static cling and this seems to be a good solution for us. You can check out some other options for vegan, eco-friendly fabric softeners and dryer sheets (store bought and DIY) here.
(This was originally posted on my old blog in September 2008.)