I don’t like to use commercial dryer sheets on our clothes, in part because I prefer to line dry (when we’re not having a heatwave, which seems like a distant memory now), but also because I don’t like their chemicals in constant contact with my skin.* That doesn’t mean I don’t pick up a box or two when I can combine a good sale with a coupon and get them for free. Instead of using them in the dryer, I keep them for one of these unusual uses around the house.
*My dislike of dryer sheets is not really a tree-hugging thing, although I do try to be aware of such stuff. Mostly, it’s because I have psoriasis that flares up when exposed to certain substances in dryer sheets, and I can’t stand the itch!
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- Get the stink out. Tuck a dryer sheet into your car or gym bag for a fresh fragrance, or pop one into the bottom of your trash can to deodorize it.
- Keep mosquitoes away. Hang a dryer sheet from your belt loop and you’ll supposedly jam the odor receptors that mosquitoes use to find you.
- Prevent thread from tangling. Trying to embroider or sew on a button with tangled thread is a nuisance. Next time, run a dryer sheet along the thread to keep it tangle-free.
- Dust blinds. Use a dryer sheet to dust mini-blinds. They can reach between the slats easily, and will leave a fresh scent, too.
- Remove scum in flower vases. Flower vases can get slimy and yucky when the water’s not changed every day. If yours have developed scum, remove it easily by tossing a dryer sheet in the vase and filling it with warm water. Let soak then swish and rinse clean.
- Freshen old books. Garage sales are a great place to find old books, but sometimes they come with a horrible smell. Freshen them by putting the books in a plastic bag and adding a dryer sheet. Close it up tightly and let sit for a week, then enjoy your must-read book free of musty smells.
- Clean your windshield. Long drives in the summer mean bug-splattered windshields. Loosen the little buggers by rubbing with a wet dryer sheet and they’ll hose right off.
- Clean dried-on paint. Did someone forget to clean the brush after using latex paint? Soak it in warm water with a dryer sheet and the paint will lift right off.
- Send mice scurrying. If mice are infesting your basement or attic, stuff a dryer sheet in any suspected entry points. They hate the smell of the things, and they won’t chew through them, so off to the neighbor’s they’ll go.
- Shine on. Run a dryer sheet over bathroom and kitchen fixtures to give them a quick shine. They’ll leave a nice scent, too, so it’ll smell like you cleaned the whole bathroom.
Know of other unusual uses for dryer sheets? Share in the comments below!