Uses for Used Dryer Sheets

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Dryer sheets aren’t just one-task wonders. Get your money’s worth from them with these clever uses for old dryer sheets around the house.

Closeup of hand inserting dryer sheet into dryer

Uses for Old Dryer Sheets

Most brands of dryer sheets have so much softener embedded in them that they’ll work in more than one load of laundry. It all depends on the brand and, of course, how big a load of laundry is. But even a dryer sheet that no longer feels slick can still be helpful. Here are some great ways to use dryer sheets a second time outside the laundry room.

Used Dryer Sheets can Deodorize Stuff

Old dryer sheets that still have some scent can eliminate odors in a variety of stinky things.

  • Tuck them in your gym bag.
  • Stick one in the bottom of your trash can to combat odors.
  • Pop one in your suitcase before storing it after travel.
  • Put one on the shelf of a musty closet.
  • Slap one on the back of a box fan to freshen an entire room.
  • Stuff them into stinky shoes. (Here are more ways to deodorize smelly shoes.)
  • Slip one between folded towels or sheets in your linen closet.
  • Use a used dryer in place of sachets in your dresser drawers.

They Can Repel Dust, Too

Eliminating dust is another great use for old dryer sheets. Pick a surface that attracts a lot of debris and run a dryer sheet on it — the static guard will keep dust from settling. (And here are more ways to reduce dust in your home.)

Try Using One to Scrub These

The softener still left in used dryer sheets helps loosen grime, while the sheet’s texture makes a great scrubber. Try them in these spots around the house:

  • Cut through soap scum on glass shower doors (though for truly tough jobs, you should use this homemade soap scum remover first).
  • Get rid of the white film in flower vases by filling them with warm water and adding used dryer sheets. Let them sit for an hour or more and then wipe the inside sparkling clean.
  • Eliminate water spots and shine bathroom faucets by using a dryer sheet to wipe them.
  • Stop scrubbing pots and pans with baked-on food and use a dryer sheet to loosen the mess instead. Just toss one in the pan and fill it with warm water. Let sit overnight, and the mess will slide right out.
  • Use a damp one to clean gunk on the bottom of your clothes iron. Be sure it’s unplugged first, of course.
Unused dryer sheets on a stack of folded towels

Use Them to Keep Your Car Clean

Hate a messy car? Follow these steps to clean your car like a pro, then keep it tidy with old dryer sheets.

  • Scrub away bug splatters on your windshield with a wet, used dryer sheet.
  • Keep your headlights shining bright by polishing them with a little toothpaste and a used dryer sheet.
  • After washing and drying your chrome rims and accents, buff them with a used dryer sheet to keep them shiny.
  • Stash a few in your glovebox to dust the console and dash when you’re stuck in traffic.
  • Then, tuck a used dryer sheet under a seat to keep your car smelling fresh.

Use Old Dryer Sheets for Pest Control

Insects and rodents dislike the scent and texture of dryer sheets, so used ones are an inexpensive way to control pests around your home.

  • Hang one from your belt loop to jam the odor receptors that mosquitoes use to find you.
  • If you’re trying to get rid of mice, stuff a used dryer sheet in any suspected entry points. They hate the taste and won’t chew through them.
  • Put a used dryer sheet near your potted plants to deter fungus gnats.
  • Hang dryer sheets on garden fences to help repel deer and other animals that like to chew on your plants.

Dryer Sheets Can Control Static Around Your House

Grab a used dryer sheet and wipe things around your house that are prone to static.

  • Run one on your hair or hairbrush.
  • Slide one along pant legs or skirts when static strikes.
  • Wipe them on curtains or pillows that cling.
  • You can even wipe carpets, stairs, or doormats with dryer sheets to control static while you walk.

They’ll Unravel Tangles and Snarls, Too

Thanks to the slightly greasy feel of an old dryer sheet, you can use one to loosen knots or tangles easily.

  • Before sewing, run one along the length of your thread to keep it from curling and knotting while you work.
  • Wipe tangled hair with a dryer sheet, and you won’t have to yank the comb through it.
  • Slide one over knotted jewelry chains to make them easier to straighten out.

And, They Make Cleaning Paint Messes Easier

The oily softeners still embedded in used dryer sheets make them useful for cleaning up paint splatters and messes.

  • If you accidentally got paint on the window when touching up trim, hold a damp dryer sheet on the spot for a minute or two, then use a spatula to lift away the mess.
  • Loosen dried paint on carpets or floors by rubbing them with a damp used dryer sheet.
  • Cleaning paintbrushes is easy when you use a used dryer sheet. Wipe off as much paint as possible from the brush and then soak it in warm water with a dryer sheet for an hour. After that, the paint will rinse away easily, even between the bristles.

So, next time you’re doing laundry, don’t toss those dryer sheets. Stash them in a Mason jar or other container in the laundry room, and put those used dryer sheets to work around the house.

Where to Next?
How to Get Rid of Static Electricity in Your Home
How to Keep Your Home Clean Longer
How To Make Your Own Dryer Sheets
How To Clean Messes In The Dryer
How To Clean Your Clothes Dryer

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6 Comments

  1. I found one by accident! Hair in the bathroom annoys me no end, and between the two of us there always seem to be strands here and there. Of course, we all know that everyone loses a bunch of hairs every single day (I find it especially bad right after washing and brushing my hair … yikes!). One day I pulled some laundry out of the machine and a used dryer sheet fell to the floor. Lo and behold, there were, as usual, stray strands of my longish hair in the vicinity, so I swiped at them with the dryer sheet. The hairs clung to it! Other than using my little hand-held Shark, this is the most effective way I’ve found to pick up those pesky hairs that are always laying around.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Ooh, I am going to have to try this, Terry! I shed a lot of hair when I brush, particularly if I’ve been wearing my hair tied or clipped back. And with white tiles in the bathroom it’s hard to keep up with the mess. Plus my husband will probably be shedding quite a bit once chemo/radiation starts (if not all of his hair). This tip of yours will definitely come in handy. Thanks!

  2. michelle M. says:

    I add them to my blanket storage for a nice smell, and critter deterrent.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      What a great idea, Michelle!

  3. Julie Southwell says:

    I don’t think I noticed this tip. Poke the dryer sheets into your brush and bye bye staticky hair.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Good one!

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