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When I was young, my mom used dryer sheets to soften our clothes and add a boost of freshness to each load of laundry. And after she folded and put away each basket of laundry, she tossed the dryer sheets in the trash can. It turns out she was overlooking a ton of useful ways to use and re-use these dryer sheets around the home.
Over time, my mom picked up on several clever ways to use dryer sheets (new and used) to tackle common household chores and make life easier. I still use most of these hacks myself when working around the house, and they save me and my wife a significant amount of time and money each year.
From unexpected laundry uses to making your toilet bowl shine, check out these 15 ways to use dryer sheets around your home and make your life much easier!
Surely you know that dryer sheets primarily exist to reduce static electricity in your dryer and freshen laundry as it dries. But you may not know that they work so well because they contain a thin layer of lubricant designed to halt the effects of static electricity.
While dryer sheets tend to do their job the best while actually in your dryer, you can also re-use them to wipe down your dryer and keep it clean -especially after wiping out your lint screen.
Soaking Baked on Food
My mom bakes the world’s best scalloped potatoes, but unfortunately also creates the world’s worst baked on dishes in the process. For years, one of my jobs was using gobs of Dawn and hours of elbow grease to wash the dish. In my teens, my aunt showed us a better way.
After you’ve emptied the dish, pot, or pan of all loose food debris, fill it with the hottest tap water your sink will provide and simply add a dryer sheet. Even the most stubborn baked on messes will wipe away effortlessly after soaking overnight.
Remove Soap Scum in the Bathroom
It doesn’t take long for soap scum to accumulate in the nooks and crannies of showers and bath tubs. Advertisers know this, so they constantly market the latest and greatest cleaning products to you.
Next time you clean the bathroom, simply use a dryer sheet or two to remove troublesome soap scum build-up.
When my wife and I were in the process of finishing our basement last year, we had to dust our entire home every day to avoid inhaling dry wall dust. We went through more cleaning rags and dusting wands than I care to remember.
When it comes to my favorite ways to use dryer sheets around the home, normal day-to-day dusting ranks near the top of my list. Dryer sheets make dusting a breeze while minimizing the build-up of cleaning rags in my laundry bin.
Keep Critters Out of Your Garage, Shed, and Boat
Want to ensure your garage, boat, and shed don’t become a hotel for visiting rodents? Place a few new dryer sheets in each location to deter them from entering the area in the first place. They hate the smell!
Remove Pet Hair
Though our dogs don’t shed, we still find a few stray hairs on our sofas from time to time. When vacuuming fails to pick them up, a few careful wipes with a dryer sheet always does the job.
Freshen Up Shoes and Gym Bags
If you’re a committed workout warrior, you can surely relate to the unpleasantness of shoe and gym bag odors that build up over time. One of the best ways to use dryer sheets to fight back against these unwanted smells is to keep a couple fresh sheets in your bag and shoes when they’re not in use.
Fight Trash Odors
Similarly, placing a dryer sheet or two in the bottom of your trash can (under the liner) will do wonders for fighting off unpleasant food odors.
Remove Bugs From Your Car’s Windshield
Have you ever driven through the car wash only to realize that there were still dead bugs stuck to your windshield? Keep a few extra dryer sheets in your car’s console to take care of any stubborn bugs with ease.
Clean Chrome – Even on Your Car!
Surprisingly, a single dryer sheet is one of the easiest ways to keep chrome, including on your car, shining like new. Be sure to check manufacturer’s recommendations just to be on the safe side.
DIY Air Freshener
Want to freshen the air in a particular room? Simply remove the floor or wall grates to your heating and air conditioning vents, secure dryer sheets to the grates, and replace. The entire room will remain fresh for several days.
Dust Window Blinds
Window blinds are among the most-overlooked and under-cleaned parts of most homes, but a few swipes with a dryer sheet will remove months of dust build-up in no time!
Clean Your Toilet Bowl
Perhaps you’ve heard of cleaning your toilet bowl with Coke. Using a dyer sheet is similarly effective and cleans even the most stubborn rings with little effort.
Cleaning and dusting the electronics in your home can be tricky, especially because it seems like a new layer of dust forms only a few hours after you’ve dusted.
Unlocking the anti-static power of a dryer sheet, however, will keep your electronics, including computers, TVs, and speakers clean and dust-free.
Make Your Baseboards Shine
When it comes to cleaning, wiping down the baseboards is probably the last thing on your mind. But in those rare moments of deep cleaning or staging your home to sell, a few swipes with a dryer sheet will remove dust and grime from your baseboards with minimal effort.
The above ways to use dryer sheets may be useful hacks, but they’re certainly not the only creative uses for common household items. The next time you find yourself looking for a new solution to pick up the pace of household chores, tap into your creative side and see if you can save yourself some time and money in the process.