12 Cool Things to Do with Used Dryer Sheets

by Jeff Yeager on 1 January 2010 38 comments
Photo: Dplanet

Since nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. now end in divorce -- and those that do last less than eight years on average -- I suppose it's a matrimonial miracle that after more than 25 years of wedded bliss, my wife and I have only one major dispute.

I'm referring, of course, to fabric softener sheets. She swears by them, and I swear about them, every time she buys them at the supermarket or I find one clinging to the inside of my boxer shorts. (Trust me, at my age you don't need softening sheets in your shorts.)

Rather than argue with my truly wonderful wife about whether fabric softener sheets are worth the money, I decided to instead go for the Guinness Book of World Records for lengthy marriages and keep ours intact by finding some creative ways to reuse spent fabric softener sheets. Here's what I found:

Use them more than once. Although my wife disagrees, I've found that the same softener sheet can be used up to three or four times in the dryer and still get the job done.

Anti-static dust wipes: The anti-cling chemicals in dryer sheets make them perfect for dusting television and computer screens and other electronic dust-magnets.

Lint brush in a pinch: Used fabric softener sheets can be used to remove pet hair and lint from clothing and upholstery.

Pot scrubbers: The softening chemicals in dryer sheets help loosen food particles stuck on pots and baking dishes; place a used sheet in the dish, cover with hot water, and let soak overnight. Rinse thoroughly after cleaning. (Editor's Note: this one may not be for the chemically squeamish.)

Soap grime-fighter: The same softening chemicals make used dryer sheets good wipes to use in removing soap scum from bath tubs, showers and tiles.

Sweet feet: Stuff dryer sheets in your shoes overnight to keep them smelling fresh. They'll also freshen closets, dresser drawers and cabinets.

Dust-free blinds: Not only do spent dryer sheets make a handy wipe for metal and plastic blinds, but the chemicals in them help to repel dust.

Better smelling bookshelf: The bookshelves in my dungeon of a home office smelled like mold until I started sticking a used drier sheet between every third volume or so on the shelf.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

Get your shine on: When used as a polishing rag, dryer sheets make mirrors and chrome appliances shine. They're also great for cleaning windows and other glass.

Clothes storage: Placing used dryer sheets in with sweaters and other seasonal clothing before you store them will not only make them smell fresher, but the smell helps keep mice away.

Car care: Keep some in the glove compartment to dust the dashboard and wipe the windshield; they'll make your ride smell a little nicer at the same time.

And finally, can spent fabric softener sheets actually keep a marriage fresh? Why not try a "Dance of the Seven Fabric Softener Sheets" for someone you love? Now that's hot.

This post from the Green Cheapskate by Jeff Yeager is republished with the permission of The Daily Green.  Check out more great content from The Daily Green:

Tagged: DIY, Green Living
5
Average: 5 (6 votes)
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

38 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Shelly

I agree they can be used more than once i the dryer,but I've never thought about using them to dust my blinds. I think I'm going to try that idea out. Thanks for the useful info and Happy New Year.

-peace-

Guest's picture
CiCi

This is going to be a rockin' year I can already tell. This is a good post and I will be using the dryer sheets more cheerfully from now on. In our house, it is hubby who likes the dryer sheets, but now I will think of them like little dryer bunnies that keep going and going and going.

Guest's picture
Debbie

try placing the sheet in the air vent and you will get a nice aroma through out the house!

Guest's picture
lostAnnfound

I do this also in our camper. keeps it from getting a closed-up musty smell & and in the off seasons it is supposed to keep critters (mice, chipmunks, etc.) from setting up residence inside.

Guest's picture
Guest

Be careful about adding resistance to your furnace's air flow. That can affect its efficiency, and is generally not recommended.

Guest's picture
Guest

I took a bunch of them, folded them into flowers, tied them onto a wreath form and made a wreath for my laundry room out of them. It smells really nice in there now!
Thanks for more ideas!

Guest's picture
mkokc

I also find they are really good to throw in as fire-starters, along with a healthy wad of dryer lint.

Guest's picture
Kristine

I use the dryer lint (clean cotton/poly fluff) as nail polish remover puffs, make-up remover, and stuffing for very small sewn items such as sachets (Just add perfumed powder.)

The lint is grey, but it is clean. It just dawned on me one day- why am I throwing away clean cotton fluff that is grey, just to buy clean cotton fluff that is white? I just keep a container on top of the dryer to throw it in.

Oh, and my guinea pig loves a fresh warm batch of lint to bed and snuggle in his home.

Guest's picture

If you have small children with fly-away hat hair this winter, you can rub the dryer sheet on their combs (or even on their heads) and tame that crazy hair! Also works on clingy skirts and dresses, too!

Guest's picture
Elizabeth

I was going to to a Dance of the Seven Dryer Sheet Veils, but I was afraid the cats would look at me funny. Otherwise, I will definitely try the other tips!

Guest's picture
Bijan's mom

I didn't realize you could use them over. I have been tearing a sheet in half and just using that - it works just fine too!

Guest's picture
Deborah

Those are absolutely wonderful suggestions! I will definitely be bookmarking this. Keep up the good work!

Guest's picture
Guest

You can hang them around your neck to keep the nats away while cutting the grass also!

Guest's picture

Congratualtions Jeff on going the distance on your marriage. I love the way you've managed to turn a negative into a positive and any way we all need something to talk about!!

Guest's picture
Guest

I've been told by Mechanic's that they help deter rodents from messing inside your engine compartment if you park outdoors alot. We have this issue in the Country, especially mice getting into the fresh air intake for the interior of the car - then they die. So far this seems to work nicely. We place several sheets inside the hood insulation and other areas around the engine compartment and the fresh air intake for your interior, not the intake for the carburetor. Care must be taken to not place them in an area where they could ignite.

Guest's picture
Michael

I'd be careful using them on monitors. LCD and TV screens have special coatings, and the chemicals in the dryer sheets may not be good for them.

I don't know for sure, but I know from experience that you should never user windex on a computer monitor. It'll take the anti-reflective coat right off...

Guest's picture
Diana

I have to say, I use them several times in the dryer myself and they do work. Also, once you have used them in the dryer, use them to clean your tub also works for me..

Never did use them to get off pet hair though, will have to try this, since I have cats this could be really handy. And using them inside your shoes or in drawers is another great idea!
Thanks!!

Guest's picture
KateMTP

I recently stuck some used dryer sheets into the crevices of my couch. A friend gave me her old couch when she got a new one and there was a bit of a dog smell - not anymore!

Guest's picture
Guest

I recently read that dryer sheets can remove deodorant stains from your clothing. Rub the area with deodorant in circular motion and then just brush off the powder. Haven't tried it yet though.

Guest's picture
Laura

Nice ideas but even better - shaklee sells 100% recyclable/compostable sheets.

Andrea Karim's picture

I keep them in the car to combat static cling and to fresh the air (riding with dogs for several hours will necessitate this).

Guest's picture
Lesa S.

We have two Poms and hardwood floors--hair gets *everywhere* all the time. Not only am I always walking around in socks covered in doghair (on purpose) but I use the dryer sheets for the same purpose. Careful though, they can make floors slippery.

I also use them to wipe down my dogs to remove static from their hair. I suppose it could work on human hair, but haven't tried.

Placed in drawers and in closets they leave a nice scent. Placed in linen sheet sets they leave a nice scent as well.

Guest's picture
trebuchet

Old roller derby trick - place them between your knee and your knee pad for a nicer smelling knee pad!

Guest's picture
WReXie Khan

Genius! I started playing a few months ago and have yet to find a good way to combat dreaded pad stench. I wonder if stuffing a couple into my wrist guards after practice would help that, too. They are awful!

Guest's picture
Malcom Reynolds

Good Post...

I add a couple of dryer sheets to my suitcases after a trip in order to keep the inside smelling fresh for the next go round.

Guest's picture
Guest

I use spent dryer sheets for nail polish removal. It works better than any cotton swab or papertowel!

Guest's picture
Guest

I hesitate to wipe my house down with toxic chemicals @@

Guest's picture
Katrina

I only use half of a dryer sheet per load. Works just fine!

Guest's picture
ckL

I've used them to take the soap scum off of your shower door...Works great, not toxic fumes.  I've tried the ones that have been used in the dryer already, but they don't work quite as well....you need the fabric softener stuff on them.

Guest's picture
Elizabeth

Yep you can use them more than once. It saves money down the road and I like saving money. They also work well to take static out of hair. Just quickly smooth them over your static filled hair and bam! static gone.

Guest's picture

I think dryer sheets do their intended job in the dryer, but I also hate throwing them away. A few of my own uses were listed in this post, and I'm do happy that I've discovered even MORE ideas -- thanks!

Guest's picture
Ashley

We leave a new one at the bottom of our kitchen garbage can to keep it smelling fresh when the garbage gets stinky. Change it one a month or so.

Guest's picture
Lynda

These are all GREAT uses for dryer sheets! I put them between my mattress pad and sheets every time I change the sheets. It keeps the bed smelling fresh!

Guest's picture
Guest

If you're potting flowers, put them in the bottom of the pot before adding the gravel layer and then the soil. They keep the gravel and the soil from washing out.

I've actually given up using dryer sheets. I take liquid fabric softner, dilute it about half and half(it could probably be diluted more) and then spray that on a clean cloth and toss the cloth into the dryer. Saves money and eliminates discards. I've been doing this for about 6 months and still have not used up a whole bottle of fabric softner.

Guest's picture
Jen

I've also used the Bounce dryer sheets to keep away pesky insects while camping. Just hang them near your campsite, and the bees should stay away.

Guest's picture
Guest

Using old dryer sheets to collect the lint from lint-screen drastically reduces all that lint from flying around the dryer!

Guest's picture
Denise

Gotta love your creativity, but sticking smelly dryer sheets into the small crevices of my life so I can be assaulted by artificial fragrances 24/7 sounds like a nightmare. It's time to examine why people can't just BE with the idea of life without chemical overload.

Guest's picture
Rachel

You make me want to buy a dryer ;D