12 Cool Things to Do with Used Dryer Sheets
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.
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.