Introduction: Unusual Uses for Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are something that can be found in nearly every American home - why not find some extra uses for them?

Dryer sheets have many unusual uses, but I'm only posting the ones I've tested and have determined actually work, because we all know how much make-believe stuff is out there in Pinterest-blog-land now. ;)

Keep on reading to find loads of unusual uses for dryer sheets - hopefully a few of them will be new to you!

Step 1: Remove the Dead Bugs From Your Car

I am definitely choosing the wrong time of year to write about this use since we've had about eight inches of snow on the ground for a week now. But hey, it works!

This is a tip I discovered a few years ago and it really does work! Dryer sheets can pretty easily clean bugs off your car's grill, hood, mirrors and windshield. You can use new or used dryer sheets for this, too! There's a load of debate about whether or not it scratches the paint, but I've never seen any damage. :)

To do this, spray the car down with either water or a mild cleaner and then use the dryer sheet to scrub. Viola!

Image via Flickr user Maigh

Step 2: Remove Deodorant Marks From Clothing

This is a great reason to keep used dryer sheets around!

If you ever find yourself with deodorant on your shirt, scrunch up a used dryer sheet and rub the deodorant mark. You'll see the mark disappear pretty dang fast. :D

Just make sure the dryer sheet is used and dry here - or you could create new marks!

Step 3: Fight the Static!

I much prefer using dryer sheets to fight static instead of using Static Guard or other sprays. Here are a few ways to defeat static using dryer sheets:

  • rub a new dryer sheet on clothing that won't behave and is sticking together. It's best to do this on the underside of the clothing to keep it from sticking together.
  • use a new dryer sheet to rub the inside of a knitted hat to help keep your hair from getting charged and flying everywhere once you take it off.
  • when your hair is totally out of control, rub a new dryer sheet on the bristles of your brush and then brush your hair. Good smelling hair and no fly-aways!

Step 4: Freshen While Vacuuming

I have a really ugly and old vacuum (at this point it is legitimately taped together) so enjoy this photo of a very in focus dryer sheet and an out of focus vacuum. ;)

You can add half a fresh dryer sheet to your vacuum bag or canister to make the house smell great while vacuuming! Normally the dryer sheet is not strong enough to scent the air, but you'll find the air smells cleaner. In my case, it totally gets rid of the dog smell the vacuum tends to take on!

This unusual use works really really well - the house will smell extra clean once you're done! It's especially useful if you have pets. I normally end up using both halves of the sheet as I have to empty the canister halfway due to a crazy abundance of dog hair.

(Thought I admit I normally use a cotton ball with some essential oil on it instead so I can customize the scent. :D)

Step 5: Shine Metal Appliances and Clean Glass Shower Doors

Dryer sheets are great to shine your faucets or clean a glass shower door - even the shower walls!

New dryer sheets work best when it comes to soap scum on the shower door and walls. Wet the dryer sheets and use them to scrub! Just make sure to give the surfaces a good rinse after to remove all the gunk you've disrupted. :)

For faucets, used dryer sheets are better! Use them to buff any water marks away.

You can also clean just about any old metal appliance - used dryer sheets are great at buffing away fingerprints and smudges. :D

Step 6: Remove Caked on Food From Pans

If you've cooked something (or you know, burned the hell out of it) that just does not want to come off the pan, a new dryer sheet can help! Fill the pan with hot water and add a dryer sheet. Let it soak for a couple hours or overnight.

When you come back to check on your mess, dump out the water and use the dryer sheet to wipe away the burned on mess! It's pretty amazing honestly. I was only left with a couple tiny spots I had to scrub with the dryer sheet. :)

To test this out I made a big pan of my lemon garlic potatoes - worked like a charm! Normally I soak and scrub and still have gunk stuck on the pan. Not this time!

Step 7: Deodorize ALL THE THINGS

Because new dryer sheets are so fragrant, they're great for keep your clothes and other textiles fresh smelling:

  • tuck a dryer sheet into your luggage before a trip. It'll keep your clothes smelling really nice. I like to keep a plastic grocery bag in there to tie up dirty clothes, too - that'll help to keep the smells to a minimum, too
  • place a dryer sheet into your gym bag - it can help with the sweaty funk that tends to happen in there. If you forget to bring it in and wash the clothes it won't be quite as bad as it normally would!
  • put dryer sheets in the bottoms of your trash cans. I do this in both the kitchen and bathrooms - it's especially great in the bathroom
  • put them under the seats in your car as a substitute for those vent and rearview mirror air fresheners!
  • put dryer sheets in dressers and closets storing out of season clothing or blankets - they'll keep them from getting musty
  • hide dryer sheets under couch or chair cushions in smelly rooms

Step 8: Used Dryer Sheets Are Great for Dusting and Powdery Messes

Used dryer sheets are amazing for dusting and cleaning around the house!

They're a easy and fast way to clean baseboards and molding or general dusting.

One of my favorite ways to use them is to dust electronics - they work great! Next time you have to open up your laptop or PC, use a used dryer sheet to remove all of the dust, hair and debris that collects in there. :D

If you spill flour, cornstarch or other light powdery materials, a used dryer sheet can help grab the mess so you can clean it up quicker. For little messes, use the dryer sheet to wipe them up. For bigger messes, the dryer sheet can help you scoot the mess into a dust pan or trash can. :)

Step 9: Clean Window Blinds

Window blind are one of my least favorite things to clean, but a dryer sheet makes it a bit easier!

This works best with used dryer sheets. I like to close the blinds (so they're facing down and flat) and wipe the surface to remove dust. Then close them so they're up and ridged and wipe again. :D

You can also push the dryer sheet through the blinds and wipe horizontally, but that's a lot more time consuming.

Step 10: Keep Thread Tangle Free

I actually prefer to use beeswax for this, but if you don't have any around, you can use a new or used dryer sheet to keep your thread from tangling.

Thread a needle and then drag it through a dryer sheet to stop the thread from sticking to itself. It works great and your sewing will smell a little nicer for a bit. :D


Irishintx made it! (author)2017-07-23

These are great ideas! I buy the UNSCENTED ones and already use one or two of your ideas.
Front of my car is coated with bugs, so off to clean them ??

msbarb02 made it! (author)2017-07-23

My brother puts dryer sheets on all the beds in his cabin up north to keep the mice off. It works! He comes back 3 weeks later and no mice droppings on the bed. Maybe they don't like the chemicals either.

BeanieandCecilC made it! (author)2017-07-16

According to the health and wellness website, some of the
most harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener
alike include benzyl acetate (linked to pancreatic cancer), benzyl
alcohol (an upper respiratory tract irritant), ethanol (linked to
central nervous system disorders), limonene (a known carcinogen) and
chloroform (a neurotoxin and carcinogen), among others.

All that magic doesn't happen without chemicals that you shouldn't be inhaling or even handling.

PattyP17 made it! (author)PattyP172017-07-16

No offense to the OP, and I'm sure many people do find dryer sheest quite useful. I just know that my gag reflex acts up whenever I smell any of them. Prolonged exposure to the intense perfume of any brand gives me terrible headaches. I always ask sellers on eBay if they store their items with perfumed dryer sheets or other perfumed items/spray before bidding/buying. You'd be surprised how many people do, thinking they are providing an enhanced experience for the buyer. Nope.

I run a fragrance-free household (laundry detergent, dish washing, soaps, shampoos, haispray, etc.) due to allergies and find all the perfumed laundry detergent, dryer sheets, air fresheners become complete overkill and offensive. It's even difficult for me to walk down the aisle in the grocery store where all those scented products are displayed.

SunshineC made it! (author)SunshineC2017-07-17

No offense, but what does that have to do with the price of tea in China...? While it seems like people are lined up every chance they get just to oppose or devalue any idea, at least the comment above you about the chemicals had relevance - There are harmful chemicals in them, so using them so frequently & on more things you come in contact with daily could be a possible risk. Thanks for the heads up.

I'm guessing that was the long way of informing us that people with sensitive noses exist so if we happen to be selling anything on ebay, take heed? Im lost.

Gonna try the bug ine tomorrow tho lol thanks

OnAngelsBreath made it! (author)OnAngelsBreath2017-07-17

Kudos! Exactly!! Mean people suck...bored mean people suck even worse!

SunshineC made it! (author)SunshineC2017-07-17

:) I swear I don't usually even waste my time adding to the "dumb" that happens but sheesh... If you are going to attempt to bring clarity as to why some really clever ideas are total crap or showcase your higher intelligence.... Please put just as much effort into remembering what your point is so I don't feel like I do when I watch an overly pumped movie with a crap ending that leaves me feeling like "give my the last 2 hours of my life back now!"

You're allergic and flowers make you wanna slam your head into the wall.... Noted... But you do realize nobody was threatening to go wipe the bugs off YOUR windshield for you right? Pretty sure nobodys forcing you to rub em on your armpits so...........

maybe you just fell asleep on the keyboard and accidentally deleted the last 5 paragraphs of your novel.... shucks... Hate when I do that. Don't worry.... nobody was really on the edge of their seat there.

And now the "dumb" has officially turned me into the meany. I swear I try not to let my Italian side come out, but dammit... if we keep tolerating it all the time..... lawd give me strength for tomorrow.

Ok I swear I'm done ranting. Somebody GIVE ME SOME DRYER SHEETS QUICK! I need to do something more productive with my hands! <3

Cliffystones made it! (author)Cliffystones2017-07-21

Boy, do I love your comment! If I were to comment on every thing I've seen on instructables that I have seen and thought to myself WHY! I'd never leave my laptop. Note to the constant naysayers, just read the things! If a particular project seems like a waste of time to you, take your personal note on it and let it be!

There are many Instructables I find entertaining at best, but even within those I discover new techniques, materials, tools and the like that I can integrate into projects I'm doing or contemplating. So parting shot to all the whiners...... Stop looking at the half-empty part of the glass!!!!!

Tdishmon made it! (author)Tdishmon 2017-07-17

I am the same way and have to hold my breath to go down that aisle or if my husband is with me I sent him down the aisle for it.
I wish the would make more items with no fragrance or food related like the air freshers started to doing. Nut bread, baked apple pie, last fall there were some good ones, but I can only remember a couple pumpkin bread, fall feast. Those fragrances don't bother my allergies and makes my house smell like I have been baking all day without starting the oven.

CelesteS4 made it! (author)CelesteS42017-07-17

The food related air freshners and candles still have very toxic chemicals in them.

RastaWife made it! (author)RastaWife2017-07-16

They do make unscented dryer sheets . . .

WilliamB105 made it! (author)WilliamB1052017-07-17

yes. I meant scented dryer sheets. I wonder if the unscented ones have the bad chemicals in them?

CelesteS4 made it! (author)CelesteS42017-07-17

Yes they do. It's the chemicals that soften the clothes.

OnAngelsBreath made it! (author)OnAngelsBreath2017-07-17

These people aren't looking for a solution...they're looking for a confrontation! But thank you for at least trying to be kind to the bandwagon of complaining naysayers!

BeanieandCecilC made it! (author)BeanieandCecilC2017-07-17

Couldn't agree more. Sometimes, my neighbors are running their dryer (which exhausts to the outdoors) and that stench of perfumed dryer sheets wafts past my home like Pepe LePew walking by. It truly does make one gag.

WilliamB105 made it! (author)WilliamB1052017-07-17

I agree!

OnAngelsBreath made it! (author)OnAngelsBreath2017-07-17

Buy a home in the country or deal with it, neighbors like you make tall fences a necessity!

OnAngelsBreath made it! (author)OnAngelsBreath2017-07-17

That sounds awful for you Patty, but as with most any post on any DYI site...they are meant mostly for the majority of people in the world. Not necessarily the very small percentage of people who live miserably with outrageous allergy problems. I'm sorry you're in that minute part of the population, but this post, I'm sure was quite helpful to many more people than it was unhelpful for. Not to mention...people with crazy allergies are well aware of them, why would you waste your time even reading a post about dryer sheets when you can't even use them? Simply to get the opportunity to try to deflate another human by downing their great post? Be kinder, spend less time looking for ways to be mean and you might find your own life gaining a little color since you can't have scent!

Alaskan Bev made it! (author)Alaskan Bev2017-07-16

What she said! Many doctor's offices, physical therapy offices, banks, churches, etc. now have Fragrance Free one signs for this reason. A neurologist told me that she had a young patient (single-digit age) who was having full epileptic seizures that his parents finally isolated to only days that they went to a particular large mall. They stopped taking the child with them when they just Had to go there. After some investigation they discovered that one of the cleaning agents used in the mall carpets was new, and contained a substance to which the child was already known to be sensitive. They haven't taken him back to the mall, and he has had No More seizures! It's real, folks!

ooohlaa made it! (author)ooohlaa2017-07-16

I have this problem when I go to the beach The smells of the suntan lotions and people's toiletries makes me feel so violated, I often leave early. In Florida the breeze usually goes from the ocean across the beach taking with it all these perfumes scents.

CathrinaM made it! (author)CathrinaM2017-07-16

I have the same problems, I have a dog with allergies, so I use all products with no scents, I have a neighbour , that when she does her laundry, her vents blows out on my back yard and myself and my dog cannot go out until her laundry is done. I think that this society uses way to many scented products, I get migraines and I find sometimes when I go out, I get such a bad headache, just from being around certain people. But the some of the uses for the used dryer sheets seems very constructive.

MillerI made it! (author)MillerI2017-07-16

"...central nervous system disorders..." Like drunkenness?

Cliffystones made it! (author)Cliffystones2017-07-21

You caught that too! I suppose they mean when you're so far gone you think you can actually have a conversation with Jack Daniels, Jim Beam or Jonnie Walker.

curiousity shop made it! (author)2017-07-21

Amazing how an innocent post can have people attackinig one another. What a sad snap shot of our society. I we don't like something we criticise it, if we don't agree with the criticism we criticise it. What ever happened to empathy, and civility. Seems like we look for things to complain about.

astrong0 made it! (author)2017-07-20

I have another use!!! I repaired a friends' speaker cone by using a used dryer sheet that saturated in Elmers glue. It's like a fiberglass mat and it's held up to some abuse over the years.

RobertC2 made it! (author)2017-07-19

Thanks, I'll be trying some of these.

Small correction:

At the end of step 1, a "Viola!" is a stringed musical instrument larger than a violin, but smaller than a cello. I believe you meant to say: Voilà!

Which is French for "See There" or, more appropriately, "There ya go!" (or, "Ta-Da!") ;-)

pmnd58 made it! (author)2017-07-18

Into the fray! We had smoky situation due to a fire in our oven. We stuck dryer sheets into the incoming side of the furnace filter. That removed the odors.

WilliamB105 made it! (author)2017-07-18

"Nope...never assumed that everyone likes anything that I do. Just have enough of a concept of reality to know that we are all different, which is beautiful. And, that others likes/dislikes are not chosen to violate the rest of the public (normally). ..."
I must have somehow misspoken. I was responding 1. to your condescension, i.e., your belittling the previous poster's statements about her feelings, and 2. to how I identified with the feeling which that the other poster had expressed, she felt violated by the offensive scent. My point was that her saying that gave voice to how these offensive scents make me feel.
It wasn't that I thought people were purposely trying to violate anyone. It was just an expression of a feeling and identifying what it made me feel like.
You are right about strong scents having an impact on others though. They do. Maybe if people were aware of the extent of that impact in a negative way, that is, if they were more aware that they were offending some people by using the chemicals that they use, they would be a little more kind and use the chemicals a little bit less.
You know. Maybe they would do as Jesus has said. Maybe they would, "Treat others the same way you want them to treat you."

mcduffiechris made it! (author)mcduffiechris2017-07-18

Some people just like to try to ruin others people's days by being negative. Those types of people are toxic, which is why we try to avoid those. William, there was nothing wrong with your comments. :)

mcduffiechris made it! (author)2017-07-18

I put them in my boots or other shoes I keep out in the garage - keeps spiders and bugs from going in them!

TheNorm made it! (author)2017-07-16

Got gnats? The rain soggy south is awash in the critters in the summer of '17. They prefer to fly up your nose, into your mouth, and nest in your ears. Gnats are nuts!

Luckily to do a number on gnats get Bounce Dryer Sheets. Afix one to your garden or hunting hat and your gnat problem will be about 97% over.

Gnats being herd animals will naturally gang up on anyone who enters their territory. But safety pin a dryer sheet to something in the vicinity of the face and its toodles to gnats. They HATE the smell and word in their gnat circles travels quickly. Try it.

LynneS21 made it! (author)LynneS212017-07-17

I put Vicks around my nostrils and ears and spray a little across the back of my shoulders. Works great

TheNorm made it! (author)TheNorm2017-07-17

Gnats sure love to put on a big show, all teeth and wings, don't they Lynne? But give them a little bad smelly and POOF! They can't take it. Ha! Great report!

Tdishmon made it! (author)Tdishmon 2017-07-17

Thanks really needed this gnats and ants are awful this year.

DonnaB207 made it! (author)DonnaB2072017-07-16

Good to know. Thanks!

TheNorm made it! (author)TheNorm2017-07-16

Why, you're very welcome. My elderly next door neighbor put me onto it a couple of years ago. Good luck!

Suemesz made it! (author)2017-07-17

Thanks for the ideas. I'm sorry some people are so critical of helpful ideas. I suffered with multiple chemical sensitivity for years (thank God I'm over it) at the I felt sick when I came into contact with perfumes or chemical cleaners and tried to avoid contact when possible.
It's just plain common sense realize this would not have been a good idea for me at the time. As for the chemicals good luck avoiding them in this day and age they're everywhere we go. I will try a couple of these ideas.?

corsophoto made it! (author)2017-07-16

You can also use them as a mild mosquito repellant, that smells a lot better than OFF

LynneS21 made it! (author)LynneS212017-07-16

I have used Vicks Vaporub from a jar or the liquid Vicks you use for a vaporizer(in small spray bottle) for several years after reading about it on Pinterest. Actually works fantastic and doesn't stink like bug repellant.

corsophoto made it! (author)corsophoto2017-07-17

Good idea! Does it make you cold? Sometimes it has a cooling feeling like menthol.

LynneS21 made it! (author)LynneS212017-07-17

Yes, it does. The great thing about Vicks is it evaporates after a couple of hours and isn't greasy. Love it!

satherton1 made it! (author)satherton12017-07-16

Mosquitoes are also repelled by certain plants esp. herbs like I use basil or rosmary. I also have a citronella plant that is great

corsophoto made it! (author)corsophoto2017-07-17

That's right! I forgot about that-- thanks for reminding me! Mint works great as well. There is also a type of geranium that repels mosquitoes. It had so flowers but does have a very strong scent. I found one at a home depot and it worked pretty well.

StevenS343 made it! (author)2017-07-17

Hey jessyratfink great idea's thank you. love the name as well

Dagonwida made it! (author)2015-11-23

Another point. Dryer sheets are basically just micro-fiber cloths impregnated with wax! This is not great for your cloths. But it's really bad for your dryer! The wax tends to accumulate and burn to the interior. This causes damage to the sensors and the paint and plastic parts by making them brittle. If there is broken plastic inside your dryer, or it eats clothes every so often. This is why! The same process damages the areas of your clothes where they are creased or folded....

BetsyFartBlossom made it! (author)BetsyFartBlossom2017-07-16

I have used dryer sheets since they came out and my dryer - 50 + years old - is running just fine. Gone through 2 kids, a hubby, dog and cat beds, various weird stuff that needed washing and drying, and no brittle parts or chipped paint.

ooohlaa made it! (author)ooohlaa2017-07-16

I said the same thing when the refrigerator salesman suggested I add warranty insurance. I said I had my last Frigidaire for 20 years, he said I know, but they no longer make them like that anymore. Same thing with Eureka vacuum, the guy told me the economy one I bought no longer lasts more than a few years. So it just might be our throwaway society and manufacturers who build so everyone can afford, sacrificing longevity.

BetsyFartBlossom made it! (author)BetsyFartBlossom2017-07-17

Yup, everything has been like that for a few years now. It's called "Planned obsolescence", where they plan on things breaking down in a few years. My stove is another example. I bought it in 1963, it's a Tappan, has pilot lights and is still going strong. Of course it looks a bit beat up, but I love my stove! I finally gave my upright freezer away because it wasn't a frost-free one and I was just too lazy to defrost it every month or so. It was a Philco that I got with the Rich Freezer Food Plan in 1962. Remember them? It went through 2 or 3 floods where the water was half way up the freezer, but it still ran. I gave it to a guy who had 6 kids and was quite excited to get it. I'm sure it's still running. It ran great for me, even after the floods. I'm not all interested in new and pretty, I want dependable and efficient products! My disposer finally died after 49 years, too:) They don't make them like they used to make them, unfortunately.

HarrisCreekCentral made it! (author)HarrisCreekCentral2017-07-16

Our dryer is well over the 30 yrs, and we have been using dryer sheets since day one. We have gone through 5 kids. 4 dogs, I tinker in all kinds of motor tune ups, gas and electric. My blue jeans and T shirts need washing pretty well every evening. I even occasionally bring in my Shop Coat and toss it in with my blue jeans. Our previous dryer was also over 20 yrs, and we passed it on to someone else who continued to use it.

ddj0195 made it! (author)ddj01952017-07-16

The ingredient list on my package of fabric softener sheets says: Biodegradable Catonic Softeners And Perfume. There is no "wax" in that list.

About This Instructable




Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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