Unusual Uses for Dryer Sheets




About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @jessyratfink to see what i'm working on! ^_^

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!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Book Character Costume Challenge

    Book Character Costume Challenge
  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Cardboard Speed Challenge

    Cardboard Speed Challenge

193 Discussions


1 year ago

Did you know that rats hate dryer sheets? My family is in the storage buisness for close to 20 years and if you don't want rats, or other critters for that matter, get some dryer sheets


2 years ago

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!") ;-)

1 reply

2 years ago

The bug killer you are thunking of is called pyrethrum. It is an all natural insecticide made from the dried crushed leaves of Chrysanthemum plants. It is very safe to use around humans and animals but it is more effective than most poisons against infestations of ants, mosquitos, gnats, bees, hornets, termites, etc. You can buy it at a garden center as a spray or dust. Or find an exterminator who will use a stronger concentration and can work in more dangerous areas.


2 years ago

I didn't read all of the comments - too many - but we found that unused dryer sheets secured underneath the hood of your vehicle repel rodents. Rodents (such as squirrels, mice, and pack rats) LOVE to eat your wiring, and it is very expensive to replace the mangled wiring. Remember to replace them occasionally too. It's definitely worth the trouble; just be very careful to secure the sheets so they don't end up floating where they could CAUSE a malfunction under the hood.


2 years ago

Another use for used dryer sheets - fill with dryer lint, tie shut, drip wax on them and you have the best darned fire-starter. Really, but don't buy the wax retail, get candles from yard sales. My brother-in-law laughed at the suggestion until I used them to light the cabin's wood-burning stove. Actually, sawdust and candle wax in dixie cups work well too.


2 years ago

I've also used them while in arid locations to fight off the static of just walking around! I have to say though, seems like the windshield bug would work on the rest of the vehicle? Or would it ruin the paint...


2 years ago

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 ??


2 years ago

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.

curiousity shop

2 years ago

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.


2 years ago

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.


2 years ago

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.


2 years ago

"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."

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

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. :)


2 years ago

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


2 years ago

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.

3 replies

Reply 2 years ago

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


Reply 2 years ago

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 TheNorm

Reply 2 years ago

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