It turns out that dryer sheets are good for more than just making your linens smell like heaven. These small cloths are typically used to remove static electricity during your dry cycle that causes your clothes to stick together, and they also help prevent wrinkles. But while they’re certainly helpful in the laundry room, dryer sheets can actually be used all around the house for anything from dusting to pet care. Check out our list of dryer sheet hacks below.
Uses For Dryer Sheets
Calm Fido's storm anxiety.
If your pup seems to get spooked by seasonal thunderstorms, there may be a buildup of static electricity in the air and on his fur that’s setting his nerves on edge. To help calm him fast, try rubbing his fur with a dryer sheet. The charged fabric will neutralize the static to soothe his anxiety.
Get Rid Of Shoe Smell Dryer Sheets
Nix unpleasant shoe odors.
When your favorite sneakers start smelling a bit off, place a dryer sheet in the toe of each shoe and let sit overnight. The sheets’ porous fibers will absorb odors to freshen up your sneaks by morning.
Dryer Sheets Mice
Keep mice out of your space.
No need to use poisons or traps to stop unwanted critters from popping up in your garage or basement. Instead, stuff a scented dryer sheet into any openings where the pests seem to be entering your home. The intense fragrance of the sheets will deter the mice, so they’ll steer clear of your area.
Dryer Sheets Clean Floor
Get floors sparkling.
Cleaning the floors with your Swiffer-style mop is a breeze…until you run out of refill cloths. To the rescue: dryer sheets. Wrap a sheet around the mop’s base, taping as needed to secure, then use as you normally would. The sheet’s slightly abrasive woven fibers and positively charged ions will trap dust and dirt to spiffy your floors up in a jiffy.
Unmust Old Books
Get rid of old book smell.
Your trip to the used bookstore was a success, but your finds smell a bit musty. The fix: Place a dryer sheet in the middle of each book and let sit overnight. The sheet will lightly scent the paper while absorbing the stale odor, so your books will smell fresh.
Clean Chrome Fixtures
Leave chrome fixtures spotless.
To protect freshly cleaned faucets from fingerprints, toothpaste stains and water spots, buff them with a dryer sheet. The sheet will leave behind a waxy residue that repels water and oil, leaving your sink sparkling for longer.
Dust Proof Electronics
Dust proof electronics.
You clean your TV regularly, but it never seems to take long for a new layer of dust to settle. To minimize buildup, use a dryer sheet to gently wipe down the screen. The sheet’s anti-static properties will cut down on static electricity that can cause dust to cling to the screen.
Repair Outdoor Table Cloth
Repair an outdoor tablecloth.
After weeks of constant use, your outdoor vinyl tablecloth tore — and since it’s getting so late in the season, you don’t want to buy another. Patch the rip in seconds with a dryer sheet: Simply turn the cloth over, place a few drops of hot glue around the tear, then press the sheet over the spot. The dryer sheet’s durable woven fibers will hold the cloth together so you can continue to use it for the rest of the summer.
Hand Vacuum Dryer Sheets
Restore a handheld vacuum’s power.
If your handheld vacuum isn’t picking up grime like it used to, there may be static buildup in the canister, which prevents dirt particles from flowing freely. The fix: Cut off a thin strip of a dryer sheet and suck it up with the vacuum. After a few seconds, turn off the machine and empty the canister. The dryer sheet will neutralize static to boost your vac’s dust-busting power.
Clean Glasses Dryer Sheets
Clean dirty glasses.
Fingerprints, smudges, and dirt, oh my! If you feel like you spend more time cleaning your specs than wearing them, try wiping them with a used dryer sheet. The woven material lifts grease and grime without leaving streaks or scratching the lenses. Bonus: Stashing the sheet in your purse will make your bag smell sweet.
Dry Mess Clean Up
Clean up dry messes.
Oops! While whipping up cupcakes for the church bake sale, you spill flour on your counter. Instead of cleaning the mess with a paper towel, which won’t pick up all the powder, wipe the counter with a dryer sheet. The tightly woven fibers in the sheet will capture all the tiny particles.
Get Glitter Nail Polish Off
Easily remove glitter nail-polish.
You gave yourself a sparkling manicure for a party but now the glitter polish won’t come off. The save: Dab nail polish remover on a dryer sheet and use it to scrub your nails. The sheet’s rough texture will pull off the stubborn glitter.
Dryer Sheets For Dishes
Remove stuck-on food from dishes.
Your tuna casserole was a hit at dinner, but your favorite pan is covered in caked-on food. The no-scrub trick to get it clean: Fill the dish with hot water and lay a dryer sheet on top, then let it soak overnight. Softening agents in the sheet will break down the stuck-on food bits while you sleep. In the morning, simply dump out the water and wash the dish as usual.
How To Clean Hair Appliances
De-gunk hairstyling tools.
If your curling iron has a layer of hairspray caked on the metal surface, try this to remove the residue: Turn the appliance to the lowest heat setting, then slip your hand into an oven mitt and use it to carefully swipe a dryer sheet over the warm plate surface. The heat will loosen the grime so you can scrub it off with the abrasive dryer sheet.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.