While you’ve probably guessed that dryer sheets can be used for some clever cleaning hacks, you might not know about the plethora of other ways they can make your life (and even your dog’s life!) easier. From pest-proofing to removing nail polish, you’ll want to stock up on the staple that can be used for so many things.
Banish smudges from sunglasses.
After a fun day at the beach, your favorite sunglasses are covered with smudges and fingerprints. Skip using a tissue, which leaves a trail of lint, and try wiping the lenses with a used dryer sheet instead. The woven material dislodges grease and grime without scratching the lenses. Bonus: Stashing the sheet in your handbag freshens it up too!
Sweep up pills effortlessly.
Oops! You accidentally spilled flour on your counter while mixing together batter for pancakes. Instead of sweeping away the mess with a paper towel, which won’t pick up all of the powder, use a dryer sheet. The tightly woven fibers in the fabric will trap all of the fine particles for instant clean.
Keep mice out of any space.
If you notice evidence of mice in your garage or basement, you don’t have to resort to harmful poisons or pricey traps to get rid of them. Instead, locate openings where the critters may be entering your home, then stuff the area with a scented dryer sheet. The intense fragrance is so unappealing to mice that they won’t chew through the sheets to get inside.
Soothe your dog’s storm anxiety.
Thunderstorms leave your poor pooch trembling and shaking with fear. But it’s not just the flashes of lightning and loud crashes that set his nerves on edge. Turns out, the buildup of static electricity in the air gets in the fur on his coat. To help calm your pup ASAP, try rubbing his fur with a dryer sheet. This will neutralize the static in his coat and calm him down in seconds.
Remove stubborn glitter polish.
The sparkling manicure you gave yourself for the end-of-summer picnic was a hit, but now the glitter polish won’t come off. What can help: Dab nail polish remover on a dryer sheet and use it to wipe your nails. The sheet’s rough texture will pull off the stubborn glitter without extra hassle.
Evaporate shoe odor overnight.
After you got caught in a rainstorm, your trusty sneakers ended up smelling a bit funky. The save: Place a dryer sheet in the toe of each shoe and let sit overnight. The sheets’ porous fibers will absorb moisture and odors. The upshot: fresh sneaks by morning!
Pest-proof outdoor garbage cans.
Lately, raccoons and other nocturnal critters have been rummaging through your outdoor garbage cans, leaving you with a stinky mess to clean up. To prevent them from wreaking havoc, reach for Epsom salts. Simply sprinkle 4 to 5 Tbs. of the salts around and over the top of the garbage. One taste of the mineral and the pests will head elsewhere to forage.
Paint deck spindles.
If the spindles on your deck are in need of a fresh paint, skip the paintbrush. Instead, wear a latex glove and slip on an old clean sock. Dip the sock in the paint, then use your hand to rub it over each spindle. They’ll be coated in half the time, and your hand will stay clean!
Help protect your car from door dings (reader tip!).
“Our garage space is narrow, meaning my husband and I have to park our cars pretty close to the wall. I used to worry about swinging open the door too fast or far, hitting the wall and chipping the paint on my car. Then my sister told me her genius solution: Simply nail old carpet scraps or an old outdoor seat cushion on the walls next to where we park. That way, if the door does accidentally swing too wide, the padding protects our car doors — and the walls — from damage!” —Amy Lee, Columbus, OH
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.