It’s time to think outside the dryer

Its time to think outside the dryer

By Laura Wood

Laundry isn’t the only thing dryer sheets can benefit. In fact, neither are art projects, picnics or irons.

According to numerous sources, including the Huffington Post, there are actually quite a few different, practical and wallet-friendly uses for those small fabric softeners that might not be immediately thought of when looking for quick solutions to persistent problems around the house.

Humans love the scent of those aromatic sheets, but insects don’t so much. Placing a dryer sheet in the bottom of your lunch box or picnic basket might overwhelm the nostrils with Downy’s idea of a clean breeze, but picnic-goers could feast assured the ants will steer clear of the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.


Mice and other small rodents avoid the aroma as well. This would be great around wintertime to prevent those pesky critters from seeking shelter inside the home.

Soap scum can be cleaned, electronics can be dusted and cobwebs can be removed from those out-of-reach wall corners with just the simple swipe of a dryer sheet. The anti-cling chemicals found in the polyester fibers can help remove static cling in hair, and they can even be used to remove pet hair from furniture, clothes and car seats.

Yep, that means say goodbye to those overpriced lint rollers and feather dusters. Just go pull a Bounce dryer sheet out of the box and carry on with those otherwise troublesome cleaning endeavors with ease.

But pet hair isn’t the only common annoyance among household cleaning chores. Surely there are plenty of dishwashers that could agree burnt food can be a major headache to scrub away, especially after the dish has been sitting out for a while.

However, this is nothing a dryer sheet can’t handle. Simply place one on the bottom of the pan before filling it with water and letting it sit overnight, and even the most stubborn food residue will wipe away much easier than first anticipated.

Speaking of stubborn residue, there are few things more depressing than a bug graveyard on a freshly washed car’s grill, but fret no longer! So long as an old dryer sheet and some water are handy, that vehicle can go back to looking sparkly fresh in no time. Maybe the car will end up smelling like a blue sparkle from Snuggle, but it beats paying more money for a wash, dry and wax.

Not many people enjoy sniffing the same scent for too long, though, so it is important to add variety to the dryer sheet collection. This can be done very easily with all the money that could be saved from not buying all the traps and poison pellets it would otherwise take to perform the same job.


One box of dryer sheets costs somewhere in the ballpark of $8 and contains about 80 sheets. Folks could go buy the traps, extra strength dish soap and bug repellent to do all the dirty work, but to use one dryer sheet from a box is essentially equal to spending 10 cents toward the exact same cause.

Times are hard in this recession, no matter who says the economy is back on the rise. Start thinking about those dryer sheets.

Those powerfully pungent pieces of polyester don’t have to repel everything, though. For the more right-brained people of the world, there’s a use for them in the art world too!

Dryer sheets can attract the eye if used in crafts creatively. Perhaps an unused sheet would feel too weird and slick if handled with an art project, but used ones can absorb ink of all colors and add texture to any card or scrapbook page.

Who knew there were so many uses for a single sheet of polyester fiber and fragrant anti-cling chemicals? Well, now you do.

Perhaps it’s something with the fibers, or maybe it’s different chemicals that help with each individual scenario. Until extensive research is conducted to describe the reason for such a vast list of aromatic aid, though, magic seems to be the only acceptable explanation.