Laundry

5 Ways to Use Dryer Sheets Outside the Laundry Room

These tips go far beyond the dryer.

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Dryer sheets have always seemed like the afterthought of my laundry routine. Detergent is the main ingredient that, well, cleans my clothes. Dryer sheets are just garnish. Without them, my clothes still get clean and dry, they just come out a bit staticky. Do I really need 'em?

Maybe not for my laundry (your mileage may vary), but it turns out that laundry is just one of many areas in which the humble dryer sheet can improve our lives.

Yes, it’s true. From household cleaning to personal grooming and outdoor protection, dryer sheets have many practical applications. Read on for a list of dryer sheet hacks. Spoiler alert: they’re all life-changingly convenient.

1. Clean Your Shower

Dryer sheets contain ingredients that are designed to soften fabrics, but these same ingredients can help soften the unsightly film left on your tub or glass shower door by soap and hard water.

To make your shower sparkle again, take one dryer sheet (used or unused) and dampen it with water. Then simply use it to scrub any spots and streaks away. Easy-peasy.

2. Wash Tough Pots & Pans

That same ability to soften soap scum can come in really handy when you’re faced with supremely dirty pots and pans. A good, sudsy soak in the sink can do a world of good, but if the cookware is particularly filthy, it will probably still require hard scrubbing—unless you toss a dryer sheet into the soapy water you’re using to soak your pot or pan, that is.

Let it sit there for at least an hour and you'll return to find all that cooking grime magically released from the cookware. You should be able to swipe a sponge over it, rinse it off, and call it a day—minimal scrubbing required.

3. Tame Frizzy Hair

Flyaways happen. That’s just the way of the world. One minute you’re walking around with silky, perfect hair, and the next you’ve got a fuzz of unruly strands floating around your face like some kind of unwanted halo. Gross.

For a quick fix, slip a few dryer sheets into your bag and pull ‘em out when you’re having a bad hair moment. Running a dryer sheet over your hair reduces the static causing this monstrous malfunction and calms everything down.

There. Problem solved. Way to be prepared, you!

4. De-Cling Your Clothes

Static cling can also strike outside the laundry room. If you’ve ever had a skirt that wouldn’t stop sticking to your tights or a shirt that kept sparking when it touched your skin, you know what I’m talking about.

Luckily, dryer sheets are as handy at reducing static outside the laundry room as they are at reducing it inside. Wipe down your tights with a sheet or two to stop that skirt from clinging, or rub them on any offending area/item of clothing.

5. Repel Pests

Dryer sheets are often scented, and I've been known to bury my face in warm, clean laundry just to get a whiff. But as much as I like the smell, pests do not. For whatever reason, mosquitos, gnats, and rodents do not share my appreciation of these miraculous squares of fabric-softening goodness. You can use that to your advantage.

Tuck a dryer sheet in your pocket or clip it to your clothing to ward off bugs when you’re in the woods, fishing, or even just hanging in a particularly buggy backyard.

To keep mice away, place dryer sheets in drawers, corners, or any sort of nook or cranny.

As an added bonus, this will make your room (or you) smell like fresh, clean laundry. Hooray!