While doing laundry at my parents’ house this weekend, it occurred to me that I have always kept dryer sheets in my apartment, but never used them in the dryer. Since I had a box under the seat in my car anyway (being used as an air freshener), I threw a couple in with my laundry. Turns out, dryer sheets really do make my towels softer and smell better. Dryer sheets are so useful in a ton of situations, but here are my top five alternative uses for them.
1. Controlling flyaway hairs and static clothes. When I was in high school, all of the girls cool kept dryer sheets in their backpacks to use on the bus because our hair got all whipped out of shape waiting at the bus stop in all kinds of weather. As if my hair wasn’t bad enough, my dress always got stuck to my tights and hung awkwardly between my legs. Not cute. I finally made friends with one of the cool girls and learned that the wax on the dryer sheet does the same on hair and clothes that it does to towels in the dryer — release static cling! Just swipe one over your bangs or between your thighs to have a static-free day.
2. Cleaning pets and their hair. I love having company over, but I don’t love how long it takes me to vacuum and lint roll all of my furniture beforehand to de-fuzz my apartment of cat hair. With dryer sheets, I can sweep a couple across my chairs and couch to quickly get rid of fur on the first try. Luckily, my cat keeps herself pretty clean, but if you have smelly pets, you can use the same sweeping motion over their furry bodies to rid them of their stench and any soon-to-be abandoned hairs.
3. Repelling bugs. You probably aren’t picnicking in this wintry weather, but when spring and the mosquitoes return, you’ll be armed with endless amounts of bug repellent: dryer sheets. Keep a few in your picnic basket or backpack to keep the critters away from your food and wipe down your arms and legs with a sheet for extra coverage. The scent sends them running — or flying — for the hills.
4. Scrubbing showers and caked-on pans. For your shower, rub the sheet on your tile walls or glass door to dissolve shower scum. For pots and pans, place one sheet in the bottom of the dish, fill it with water and let it sit overnight. The antistatic agent weakens the bond between the food and the dish’s surface. The fabric softening agents help to soften the baked on food. Cool, right?
5. Freshening. We all have that smelly place–maybe it’s your shoes, your gym bag, your boyfriend’s bathroom, Contessa’s litter box — that could use a little freshening up. Stick a sheet in your shoes when you come home for the day, leave a couple in your gym bag, roll one up on the inside of your boyfriend’s toilet paper roll and stick one in the vent of the litter box. You know those commercials where the air freshener sprays a new scent every once in a while and everyone is like “Ooh, where did that marvelous smell come from?” This is like that, but way cheaper and more mobile.
Do you know any other cool uses for dryer sheets? What is your favorite multi-use household product?