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Nick’s Tip: Dryer Sheets

by Nick Vitrano

It’s great for eliminating static cling in the old tumbler, but if you’re just tossing it into your dryer and then tossing it away, you’re not getting the most out of your Bounce sheets. 

Name brand, generic, this is one of those times where it truly doesn’t matter.  The same holds true for new and “previously owned.”  Each holds fantastic household superpowers.  Let’s start with the new:

  • Rub a dryer sheet on exposed skin to repel bugs.  It’s no Off, but it does provide a natural scent barrier that works in a pinch.  Of course, if you can remember to pack a dryer sheet, you’ll probably remember the repellent.
  • Place a couple of dryer sheets in your storage bins to keep bugs out.  Don’t sweat moths and spiders and the like…they won’t enter…and your clothes will smell less basementy, as well.
  • Kind of like the above, but a dryer sheet in each dresser drawer and one in the hamper will help keep fresh clothes smelling fresh and your “gently driven” numbers from stinkin’ up the joint.
  • Place a dryer sheet against the filter of your central heating and cooling unit to freshen the air in your home.  You can tape them to your HVAC vents for a similar effect (and nice barrier to Barbie shoes or green Army men from being dropped down the vents by the kids).
  • A dryer sheet in your sneakers will help prolong that new shoe smell and eliminate odors (and absorb moisture).
  • Toss a dryer sheet or two into your dish water to help get stubborn baked-on food off of those pots and pans.  It’s great as a warm water additive to clean paint brushes, as well.
  • Unused dryer sheets work well to remove pet hair from furniture and clothes.  Just rub the surface as you would dust a table or shelf.

All right.  On to the used numbers.  Don’t just throw them away.  Use them to your advantage. 

  • Soap scum, at least mild soap scum and mineral deposits, can be scrubbed away with a slightly moistened used dryer sheet.  They’re OK for cooktops, as well.
  • Used dryer sheets are great for dusting and removing cobwebs from the corners of the ceiling.  On the blinds, on the floorboards, on just about any surface – take a used dryer sheet to it.
  • As soon as you clear the dryer, grab the used sheet and wipe down the basin and the lint trap.  You might be surprised how much is left behind even after you think you’ve cleared it.
  • You scrapbookers and crafty folks will appreciate the used dryer sheet to add some texture to your projects.
  • Pin cushion.  Do people still need pin cushions?  Well, if you do, ball up a bunch of used dryer sheets, put a rubber band around it, and stick away.

Yes, the dryer sheet – it’s not just for dryers.