9 Things You Didn't Know Dryer Sheets Can Do

You probably have a sizable stack of folded dryer sheets stored in your laundry room for the next afternoon of chores, but you might not realize the potential these disposables have to help out all around the house. Nearly a half-century since its creation, these fabric-softening sheets—both unused and reused—have proven handy in many more ways than one. Click through for nine reasons to hold onto your stash even after laundry day.

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  1. Polish Up Chrome Pieces


    Bathroom fixtures in need of a quick shine before guests arrive? A used dryer sheet works wonders on faucets, shower heads, and other plumbing fixtures. Just moisten slightly with water, and rub the sheet over any chrome parts to remove cloudy soap build-up and calcium deposits and make these pieces sparkle.

    Related: 8 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Bathroom Ever


  2. Care for Your Clothes Iron


    As if ironing isn’t enough of a hassle in and of itself, there might come a time when you notice that your iron’s soleplate is full of gunk. To get rid of it, place a dryer sheet on your ironing board, set the iron to low, and run the iron over the sheet until the tacky buildup is gone. Once clean, your iron should now glide smoothly over your garments.

    Related: 9 Smart Hacks for Laundry Day


  3. Stop Static Cling


    Don't get swept up in static cling. A swipe of dryer sheet under a skirt that bunches or over your clothes before you dig through a package stuffed with Styrofoam packing peanuts can save you from suffering the effects of static—and from a pile of pesky peanuts hugging your clothes well after you're done unpacking.


  4. Get Cleaner Cuts


    Ever try to cut a sheet of paper with dull scissors? Never worry about that again with this one-step upkeep. Simply wipe the blades periodically with a used dryer sheet to clean and (inadvertently) prevent your shears from dulling over time. Then go ahead and snip away.


  5. De-Gunk Oven Racks


    Baked-on grease and grime is the bane of cooks everywhere. Oven cleaners can be smelly and messy, and self-cleaning ovens warm up the entire house in the process. To clean your oven racks easily, rinse them off, then soak them overnight in a tub of warm water with a little dishwashing liquid and a handful of dryer sheets. When you pull them out the next day, any remaining residue should wipe off easily.

    Related: 10 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Kitchen Ever


  6. Leave Sand at the Beach


    After a day at—or even a walk on—the beach, no matter how much you rinse, you always manage to track some sand home with you. Next time, try wiping (not too hard) the stuck grains off with a dryer sheet instead. Your carpets will thank you for it.

    Related: 10 Easy Ways to Bring Beach Style to Your Landlocked Home


  7. Shoo, Fly


    If you plan to be outdoors—whether gardening, hiking, or just picnicking in the park—consider slipping a dryer sheet in your back pocket. Research has shown that a couple of chemical compounds commonly found in the sheets (linalool and beta-citronellol) will deter the gnats and mosquitoes from hanging around, making this the next best thing to spray-on bug repellent.

    Related: A Dozen 10-Minute DIYs for a Pest-Free Home


  8. Wash Out Paintbrushes


    The worst part of painting your walls is cleaning up, especially the brushes. To make it easier, fill a sink or basin with warm water, place the gunked-up brushes in the water, and add a dryer sheet. Soak for a few hours while you admire the fruits of your labor. The remaining paint should come off in a snap.

    Related: Paint Guide - 10 Essentials for Successful House Painting


  9. Dust Just About Anything


    Swiffers are great, but frequent refills can be costly. To save money, try a used dryer sheet. It does double duty by attracting dust like a magnet and imparting a subtle, fresh scent now that the sheet had been activated in the heat of the dryer. No need to limit it to floors; it also works on bookshelves, blinds, and baseboards.

    Related: 13 Lazy Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Home


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