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Life Hacks

17 Brilliant Uses for Used Dryer Sheets That Have Nothing To Do With Laundry

You'll never worry about static-y hair in the morning once you try this!

Dryer sheets are a lifesaver in more than one way. Not only do they eliminate the static cling that can lead to some pretty embarrassing moments, they can help solve a host of everyday problems, from foul-smelling shoes to household messes and beauty blunders. Read on for 17 genius uses for dryer sheets — most will work used or new dryer sheets.

1. Dryer sheets remove glitter nail polish

Genius uses for dryer sheets: woman using a dryer sheet to remove nail polish
Natalya Sambulova/Getty Images

You gave yourself a sparkling manicure for a party, but now the glitter polish won’t come off. The save: Dab nail polish remover on a dryer sheet and use it to scrub your nails. The sheet’s rough texture will pull off the stubborn glitter. (Prefer acrylics? Click through for natural acrylic nails for short nails.)

2. They make it easy to clean your car

To lift stubborn gunk like bugs, leaves and mud from your windshield in seconds, enlist the help of a dryer sheet, suggests car expert Jody DeVere from “Simply dampen an unused dryer sheet with water, rub it over any spots and the mess will disappear!” Turns out the same compounds in dryer sheets that condition fabric also absorb dirt and grime.

Bonus tip: Clean your dashboard as well! When it’s sunny out, more air particles make their way into the car, leading to dust. To the rescue: dryer sheets. “They have positively charged ions that attract negatively charged dust,” says Varda Meyers Epstein, editor-in-chief of Kars4Kids. “Swiping them across your dash traps dust and repels new residue.”

3. Dryer sheets soothe a dog’s storm anxiety

If your pup seems to get spooked by thunderstorms, there may be a buildup of static electricity in the air and on his fur, setting his nerves on edge. To help calm him down, try rubbing his fur with a dryer sheet. The charged fabric will neutralize the static to soothe his anxiety.

4. They prevent clogged shower drains

Stray hairs that come loose while shampooing can mix with soap scum to build up in your shower drain. To prevent it, lay a used dryer sheet over the drain before showering. The sheet creates a seal that catches hair and soap while letting water through, making the drain gunk-free. just make sure to toss it in the trash after your shower!

5. Dryer sheets keep old books smelling fresh

stack of old books: genius uses for dryer sheets
Francesco Carta fotografo/Getty Images

You found your favorite childhood book tucked away in a box in the attic and can’t wait to pass it along to the little one in your life. But the pages smell of mildew after all those years in storage. To eliminate the odor, place a used dry sheet in the book’s center, close it and leave for 24 hours. The sheet’s porous fibers will absorb moisture in the paper and leave behind a pleasant scent. Click through for even more on how to clean old books.

6. They de-gunk hairstyling tools

If your curling iron has a layer of hairspray caked on the metal surface, try this to remove the residue: Turn the appliance to the lowest heat setting, then slip your hand into an oven mitt and use it to swipe a dryer sheet over the warm plate surface carefully. The heat will loosen the grime so that you can scrub it off with the abrasive dryer sheet.

7. Dryer sheets boost the power of a handheld vacuum

If your handheld vacuum isn’t picking up grime like it used to, there may be static buildup in the canister, which prevents dirt particles from flowing freely. The fix: Cut off a thin strip of a dryer sheet and suck it up with the vacuum. After a few seconds, turn off the machine and empty the canister. The dryer sheet will neutralize static to boost your vac’s dust-busting power.

8. They make electronic screens dust-proof

You clean your tablet regularly, but a new layer of dust seems to take only a short time to settle. To minimize buildup, gently wipe the screen with a dryer sheet. The sheets eliminate the static that attracts dust, and they leave behind a layer of silicone that helps decrease the screen’s natural charge, says cleaning pro Allen Rathey, director of The Indoor Health Council.

9. Dryer sheets evaporate shoe odor overnight

pair of sneakers on yellow backdrop: genius uses for dryer shoots
Marina Cavusoglu/Getty Images

After getting caught in a rainstorm, your trusty sneakers smelled funky. The save: Place a dryer sheet on the toe of each shoe and let sit overnight. The sheets’ porous fibers will absorb moisture and odors. The upshot: fresh sneakers by morning!

10. Dryer sheets banish smudges from sunglasses

After a fun day outside, your favorite sunglasses are covered with smudges and fingerprints. Instead of using a tissue that leaves a trail of lint behind, try wiping the lenses with a used dryer sheet. The woven material dislodges grease and grime without scratching the lenses. Bonus: Stashing the sheet in your handbag freshens it up, too!

11. They ward off spots on chrome fixtures

sparkling clean chrome faucet: Genius uses for dryer sheets
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

To ward off fingerprints and water spots on freshly cleaned chrome, buff them with a dryer sheet. The sheet leaves a waxy residue that repels water and oil, keeping your fixtures spotless.

12. Dryer sheets sweep up spills effortlessly

Oops! While whipping up cupcakes for the church bake sale, you spill flour on your counter; instead of cleaning the mess with a paper towel, which won’t pick up all the powder, wipe the counter with a dryer sheet. The tightly woven fibers in the sheet will capture all the tiny particles.

13. They erase dust on baseboards and blinds

Don’t waste your money on expensive cleaning products, just grab some dryer sheets (new or used) and run them over baseboards and the slats of your blinds. The sheet’s anti-static properties repel dust and make cleaning a breeze. Click through for even more on baseboard cleaning and watch Youtuber Kirsten Allen put this trick to the test!

14. Dryer sheets send pests packing

The last guests you want at your outdoor gathering are wasps and other pesky bugs. Thankfully, Jeff Yeager, author of Don’t Throw That Away! and host of the weekly YouTube series The Cheap Life, has the perfect solution: “Hang a used dryer sheet near an outdoor lighting fixture,” he suggests. “The heat from the bulb will slowly diffuse the chemicals in the dryer sheet, keeping pests off the guest list of your next backyard get-together!”

15. They eliminate stuck-on food from dishes

Your tuna casserole was a hit at dinner, but your favorite pan is covered in caked-on food. The no-scrub trick to get it clean: Fill the dish with hot water and lay a dryer sheet on top, then let it soak overnight. Softening agents in the sheet will break down the stuck-on food bits while you sleep. In the morning, simply dump out the water and wash the dish as usual.  

16. Dryer sheets fight hair frizz

dryer sheet over a hairbrush–genius uses for dryer sheets

While getting ready, you notice your hair is a lot frizzer than normal.  To tame it fast, place a dryer sheet over the bristles of your hairbrush and run it through your hair like normal. Surfectants and oils in the sheets coat the hair to weigh it down and nix the frizz and static almost instantly.

17. They keep mice out of any space

No poisons or traps are needed to stop unwanted critters from popping up in your garage or basement. Instead, stuff a scented dryer sheet into any openings where the pests seem to enter your home. The intense fragrance of the sheets will deter the mice, so they’ll steer clear.

For more brilliant life hacks, click through the links below!

What to Do With Used Tea Bags: 14 Brilliant Uses That Save You Time and Money

11 Brilliant Uses for Bundt Pans

15 Brilliant Uses for Paper Clips — They’re More Handy Than You Know

14 Brilliant Uses for Orphan Socks — From Dusting Floors to Stopping Umbrella Drips

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