Dryer sheets are an essential component of any laundry cycle, both for their antistatic properties and for their fresh aroma, but throwing dozens of them away every year seems like a waste. Fortunately, their life span doesn't have to end when the dryer's off-signal buzzes-whether you're at home, on the road, or dealing with a pest problem, recycling these little squares comes in handy in a wide variety of unexpected applications. Check out these creative alternative uses.
1. Use them for Dusting
The chemicals dryer sheets contain repel static electricity and thus make them ideal for picking up stray dust and pet hair from surfaces. Not only will the sheet collect existing dust, but it will also create an antistatic barrier that prevents additional dust from building up as quickly.
2. Let them Breakdown Food Stains on Pots and Pans
Next time you have stuck-on food, let a dryer sheet soak with your pots and pans. In a couple hours, the chemicals breakdown the food, making the rest of the scrubbing a piece of cake.
3. Wipe Down Your Bathroom
Wetting the sheets releases powerful cleaning chemicals that help you remove soap-scum buildup on tiles and glass--all with a streak-free finish.
4. Vacuum and Deodorize in One Step
Place a sheet inside your vacuum cleaner bag; as you vacuum, the aroma will fill and linger in the air in your home. Cleaning has never seemed so sweet!
5. Create Fresh Scents Everywhere from Your Home to Your Car
Say goodbye to over-powering scented sprays or pricey oil plug-ins! Dryer sheets can be your go-to odor eaters; all it takes is a little strategic placing. Tape a sheet over heating and air-conditioning vents inside your home, line your dresser drawers with a few, or wrap a square around the rolling pin on your toilet paper holder. Store used dryer sheets in your diaper bag, empty luggage, and camping gear, or in the toes of your shoes. For pet owners, give Fido a rub down with a sheet before letting him in the house, or place a few around the litter box. Soon, your clothes won't be the only clean, sweet-smelling items in your house; everything from your floors to your pets to your running shoes will be positively glistening and radiating enticing scents-without a single static electron in sight, to boot. As for that outdated, tacky pine tree dangling from your review mirror? Lose it-you can achieve the same deodorizing effect in your car's interior by placing a dryer sheet under each seat.
6. Control Pests
Forgo hiring a pricey exterminator-a dryer sheet's aroma helps repel a plethora of pesky creatures. If you have an ant problem, lay a dryer sheet down in front of their entry point. For furry, four-legged vermin, spread dryer sheets around the foundation of your home, plugging any holes large enough for animals to squeeze through. During mosquito season, tie a dryer sheet around your belt loop.
7. Keep Your Car's Chrome Gleaming
Rubbing down your car's chrome with a dryer sheet creates shine without the streaks. The chemicals in the sheets help remove bird and bug droppings without hurting your paint-job.
More from DivineCaroline
18 Surprising Uses for the Dishwasher
7 Subtle Signs You're Healthier Than You Think
6 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Fall
5 Workouts to Boost Your Sex Life
The Ugly Truth About Beauty Ads
11 Things We'd Rather Have Than Sex