Everyday Cheapskate: Dryer Sheets Can Be Used In Ways That Have Nothing To Do With, You Know, Real Dryers | Tips

Apparently, I learn slowly. I can’t think of another reason why it took years to associate my sons and husband’s itchy skin issues with the dryer sheets I used.

Although we didn’t experience the respiratory issues often associated with fabric softeners, there is credible medical evidence that fragrances and additives in laundry products can also cause respiratory issues in some people.

One would expect that such a life-impacting revelation (all skin problems went away once I stopped using fabric softeners or dryer sheets) would have banished those pesky sheets from our house. But this is not true.

Dryer sheets have many other uses around the home – indoors, outdoors, in the garage. I keep a box of unscented dryer sheets handy for many other uses. (Even unscented, dryer sheets are a problem for my family when used in the dryer with clothes, sheets, and towels).

A used dryer sheet is ideal for many of the following applications. However, if you, like me, don’t end up with used sheets from the dryer, simply soak a new sheet in water and then wring it out. Most of the time you want the sheet to be wet anyway. Caution: If you are sensitive to dryer sheets, be sure to wear rubber or latex gloves when handling a new sheet.

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SPIDERS, FLIES. Many of our readers have confirmed that dryer sheets repel both spiders and flies. Keep a few extra sheets in the laundry baskets and around the laundry room and you can say goodbye to all those spiders.

LUGGAGE. Slip a dryer sheet into your suitcases while they’re in storage and they won’t smell musty when you take them out for use.

Repel insects. Whenever you’re outside, whether it’s playing, gardening, hiking, or just having a picnic in the park, consider slipping a dryer sheet into your back pocket. Research has shown that a few chemical compounds commonly found in bed sheets (linalool* and beta-citronellol) deter midges and mosquitoes from hanging around, making it a reasonable and easier-to-use alternative to insect repellent. to vaporize.

*Linalool is found naturally in lavender and basil, which cosmetics and perfume companies use in their products for its floral scent. Linalool is toxic to certain types of insects. Beta-citronellol is found in lemongrass and repels mosquitoes.

Repel deer. There are reports that new dryer sheets, when cut into one-inch strips and tied to the tip of greenery or in trees, will repel plant-munching deer. I would really (!) love for reader reports to confirm or deny.

BLINDS. Wipe down your blinds with a dryer sheet to avoid static electricity and prevent dust from building up. Grab this dryer sheet with a pair of kitchen tongs and use it to quickly go over each slat. It’s quick, easy and even picks up dust.

SOLE. Remove grime from the bottom of an iron. On the low setting, rub the iron over the dryer sheet until the residue is gone, and you’re left with a spotless sole.

SCREEN CLEANER. Dryer sheets are great for dusting and cleaning TV and computer screens. Not only will they clean screens, but the anti-static properties will also teach screens to repel rather than attract dust. Dryer sheets are designed to reduce static electricity, so they pick up dust and help prevent it from settling back on TV and computer screens.

STINKY SHOES. Boots, sneakers, and tennis shoes can get very smelly. Put a leaf in each of your pairs that smell less than fresh, then place them in a plastic bag. Tie it closed. In the morning, your shoes will smell so much better. For children’s shoes or women’s pumps, you can cut each sheet in half and still get great results.

TAPS. Used dryer sheets make great rags for a quick shine in the bathroom and kitchen. Just use one on each of your chrome faucets and enjoy the shine.

FAN BLADES. There’s nothing like static electricity to turn a fan blade into a dust magnet. But it’s no match for a dryer sheet. Simply take one of these gems and wipe down the blade to remove dust, pet hair, and cobwebs as well.

Mary Hunt, founder of www.EverydayCheapskate.com, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Submit comments, advice or questions on its website. She will respond to topics of general interest through this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.