This Common Laundry Item Has Way More Uses Than You Think

towels in basket with washing machine in background

There’s more than just dirty clothes in your laundry room. | humonia/iStock/Getty Images

You may not realize that the things you already have around the house perform multiple uses. For example: it’s possible to bake a lasagna in the dishwasher, and your food won’t even get wet.

But even if you’re not willing to take your chances on dishwasher dinner preparation, there are plenty of other clever, low cost tips for repurposing stuff you already have that solves problems you didn’t even know you were facing.

Ahead, we turn our focus to the ever-versatile dryer sheet. This laundry room staple does so much more than just keep your clothes from getting full of static. It turns out that dryer sheets deserve a spot in just about every room of your home, from the bedroom closet to the kitchen and everywhere in between.

1. Tame static in hair

Static electricity is created when loose electrons bounce from one item to another. Dryer sheets are great at preventing this static by balancing those loose electrons with positively-charged ions.

This same principle applies when you take off a winter hat only to find your hair standing on end. To eliminate those flyaway strands, simply swipe a dryer sheet across your mane to instantly calm wild hair.  To keep it from happening again, rub the dryer sheet inside your hat before you even put it on.

Next: This is a quick cleaning fix in the bathroom.

2. Wipe soap scum out of the shower

man in shower

They can clean multiple parts of your shower. | iStock/Getty Images

Dryer sheets are fantastic at removing tough water stains and soap scum, plus they can be used for glass cleaning, too. Simply add a few drops of water and start scrubbing! Keep a box of dryer sheets in your bathroom for quick touch ups as needed.

Next: This tip is invaluable for pet owners.

3. Refresh a stinky dog

Old English sheepdog

Just make sure they won’t irritate his skin. | radarreklama/iStock/Getty Images

Uh-oh — your dog went out in the rain again, and now the whole house smells funky. If you don’t have time to give Buddy a bath, quickly run a few dryer sheets over his fur to kill the odor in seconds.

Next: Take this tip to the beach with you.

4. Remove sand at the beach

beach in Aruba

The sand comes off like magic. | Nisangha/iStock/Getty Images

Dryer sheets work wonders to remove sand from your skin. Simply wipe down your sandy areas with a sheet and watch the sand fall off like magic. This trick is especially great for kids!

Next: Here’s how to make your room smell great.

5. Make a DIY room freshener

Fan in bedroom interior

Stick a dryer sheet to a fan for a quick room refresh. | Peshkova/iStock/Getty Images

Need to make your room smell good in a hurry? Make your own room diffuser for pennies.

For this hack, simply tape a dryer sheet to a box fan and turn it on high. Your room will smell amazing in a couple minutes.

Next: Make sure the dust doesn’t come back.

6. Clean dust from televisions and computers

hand pointing remote at TV

They attract dust from the screens. | Gpetric/iStock/Getty Images

Electronics naturally attract every dust particle in the room, which makes dusting them a real chore. The static absorbing properties of dryer sheets help to collect all the dust more easily than with a regular feather duster. Dusting with dryer sheets also helps to keep the dust from resettling on the electronics.

Next: This clever sewing trick will save you frustration.

7. Prevent tangled thread

needle and thread

They can help prevent knots. | Andrei Berezovskii/iStock/Getty Images

Run a needle and thread through a dryer sheet while you’re threading it to prevent knots.

Next: Save yourself from scrubbing with dryer sheets.

8. Clean a burnt pan

Hanging pots in kitchen

They basically clean your pans for you. | Berryspun/iStock/Getty Images

If you have baked on gunk in your pan or baking dish, try this trick from Apartment Therapy: put a dryer sheet in your pan with warm water and let it soak overnight. In the morning, the baked on bits will wipe right off.

Next: Here’s a surprising way to use dryer sheets in the kitchen.

9. Quickly clean dusty spills

pile of flour

Skip the broom, and reach for a dryer sheet. | AndreyGorulko/iStock/Getty Images

If you spill a bunch of flour or powder, skip the ineffective broom and go for a dryer sheet instead. The tiny particles will wipe up easily thanks to the positively-charged ions in the dryer sheet.

Next: You never knew dryer sheets could go here.

10. De-stink your sneakers

woman in blue sneakers

Place a few in your sneakers to freshen them. | MarinaZg/iStock/Getty Images

Scented dryer sheets are great for reducing odors just about anywhere you can think of. Place some in your gym bag, fold a few into your sneakers, line your sock drawer — they’re cheap, easy, and most importantly, effective.

Next: Make this place of your house shine with dryer sheets.

11. Buff chrome

Get those faucets shining. | iStock/Getty Images

Get your chrome to shine by rubbing it down with a dryer sheet. Showerheads, faucets, and even your car’s chrome can be cleaned this way.

Next: Take your dryer sheets to this unexpected place for a big impact.

12. Give your ride a fresh scent

woman driving

Stash a few dryer sheets in the car. | BrianAJackson

Forget those overpriced clip-on air fresheners — for just a few pennies, you can make your car smell divine by stashing a few dryer sheets in unexpected spots.

Next: You never knew dryer sheets could do this.

13. Keep bugs at bay

cat watching mouse

Many pests are repelled by the scent of dryer sheets. | fergregory/iStock/Getty Images

Bugs and other pests are naturally repelled by the odors in dryer sheets. Stick a few dryer sheets in the attic and basement to keep out mice, rats, and insects from your home. You can also use them in your camper when you’re closing it up for the season to deter mice from making a home there over the winter.

Next: Always add a dryer sheet in this stinky spot.

14. Keep garbage cans from stinking

Your garbage doesn’t have to smell. | iStock/Getty Images

Before adding a garbage bag, place a couple dryer sheets in the bottom of your trash can. Voila — no more stink!

Next: Dryer sheets help save money here.

15. Release static cling

woman in a knitted sweater

With cooler weather comes static in your clothes. |

Staticky clothes are just an unfortunate reality in winter. Instead of buying expensive spray cans of wrinkle release, rub your clothing down with dryer sheets to stop the static.

Next: Skip the vacuum and use a dryer sheet for quick cleaning here.

16. Remove dog hair from furniture

Woman holding cavalier dog on her lap

Clean up pet hair easily. | Banepx/iStock/Getty Images

Pet hair is naturally attracted to dryer sheets. Wipe down your furniture and clothing to quickly collect errant pet hairs.

Read more: Surprising Things You Should Never Put in the Dryer

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