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17 Surprising Dryer Sheet Hacks to Use Around the House

Reviewed by Professional Cleaner Jennifer L. Betts
Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets keep your laundry smelling fresh and combat static cling, but dryer sheet uses go far beyond the laundry room. Learn some handy dryer sheet hacks that actually work so every part of your house and life can be fresh and clean.

1. Practice Sewing

If you're learning to sew or teaching kids to sew, a dryer sheet works great as a stand-in for fabric. Start with a used dryer sheet so it's not slippery to hold. The sheer quality of the dryer sheet makes it easy to see how your stitches look. The thinness of the sheet helps the needle move easily.

Working with a sewing machine

2. Clean a Glass Stovetop

Common cleaners and abrasive cloths or sponges can wreak havoc on your glass top stove. To remove minor burnt-on bits and keep your stovetop pristine, clean glass stovetops with dryer sheets.

  1. Make sure the stove top is turned off and cold.
  2. Place a new dryer sheet on top of the burnt food.
  3. Spray the dryer sheet with water until soaked and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Use the wet dryer sheet to scrub away the burnt food.
  5. Use dish soap and water to clean the area after the burnt part is removed.
Ceramic hob, induction hob cleaning

3. Remove Burnt-On Food From Pots and Pans

Just as dryer sheets help clean burnt bits on stovetops, they can help you clean a burnt pan in less time. Simply fill your cooled pot or pan with water and dish soap, then push the new dryer sheet into the solution. Let the pot or pan soak for one to two hours, then wash as usual.

4. Polish Stainless Steel

You don't need to buy fancy stainless steel cleaners or wipes to polish your stainless steel appliances, faucets, or car rims and hubcaps. Grab a new dryer sheet and scrub the stains away in a circular motion. To perform the final polish, wipe the dryer sheet in the direction of the grain.

Man cleaning refrigerator with disinfectant wipe

5. Dust Baseboards, Blinds and Ceiling Fans

The way dryer sheets absorb static makes them ideal for collecting dust. You can clean blinds, baseboards, and even ceiling fans by wiping them with new dryer sheets. If you dampen the dryer sheet, it helps the dust stick even more.

6. Remove Crayon Marks From Drywall

If your little Picasso decided to use the living room wall as a canvas, fear not! Rubbing a new or old dryer sheet over the crayon marks can help safely remove them from standard wall surfaces.

7. Clean a Hairbrush

From tangled hair to dust and hair product residue, hairbrushes get dirty fast. You can use this method for brushes and combs. If you use a big enough bowl, you can soak multiple brushes and combs at once. Because water can warp some materials, like wood, this process is best for plastic or other synthetic materials.

  1. Remove any loose hair or dirt from the brush first.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm water and submerge about two new dryer sheets.
  3. Submerge your brush in the water mixture and soak for two to three hours.
  4. Remove the brush and rinse thoroughly.
  5. Pat the brush dry with a towel or cloth, then let it dry naturally before using.

8. Clean Paintbrushes

Dried paint is tough to remove from paintbrushes, but dryer sheets can help. Soak your crusty paintbrushes in a solution of warm water and one or two dryer sheets for half an hour. Rinse the paintbrushes and watch the paint fall away.

9. Clean an Iron

You may not think about cleaning your iron, but gunk on the soleplate can transfer to your crisp, clean clothes. Use a low setting to iron a new dryer sheet like it's a piece of clothing. Any gunk on the iron should transfer to the dryer sheet.

10. Remove Deodorant Marks From Clothing

Dreaded deodorant marks can ruin an outfit. If you've got a dryer sheet on hand, simply rub the deodorant off your clothing with it. Your clothes will be streak-free and smell great.

11. Remove Glitter Nail Polish

Regular nail polish comes off easily with nail polish remover and a cotton ball, but polish with glitter in it can be a bigger challenge. Soak a dryer sheet in your nail polish remover and use it to wipe away textured nail polishes like those containing glitter.

Cleaning hands

12. Keep Hair Static Free

If your hairbrush has hard bristles, you can add a dryer sheet to help keep static aways with each stroke. Place the dryer sheet so it's centered on the brush. Press the dryer sheet firmly so all the bristles poke through it, then push the sheet to the bottom of the bristles.

13. Repel Mice

There is some debate about whether dryer sheets actually repel mice, but many RV and antique car owners swear by them. Mice don't like strong smells, so dryer sheets with strong scents can deter mice at least temporarily. You can hide some dryer sheets around those rooms that mice frequent or use them to safeguard your RV while it's stored for a couple months.

14. Repel Mosquitos

Dryer sheets may provide protection from some types of mosquitos. The science isn't conclusive, but many studies have found that certain dryer sheets do repel insects and mosquitos. Dryer sheets with linalool and beta-citronellol can repel many mosquitos for short periods of 20 minutes or so. If the feeling and the ingredients don't bother your skin, simply rub the dryer sheets on your exposed skin or hide a few in your pockets.

15. Line the Bottom of a Plant Pot

That little hole in the bottom of a plant pot is meant to let excess water drain, but it can also let out soil. Line the bottom of a plant pot with a used dryer sheet over the hole to let water escape, but not dirt.

16. Keep Odors Out of Shoes

One simple way to deodorize shoes or a shoe closet in your mudroom is to set out dryer sheets. Pack scrunched up dryer sheet balls into shoes or lay secure flat dryer sheets to the walls of your shoe closest. This method works best over the course of a couple days.

Sheep dryer balls

17. Provide a Fresh Room or Car Scent

An easy car cleaning hack is to slip new dryer sheets under the seats of your car to keep it smelling fresh. You can also put a dryer sheet on the back of a box fan or standard standing fan to freshen up a room. While the fan is on, the suction will hold the dryer sheet to the back of the fan and spread the scent out the front.

Dryer Sheets Are Your New Best Friend

There are endless dryer sheet hacks on blogs, websites, and YouTube channels. Use these hacks to inspire testing of other dryer sheet uses unique to your life.

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17 Surprising Dryer Sheet Hacks to Use Around the House