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Alternate Uses for Dryer Sheets

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These strong smelling fabric sheets are not considered safe by all, but they can be useful for a variety of things. This guide is about alternate uses for dryer sheets.

February 18, 20170 found this helpful

A close up of a bee.

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Dryer sheets have many uses outside of the laundry room. This page features a tip about using dryer sheets to repel bees.



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September 10, 20109 found this helpful

Use a scented dryer sheet in your A/C intake to spread a nice scent all over the house. Just place one sheet on top of your filter. The air will pass through and distribute the scent through the duct work.

By kraftykaren from Mobile, AL

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September 24, 20110 found this helpful

@KraftyKaren This is a great idea & I used to do something similar with my canister vacuum cleaner until I discovered how bad these products are for my family's health & the environment. (Not to mention the headaches perfumes cause me).

Personally, I do not use fabric softeners liquid or sheets any more. But there are more environmentally friendly products out there MRS Meyers makes a dryer sheet http://www.mrsm  ena_Dryer_Sheets , her Lemon Verbena products smell wonderful. You can also just try adding some essential oils to a piece of cheese cloth or other thin fabric and get the same result. I put essential oils on cotton balls & put them in the vacuum & it masks the "dog" smell that my vacuum often has.

I apologize for the way other posters may come off on their comments, some people are very passionate about their opinions & that can come across as quite rude. Please don't let this stop you from sharing other thrifty ideas.

Thanks & God Bless, Trish in CT

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By 6 found this helpful
February 25, 2014

You've had a long day at the office and you are about to meet a client or attend a meeting and you need to freshen up. Don't reach for perfume or cologne, use a tumble dryer scented sheet and rub over your clothing. It will give you a nice subtle aroma and you won't offend people smelling of over-powering perfume. Keep a box in your office drawer at work.

Source: My own

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March 2, 20140 found this helpful

No! This is a very BAD idea, and below I am pasting a copy of feedback I have posted many times before:

Dryer Sheets Contain Toxic Chemicals

While it is great to be thrifty, there are certain things that should never be re-used. It amazes me how many tips are submitted for using or re-using dryer sheets (fabric softener sheets)! Unfortunately, dryer sheets are highly toxic, and trying to wring more uses out of them is dangerous, as well as going too far to be thrifty.

Please just throw the dryer sheets away! Dryer sheets contain loads of toxic, even carcinogenic, chemicals, such as benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, and chloroform, among others, some of which the manufacturers don't even have to reveal to the public! Some of these chemicals cause the softening, and others are used to perfume the sheets to give them their "lovely" aromas (which in my opinion, stink).

These chemicals cause liver damage, hormone disruption, respiratory and nervous system problems, allergies, cancer and other serious or chronic health problems. Adults should not expose themselves to these toxins, let alone their children or pets, who are prone to licking everything or putting things in their mouths - an even more direct and more toxic method of exposure than through the skin.

Any time you handle these sheets, whether doing laundry, putting them in lingerie drawers, using them for crafts, hanging them from a ceiling fan, or using them to wipe TVs, etc., you have these chemicals on your hands. You should NEVER touch your face, mouth, nose, or eyes after touching dryer sheets, and should wash your hands thoroughly after touching these things. Please do not use fabric softener sheets in A/C systems, behind fans, or in any similar way. The chemicals in those things are no joke; they're POISONS. You do NOT want to breathe them. Better not to use them at all.

Many of these chemicals are also present in other consumer products like dish and laundry detergents, soaps, air fresheners (especially deadly), shampoos, deodorants, creams, etc. There is a false assumption by the FDA and other regulatory agencies that these chemicals are safe and are not absorbed through the skin. However, this is wrong, as these chemicals can be found in the blood of nearly every citizen. This is how nicotine patches work, by absorption through the skin. If nicotine is absorbed through the skin, you can bet these other chemicals are, too.

You are exposed to them because your clothes are covered with these chemicals from the laundry detergent and fabric softeners (liquid or sheets), and you are absorbing them all through your skin. Add to this the chemicals from all the other products mentioned above. We have been exposing ourselves to a lot of dangerous stuff over the years, folks.

There are safer, more natural alternatives to these products. Many TF members have contributed tips for alternatives to dryer sheets or fabric softeners, such as white vinegar or Epsom salts in the rinse water, or dryer balls in the dryer. Please, please do not wipe your pets, their bedding, or anything else, with dryer sheets. Don't let your children suck on their chemically fabric softened "blankies".

Here are links to just two articles about dryer sheet chemicals; there are many more - just Google the words "dryer sheet toxic" in any order. Also check out articles on the chemicals in air fresheners - they're pretty scary.

http://www.natu  .com/002693.html  ic-softener.html

Source: Natural News, Care2, and many other sites.

By Pixiedust7 from Wantagh, Long Island, NY

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By 5 found this helpful
September 16, 2010

In my area, we have to throw food and regular trash in the same trash bag. I use a store brand dryer sheet (they are much less expensive), in the bottom of the kitchen trash basket, it really keeps the basket smelling fresh. I use half a sheet in our smaller, bathroom waste basket, that keeps the entire bathroom smelling sweet.

By junk02915 from Riverside, RI

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September 17, 20100 found this helpful

I also use discarded baby wipes. I discovered by accident that they will freshen the bathroom waste can for several hours. I use them to wash my eyes during allergy season. They have the same no tears formula as baby shampoo and a very pleasant scent.

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February 7, 2017

Cleaning a couch cushion with a dryer sheet.

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I use fresh dryer sheets and used ones to freshen up and dust with. I go over the upholstery and cushions with a spray of Lysol disinfectant and then air fluff the throw pillows and give them a rub with a dryer sheet. I use a dryer sheet to go over the upholstery. It picks up dust and leaves behind a nice soft scent.


By 2 found this helpful
April 21, 2008

To give the garbage can in the kitchen a fresh smell, tape a fabric softener sheet to the lid. Also tuck a fabric softener sheet in the toilet roll hole to freshen the bathroom.

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April 26, 20060 found this helpful

To help freshen your bathroom, clip a fabric softener sheet to your shower curtain and every time the humidity from the shower hits it, you should smell a slight waft of freshness. After 1-3 weeks, while in the shower, use the fabric softener sheet to scrub your shower walls -- it will help to cut the soap-scum buildup.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 20, 20100 found this helpful

What are some alternative uses for Bounce fabric sheets?

By S. Richard from Church Point, LA

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June 21, 20100 found this helpful

Bounce dryer sheets keep pests such as mice away, I use them around the camp site, this also works for ants. They also repel mosquitoes (just stick a sheet through a belt loop). Stick the sheets into your drawers or closets to keep things from smelling musty. You can use them to dust, as they are anti static they keep dust from resettling. If you are into hand sewing take the needle after you have threaded it and push it through a sheet of Bounce, it will keep the thread from tangling after stitches. :)

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

If you do machine appliqueing while sewing, it makes a good fabric underneath your work to keep it from puckering.

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February 5, 20110 found this helpful

Tuck a dryer sheet into your pants belt loop in the summer and mosquitoes will leave you alone.

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February 7, 20150 found this helpful

Here in Louisiana the Bounce sheets do not keep away mice or rats. They just go around it. If you have a cooking pot you can put a sheet covering the bottom after it is clean and rats, mice and roaches will not go in it. I did this at my camp by saltwater and my house in town.

You do have to change the sheets every couple months. I have friends with barns and they have tried every brand dryer sheet they could get their hands on and the critters just go around them. I put five tennis balls and 3 sheets of bounce with every load in my dryer and it is great. I do use the sheets for about five dryer loads and then I line all the bathroom trashcans with them. j

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By 0 found this helpful
November 11, 2010

I have been reading here about rubbing used dryer sheets on your dog to help get rid of loose hair. Would this work on cats as well or is there anything toxic in the sheets?

By Sharon from Mackinaw, IL

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

Dryer sheets contain silicone which pets ingest as they lick themselves. A good daily grooming will help control the hair.

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November 12, 20100 found this helpful

A clean rag, or even a paper towel, rinsed in warm water and wrung out, will accomplish the same thing as a dryer sheet, without the chemicals. As "takelababy" also suggested, daily grooming helps, too.

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November 12, 20100 found this helpful

Every time I see this thing about using dryer sheets on pets I write back, imploring people not to use them. They are full of toxic chemicals. We should not even be using them. I finally contributed a tip on this, which will hopefully appear in this newsletter soon. Pets lick themselves and will ingest these chemicals and can get sick and die. Humans absorb the chemicals through the skin. Please don't use dryer sheets on your pets or their bedding or toys!

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