By Wendy from Amarillo, TX
Source: A friend
By Irene from Williston, FL
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.
These chemicals cause liver damage, hormone disruption, nervous system problems, 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 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.
Source: Natural News, Care2, and many other sites.
By Pixiedust7 from Wantagh, Long Island, NY
Ladies, keep one in your purse for "static moments." Rub the dryer sheet on the affected area (like when your skirt wants to cling to the back of your legs) and voila! Static begone!
One last use for old dryer sheets is using them to pack delicate items. When moving across the country, I wrapped a near-complete sand dollar with 2 dryer sheets to protect it. It was still in perfect condition when I unwrapped it.
By Natalie M. from Fairfax, VA
Is there anything I can do with used fabric softener sheets?
I save all my used fabric softener sheets and use them to dust. They are especially great for dusting your TV and computer screens. They hold onto the dust and you don't have to worry about static electricity!
When I am done with a load of laundry I take the used dryer sheet and throw it back into the dryer in case I need a touch up on an item of clothing. I lightly moisten the sheet and throw it in with the wrinkled item for about 2-3 minutes and it comes out neat and wrinkle free. The dryer sheet omits just enough moisture into the clothing item to release wrinkles and there is no long drying time. The absorbency of the left over sheet is a perfect quick fix.
To freshen up of an item that has been hanging in the closet for a while I use a NEW sheet, moisten it, and do the same procedure. The same nice results are achieved and adds a nice fresh laundered smell. After I have reused a dryer sheet once, I lightly wipe down the inside top of the washer tub edges and flush it away!
Source: My own discovery.
By Denise from Crescent City, CA
By Denice from PA
Extend the life of your dryer sheets. First they are extremely useful for cleaning the lint trap. Don't throw them away. Find a tightly sealed jar or container. Save all your used fabric sheets. Buy the smallest bottle of your favorite fabric softener. Collect all used sheets. Put them in your container. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of liquid softener and shake them up well. Toss in dryer. They will work every time. Reuse them over and over again. Add liquid softener as needed. When money is tight you will always have good smelling and soft clothes.
By Marlene from Upper Jay NY
By Rosa G.
I've found that used dryer sheets are good for getting static out of my hair. Also you can use strips of bounce dryer sheets to keep mosquitoes at bay, so I've heard. (02/21/2009)
I keep my used dryer sheets in an empty Clorox Bleach Wipe container. They come in extremely handy when you need to knock the dust off of baseboards or your car interior. They're also great for taking the dust off of mini blinds.
By April from Albany, GA
Read more ideas below.
By Mike from Yukon, OK
By Deb from SC
Also, tape a fresh one to the inside top of your mailbox, it gives a fresh scent each time opened, and leaves your mail smelling fresh and will deter insects from trying to build nest in and around your mailbox. When you are having an outside picnic or family reunion outside place one near the trash can, it will keep away the bees and flies. Put one inside you picnic basket or on your picnic table where you will be eating it keeps the flies at bay. (10/29/2007)
What are some other uses for dryer sheets?
By Holly from BC
What are all the things you can do with a dryer sheet?