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I recently bought a sewing/embroidery machine and love to embroider on things that I make. The stabilizer is pretty expensive so I didn't buy any, instead I use dryer sheets. I save them after drying my clothes, iron them and then reuse them. If you need a stiffer stabilizer, use it before it has been dried with your clothes. It works great and makes your craft smell good!
By Wendy from Amarillo, TX
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.
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
Use dryer sheets to scrub the tub. Wet the tub down, and use an already used dryer sheet. For tough rings, you can use an unused sheet. It works so good.
Source: Killed a bug in the tub, and had dryer sheet in hand. I realized how good it worked.
When those pesky "love bugs" are all over your car and very hard to remove try using your dryer sheets, either new or used. They actually work. I tried it after a friend told me about it. Sure does save a lot of time and aching muscles.
Don't throw away your tumble dryer sheets after one use, just soak them in a little fabric conditioner, leave them to dry and you will be able to use them again and again!
This is another tip using fabric softener sheets. To get a better value from them, reuse them. A sheet can be used four times.
Re-use dryer sheets to take off your nail polish. Takes it off without leaving a mess like cotton balls or tissue paper.
Golfers put a dryer sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away. Use a dryer sheet to clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean.
Don't throw away your dryer sheets after you've used them, stick them in your linen cabinets, underwear drawer, or where ever you want to have a nice scent!
Used Bounce sheets from in your clothes dryer are excellent eye glass cleaners! Don't use new ones, only ones that have already been used.
This is how you or the kids get static electricity out of your hair in a pinch or spur of the moment. Take a half of sheet of clothes dryer fabric softener and rub it through the hair.
Instead of using glass cleaner to clean your television screen, and computer monitor, obtain a used dryer sheet. It will attract the dust automatically.
Save all used fabric softener dryer sheets to clean dirty hands and fingernails after gardening or other dirty jobs. Simply wet the sheet and gently scrub your hands.
Reuse your dryer sheets for cleaning candle holders. Just wipe the inside of jar or votive holders and the soot will wipe right off. Quick and fast!
I save my used dryer sheets and use them for various things. The other day I came up with a new idea - I placed about 3 of them in an empty 'Febreeze' spray bottle and filled it up with fresh water.
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Is there anything I can do with used fabric softener sheets?
Yes, used fabric softener sheets can be used in a couple ways. If you really want to get your moneys worth when you have about 10 sheets that are done in. Toss them in your laundry together and they will still do one more load. Another thing that is a little more practical is you can rub them on you skin and keep a sheet or two in pockets and they keep mosquitoes away. (That's what I usually do with them)
I throw them in my lingerie drawer; the scent lingers enough to give everything a fresh smell. Anywhere you could use a sachet, you can use a fabric softener sheet. The sheets are also good for dusting. They seem to attract dust ~ maybe because of the static? They leave a nice shine to wood surfaces as well.
Take a couple or more and wet them and use to clean surfaces as you would a wash cloth. They'll still be reusable for cleaning after that until they fall apart. ;-)
I save the ones I find (when I'm not in a hurry) and keep them in a container on the drier. Honestly, I end up throwing away more than I save but when I do save them I stuff a handful (five or so?) into purses, bags, duffel bags, suitcases, etc., that I'm not currently using. Seems to help keep these items from developing that stuffy, hasn't been used in a while smell, that some closeted items collect. Just be sure to keep them out of reach from the curious kids and pets! :-)
I use them for interfacing when sewing.
Down here in the South, we have lots of bugs (especially "love bugs" in May) which leave a mess on the front of our motorhome. Use several bunched up, used fabric softener sheets as a wash cloth (with water of course) on the dried bug splatter. Don't ask me why but it works.
After I take the weeks garbage to the curb, I drop a fabric sheet in the garbage pail before I put a clean bag in I do this for the small waste paper pails in the other rooms too. They smell good.
Please throw them away! Then, read my post on the dangerous chemicals in these things (and in fabric softeners, laundry detergents, and just about everything else).
You do not want to allow these chemicals to touch your skin. It's okay to be thrifty but it's not wise to re-use these things. Or use them to begin with, for that matter. There are much more worthwhile things to recycle, please don't waste thought or time on fabric softener sheets, they belong in the garbage, as toxic waste.
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!
I want to use dryer sheets to embroidery, are they toxic?
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
What are all the things you can do with a dryer sheet?
By Holly from Lancaster, WI
You can put a dryer sheet in your pocket and it will keep bugs away from you. (05/13/2010)
Hang them on an outside bush or tree, so the moose will be less likely to eat your shrubs and trees. (05/13/2010)
I have used them to stuff homemade pillows used in dog and cat beds. Then you can toss them in the laundry. They dry quickly, too. (05/14/2010)
By Sue Nugent
Clean paint brushes: Soak your used paintbrushes in warm water with a dryer sheet and that pesky latex paint will come off in under a minute. (05/14/2010)
Suntydt, what a clever idea. I never heard of one, but am going to try it! I put a dryer sheet in my suitcase when I pack for a trip to keep my clothes smelling nice and put them under the seats of my car to keep my car smelling good, too. Also, for a quick tip on wrinkled clothes, toss them in the dryer with one for a quick wrinkle release if no time to iron. (05/14/2010)
I use two of them on my Swiffer as a dust mop, so I only have to buy one product (that is the cheaper one) and still get two uses out of it. (05/14/2010)
I use dryer sheets to make my own "Febreze". Just put an unused dryer sheet into the spray bottle and let sit for couple of days and you have cheap homemade Febreze (05/14/2010)
I put a dryer sheet into my burned pots and let sit overnight and wipe out. Easier than scrubbing those burned pots and pans.
Also, I use dryer sheets for keeping bugs away. Stick one in your pocket with little bit hanging out and those bugs will leave you alone. (05/14/2010)
The best use of a dryer sheet I have ever tried, is to place one in a baking pan that has burnt on, stuck on "gunk" leave it overnight with water in the pan, as well, and in the morning the "gunk" glides off. It is terrific! (05/14/2010)
By Romi Sebald
Even after they've done their work in the dryer,
save them to clean the dryer vent of lint. They
work very well collecting every bit of the lint, then
just toss the lint in the yard for little birds to line
their nests with.
Used dryer sheets work great on dusty TV and
computer screens. There may be some screens
that we're not supposed to touch, but everything I
have is old so I can use them just fine.
If you have stinky feet, stuff a dryer sheet into
each sneaker or shoe and the shoes will smell
a lot nicer.
Keep fresh dryer sheets in the linen closet and
maybe one in your lingerie drawer. If I can find
dryer sheets which have a lavender fragrance, those
are the best of all.
If you have books that have gotten damp, dry them
out by placing used dryer sheets between pages.
Store books with fresh dryer sheets to retard mold.
Hope this helps. Julia in Boca Raton, FL
Going over a pets coat is supposed to keep them from feeling the static from thunder and lightning, also at the gas station keep one in your pocket to reduce static, but still touch the steel frame of the car before pumping gas. I like them after they are used because they don't have lint on them.
Here are some more uses:
By Robyn Fed
I put them inside my brother's shoes to control the stinkiness.
Put them in boxes and containers of items to be stored for awhile to control the stale odors that accumulated in them.
I don't use a mousepad and my mouse is wireless; I wipe down the hard surface of my desk with an used dryer sheet and it makes it easier to use my mouse. (05/15/2010)
Wet ones take bugs off of cars. Rub one on frizzy hair, poof all gone! Put in vacuum bags for fresh air when you clean. Keep one in bottom of trash cans, closets, luggage, etc. (06/04/2010)
What are some other uses for dryer sheets?
I keep my used dryer sheets in an empty Clorox Bleach Wipe container.
Extend the life of your dryer sheets. First they are extremely useful for cleaning the lint trap.
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.