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50 Ways to Reuse Dryer Sheets

By , February 21st, 2012 | 29 Comments »

dryer sheet close-up on jeans
I have to admit that I enjoy figuring out new ways to use things. I’ve never thought much of the lowly dryer sheet (sometimes referred to as a fabric softener sheet), but have come to learn that it can do a lot of wonderful things — even after it’s been used. You may be surprised at the wide variety of ways that used dryer sheets can be reused to still be useful even after doing a dryer run. I thought I might be able to discover 10 ways to reuse dryer sheets, but was surprised to find there were many more used than that. So before you throw that dryer sheet into the trash, see if any of the following 50 ways to reuse dryer sheets is one that makes sense for you.

It’s important to note that all of the following suggestions can be done with used dryer sheets. Because they have already gone through the dryer once, the fragrance they give off won’t be nearly as strong as new dryer sheets, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any fragrance at all (most will still retain quite a bit after a run through the dryer). Obviously, using new dryer sheets would defeat the purpose of coming up with ways to reuse them. If for some reason the used dryer sheets aren’t giving the fragrance that you desire, you can combine a few used dryer sheets together to create a stronger scent. It simply takes some experimenting on your part to see how many work best for you at the task you are trying to complete.

Since this is an article on ways to reuse and save money, the first step you probably want to take with your dryer sheets is to cut them in half while they are still new. Even half a sheet should adequately perform its duty in the dryer without any issues. If it doesn’t, you can go back to full sheets. If it does, you instantly save 50% on the cost of them since you only will have to use half as many dryer sheets as you did before. You may even want to experiment further to see if cutting them into thirds or fourths works for you and saves even more money.

If you are buying dryer sheets new consider getting them in bulk from an online retailer – you’ll save in gas costs and the time it takes you to get to the store and back. In this case, the Bounce Outdoor Fresh Dryer Sheets 320 Sheet Pack is a good value, as is the 240 pack of Gain Dryer Sheets. These both retail for under $15 bucks on Amazon.com. If you cut these in half you’ll have 640 and 480 sheets respectively.

While all of these reuses probably won’t apply to you, even if you find a few where you can use them, you have given something that you would have thrown away a new life. Here are 50 possible ways to reuse your old dryer sheets:

Use It Again

This tip is one that will depend a lot on how you prefer your clothes as to whether it makes sense for you. personally, I find that even after cutting a dryer sheet in half and using it once, I can use it a second time and still have my clothes come out fine (I don’t like my clothes overly soft although i do like them static free). An important thing to remember is that if your clothes come out with a lot of static cling without a dryer sheet, you are probably drying your clothes too long (and wasting energy) When I don’t over-dry clothes, the dryer sheet works fine a second time, but not nearly as well when I accidentally over-dry them. Experiment a few times and you will quickly be able to determine how many times you can use a dryer sheet and still be satisfied with its effectiveness.

Freshen Diaper Bag

Keeping a few used dryer sheets in your diaper bag makes a lot of sense. Not only will it help keep the diaper bag fresh, but if you’re ever in a situation where you need to change a diaper and there’s no place to immediately throw the diaper away, you can stick one of the dryer sheets into the diaper when you roll it up. This will help to minimize the smell until you have a chance to throw the diaper away.

Clean Paint Brushes

Used dryer sheets can be an effective way to clean paint brushes. Simply place the paintbrushes into a container with warm water and then place in a used dryer sheet. What can be a difficult time getting latex paint off of the brushes becomes amazingly simple, and the brushes should be clean within a few minutes.

Alternative Swiffer Mop Sheet

One of the most innovative and cost effective ways to reuse old dryer sheets is to take them out of the dryer and then use them on your Swiffer mop. The dryer sheets tend to be rather thin, so you may have to use a couple layers to make them more effective. Once on, they will pick up dirt, dust, and hair off the floor just as effectively as the sweeper mops do.

Create Art Pieces

Most people when looking at used dryer sheets can’t imagine that they could become something beautiful, but they can. With a little bit of work, they can be a wonderful medium used to create mix media art cloths or other art pieces. Don’t believe me? Take a look:

Make A Fire Starter

If you combine used dryer sheets with dryer lint, they can make an excellent fire starter. There are a number of ways these fire starter devices can be created, but one of the easiest is to take an old toilet paper or paper towel tube and fill it with the dryer sheets and lint. Once filled in the middle, fold the ends inward so that the contents are kept inside. You know have an instant fire starter. These work great in the fireplace or when building a camp fire.

Dust Your TV Screen

One of the nice benefits of dryer sheets are their anti-static properties which remain even after they have been used. because of this, they make for a wonderful way to remove dust and other particles from glass TV screens (do not use them if your TV screen is not glass). An added bonus is that using the dryer sheets will help to repel dust from the screen in the future.

Wipe Up Messes

Dryer sheets are an effective way to clean up many types of dry messes. For example, if you accidentally spill flour while baking in the kitchen, it can be difficult to clean it up because it it so fine. Dryer sheets seem to attract the flour making the clean-up that much easier. They can be used on many dry spills like this.

Refresh Shoes

If you have shoes that give off an odor that you aren’t particularly proud of, sticking used dryer sheets into the shoes after you wear them can help reduce the bad smell. While they may be less effective on really bad smelling shoes, they should eliminate or greatly reduce the odor of most mild shoe odor cases.

Keep Closets Smelling Fresh

If you want to keep the clothes hanging in your closet smelling fresh, simply add a few used dryer sheets to the closet. Instead of the clothes losing that fresh, newly dried fragrance, the used dryer sheets will have your clothes still smelling that way even after hanging in the closet for long periods of time.

Keep Clothes in Drawers Fresh

In the same way that dryer sheets will help the clothes in a closet to remain smelling fresh, you can also place used dryer sheets in the drawers of your dresser. Again, this will help all the clothes that are stored there to remain fresh and smell as if they have just come out of the dryer.

Freshen Up A Dirty Laundry Hamper

The reason that you have dirty clothes in your laundry hamper is because they need to be cleaned. Chances are that more than a few of them don’t smell all that great. By placing use dryer sheets into the laundry hamper after they have been used, this can help to reduce any smell emanating from the laundry until the dirty clothes in it can be washed.

Store In Luggage

The thing about luggage is that for many people it isn’t used very often. During those long absences between uses, luggage can begin to spell musty. By placing in a few used dryer sheets inside the pockets of any luggage you have, the luggage will remain smelling fresh until the next time you need to use it.

Create A Travel Barrier

Even better, the dryer sheets that you store in your luggage can then be used when you travel as a sort of scent barrier. Much like the laundry hamper, you will have a used clothes bag for all your dirty clothes when traveling. Place the dryer sheets into this dirty clothes bag to reduce smell and make sure that your clean clothes don’ take on the odor of the dirty clothes in the suitcase.

Keep Gym Bags Fresh

By far the best way to keep gym bags from smelling to to wash them regularly because they will absorb the smell and sweat from clothes placed in them over time. In between these washes, however, placing used dryer sheets into your gym bag can help keep the smell of the sweaty clothes to a minimum.

Make A Dress

While there are a lot of things that you may have imagined you could do with dryer sheets, creating a dress out of them probably didn’t cross your mind (it certainly didn’t cross mine). That didn’t stop someone from creating one. Seriously.

dryer sheet dress

Sewing Help

For those who enjoy sewing, one of the most frustrating aspects is when the sewing thread gets tangled. If you take a needle and thread and run it through a used dryer sheet, doing so will help to keep the thread from tangling or getting tied up in knots making sewing a lot more enjoyable. For this reason. it makes sense to put a used dryer sheet or two with your sewing kit.

Pet Hair Remover

If you have pets, you know that one of the constant battles is the large amounts of pet hair that accumulates all over the house. Use dryer sheets can help solve this problem. If you have pet hair on your clothes, you can swipe a used dryer sheet across them and it will pick up any pet hair on them. You can also use used dryer sheets on cloth furniture, and they will help capture any pet hair that has accumulated on it.

Computer Screen Cleaner

Any computers that has a glass screen is another good candidate to use use dryer sheets to clean it off. It’s important to remember that you do not want to use dryer sheets on non-glass screens as they can damage them. Used dryer sheets are also good to use to clean keyboards and clean out any tiny hairs and particles that have settled around the the keys.

Take Away the Musty Smell of Books and Magazines

Anyone who collect old books or magazines knows that many times when they’re picked up they’ll often come with a musty smell. There is an easy and effective way to get rid of this smell with used dryer sheets. Simply place a dryer sheet and the book (or magazine) inside a plastic bag and seal it shut for a few days. When you take the book out, it will smell as fresh as new and all the musty odor will have disappeared.

Vacuum Fresh

If you want to freshen up your house a bit, you can do so while you are vacuuming killing two birds with one stone. Place a used dryer sheet in the bag of your vacuum or where the air is released. As the air flows through the vacuum and is released back into the air, it will go through the dryer sheet and make the whole house smell like newly dried clothes. Just make sure that if you are doing this, you don’t place the dryer sheet anywhere where he has the potential to start a fire or clog the vacuum airflow.

Bug Repellant

Some people claim that dryer sheets make a wonderful bug repellent. Due to the chemicals in the dryer sheet, you definitely don’t want to rub the used dryer sheet directly on your skin. Instead, place a dryer sheet in a belt loop or sticking out of a pocket when you are outdoors and this can help to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects.

Clean Chrome

Used dryer sheets do an amazing job at cleaning and polishing chrome. You can use them to touch up and clean the chrome on your car or any other chrome that you may have around the house such as faucets, shower heads and other chrome trimming that you want to sparkle.

Remove Soap Scum

One of the best places to use dryer sheets is in your bathroom. If you have a glass shower door, shower tile. plastic shower curtain or ceramic sink that has developed a layer of soap scum, a used dryer sheet will clean this right up. Simply put a few drops of water onto the dryer sheet and you should be able to easily rub away all the soap scum with little effort.

Car Deodorizer

There really is no need to buy any car deodorizers when you can use your old dryer sheets to get the exact same fresh smell effect. Place a few old dryer sheets in hidden places around the car such as under mats or in seat pockets to help your car retain a clean and fresh smell.

Clean Glass Lenses

If you wear glasses and you have glass lenses, you can use the dryer sheet to clean them (if your lenses aren’t made of glass, don’t use dryer sheets as they can damage them). An added benefit is that the dryer sheets will help repel dust so that the glasses remain clean longer than if you simply wipe them off with a paper towel or other cloth.

Craft Flowers

Another craft that you can make out of old dryer sheets are flowers which can be used in a avariety of ways in your craft projects:

Hair Static Remover

If you ever find that you’re having one of those terrible static air days where your hair is flying all over the place, you can use an old dryer sheet to tame down your hair. Tucking one in your purse will not only help your purse remain fresh smelling, but you’ll also have it as an emergency hair static remover anytime that you need it throughout the day.

Furniture Dusting

Dryer sheets make wonderful dusters on wood furniture. Because of all the nooks and crannies that the dryer sheets have (see photo at top of article), they are wonderful for picking up dust and other particles that gather on wood furniture. Many people feel that they are one of the best tools for dusting, and you can use them with or without dusting spray.

Window & Blind Cleaner

Old dryer sheets are also wonderful for cleaning blinds and windows. Due to their anti-static properties, not only do you get the blinds and windows clean, you also help to prevent them from getting as dirty in the future. Since windows and blinds usually don’t get cleaned as often as they should, this can be a nice benefit.

Base Board Cleaner

One of the things that is always a problem, especially houses with pets, is trying to get all the dirt and dust that gathers in the corners by the baseboards in your house. If you use an old dryer sheet to clean all the baseboards, an added effect is that the dirt, dust and pet hair that gathers around them will be repelled away so that most of it ends up being an inch away from the baseboard. This makes it much easier when you’re mopping or vacuuming to get clean-up all the dust than if it was stuck close to the baseboard.

Scissor Cleaner

There are some people that swear that old dryer sheets are a great scissor cleaning tool. If your scissors aren’t cutting as well as they should be, a quick cleaning with an old dryer sheet may help refurbish them so that they cut clean again.

Removing Static Cling

This one should not come as a surprise. One of the main reasons that people use dryer sheets in the first place is to reduce and eliminate static cling in clothes. Even after they have run through the dryer, the used dryer sheets still retain this property. If you find that clothes have developed some static cling, you can lightly wipe the old dryer sheet over these clothes and it will get rid of any static that the clothes may have.

Work Area Cleaner

It may be strange to think about this considering that dryer sheets tend to appear to be fairly delicate, but they are a great item to keep around the garage workplace. If you do any type of wood work, old dryer sheets are great at picking up sawdust. Keep a stash where you do your work and you’ll always have them handy when you need to do a quick clean-up at your workstation.

Cleaning Cookware

One of the more unusual ways to use old dryer sheets is to clean off pots and pans that have well cooked food residue stuck to them. Fill the pots with warm water and then drop an old dryer sheet into the water. Leave the pots to soak overnight. The chemicals in the dryer sheet that help to soften clothes will loosen the baked on food particles on any pots or pans. if you do use this method, be sure to thoroughly rinse these cookware after you have finished because of these chemicals.

Cleaning The Dryer Lint Trap

For those of you who want to use the dryer sheets again, but don’t want to make much of an effort in doing so, there is a simple solution. Once you’re clothes finish drying, empty the lint trap. Once this is done, take the used dryer sheet to wipe out any hard-to-get lint that remains trapped inside the lint trap. You can also dust off the top of your dryer, and if you add a few drops of water, you can clean any soap residue that was left in the washer. By getting into this habit, your washer and dryer will always be sparkling clean, and you have reused the dryer sheet in an effective way without a whole lot of effort.

Removing Deodorant from Clothes

Some people claim that used dryer sheets are an effective way to remove the white deodorant dust that sometimes sticks to your close while you are dressing. Lightly swipe the sheet over any area of the clothes that has the white deodorant residue, and the dryer sheet should pick it right off the clothes.

Preventing Trash Odors

If you are one of those people who don’t take out your trash quite as often as you should, placing a used dryer sheet into the bottom of the trashcan can help to prevent food odors from filling the kitchen until you have a chance to take the trash out. It’s important to note that this odor prevention will not work on a long-term basis, but it should keep your garbage from smelling too badly in between trips to the garbage can outside.

Removing Bugs on Windshield

Anyone who has taken a long road trip knows that when you finally make it back home there is usually an abundance of bug splats on the car windshield. Old dryer sheets are an effective way to clean away these bug splats. Simply put a few drops of water on to the dryer sheet and you can scrub all those dead bugs away with little effort.


For those who enjoy doing scrapbook projects, used dryer sheets can be a wonderful way to add texture to a scrapbook. They also have the added benefit of making the scrapbook to smell fresh even when it is tucked away for long periods of time.

Keep Pillows Fresh

There has probably been a time when you have accidentally had a dryer sheet get into a pillow case while clothes were drying where it unknowingly remained after you had taken everything out. If this is ever happened to you, you also know that when this happens, you end up going to bed with an amazingly fresh smelling pillow every night. If you are one of those people who enjoy this fresh from the dryer smell, you can create it on purpose rather than by accident. Place a used dryer sheet into the pillowcase before putting over the pillow and every time you go to bed it will smell like the pillowcases has come straight out of the dryer.

Fresh Sleeping Bags

A wonderful way to help keep sleeping bags smelling fresh, and not like campfire smoke or dirty tents, is to place used dryer sheets into the sleeping bag each time you pack them away. This is especially effective for those who don’t use their sleeping bags very often, and helps keep the sleeping bag from developing a musty odor.

Fresh Smelling Tents

Just like sleeping bags, you can help to keep your camping tent smelling fresh by placing a few used dryer sheets into it every time you pack it away. This will ensure that the next time you use your tent it will smell fresh rather than smelling like all the old things which happened to get dragged into it on your last camping trip.

Crayon Remover

For those of you that have kids, some say old dryer sheets can be an effective way to get crayon marks off of wood furniture. if you try this, just be sure to be careful not to rub too hard because you don’t want to damage the wood.

Clean Hair Clippings

If you trim your hair from time to time in the bathroom, you know what a mess small hair droppings all over the sink area can make after you’re done. An old dryer sheet will easily wipe all those hair droppings away. It’s also effective in cleaning up any gunk that may have built up in the sink or on the countertop.

Bathroom Freshener

Old dryer sheets can be used as an effective bathroom freshener. Take the used dryer sheet and place it inside the toilet paper roll tube as it hands on the toilet paper dispenser. Every time that you pull sheets of toilet paper off the role, the roll will spin sending out some of the dryer sheet fresh scent into the bathroom.

Mattress Freshener

If you would like to have your bed smell fresh all the time, place some old dryer sheets onto the bed before you put down the mattress cover or the bottom sheet, whichever you prefer. This will give your whole bed that fresh dryer scent each and every night.

Repel Rodents

Apparently most rodents do not like the smell of dryer sheets. Because of this, you can use dryer sheets to keep squirrels, rats, mice, and any other small rodents away from areas where you don’t want them to be. This is especially effective if you have small spaces where these rodents tend to squeeze into. Simply place some old dryer sheets into these cracks and you should no longer have that rodent problem.

Office Cubicle Freshener

You don’t have to keep all your dryer sheets for use at home. If you want your office cubicle to the smell fresh, bring some of your old dryer sheets to work and place them in a inconspicuous places around your cubicle to keep it smelling fresh without having to go out and buy expensive air freshener.

(Photo courtesy of seannaber)

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  • trish says:

    Wow, this is quite a list! An even better strategy is to not use dryer sheets at all and save 100%. Or make your own with a washcloth and a fabric softener which cost very little to do.

  • John | Married (with Debt) says:

    I’m gonna try that as the deodorant remover. I hate when I get dressed and realized I’ve got a line of white on my shirt. I had no idea there were this many ways to reuse them.

  • Greenday says:

    I guess I need to stop throwing away my fabric softener sheets! I didn’t know there were this many ways to use the old fabric softener sheets. I can’t believe that someone made a dress out of them (and it actually looks good).

  • s says:

    waste of my time: especially the stupid video.

    • jen says:

      kinda lame that you would take the time to tell us all you think its a waste of time. obviously you have a lot of spare time on your hands to begin with…

  • rachelli says:

    great ideas!

  • giax says:

    You’ve found a lot of nice uses for them on your list – awesome. Many of those uses sound actually even better than the original use for them.
    I guess if I was ever given some dryer sheets to try, I’d use them for book or deodorizer, rather than use them for their original, intended use.
    I’ve read a number of times about the dryer sheets creating a thin layer on the dryer that could cause a lot of problems for the dryer later, here one article about it (but there are many more) – so for any alternatives for making the laundry dry softer and faster, try dryer balls (or tennis balls if you have those around instead)

  • Gail says:

    I don’t use them at all as I have one of those washer/dryer combos that the dryer dries clothes by dehumidifying them, so any clothes I do run through the dryer part don’t end up with static or need for softening and the rest I hang up to dry.I can’t stand the smell of them, so would never use them for what you have suggested as aroma items.

    However there is one use for them that I know that you missed. If you are sewing and need to make an applique with clean finished lines, sew the dryer sheet to the right side of the applique fabric along the design lines. Cut a small line in the dryer sheet enough that you can turn it inside out. Use a blunt point stick to smooth out the sewn sides and press with an iron. You will end up with an applique that has the edges finished and you can either hand sew it to your project or attach with machine stitching.

  • loser says:

    I usually use only 1/2 to 1/4 of a dryer sheet at a time. But I use my flat swiffer sheets many times over as they wash up well and can be used indefinitely.

  • A b says:

    Used. Ones are great to remove nail polish!

  • B D says:

    If you live in the south, they are great for removing lovebugs that have splattered on the front of your car. Just wet the car and scrub them off. It won’t hurt your paint job.

  • Stephanie says:

    I discovered after an ER trip, that I was allergic to dryer sheets. They are laden with chemicals – that is how they work. It should be a good clue given that it is a fairly effective rodent repellent. So, I stopped buying them. Guess what? If you take your clothing out when it is ‘just’ dry, you don’t get static. There are exceptions for certain types of fabrics, but for the most part, you could cut your usage down to one or zero loads a week using a dryer sheet. I haven’t used them (or Downy/Snuggle) in 8 years.

    • terry says:

      stephanie– what kind of rodents and what kind of dryer sheets? downy/snuggle? i don’t use them (and when i do i use 7th generation free & clear), but i do have mice and want to get rid of them humanely. i’ll try this is it works and doesn’t cause me to keel over from the smell of them.

  • J.J.Frankenfield says:

    Ive used fabric softner sheets for yrs but never knew all the add’l ways I could be using….BUT DO NOW!!! Very informative and hoping to try them all eventually!!!!!

  • desprate! says:

    will this help get the odor out of my couch?
    my new puppy had a poopy accident on my couch and i scrubbed it all out but it still smelt so i put some stain and odor remover on it but it just made it stink like horrible chemicals. what do yall think? do yall have any other recommendations?

    • Nate says:

      Try some fabreeze

    • Carol says:

      Lysol spray is the best for urine and “poopy” smells on carpeting and upholstery. First, clean with soap and water using a rag. Then spray on the Lysol. Alternately, you can use the liquid Lysol. This also works for baby “accidents”, including milky spit-ups.

    • al says:

      get some foley spray ….it deodorizes and takes out most stains, even ink. i get it at smart and final but pet stores have it to. it is really great for removing organic stuff….i buy a gallon. and put it in a smaller spray bottle.

  • JT says:

    It really worked well on soap scum on my glass shower doors…. 2 used dryer sheets and one paper towel to wipe away streaks. Amazing idea! Saved me so much time!

  • Joe Mullins says:

    I’ve used them to help repair rips in my favorite pieces of clothing that I will wear until the threads dissolve!
    just cut pieces of two-sided hemming tape to cover the rip with about a 1/2 inch extra on all sides of the rip; place a piece of use dryer sheet to cover the hemming tape and then iron. I put a pice of cotton cloth over the dryer sheet to prevent it from possibly sticking to the iron. It workied great on my jeans!

  • Alea says:

    I don’t use them because I read they cause damage to your dryer. Also they leave a film on your lint screen. So be sure to wash your lint screen now and then. This would all be great if you could use unused dryer sheets.

    • Ana says:

      I use inside one the clean and polish chrom in my house and on my car! As well as remove dead bugs of the front of my car and windshield!

  • Halima Crenshaw says:


  • egrodz says:

    When I use the prescription orthotics in my sneakers (instead of the manufacturer’s insert) my sneakers squeak! I’ve seen this happen with other people who have to wear orthotics, too. Cut a new or used dryer sheet the size of the insert. Place it between the bottom of the sneaker and the orthotic. Voila! no more squeaky sneakers!

  • Freddie says:

    How do I say it? This list is amazing!


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