When you’re doing your laundry, adding a dryer sheet can help make your clothes smell lavender-field-fresh. Not to mention, these genius inventions also keep your fabrics feeling soft and well-cared for. It’s a little luxury that makes a big difference!
Like any luxury, buying dryer sheets can also feel like a waste of money when they start to pile up in the trash. There’s good news, though! Dryer sheets have many other handy uses aside from one they’re marketed for. Check out these 20 surprising ways dryer sheets can really be put to use. They just may be your new household staple…
1. Repel rodents: Believe it or not, rodents cannot stand the smell of dryer sheets! If you’re trying to keep mice and rats at bay, just tuck a few scented dryer sheets in the spots in your home where they like to lurk.
2. Remove deodorant stains: There are few things more annoying than pulling on a clean shirt and accidentally covering it with your deodorant. Luckily, a few swipes with a dryer sheet should remove those powder marks in no time flat.
3. Clean your car: After driving long distances, the front of your car can look like a bug graveyard. Wipe it clean with a wet dryer sheet to rid yourself of all those guy guts without harming the nice finish on your ride.
4. Clean dry spills: Because of their fibers, dryer sheets are great for wiping up dry messes, like flour. The spill will have no problem adhering to the sheet and your mess will be gone with barely any effort!
5. Dusting: Dryer sheets weren’t made to dust your home, but they should have been! Not only can they clean up dust in a thrice, but they can also help keep dust from settling on surfaces for weeks at a time.
6. Sharpen scissors: Don’t waste a lot of money on an expensive knife-sharpening stone when dryer sheets work just as well—and they cost a fraction of what you’d pay otherwise! Just wipe your scissor blades (or other knives) carefully on the sheet.
7. Clean glass: If your computer screen is a mess or your TV screens are looking dingy, just wipe them down with dryer sheets. They will quickly and safely leave your screens clean and scratch-free to boot!
8. Remove pet hair: If you own a pet, then you know how much their fur can be the bane of your existence. To remove it from your clothes and couch cushions, simply swipe a dryer sheet over the area.
9. Scent filter: Do you notice a stale smell from your air conditioning or heating vents? That’s really easy to fix with dryer sheets. Just tuck one inside of the vent for fresh-smelling air in a snap!
10. Clean your toilet: If your toilet’s due for cleaning but you’re fresh out of toilet bowl cleaner, don’t worry. Simply drop two dryer sheets in your toilet instead. Let them sit a while, then remove and scrub for a pristine pot.
11. Swiffer refills: We all dread the moment we run out of Swiffer refills, but dryer sheets can help in a pinch. Strap on a few dryer sheets to your Swiffer sweeper and be amazed at how quickly and cleanly they pick up dirt!
12. Freshen shoes: Our shoes do us the great favor of protecting our feet every single day. Go ahead and return that favor by stuffing them with dryer sheets when you aren’t wearing them to help keep them smelling nice and fresh.
13. Remove burned food: This one is so good! If you left a pot on the stove too long and it has burned food stuck to it, ditch the sponge and try scrubbing with a dryer sheet instead. Watch all that burned-up gunk fall away.
14. Reduce frizz: If you struggle with little hairs that just can’t be tamed, try rubbing a dryer sheet over your brush before tackling your mane. You’ll be impressed by the silky smooth results!
15. Clean your lint trap: Even if you’ve already used your dryer sheets, you can do something with them that still makes them useful. Use old dryer sheets to help wipe clean the lint drawer in your dryer!
16. Clean your shower: Soap scum is such a tough thing to get rid of, but it doesn’t have to be! Just use a moist dryer sheet and watch that soap scum melt away. Your shower will be sparkling before you know it.
17. Freshen your car: Even if you keep your vehicle clean and tidy, you can still get stuck with weird odors from time to time. Tuck dryer sheets underneath the front seats and your car will smell just divine!
18. Keep luggage smelling fresh: After unpacking from a long trip, put a few dryer sheets in your empty luggage before storing it. That way it will have a pleasant scent when you open it up again for your next trip!
19. Freshen stuffed toys: Kids love to bring their plush stuffed toys everywhere—and sometimes they can get dirty and gross. Since most stuffed animals can only be spot-cleaned, simply rub their fur with a dryer sheet to wipe away any dirt.
20. Repel mosquitoes: Stuck with a serious case of bug bites after your last summer stroll? Next time, tuck a dryer sheet or two inside of your pockets or tie one to your belt; mosquitoes hate the scent!
Yup, handy as dryer sheets may be they aren’t the only household staple that can be put to use— salt’s utility can transcend our palate and our whole world. Turns out, there are plenty of uses for table salt that make it perfect for cleaning—and much more.
1. Clean a messy oven: Scrubbing off that baked-on grease in the oven can feel like hard labor. Make the job easier by dumping some salt on a fresh spill. It’ll soak up a ton of that grease and form an easy-to-wipe-away crust.
2. Stopping a fire: When barbecue flames start acting up or kitchen grease gets a little fresh, smother the flames with a healthy helping of salt. Liberally season the fire until it’s nothing but smoke and ash.
3. Remove stains from the coffee carafe: If sticking your coffee carafe into the dishwasher sounds like a recipe for shattered glass, try doing the cleaning deed with a little salt. Just fill the carafe with ice cubes and a quarter-cup of salt. Let it sit for half an hour, then rinse!
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4. Scrub away pan grease: Pots and pans accumulate grime and grease like you wouldn’t believe and it sometimes feels impossible to scrub it away. Salt can help! Coat the bottom of the pan, and then a few moments later, scrub it all away. (Just make sure it’s a metal pan and not a nonstick one.)
5. Brighten copper pots: Want an easier way to make your copper pots sparkle and shine? Simply add a tablespoon of salt to equal amounts of vinegar and flour to create the perfect natural pot buffer. Voila!
6. Keep apples and potatoes from browning: Oxidized apples might make your breakfast carbs just a little too sweet. Prevent browning by soaking your apples (or potatoes) in salt water. Just remember to wash ’em off before eating them!
7. Test egg freshness: Cracking open a rotten egg can really kill the mood. To avoid this, try putting two teaspoons of salt into a cup of water, then drop in an egg. If it sinks, you’re good to go. If it floats, though, trash it. That thing’s straight rotten!
8. Soak up dried eggs: If you were testing your eggs’ freshness and you dropped it one of them on the floor, have no fear. Sprinkle some salt on top and let it absorb for 20 minutes (if you can stand to let it sit that long). Then come back and wipe it away with ease.
9. Kill ants: Ants invading your kitchen? Let salt rain down upon them from the heavens. Or, you know, just sprinkle a little salt where they like to hang out and that should help deter ’em from coming back.
10. Shell nuts: Unless you have unbelievably powerful hands (you nutcracker, you!) cracking walnut or pecan shells can be a real hassle. Make the process easier by soaking any tough nuts in a bit of salt water first.
11. Remove soapy sink bubbles: Washing dishes with suds rising higher by the second can lead to spills or a lot of bubbly distractions to work around. A pinch of salt on rising suds will reduce the soap to a mere memory—and let you actually see your dishes.
12. Achieve higher peaks: When you whip egg whites and sugar, you tend to create a firm mixture with little curlicues called peaks—this is great for recipes like meringue. With a pinch of salt added to the whites, these peaks will rise higher in less time!
13. Deodorize cutting boards: Kitchen cutting boards can sometimes be neglected in the cleaning department, and when that happens, they start accumulating the flavors—and smells—of everything ever cut atop them. Thankfully, rubbing salt into the board with a lemon will take care of that!
14. Dissolve hand odors: After touching stuff literally all day long, your hands start accumulating some, well… smells. Ditch the soap and grab a handful of salt instead. Scrub with only the salt for a minute, then wash it away. Just like that: clean hands!
15. Eradicate shoe odors: If you think your shoes don’t stink, you’re either lying to yourself, need to see an ENT, or you’re ahead of the curve and already know that a pinch of salt and baking soda left in your shoes overnight takes care of any smell.
Himalayan Salt Factory / YouTube
16. Unclog the drain: Ready for a little elementary school throwback? Pour a quarter-cup of salt and a quarter-cup of baking soda down a clogged drain, then add a half-cup of vinegar. You just made a volcano that’ll force any gunk from the drain! Drano? More like no need-o.
Leslie Reichert / YouTube
17. Scrub the bathtub: Bathtub cleaning unfolds in three steps—dump chemicals, pass out from the chemical smell, then wake up in a daze and break your back scrubbing. Forget that! Put salt on a grapefruit for a natural scrubber that won’t knock you out.
18. Clean shower curtains: Often more neglected than kitchen cutting boards are shower curtains. Prevent your curtains from becoming mold hotspots by scrubbing them with salt water when they’re fresh out of the packaging.
19. Eliminate carpet stains: You klutz! There you go spilling wine on your off-white carpet again. Don’t panic. First, absorb the bulk of the spill with a sponge and then just unload a pile of salt on the spill. Let it sit—and absorb—for half a day and just wipe it away.
20. Invigorate your skin: Suck gunk right out of your pores by making a sort of paste by mixing warm water and a bit of salt. Gently rub that salty paste onto your face with little circular motions. Let it sit, then wash it away.
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