Money-Saving Uses for Dryer Sheets Outside of the Laundry Room

by Reader Contributors

Money-Saving Uses for Dryer Sheets Outside of the Laundry Room photo

Dryer sheets are one of those things we’re always on the lookout for ways to save when buying them. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth by using dryer sheets to save in other ways around the house other than doing laundry.

Here at The Dollar Stretcher, we’ve always said our best money-saving ideas come from our readers. These dryer sheet tips are no exception.

Some frugal folks save money by not buying dryer sheets. There are plenty of ways to soften clothes and remove static without them. Whether you’re Team Dryer Sheet or Team Fabric Softener (or some other team!) when it comes to washing and drying your clothes, here are 29 money-saving uses for dryer sheets that have nothing to do with laundry.

Some of these tips call for new dryer sheets, but others allow you to get double-duty out of your used dryer sheets. See how many ways they can help you save or make some stubborn task easier.

No More Gym Bag Smell

If you have a smelly gym bag, you don’t need to buy expensive odor removers. Just put an unused dryer sheet into your gym bag. You’ll have no more sweaty smell!

Keep Holiday Decorations Fresh With Dryer Sheets

We decorate for every holiday, which gives us a lot of stuff to store. We keep these decorations in plastic storage bins and some things in heavy-duty black garbage bags. Because we don’t have a storage attic or full-size basement, we keep everything in the crawlspace.

The problem is that it can get damp down there. When we brought the decorations out, there would always be some kind of mildew problem, especially on the decorations that were made of fabric. And the problem wasn’t only the removal of the mildew but the smell as well.

A few years ago, it occurred to me to put one or two unused dryer sheets in with the decorations for freshness. Well, I found out when we unpacked the following year that this not only keeps items relatively fresh but also the mildew attaches to the dryer sheets and not the decorations! Now I put a dryer sheet or two in every box and also in with our artificial tree.
Deborah in Peekskill, NY

Make Your Screens Shine

I use (unused) dryer sheets to clean the screens of my electronics, including my computer, TV, tablet, and phone. Computers and TVs especially collect dust since they are electronically charged. Dryer sheets can reduce this static and easily wipe away the dust and grime on your screens.

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Dryer Lint Camp Fire Starters

Everyone ends up with an abundance of dryer lint, used dryer sheets, and toilet paper rolls. I stuff the dryer lint and used dryer sheets into the empty toilet paper rolls (very tightly), and I have an instant fire starter for campfires.

You can also use tightly rolled newspaper inside the rolls if you don’t have enough dryer lint and sheets. This works for “kindling” every time for us when camping!
Patti N.

Dryer Sheet Auto Air Freshener

Instead of buying an air freshener for my car, I simply take a few unused fabric softener dryer sheets and tuck them under the car mats or in the side map pockets. They make the car smell fresh without being overpowering, and they are very inexpensive.
Laura G

Protecting Your RV With Dryer Sheets

As an owner of an RV and living in an area where we store it for winter, fabric dryer sheets keep rodents out of the RV – at least, it has been keeping them out of ours. It must camouflage potential treat aromas.

We put them in all the storage compartments, cupboards, etc. We gain the added benefit of a fresh-smelling RV in the spring.

Also, aluminum foil (or a small juice can) over the exhaust pipes of the engine and generator helps prevent the critter from getting in.

Auto Dead Bug Remover

If you live in an area where you tend to get a lot of dead bugs on your car, dampen a fresh or used dryer sheet and wipe down your windshield and grill of your vehicle. The dead bugs and dirt will simply wipe away.

Dryer Sheet Tool Care

My hubby is a diesel mechanic. He buys tools year-round, and they aren’t cheap! A friend told my husband that dryer sheets (any type) keep tools from rusting. He’s had this problem before and so he tried it.

He put dryer sheets into his toolboxes at work, on his truck and at home. No rust! Yes, it does work! We are not sure why, but he doesn’t care if they keep doing the job. He goes to the dollar store and buys them to save money!
Cindy in Wyoming

Dryer Sheet Spider Control

To get rid of spiders, put dryer sheets all around. I put Downy dryer sheets behind pictures and in places that don’t show. I started this about five years ago and haven’t had spiders since. About once a year, I replace them with fresh ones. Before doing this, I had spiders all over.

Bug Be Gone

Place a dryer sheet or two outside your outer door during the mosquito season. It really does help to keep them away.
Joann B.

Keep Sheets Fresh

Whenever I buy a set of sheets, I save the zippered plastic bag in which they come. This way, whenever I change sheets, I reach for one of the plastic zippered bags and have a fresh set.

I also put used dryer sheets in the bag after folding the sheet set and putting them in the bag. This keeps them smelling fresh. My closet is always in excellent order!

Dryer Sheet Fur Picker-Upper

I have two cats. They like to lounge on my cream-colored, upholstered dining room chairs. Figuring no one wants cat fur all over them when they come to dinner, I had to find a cure.

So when I do laundry, I also clean my chairs. I take each used dryer sheet and rub it all over the upholstery, back and forth and in circles. Most fur clings to the sheet, and the rest rolls up into a ball that you can just pick up and throw away. This is double-duty for a dryer sheet, so it costs nothing. I love it!
Dawn C.

Cheap Dryer Sheet Room Deodorizer

When my mom visited me at college, she was pleasantly surprised at how nice my room smelled and asked me about it. Because I’m a college student on a tight budget, I use dryer sheets tacked to the vent in my room.

When the air conditioning or heat comes on, it blows the dryer sheet and spreads a wonderful scent throughout my room. A box of dryer sheets costs a lot less than the expensive plug-in deodorizers that you buy at the store, and my room at college always smells great!
Elisabeth H.

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Dryer Sheets to the Rescue

To freshen your clothes easily, hang dryer sheets on every fifth hanger in your closet. You can also tuck them in your drawers. You can still use them in the dryer, or if they’re older, use them as dusting cloths. They’re great for computer monitor dusting.

Dryer Sheet Shower Scrubbers

The very best thing I have ever found to clean shower tile is used dryer sheets. I buy generic dryer sheets and cut them in half for the clothes dryer. After using them twice, I save the used sheets in an old tissue box. When it’s time to clean the bathrooms, I grab a handful of the sheets, and it polishes away soap scum with minimal effort. Try it!
Mary B. in NC

Cleaning Mini-Blinds With Dryer Sheets

I take a clean dryer sheet about once a month and run it over my mini-blinds. The dust doesn’t stick to the sheet but falls to the floor, where I can vacuum it up. Once a year, I take them outside and spray them with bathroom cleaner. After 30 minutes, I rinse them with the water hose. Instant clean with no scrubbing!

Dryer Sheets and House Plants

I put a dryer sheet in the bottom of my indoor potted plants. It prevents the dirt from falling out through the drainage holes in my pots and seems to keep bugs away. I used to have a problem getting bugs in my plants until I tried this.

Simple Baseboard Dust Buster

I have the easiest way to clean my baseboard (which I hate to do) – use a dryer sheet. No need to scrub or use any messy soap and water that may get the floor wet. With a dryer sheet, the dust just wipes right off.

Double Duty Dryer Sheets

I have a great use for used dryer sheets. Save the dryer sheets after using them for the next time you have a stuck-on mess. Examples: a baking dish, a meatloaf pan, a pot you burned something in on the stovetop. Fill the dish or pan with water, toss in a used dryer sheet, and let it soak overnight and the next day? No scrubbing!

This works like magic.

Sharpen Scissors

I don’t know why this works, but if you carefully run a dryer sheet against dull scissor blades, it can restore some of its sharpness. It can be enough to keep the scissors cutting cleaning until you can sharpen the scissors.

You can also cut several times through aluminum foil to sharpen up scissor blades.

Cleaning Crayon From Walls

When my son was young, he colored all over the walls with crayons. I was able to clean most of it off using a dryer sheet! I have also used them to remove other marks from my walls and furniture. It might not work for all marks, but give them a try the next time you notice a streak of something on a wall.

Beach Dryer Sheets

Do you love the beach but hate the sand you can’t seem to get off of everyone before you pile back into the car? Take a few dryer sheets with you. Wipes the sand right off easy-peasy.

Fresh-Smelling Summer Clothes Storage

When I’m storing my winter clothes, I put a dryer sheet in with them. They smell fresh and clean when I take them out of storage in the fall.

Don’t Take Any Static

In the winter, I often have a problem with static. My pants stick to my nylons. Instead of buying expensive static cling sprays, I just use a dryer sheet. Rub the dryer sheet on your nylons, and your pants will no longer stick to them! You can use the same dryer sheet over and over. I keep one in my desk drawer at work. An added benefit is that my drawer smells nice, too!
DeAnne W.

Remove Deodorant Marks With Dryer Sheets

Accidentally got deodorant on your shirt when getting dressing? Use an unscented dryer sheet — no need to wet it — and gently dab at the deodorant until it disappears.

A Cheaper Swiffer Cloth Alternative

I recently learned that Swiffer cloths are the exact same thing as an automatic dryer sheet – just without the slices in them. A Bounce or generic brand sheet fits the Swiffer sweeper perfectly at a much lower cost.
Jan H.

Clean That Chrome

I use dryer sheets to make all of my chrome fixtures on the bathrooms and kitchens. I can’t believe how well they shine after a little bit of dryer-sheet-care!

Sweet Smelling Slippers

My husband’s slippers always smell like, well, feet! So we put a used dryer sheet in each slipper and now they no longer smell!
Wendy D. in Boston, MA

Taming Fly-Away Hair

When my hair gets static-y, especially in the winter, I gently run a dryer sheet over my head. No more fly-aways!

Reviewed December 2023

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