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12 handy ways to use dryer sheets beyond laundry

by News7

Defunk your stinkiest things. PopSci

Most people know dryer sheets offer several benefits, such as softening clothes, reducing static cling, and providing a fresh scent. Here’s a fact that might make you pause: Some dryer sheets are made from synthetic polyester, which is not biodegradable. Every time you use one of those fragrant sheets, it ends up in a landfill. Fortunately, if you enjoy using dryer sheets and want to make the most of them, there are unexpected ways to use them that can transform your cleaning, maintenance, and personal grooming routines.

What are dryer sheets?

Dryer sheets are small sheets of fabric softener used in tumble dryers to soften clothes, reduce static cling, and add a pleasant fragrance. They are made from non-woven polyester and coated with a heat-activated softener compound. This compound often contains fatty molecules like stearic acid, which lubricate the fabric to reduce friction and static. How to use dryer sheets around the house

Dryer sheets can be used for more than softening clothes and reducing static. Used or unused dryer sheets have several alternative applications beyond their intended purpose.

Pet hair grabber

If you’re dealing with pet hair on your clothes and furniture, grab a used or unused dryer sheet to wipe away the hair effortlessly. This method will effectively remove the hair and leave your garments smelling fresh and clean. Give it a try next time you’re struggling with pesky pet hair.

Bathroom scrubber

Save used dryer sheets for quick and efficient bathroom cleaning. Their unique texture makes them superior to paper towels in picking up lint and dirt, leaving surfaces polished with minimal effort. Dryer sheets can effectively remove soap scum from shower doors and bathroom fixtures.

Food residue loosener

Dryer sheets can help remove food residue from pots, pans, dishes, and oven racks, making cleaning easier. Place an unused dryer sheet into a pot or pan with baked-on food and add hot water. Leave the pan to soak overnight. The silicone coating on the dryer sheet will help soften the food residue. The next day, the dryer sheet can wipe away the food. The textured polyester woven sheet will gently remove any traces of food without causing any damage to the finish of non-stick surfaces. 

Dust remover

Dryer sheets excel as dusters for electronics like televisions, laptops, gaming consoles, or any dusty surface in your home. They capture dust and lint and leave behind a protective barrier that reduces static electricity, keeping your surfaces cleaner for longer.

Cleaning pads replacer

Refill your Swiffer duster or push duster pad without buying new ones. Load the cleaning pad area with two used dryer sheets. This will offer an effective cleaning solution for your home and help you recycle in an environmentally conscious way. 

Deodorant stain eraser

To remove deodorant stains from clothing, gently rub a used dryer sheet on the affected areas. This method is highly effective as the dryer sheet lifts and eliminates the marks without harming the fabric.

Air freshener

Combat musty odors in your room by taping a new dryer sheet over the air conditioning grate. This will infuse a pleasant scent into the circulating air while preventing dust buildup for optimal air quality.

Scissor sharpener

Cutting through a dryer sheet is an easy and unconventional way to revive dull scissors. This method works by honing the edge of the scissors as they cut through the sheet, making them sharper. Take a dryer sheet, fold it a few times, and cut through it with dull scissors. You should notice an improvement in their sharpness after just a few cuts. 

Odor eliminator

You can quickly eliminate unpleasant odors in shoes and gym bags (or any smelly area) by placing a new dryer sheet in the smelly item overnight. The dryer sheet will absorb the lingering odors, leaving your musty items smelling fresh and clean by the next morning.

Flyaway hair tamer

Run a dryer sheet through your hair on low-humidity days to combat static-induced flyaways. With this simple trick, say goodbye to unruly hair.

Dry spill cleaner

A used dryer sheet is ideal for cleaning up dry spills like flour. The fibers attract and hold onto powdery substances, making cleanup a breeze.

Windshield cleaner

Use a moist dryer sheet to remove stubborn bugs on your windshield. Follow up with clean water for a spotless finish.

What safety concerns do dryer sheets pose? 

Despite their popularity for these benefits, dryer sheets also include various chemicals. They contain several chemicals, including benzyl acetate, linalool, ethanol, limonene, and pentane. Although these chemicals are considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they can cause itching or rashes in people with sensitive skin. Studies have shown that the added fragrances are the main reason for these adverse effects. While dryer sheets are not as harmful as some think, the fragrances in laundry products, including dryer sheets, are still being studied for their potential health risks.

Source : Popular Science

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