Don't throw dryer sheets away -- here are 45 different ways to use them

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I've been using dryer sheets in my laundry for years. And unsurprisingly, I'd throw them away once I was done.

But it turns out I might have been losing out on hundreds of dollars in savings by not re-purposing those same used dryer sheets into Swifter pads, dusters, bathroom cleaners, and more.

From cleaning oven racks overnight to warding off insects, keep reading to see the 45 things you can do with dryer sheets.

OUTDOORS

bugs on car stained
michaelrighi/Flickr

Clean bugs off from of car: Take a used or new dryer sheet and get it wet. Wring it out and wipe down your car — the bugs will just slough off without ruining your paint job.

Ward off bugs: Turns out, there's actually some science to back up this old wives tale, according to Smithsonian Magazine. If you keep a dryer sheet in your pocket, it will keep away bugs because it has both linalool, a toxin that is found in lavender and basil, as well as beta-citronella, which is used to repel mosquitoes.

Start a fire: You can use any old dryer sheets you have lying around as kindling to start a fire — plus, it will smell pretty good, too.

Freshen your car: Keep an open box of dryer sheets in your car. The sheets will make your call smell like laundry for well over three months, and if you ever need a freshness pick up, you can rub a sheet on your clothes.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE

static hair
uncoolbob/Flickr

De-static hair: If your hair is static-y because of the weather or lack of humidity, wipe down your brushes and combs with a dryer sheet as well as use the sheet to smooth away any fly-aways.

Deodorant marks: If you get any deodorant marks on your shirt, take a used dryer sheet and crumple it into a ball and rub the fabric with short, quick strokes. This should erase any marks.

Get rid of static cling: If your dress or shirt are sticking to you because of static, rub the underside of the shirt as well as your body with a dryer sheet.

Take off glitter nail polish: Glitter polish on your nails is fun, but the glitter can be extremely hard to get off. Dryer sheets soaked in nail polish remover will easily help you remove glitter nail polish with minimal scrubbing.

DEODORIZING

vacuuming vacuum cleaning
nicola.albertini/Flickr​

Vacuum cleaner bag: If your vacuum is starting to have a weird smell or you just want your entire home to smell like laundry, place a dryer sheet inside the vacuum bag. It will deodorize any musk and make each room smell amazing.

Keeps clothes fresh while traveling: Place a dryer sheet in your suitcase — it will keep you clothes smelling amazing and fresh, no matter how long it takes you to reach your destination.

Deodorize shoes: Stick balled up dryer sheets in shoes to get rid of any unwanted smells. They'll neutralize and even improve odors overnight.

Deodorize dirty clothes: Place a dryer sheet at the bottom of your hamper to keep your dirty clothes from stinking up your room. Even a single sheet goes a long way.

Freshen a room: If you have an air conditioner, you can place a dryer sheet on top of the filter. It will stay put even without any tape and will make your entire room smell amazing. You can do the same thing by taping a dryer sheet to any heating or air conditioning vent in the home, too.

Deodorize a diaper bag: Keep your diaper bag smelling fresh by placing a few strategic dryer sheets in the pockets. If you roll up a dirty diaper, stick another dryer sheet in there to help with any odor.

Make books smell fresh: Most people love the smell of books, but if your books are smelling too moldy for your taste, stick a dryer sheet within the pages. It also makes a handy bookmark.

Freshen your pillowcase: To keep you sheets smelling fresh for longer, stick a dryer sheet inside your pillow cases as well as under your sheets between the mattress.

Keep drawers smelling good: Throw a few dryer sheets in your drawers or closet before adding back in your clothes. Your shirts and pants will smell amazing, even if they sit in there for months.

Hide inside the toilet paper roll: Stick a rolled up dryer sheet inside your toilet paper roll. Every time the roll spins, there will be a burst of scent.

DIY smoke freshener: If you smoke, you can blow it through a toilet paper tube with a dryer sheet attached on one end secured with a rubber band. This will go a long way towards keeping your room from smelling like smoke.

Keep storage items smelling fresh: When you pack anything like camping gear or winter clothes away, throw in a dryer sheet to keep them smelling great until you need them again.

Remove hard-to-get-rid-of odors: If you have any really offensive odors that you just can't get rid of (think vomit stains or worse), place a few dryer sheets on the area and sprinkle with coffee grounds. Leave it over night, and it should smell like new by morning.

CLEANING

paint brushes
ollily/Flickr

Clean paint brushes: Place dirty paintbrushes in a sink full of warm water and add a dryer sheet. Wait a few hours or overnight before washing off the paint. You'll find it very easy to remove.

Soak and scrub greasy pans: If there's baked on gunk on any of your pots or pans, take a page out of Martha Stewart's book and soak them with a dryer sheet and warm weather. Let it sit over night and in the morning, all the baked on crud will easily come off.

Remove soap scum from shower doors: If you have some dryer sheets lying around, use them to power through soap residue. They'll even suds up a bit and make your bathroom smell amazing.

Clean oven racks: Oven racks accumulate grime like crazy. To clean yours once and for all, gather dryer sheets and a dash of dish soap in a bathtub filled with hot water. Let it sit over night with your oven racks and you'll be astounded how easily the grease comes off.

Clean your laundry room: After you're done with your laundry, wipe down the dryer and lint tray with the used dryer sheet. Since they're good at collecting dust and hair, they'll pick up extra particles.

Clean chrome: A wet dryer sheet can clean your bathroom and kitchen chrome extremely well. It also works on car bumpers, too.

Wipe away spilled dry goods: If flour or powders spill, take a used dryer sheet and clean it up. The sheets are great at capturing small particles and will do a better job than a paper towel.

Wash hair brushes: If your hair brushes are looking a little worse for the wear, soak them in warm water with a few dryer sheets. They'll come out looking like new.

Toilet ring cleaner: Take your used dryer sheets and use them to scrub the inside of your toilet. The ring will be gone in one swipe.

Clean your iron: Every once in a while, you need to clean the bottom of your iron from any residue. Set your iron on a low setting and run it over a dryer sheet for a few minutes or until the grime comes off and onto the dryer sheet.

Clean scissor blades: Clean your scissors without dulling the blades by wiping them with a dryer sheet — it will remove all the dust and dirt that can dull your scissors over time.

DUSTING

smudges on glasses dirty
Darren W/Flickr

Clean smudges from glasses: Rubbing your glasses with dryer sheets will clean off any unwanted smudges in a pinch.

Swifter alternative: Use your used dryer sheets as Swiffer pad alternatives. They'll pick up a comparable amount of dust and crud off your floors and are actually much cheaper.

Wipe down window blinds: Blinds are hard to clean, but over time they will collect a lot of dust. Wipe them down with a used dryer sheet to remove excess dirt.

Pet hair removal: If you find yourself covered in pet fur, rub a used dryer sheet all over — the dryer sheet will catch all the hair and also take away any lingering animal scent.

All household dusting: Take any used dryer sheet and use it to dust around the house, from your TV and computer screen to your mantle. It's extremely effective at trapping hair and dust.

Clean baseboards: Baseboards collect a lot of grime over time. Run a dryer sheet along your baseboard every few weeks to pick up unwanted hair and dust and keep it from coming back.

MISCELLANEOUS

new tennis shoes running shoes
m01229/Flickr

De-squeak new shoes: If your brand new shoes are squeaking too much, rub them with a dryer sheet on the bottom. No more squeaking.

Add texture to cards: If you're crafty and have used dryer sheets hanging around, you can DIY a textured card by pasting a dryer sheet on top of the card of your choice. See instructions and a few options here.

DIY scented sachet: Make a pretty sachet for storing lavender or other scents inside a dryer sheet. The combination of dryer sheets with the lavender smells amazing and is the perfect addition to drawers or closets.

DIY flowers: There's a DIY project that turns tea-stained dryer sheets into roses. They'll still smell good and add some rustic charm to your home.

DIY coffee table Christmas tree: Make your own Christmas tree out of dryer sheets. All it takes is a Styrofoam cone, some tulle, and a bunch of used dryer sheets. Click here to see instructions.

Keep sewing thread from knotting: Keep thread from tangling or knotting while you sew by running a needle and thread through a dryer sheet before knotting. It will help de-static the thread and make sewing more seamless.

Tack cloth substitute: If you need a tack cloth in a pinch, substitute it for a dryer sheet. The sheet will also pick up spare lint and dust from any surface you're wiping down about as well as a tack cloth will.

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