15 Ways to Use Dryer Sheets Around the House

person using a dryer sheet on a sofa

​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

Dryer sheets aren't just for laundry anymore! Of course, the main purpose of dryer sheets is that they add a bit of softness and help reduce static in fabrics when tossed in the dryer, but they can do much, much more.

There are two types of dryer sheet formats on market shelves. One is manufactured with a polyester substrate non-woven base, and the other has a cellulose base that can be recycled as a paper product. Both are coated with silicone-based fabric softeners that transfer to your clothes when activated by heat. The polyester-based sheets are best for scrubbing and pet hair removal.

Dryer sheets can be found in scented and unscented varieties. Pick your favorite scent for the freshening hacks. You can use the unscented varieties for other tasks. Price is not a factor so grab a box of the bargain brands for household tasks.

Some environmental groups have raised concerns about fragranced laundry products as research has shown they can lead to adverse health effects especially in vulnerable individuals. If you are concerned about your dryer sheets, we suggest switching to unscented or all-natural products as an alternative. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can assist you in searching products that meet their Safer Choice Standard.

  • 01 of 15

    Scrub Away Stuck-on Food from Pots and Pans

    using dryer sheets to scrub pots and pans

    The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    If you have baked-on or stuck-on food in a pot or pan, place an unused non-woven polyester dryer sheet in the pan and fill it with hot water. Allow the pan to soak overnight. The silicone coating on the dryer sheet will help soften the food. The next morning, use the dryer sheet to wipe away the food. The slight texture of the polyester woven sheet will remove the traces of food and won't harm the finish of non-stick surfaces.

    Finish the task by washing the pot or pan with dishwashing detergent and hot water to remove any remaining residue.

  • 02 of 15

    Calm Your Pet During a Storm

    pet dog on a bed

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

    Rubbing your pet's coat with an unscented, plant-based dryer sheet will help calm him during electrical storms by reducing static electricity that can cause his hair to stand on end. Since most animals lick their own fur, stay away from dryer sheets that contain ingredients that can be toxic to your pet and stick to unscented dryer sheets.

  • 03 of 15

    Lift Away Pet Hair from Clothes and Furniture

    cat on a sofa

    ​The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    The same properties that allow dryer sheets to reduce static in the dryer will remove pet hair from clothes and furniture. Just rub the sheet over the fabric to loosen the hair. Follow up with a lint roller or clothes brush.

    The dryer sheet can be new or used. Used dryer sheets can be dampened slightly to remove dust and hair from ceiling fan blades, shelves, books, window screens, and even large leaves on indoor plants.

  • 04 of 15

    Freshen Stinky Shoes and Quiet Squeaky Soles

    putting dryer sheets in smelly shoes

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

    Tennis shoes can get really dirty and really smelly. Add a dryer sheet to shoes and boots that have gotten a little too ripe. For kids' shoes or ladies' pumps, you can cut each sheet in half and still get great results.

    Squeaky shoes driving you crazy? Dryer sheets also work to quiet squeaky rubber soles when walking on solid floors. Rub the bottom of the shoes with a dryer sheet and the residue will minimize the friction and get rid of the squeak.

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Get Rid of Embarrassing Static Cling

    static cling on a shirt

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

    I don't know which is worse, socks or panties stuck to your clothes, or your pants creeping up and clinging to your calf.

    If you often get caught with your socks clinging to your shirt, use fabric softener or a dryer sheet in the laundry room to reduce static cling.

    If it is the latter, one way to remove static cling quickly is to rub a dryer sheet directly onto your legs, socks, or tights to get rid of static cling. No more riding up.

  • 06 of 15

    Make Needlework and Sewing Easier

    dryer sheet used in sewing

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

    No need to get frustrated over threads that knot up while you stitch. When you are ready to start hand sewing or doing needlework, run the thread between a folded dryer sheet to keep it tangle-free. The silicon coating will help the thread ease its way smoothly through the fabric.

  • 07 of 15

    Freshen Luggage and Gym Bags

    dryer sheet in luggage

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

    Before you put away your luggage after a trip, tuck in a dryer sheet to add a fresh scent and prevent musty odors. If your gym bag isn't used too often, the same trick works there; but only if you remove any smelly workout clothes first.

  • 08 of 15

    Clean Electronics Screens

    cleaning a tv screen with a dryer sheet

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa 

    Use a dry dryer sheet to dust television and computer monitor screens. The silicon coating on the dryer sheet will pick up dust and help to reduce static. Remember, never use a dryer sheet that is already dampened. The moisture can harm screens.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Remove Gunk from a Dryer Drum or Iron

    using a dryer sheet on an iron

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    If you find melted gum, crayons, or adhesive stickers in the dryer, wet a non-woven polyester dryer sheet and scrub away. You'll find that the fabric softener and the texture of the sheet will help loosen the stickiness without harming the interior finish. 

    While a dryer sheet can't clean the inside of an iron, the same technique will work on the bottom of your iron to remove scorch marks and starch or sizing build-up. Rub the dampened dryer sheet on the bottom of a cold iron. Then heat the iron to a low setting and run it over a couple of clean paper towels to remove any remaining residue.

  • 10 of 15

    Freshen a Trash Can

    dryer sheet in a trash can

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    Put a scented dryer sheet in the bottom of each trash can in your home before you add the plastic liner bag. Your trash never smelled so sweet.

  • 11 of 15

    Clean Your Car

    Bugs On Windshield
    Stephen Chiang / Getty Images

    Keep some polyester non-woven dryer sheets in your car cleaning kit to use for insect removal. Wet the sheet and use it to remove bugs from your windshield and the front grille. The fabric is abrasive enough to scrub away the insects but not so harsh as to damage the finish.

    You can also use a dryer sheet to remove pet hair from car seats. Plus, keeping dryer sheets in the trunk help it smell fresh.

  • 12 of 15

    Create Bug Repellent

    Camping Bugs
    Karl Weatherly / Getty Images

    Some campers and outdoor enthusiasts swear by scented dryer sheets to keep insects away and research has proven it to be true. Some hikers rub the sheets on their skin, others tuck the sheets into the tops of socks or collars. Just choose a scent you like and see if you're bug-free.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Tame Flyaway Hair

    Hair Static
    Brook Rieman / Getty Images

    Keep a few dryer sheets in your desk or purse to calm flyaway hair. Just rub the sheet over your hair to smooth it out. Opt for an unscented variety if you don't want it to compete with your perfume.

  • 14 of 15

    Shoo Deer Away from Plants

    deer in a backyard

    ​The Spruce / Erica Lang

    Cut scented dryer sheets into one-inch strips and tie them on the tips of greenery or in trees. Some gardeners say the scent will repel plant-munching deer. Choose a polyester non-woven base to avoid melting during wet weather.

  • 15 of 15

    Freshen a Hotel Room

    dryer sheets for dirty laundry during a trip

    ​The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

    If your hotel room smells stale, place a dryer sheet in the air conditioning/heating vent for a quick air freshener. Take it with you when you leave and your soiled laundry will be a bit fresher for the trip home.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Steinemann, A. The fragranced products phenomenon: air quality and health, science and policy. Air Qual Atmos Health, no. 14, pp. 235–243, 2021. doi:10.1007/s11869-020-00928-1

  2. Corrosives: Cationic Detergents. Merck Veterinary Manual.

  3. Cloyd, Raymond A. et al. Bounce® Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets Repel Fungus Gnat, Bradysia sp. nr. coprophila (Diptera: Sciaridae), Adults. Hortscience, vol. 45, no. 12, 2010, pp. 1830-1833. doi:10.21273/HORTSCI.45.12.1830

  4. Schneider, Peter. Right Rose Right Place. Storey Publishing, 2012.