By Lowell & Kaye Christie, F47246
Bounce fabric softener sheets aren’t the only dryer sheets available, but they have become one of the best known brands. Generic brands are offered by numerous large supermarket chains, and they may work equally well, even if they cost less.
It’s amazing how many uses we found for dryer sheets on the Internet and in print “” in addition to their use in the dryer, of course. Here are several that we’ve selected. One cautionary note: a few of these uses may require perfumed sheets to work. Still, we strongly recommend purchasing the scent-free sheets, because someone who is allergic to the perfume may not be able to stay in your motorhome for very long. On the other hand, using the scented sheets may be a great way to “excuse” someone who stays, and stays, and stays.
In many of these applications, you can recycle a sheet that’s already been used in the dryer, at no additional cost. We only use a half-sheet already, unless the dryer is very full. By doing so, the box lasts twice as long “” and we save money.
1. Repel insects
According to our source, you can spend time outdoors and avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes, gnats, and flies simply by tying a fabric softener sheet through a belt loop. This spring we’ll certainly give the idea a try. We both thoroughly enjoy outdoor activities, but having bugs drawing blood from our arms and legs certainly sucks away our enjoyment. We hope this works with the unscented variety.
2. Chasing ants away
During periods of heavy rain, ants close up their portholes to stay dry. When we noticed that their holes were opened again, we stuffed pieces of fresh dryer sheets into some of the places where they enter the home and, after a day or so, we checked to see whether doing so had chased the ants away. It’s been cold, so perhaps the ants are just staying underground, but the solution looks hopeful. If the sheets work, they will be invaluable next summer when ants arrive in hoards, all of them determined to get inside our motorhome or house.
3. Out, out, darned mouse
If you live or travel in an area where mice are plentiful, you’ll be happy to know that these pests don’t like dryer sheets. Any place you have spotted a mouse (or mouse droppings) is a good place to put a dryer sheet. Throw some in the back of the bedroom or kitchen drawers; under the pilot and copilot seats; or beneath the bed. When the motorhome is in storage, scatter the sheets anyplace in the vehicle where mice might put in an appearance. Keeping the mice away will save you the trouble of cleaning up after them.
4. Tame hair
When the humidity is especially low, your hair may stand on end like you’ve just been electrocuted. One way to tame this problem is by rubbing a dryer sheet through your hair. We prefer using sheets that have already done their duty in the dryer, but in a pinch, a new sheet will do. You also can wet a new or used dryer sheet “” depending on the length of your hair “” and rub it over your freshly washed hair. It serves the same purpose as a cream rinse.
5. Eliminate static electricity
Eliminating static electricity helps to keep dust from resettling on television and computer screens, at least for a while. To do this, wipe the glass with a used fabric softener sheet.
6. Prevent sudden shocks
During the winter, static electricity that builds up in carpeting is annoying to humans and painful to pets. To eliminate the unpleasant shocks, place an unused dryer sheet in a spray bottle and fill it with water. Let it stand for an hour or two, so the softening chemical from the sheet is absorbed into the water. Then spray the carpet and let it dry. It works.
7. Clean your venetian blinds
Don’t you hate it when, after dusting your blinds, you find them dirty again by the end of the day? Next time, dust with a used fabric softener sheet to eliminate the static buildup that captures the dust. Whatever dust you capture will either stay on the sheet, or at least float away to somewhere else.
8. Freshen the air in your motorhome
You don’t need to buy a can of air freshener to use in the motorhome after it’s been closed up for a time. Just attach an individual fabric softener sheet to a drawer handle or doorknob. Or, fasten a sheet to your open roof vent. Incoming air is freshened as it enters the motorhome.
9. Avoid the smelly laundry blues
It seems odd to think that dirty clothes can turn sour before there’s enough to merit doing the laundry, but it’s quite possible. Solve that problem by placing a fabric softener sheet in your laundry bag or hamper. It will control the odors so that you can decide when to wash your clothes.
10. Deodorize shoes or sneakers
If you do a lot of walking, especially in hot weather, you’re familiar with smelly shoes or sneakers. Unless you’re rich enough to replace your shoes every time they begin smelling badly, place a fabric softener sheet in your footwear overnight, and they’ll be odor-free in the morning. If the shoes are sweaty as well as smelly, shake in some baking soda or baking powder as well.
11. Clean off cat hair
Anyone with a feline friend knows how cat hair sticks to furniture and clothing. Although it’s not a perfect solution, a dryer sheet will collect this hair better than any other remedy we’ve found.
12. In your vacuum cleaner bag?
We have it on good authority that placing a dryer sheet in your vacuum cleaner bag keeps the equipment smelling fresh and wafts a pleasant aroma on the carpet as you vacuum the floor. Of course, make sure the design of the vacuum allows you to try this.
13. Free your pantyhose
Eliminate static cling from pantyhose by rubbing them with a damp, used fabric softener sheet. Ladies, odds are you’ll decide, as Kaye has, to keep a dryer sheet in the drawer along with your hose.