If dryer sheets are regularly on your shopping list, then chances are that you already know how brilliant they can be. Bang one in with your washing, and your clothes come out smelling as fresh as a daisy and feeling as fluffy as a cloud. However, if you’ve only been using dryer sheets when you do laundry, you’re totally missing out. If you have a pan with stains that just won’t budge, for instance, put in a dryer sheet and see what happens – after trying these hacks, you’ll never go back!
40. Banish sand at the beach
There’s nothing more relaxing than a barefoot walk on the beach. But walking around with sand in your socks and shoes for the rest of the day is much less heavenly. That’s where a dryer sheet can help. Simply rub one over your skin, and it’ll leave your feet as clean as a whistle!
39. Remove crayon marks from walls
Ask any parent, and they’ll likely tell you how difficult it is keeping walls blemish-free when children are around. And one kind of mark that’s particularly hard to remove is crayon. To restore your paintwork to its former glory, then, simply give it a wipe over with a dryer sheet. Parents 1: kids 0!
38. Get squished bugs off your car
During long drives, squished bugs can accumulate on the grille of your car and leave an unsightly mess. However, these unfortunate souls can be easily removed with a little help from a wet dryer sheet. Just dab the affected area with a damp sheet to get your motor gleaming once more.
37. Keep your kicks fresh
If you’ve got smelly sneakers and are in need of a quick fix, look no further than the humble dryer sheet. Pop one in each of your shoes and simply leave them to work their magic. After a little while, you’ll find that they’ve absorbed sweat and nasty odors, leaving only a linen-fresh scent behind.
36. Scrub away soap scum
Soap scum and hard water marks can leave our bathrooms looking far from their best. But the fabric-softening properties of dryer sheets can also help to shift stubborn marks from shower doors, bathtubs and tiles. Just dampen one down before using it to wipe over surfaces – lifting tough stains and leaving your bathroom in tip-top condition.
35. Prevent insect bites
There’s nothing more annoying than the persistent itching caused by various insect bites. So save yourself the discomfort by rubbing dryer sheets on exposed skin to repel gnats. In one experiment, researchers found that these critters tended to avoid dryer sheets – suggesting that the sheets had bug-repelling properties.
34. Get creative with embroidery
Turning used dryer sheets into little works of art is a fantastic way of repurposing them. Otherwise, they may simply end up in landfill – or worse yet, dumped into our already polluted oceans. And as if helping the planet wasn’t enough, you’ll also save a lot of money on craft supplies, so it’s definitely a double win.
33. Combat static
If you’re fed up with frizzy hair, try adding a dryer sheet to your brush to leave your ’do with a gorgeous static-free sheen. Alternatively, you can simply rub one down your tresses to create a sleek finish. Since static loves low humidity and cold weather, this is the perfect hack to keep your hair looking healthy all through the winter.
32. Eliminate white deodorant marks
Nothing kills a look like the white marks that deodorants sometimes leave on our clothes. But before you toss stained clothes in the laundry basket, try rubbing a dryer sheet over the affected area. You’ll likely find that the blemish comes off right away, saving you from an outfit swap.
31. Keep pets calm
When an electrical storm rages outside, our pets can sometimes get stressed out – so in comes the humble dryer sheet. Just rub a fragrance-free sheet over your dog or cat’s fur. Remember to buy brands that don’t use ingredients that may harm your four-legged friends, though.
30. Sharpen scissors and knives
Perhaps one of the more surprising dryer sheets hacks is using them to keep knives and scissors nice and sharp. Simply wipe a blade carefully on a sheet to ensure they work their best. Perhaps the best thing about this nifty trick is all the money you’ll save yourself in not forking out for a fancy sharpening block.
29. Stop shoes from squeaking
Annoying squeaky sneakers can be easily silenced with the help of trusty dryer sheets. Simply rubbing one all along the bottom of your shoes will do the trick. The residue left behind helps to reduce the friction between your soles and solid floors to shut up noisy shoes for good.
28. Prevent your clothes from sticking
Isn’t it so annoying when you’ve purchased the perfect outfit, but it keeps sticking to areas that you’d rather not highlight? Well, dryer sheets are here to help you. After all, their anti-static properties are part of the reason why we toss them into our dryers in the first place. If you’re suffering from static cling, then, rub a sheet directly onto the troublesome area and make fabric friction a thing of the past.
27. Freshen up your car
Dryer sheets are a fantastic alternative to those tree air fresheners that we often use to keep our cars smelling fresh. Just one sheet will stay fragrant for up to three months. So just imagine how much bang for your buck you’d get from a whole box! If you need an extra boost, you can even rub one all over your seats and surfaces to give them a lift.
26. Cleaning paintbrushes
Artistic types will know that washing paint off brushes can be a pain. But soaking them with a dryer sheet in warm water can help to cut through the gloop, making bristles easier to clean. That’s because the handy laundry aids contain acetone, meaning they work as a makeshift paint-thinner.
25. Get a streak-free finish on stainless steel
Stainless steel surfaces such as appliances and sinks can be notoriously tricky to clean. But you can make the chore easier by deploying a dryer sheet. Simply rub one along your metal surfaces to remove ugly marks like fingerprints and smudges, resulting in a gleaming, streak-free finish.
24. Pick up pet hair
While we love our furry friends, cleaning up their pet hair can seem like a never-ending task. You can make light work of the chore, though, with the use of a dryer sheet. Just rub one across your household surfaces and watch in amazement as it picks up pesky pet fluff just like a magnet.
23. Makeshift fire starter
Another way to put used dryer sheets to use is to make DIY firestarters. The lint that accumulates in our dryers is a major fire hazard, so remove it regularly using a sheet. After that, create a ball containing the fluff and simply keep it handy for the next time that you go camping. Then, you can use it to get your fire going and get down to eating s’mores and relaxing!
22. Get a better grip
If you find that your feet slip around inside your shoes, consider placing a dryer sheet inside. Using one as a makeshift insole should help your feet stay in place. If you’re environmentally conscious, you can even recycle used sheets. And as an added benefit, your shoes will smell like fresh linen.
21. Pop one in your suitcase
Keep your clothes smelling fresher for longer when you travel by popping a dryer sheet or two in your bags. Stick a couple of spares in, and you can use them on your return journey to keep the musty smell of dirty laundry at bay until you finally muster up the energy to unpack.
20. Remove nail polish
The acetone that makes dryer sheets perfect for cleaning paint brushes also makes them great for removing stubborn nail polishes, such as those that contain glitter. Simply soak one in your usual remover and run them over your talons. Then, your natural nails will soon be revealed – all without the need for scrubbing.
19. Hide one in your toilet roll tube
Some unpleasant smells are practically unavoidable in bathrooms, but stashing dryer sheets inside your toilet rolls is a clever way to release scent every time you use the facilities. You may still want to keep an air freshener handy, but the dryer sheet will keep you covered in case you run out of your favorite fragrance.
18. Dust off your baseboards
Dryer sheets make brilliant dusters, thanks to their ability to repel dust. And they work particularly well when it comes to cleaning furniture and baseboards, as their static-busting properties make light work of lifting dust from surfaces. As a bonus, using dryer sheets in this way can also prevent dust from settling – meaning you can go for longer between cleans and enjoy some relaxation time instead.
17. Discreet room fresheners
Dryer sheets can refresh any small room without overpowering the senses with heady scents. You can also get creative with where you place these little squares of freshness. You could tuck them inside cushions, for instance, or hide them under furniture so that your guests will be unaware of your clever little trick.
16. Clean up your iron
Rid your iron of scorch marks and sticky starch residue using a dryer sheet. There are two methods of doing this. The first involves ironing a dryer sheet on low heat to remove any unwanted gunk. Alternatively, you can clean the cold iron base by rubbing a damp dryer sheet over it.
15. Neutralize garbage odor
Garbage smells are unpleasant, to say the least. However, you can neutralize the odors caused by discarded food by placing a dryer sheet at the bottom of your trash can. As your waste accumulates, the little piece of fabric will soak up stinking odors, leaving your kitchen smelling fresh.
14. Repel rodents
Amazingly, rodents apparently hate the smell of dryer sheets. With that in mind, they work wonders in repelling rats and mice. Simply place a few scented sheets in key spots around your home – any areas where pets are likely to lurk or near cracks and holes through which they can enter would be most sensible – and help prevent an infestation.
13. Clean your electronic screens
Another way to recycle used dryer sheets is to use them to dust off the screens on our devices. Electricity attracts dust and can leave our computers and phones looking worse for wear. But a quick wipe with an old dryer sheet will attract existing dust and prevent more from settling on our screens.
12. Clean dirty dishes
They may look pretty flimsy, but dryer sheets can be more effective than scourers when dealing with stubborn, baked-on food. Simply add a non-toxic dryer sheet to the offending pan or dish along with some hot water and leave it to soak. After a few hours, you’ll be left with a clean dish – all ready for your next culinary creation.
11. Mop up glitter spills
Spilling glitter is nothing short of a calamity – those sparkly, little reflective pieces get everywhere, and you’ll continue to find them in the most unlikely places for months! Next time disaster strikes, however, save yourself all that unnecessary drama by using a dryer sheet to wipe up the mess with little effort.
10. Give soft toys a new lease of life
Some kids want to take their soft toys everywhere, and as a result, they can end up pretty grimy. This can be a real pain, as many stuffed animals should only be spot-cleaned. But by rubbing dryer sheets over these plushies, you can remove dirt with ease and keep them looking their best for longer.
9. Wipe up baking spills
Due to the fibers in dryer sheets, they are ideal for cleaning up any dry spillages. With this in mind, it may be a good idea to keep a box handy in your kitchen. That way, next time you’re baking or cooking, you can easily wipe up items like flour off worktops to leave them clean once more.
8. Dust off your blinds
Given their design, window blinds are among the most awkward spots in the house to clean. However, one of the easiest ways to dust them is by slipping one dryer sheet over your fingers and running it across every individual slat. The anti-static fabric will easily collect dust, leaving you with perfectly clean blinds.
7. Add a scented filter to A/C units
If your air conditioning unit leaves a stale smell in your home, why not fashion a dryer sheet into a makeshift fragrance filter? Simply attach one to the inside of your vent. That way, air will blow out through the scented fabric and give your room a continuous, pleasant aroma – all without any hard work on your behalf.
6. Brighten up chrome surfaces
If you’ve taken anything from the previous hacks, you’ll know that it’s a good idea to keep some dryer sheets in the kitchen. Among their many uses, they’re excellent at cleaning chrome surfaces, such as faucets. And given their proven shining abilities, the laundry aids also come in handy when you’re buffing any chrome on your vehicles.
5. Give your vacuum bag a boost
Over time, our vacuum cleaner bags can come to smell a bit musty. Worse still, while we’re cleaning up, this scent can be released into our homes – making them smell just as bad. In order to tackle this, try placing a dryer sheet inside of your vacuum bag. This will work to combat the unpleasant odor.
4. Quick toilet cleaner
If your toilet could do with a clean but you’re pushed for time, this clever dryer sheet hack will be your best friend. Simply drop two sheets into the bowl and leave them to work their magic for a little while. Then, when some time has passed, remove them from the water and use them to wipe down the pot to leave it gleaming.
3. Prevent thread tangles
If you enjoy hand sewing but often find yourself in a tangle, try this little trick next time you reach for your needle and thread. Just run a dryer sheet down the piece of thread to eliminate static cling. That way, you can reduce the risk of the length becoming knotted or sticking together as you work.
2. Restore old books to their former glory
Second-hand books are a great way to boost your reading list while also being kind to the planet. But well-thumbed pages often come with a distinctive musty smell. Some people can’t get enough of this aroma – but others would rather leave it in the thrift store. If you fall into the second camp, just place the book in a zip-lock bag alongside a dryer sheet for a couple of days.
1. Swiffer refills
Next time you unexpectedly run out of refills for your Swiffer, don’t despair. Instead, just reach for a couple of trusty dryer sheets and pop them around the mop head. The fabric is perfect for picking up dust and dirt, so they’ll work amazingly across your hard floors.
Dryer sheets aren’t the only household staple that have a range of other uses, though. Epsom salt, too, is in many of our homes – and it can improve our lives in some pretty incredible ways. However, it’s no secret that salt can be bad for us. Eat too much, and the resulting fluid retention can cause blood pressure to spike – which in turn may lead to an increased risk of stroke, kidney problems and weakened bones. But if you’ve sworn off all types of the stuff, you should think again. You see, while Epsom salt may not be suitable for seasoning at the dinner table, it still has a myriad of uses that may make your life easier – including healing a bruise more quickly. And there’s a good reason why it’s worth putting Epsom salt in the corner of a room.
20. It helps to remove splinters
Splinters can be a pain. Yes, while they may be tiny little things – sometimes barely visible to the naked eye – they’ll certainly let you know once they’ve got under your skin. And, sometimes, a splinter can be so far embedded into the flesh that tweezers can’t quite reach it. On such an occasion, though, Epsom salt can come to the rescue.
After immersing the afflicted part of the body in an Epsom salt bath, you see, the splinter will work its way to the surface. If the fragment has lodged itself deep into the skin, by contrast, simply apply some of the mineral to a bandage and then cover the affected area. And after you’ve left the dressing in place for 24 hours, the splinter should then be eased out far enough to enable you to get at it.
19. It’s a hair-care marvel
Each hair follicle on the body contains a sebaceous gland. And as the name suggests, the role of these glands is to generate a substance known as sebum – something that helps keeps hair looking glossy. There may be a problem, though, if you produce too much sebum, as this can lead to greasy locks and oily skin.
Fortunately, Epsom salt can draw oil out of the hair if a little is combined with regular shampoo, which should then be applied as normal. And if it’s combined with conditioner and left for 20 minutes before rinsing, the compound can even help tame frizz. As a bonus, Epsom salt can add volume to flat hair by stripping away any product buildup.
18. It’s a great relaxant
A long, hot bath can be the perfect way to unwind. But if you throw a couple cups of Epsom salt into the tub, you can crank that soak up to a whole new level. You see, the human body contains minerals such as sodium, potassium, sulfur and chlorine. The fourth most prevalent of these, however, is magnesium, which is plentiful in Epsom salt.
So, when you lie in water that has been sprinkled with Epsom salt, its key ingredient, magnesium sulfate, will infiltrate the skin. And this substance not only has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, but it can also help loosen up tense muscles.
17. It can cure a hangover
If you’ve over-indulged on a night out, Epsom salt could provide the hangover cure you need. You see, the chemicals produced by the body when processing alcohol are what causes the pain of the morning after – including those feelings of exhaustion and nausea.
Happily, lying in an Epsom salt bath can help to ease some of the ailments associated with a hangover. Even consuming a teaspoon of the stuff in a little liquid could stimulate the body’s water production and flush the toxins away. Exercise caution, though, when it comes to how much you take.
16. It promotes sleep
Getting plenty of rest is super-important for your health – even more so than you know. You see, prolonged sleep deprivation can mean running the risk of such potentially life-changing conditions as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke. So, if you’re struggling to get those recommended eight hours a night in, you should turn once again to Epsom salt.
For one, the magnesium abundant in Epsom salt may encourage the production of melatonin – the hormone responsible for keeping sleep patterns consistent. By taking a bath in the stuff before bed, then, the magnesium content of the water could aid relaxation and so help to achieve a decent amount of shut-eye.
15. It can help produce a soothing foot spa
Feet are the workhorses of our bodies, and so we owe it to our tootsies to give them some tender loving care once in a while. All too often, though, our feet are neglected. And, sometimes, we can be unkind to them without even realizing it.
Treat your feet, then, by giving them a half-hour to an hour’s soak biweekly in a bath or spa containing Epsom salt. The magnesium in the salt will improve muscle performance, boost energy and help decrease any swelling; it may even help ease the symptoms of skin conditions such as eczema and athlete’s foot.
14. Use it as a facial cleanser
Epsom salt can be great for cleaning the face and flushing out dirt in pores. Just add a half-teaspoon into your regular cleanser and gently massage the concoction into the skin. This blend will handily improve hydration as well as scrubbing away any dead cells. Then simply remove the mix with cold water.
For a deeper treatment, however, apply Epsom salt as part of a facial mask. First, dampen your face. Then apply a recipe of cognac, powdered milk, egg, lemon juice and Epsom salt to oily skin. If your skin is normal to dry, however, the mineral compound should be mixed with mayonnaise and shredded carrot.
13. It’s a great exfoliator
Thanks to Epsom salt’s texture, it’s an excellent ingredient in a scrub. And by blending the salt with coconut oil, you’ll have a comparatively cheap and surprisingly effective body exfoliator. Grab a handful of the mixture and gently work into wet skin after a shower, then rinse it off and apply lotion.
It’s even said that Epsom salt can alleviate the effects of certain skin ailments. Some believe, for instance, that the substance can reduce the effects of acne as well as soothe sunburn. But while Epsom salt is not claimed to be a miracle cure for such afflictions, its anti-inflammatory benefits can nevertheless help ease some symptoms.
12. It can help make an effective lip scrub
Many people are prone to dry lips – not least because the skin there is thinner and more fragile than elsewhere on the body. The sun and wind, in particular, can have an impact by parching our lips and so leading them to peel and crack.
However, the body scrub recipe mentioned above can also double as a lip exfoliator. And don’t worry if you accidentally eat some during the polishing process, as Epsom salt is perfectly safe to consume in small quantities – although you should definitely hold off on adding it to your dinner.
11. It relieves stress
The health benefits of Epsom salt aren’t merely cosmetic, however. It can also help balance moods, for instance, as well as calm anxiety, reduce stress and alleviate depression. In fact, a number of specialists believe that magnesium encourages the brain’s production of serotonin – the chemical that promotes mental well-being. Doctors may encourage its use, then, even though there’s no conclusive proof of its medical properties.
How did Epsom salt get its name? Well, it’s taken from a town in southern England, which boasts a spring known for its salinity. The compound is actually comprised of sulfate and magnesium, though, rather than chlorine and sodium – hence why it’s not recommended to consume it in large amounts.
10. It can aid recovery from exercise
Many exercise enthusiasts believe that Epsom salt baths can help in their recovery from workouts. In May 2019 New York-based physical therapist Corinne Croce elaborated on this point to Runner’s World, saying, “Magnesium is known to increase relaxation, reduce inflammation and aid in muscle and nerve function. And the sulfate in Epsom salt is said to help with recovery and detoxification.”
Georgia Southern University’s Greg Grosicki has also acknowledged the link between muscle pain and a lack of magnesium in the body. He explained to Runner’s World, “By taking an Epsom salt bath or by exposing the skin to Epsom salts in a cream, we hope to increase our magnesium levels and reduce muscle soreness.”
9. It eases sprains and bruising
Yes, it’s thought that Epsom salt can not only be used to calm swelling in bruises, but also to ease the discomfort of a sprained ankle. And while it’s important not to treat a painful ankle with salt baths too soon after injury – as this can do more harm than good – such a therapy can ultimately relieve tension in damaged tissue and muscles.
That said, the medical benefits of Epsom salt for sprains and bruises or exercise recovery is entirely subjective. Indeed, while some people may feel better after soaking their limbs in the stuff, there is actually little scientific evidence to definitively say why. But as there’s nothing much to prove that Epsom salt doesn’t work in such instances, either, there’s no harm in giving it a try.
8. It helps with constipation
If a bowel blockage occurs, Epsom salt can help to shift it. Simply mix a couple of teaspoons of the substance into a large glass of water, then drink the liquid. This should go on to loosen the contents of the intestine by encouraging the production of more water. It should be noted, though, that oral consumption of Epsom salt comes with a warning.
Some people may in fact find that eating or drinking Epsom salt causes diarrhea – which in turn may lead to both dehydration and considerable distress. Try just small doses of magnesium sulfate, then, if you want to get rid of constipation quickly.
7. It can alleviate headaches
Epsom salt can be useful for soothing headaches and even easing migraines. How? Well, as mentioned earlier, the mineral compound can encourage the production of melatonin. And imbalances in the pineal gland – which is responsible for the hormone’s secretion – have been found in those who suffer from migraines. These individuals have typically shown low levels of magnesium, too.
Plus, as we’ve previously explained, an Epsom salt bath can also help ameliorate tensions that may have built up in muscles. In particular, tightness in the neck, the shoulders and the back can all be eased after a good soak. And removing the strain in those areas could go some way to alleviating migraines and headaches.
6. It improves heart health
Doctors often warn of the dangers of consuming too much salt. And that’s for good reason, as high levels of sodium in the diet can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure. The burden this places on the heart can, moreover, lead to an increased risk of a stroke or even the failure of the organ itself.
However, Epsom salt can actually help boost our health – not least because it’s sodium-free in its purest form. It’s thought, for instance, that its effects can relax the arteries and so help blood to flow more easily – thereby reducing the chances of clots and sudden heart attacks. Some even claim that the magnesium and sulfate of Epsom salt improve the benefits of insulin, thus reducing any other side effects of diabetes.
5. It’s a handy plant fertilizer
But it’s not only humans who can feel the benefits of Epsom salt, as the mineral compound can also be used around the home and garden to improve the look and health of plants. In fact, it’s believed that when Epsom salt is added to soil or water, flora will flourish – growing bigger and stronger.
What’s more, giving your lawn a sprinkling of Epsom salt may just boost its color. That’s because the magnesium contained in the substance hinders the yellowing of leaves and grass. Epsom salt can even act as a form of pesticide by keeping insects away.
4. It can repel slugs
On a related note, Epsom salt can also be used as a slug deterrent. Simply encircle your plants with the compound; that way, you’ll have created a blockade of sorts that the slimy critters won’t cross. The salt can also be applied to patios and porches to stop slugs from getting into the house.
In addition, Epsom salt can help should any bugs get too close. If you suffer an insect bite or sting, just add the salt to water and apply this mix as a paste or lotion to the affected area. The concoction will then be absorbed through the pores in your skin, and the magnesium will ease the irritation.
3. It’s a tip-top bathroom cleaner
Epsom salt makes cleaning the bathroom a breeze – even when it comes to those tough-to-tackle hard water stains. Simply create a solution of a quarter-cup of liquid dish detergent, half a cup of baking soda and one cup of Epsom salt, and use this to scrub away on surfaces for a glistening finish.
Epsom salt can even be used to tackle dirt and debris that are difficult to remove. The salt grain can help lift mold from tiles and grout, for instance, while a mixture of the substance along with vinegar and dish soap can make a good scrub for the toilet bowl.
2. Use it to clean the washer
Epsom salt is a useful helper in the kitchen, too. After using a solution of hot water, Epsom salt and white vinegar in your washing machine, the device should be rid of any nasty odors. Stop the cycle halfway through and leave it for 60 minutes to allow the mixture to really work, then run a second, clear cycle to rinse.
You can even add a quarter-cup of Epsom salt to your laundry as an alternative to fabric softener. And not only will this help soften your clothes and linen, but it’s also kinder to the environment than using a store-bought product. Mixing the salt with a few drops of essential oil will help your garments smell great, too.
1. Salt the corners of your house
Plenty of people are familiar with the idea of throwing spilled salt over the shoulder for luck. And for centuries, the condiment has been a symbol of good versus evil in religion. Famously, too, good and honest people are often described as being “salt of the earth” types.
But there’s yet another use for salt that you may just want to try out for yourself. Some believe, you see, that sprinkling the substance in the corners of your home will bring wealth, good fortune and peace. Standing in the center of the room and dusting handfuls of salt around you in a clockwise motion, meanwhile, is thought to rid the area of negative energy. And whether it works or not – and as with all the other benefits of Epsom salt – it’s worth a try.