Wednesday, January 9, 2008

To think all this time you've only been using Bounce in your dryer

Last night I opened the dryer door to fold a load of laundry and noticed this peculiar black substance streaked all over the barrel of the dryer. Upon closer inspection, I realized that my brand new dryer was coated in melted chewing gum. It seems that a child had left a pack of gum in his pocket. Now I normally catch these things. After many, many times of finding chapstick tubes in the dryer (and having greasy stains on my clothes because of it) I have learned to check the pockets fairly well. This time however, I missed.

Rather than becoming annoyed (okay, I was annoyed) and yelling about it (which I didn't), I headed to the computer to see if there was a quick fix for removing the gum. I had thought of using Goo Gone but because it is a petroleum based product, I figured it wasn't the best bet.

So I googled "how to remove gum from a dryer" and lo and behold there were quite a few entries regarding this subject. Seems that I am not the only one to have this issue. I found several helpful suggestions but the one that kept coming up over and over was to use a wet dryer sheet. Since I don't use dryer sheets (just the liquid softener) I had to run to the store to get some. And guess what, six dryer sheets and lots of elbow grease later, the gum was gone! And there was a lot of gum.

This situation got me to thinking what other nifty uses people had discovered for dryer sheets. So what did I do, googled it of course. Here are some other uses for dryer sheets (DISCLAIMER- I have not tried the following and cannot guarantee the success of any of them):


  • Use them to repel mosquitoes, bees and other flying insects. You can also rub a sheet directly on your bare skin to repel mosquitoes from biting.
  • Use dryer sheets to keep out mice, skunks, squirrels, rats, etc from your basement, garages, boats, campers, and clubhouses.


  • Eliminates static electricity from your television and computer screen. Wipe your television and computer screen with a used sheet to keep dust from resettling. (I am trying this one!)
  • Used dryer sheets can knock the dust off nearly any surface, including furniture, blinds, car interiors, baseboards/molding. The dirt adheres to the sheet and are much cheaper than Pledge Grab-it or Swiffer dusters.
  • Clean shower doors and tile walls with a dryer sheet to dissolve soap scum.
  • Fabric softener sheets are claimed to clean baked on foods from cooking pots and pans. Place a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight. Next morning sponge it clean. The antistatic agent apparently weakens the bond between the stuck on food between the pot or pans surface.
  • When you finish drying a load, hold on to the dryer sheet, and wipe down the inside of your dryer’s drum, your lint trap, the outside of your washing machine and dryer, and scrub away any excess or spilt laundry detergent.
  • Summer drives often equal insect gut polka dots all over your auto’s body and windshield. Simply wet your car down, and use a dryer sheet to scrub away with ease.
  • Rubbing a sheet over an area will magnetically attract all the loose pet hairs. (I would need an entire box for this one)

  • Place a dryer sheet in a drawer, hang one in the closet, locker at the health club, locker at work or under the seat of your car or truck to freshen the air.
  • Placing a sheet in your shoes or sneakers overnight, will help to deodorize them.
  • Place (or tape) a dryer sheet on your HVAC vents to scent the air circulating through your home. You can even place one alongside your filter in your central heating unit to distribute the scent. Also works on ceiling fans, and on the back of box/portable fans. Stash dryer sheets under your car seats and floor mats, and in your glove box and trunk for fresh scents as you travel.
  • Place a single sheet inside empty luggage before storing to prevent musty odors.
  • Placing a sheet at the bottom of the wastebasket, helps eliminate odors found in wastebaskets. Placing an individual sheet at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper will accomplish the same results.
  • Put dryer sheet in vacuum cleaner.
  • Roll up a dryer sheet in your toilet paper roll. Each time you spin, it releases a little freshness into your bathroom.
  • Tuck dryer sheets in your rarely used items such as luggage, camping gear, sports equipment, or specialty craft or kitchen items to prevent the inevitable smells of basements, attics, and garages.


  • Want to soften the soles of your feet? Soak your feet in some warm water, then rub them with a dryer sheet for awhile. The sheet acts as a slougher and a moisturizer.

  • With some crafts, like Rubber Stamp embossing, static is a problem. The embossing powder can stick everywhere you don't want it to be. Rubbing your paper with a dryer sheet will help to cut down on that static and give you more control. It is good when working with glitter as well - simply rub over the surfaces you are glittering, and it won't stick everywhere quite as much.
  • A sewing needle run through a sheet prior to sewing, can prevent the thread from tangling. use a dryer sheet to store your needles while threaded to keep them from tangling, for paper piecing whilst you quilt, and for backing for embroidery.
  • Use dryer sheets to add texture to cards, scrapbooks, etc. Also use for reinforcement in appliqué and quilting work.
  • Use old dryer sheets in flower pots to cover the holes in the bottom to keep the soil from coming through.
  • Soak your used paintbrushes in warm water with a dryer sheet, and that pesky latex paint will come off in under a minute.


COCO said...

I love this! I love the Bounce Pure Essentials white lilac scent and love the idea of putting the sheets in places to make everything smell pretty!