In a previous article, I discussed whether or not it’s safe to compost dryer sheets. It turns out that you can’t, but even if you could, not all of us are able to compost at home.
While there are some compelling reasons to avoid using dryer sheets, for those of us that do, we need a way to dispose of them. Most people simply throw them away, but is there a better solution?
In this article, I’m going to discuss whether or not dryer sheets are recyclable. I’ll also go over some ways to reuse them to extend their lives and cut down on the amount of waste you throw away.
Can You Recycle Dryer Sheets?
Typically, dryer sheets are made of a polyester sheet layered with chemicals that both soften your clothes and make them smell better (although you can get unscented as well).
While the chemical coating is made to coat your clothing when heated in the dryer, some of it will remain on the sheet and is not safe to recycle. The polyester material itself is also not recyclable, so no, you cannot typically recycle dryer sheets.
Ways to Reuse Dryer Sheets
While dryer sheets are not safe to recycle or compost, there are plenty of ways that you can reuse them. Let’s take a look at several of these ideas next.
1 – Dust Surfaces
One great way to reuse dryer sheets is to dust various surfaces throughout your house. They even work well on glass surfaces without leaving any lint behind.
2 – Freshen Air
Although dryer sheets are typically thought to be one-use items, they still retain some of their air-freshening properties after a cycle in the dryer. Simply stick one or two in a smelly area (the bottom of your garbage can, inside of shoes, inside of a closet, etc.) to freshen it up.
3 – Repel Bugs
Dryer sheets are thought to repel certain types of bugs, like mosquitoes. I don’t know if this one actually works, but it’s worth a shot. Especially, if you’re a mosquito magnet like me.
4 – Remove Pet Hair
Why spend money on those hair removal rolls when you can use your old dryer sheets? Simply run them up and down your clothes or furniture to remove pet hair.
5 – Remove Static
The main purpose of a dryer sheet is to reduce static, so it’s probably no surprise that you can use a used dryer sheet to accomplish the same thing. Just keep a few around your house or in your car, then run them along your clothes when they seem to have a bit too much static.
6 – Cut Them in Half
While this isn’t technically a way to reuse a dryer sheet, it will make them last twice as long. Simply cut your dryer sheets in half and use each half for two different loads. Your clothes will still get softer, smell better, and have less static with less waste.
Unfortunately, dryer sheets are not recyclable. However, there are tons of ways that you can make them last longer by reusing them for other purposes (I only listed a handful of these ways above).
When you think about it, when you recycle something, it eventually gets turned into another product to be reused. So, when you simply find another use for something, you’re able to cut out all of the processing involved with recycling and still extend the life of the material, while keeping it out of the dumpster.
In other words, although you can’t recycle dryer sheets, by reusing them, you’re accomplishing a similar goal, which is to extend their useful life.