News flash: Laundry detergent and dryer sheets aren’t confined to just the laundry room. They belong all over your house—from your bathroom to your kitchen to your living room. Better for the planet and your pocket, getting multiple uses out of one thing is minimalism at its best. Here are 10 fresh ways to use dryer sheets and laundry detergent—without a washer or dryer in sight.
5 Unique Uses for Laundry Detergent
Both powdered and liquid detergent come in handy for more than cleaning clothes—inside and out. Here are some ideas.
1. Kill weeds
- Powdered laundry detergent is a moss and weed destroyer. Carefully and generously sprinkle it over those hated weeds ruining your flowerbeds, but don’t let it touch anything you want to keep. Watch it for 3-4 days. The weeds should turn brown, and you should have your landscaping back.
2. Unclog drains
- Clogged drains are a pain. If your sink or shower drain are filling up, hold up. Don’t call the plumber yet. First boil a gallon of water. Pour 1/4 cup of liquid detergent down the drain. Then, slowly pour down the boiling water. The detergent-hot-water mix will bust up the clog in no time.
3. Clean oven racks
- Oven racks with stuck-on sticky grease have met their match. Fill your bathtub with just enough hot water to submerge the racks. Stir in ¾ cup laundry detergent and soak racks for 12 hours. Grab a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub to reveal your shiny new oven racks.
4. Revive your deck
- Outdoor decks must weather sun, dirt, rain and snow. After a while, decks can look dingy. A detergent solution can transform your deck into a new-looking beauty. Mix one cup powdered detergent, ¾ cup oxygen bleach and one gallon warm water. Coat the surface with the mixture and let sit for 10 minutes. Then, dip a deck brush in the remaining solution and scrub. Let sit
5. Refresh your car
- Have some sudsy DIY fun with a detergent car wash. Mix one—and only one—tablespoon of mild detergent per gallon of water. You don’t want to take a chance on a too-strong solution that messes with vehicle paint. Wipe down your car and watch the dust and grime disappear.
5 Useful Ways to Use Dryer Sheets
Those dryer sheets that make your clothes and blankets oh-so-soft are at your service. Here are some ideas on how to use them outside the laundry room.
1. Calm your pet
- When a storm is near, static electricity can make your pet’s hair stand up. Help your pet stay relaxed by rubbing them down with a no-fragrance dryer sheet that eliminates static electricity. Just be sure to choose an unscented dryer sheet with zero potentially toxic ingredients.
2. Repel bugs
- *Gasp*—did you see that insect on the floor? Repel away by placing dryer sheets in corners. And when you’re camping or chilling outside, rub a sheet over your skin or tuck it into your collar. Bugs will steer clear of you and choose another victim instead.
3. Pick up dust and pet hair
- Another pet trick is to rub your furniture with a dryer sheet. Pet hair will cling to it and lift right off your couch. Better yet, you can re-use a dryer sheet for double-trouble dusting. Dampen a used sheet and wipe down shelves, blinds, ceiling fan blades and lamps.
4. Scrub pots and pans
- When you let your food cook just a tad too long and now you have a stuck-on burnt bit, forget elbow grease. Add a couple inches of water and throw a non-woven polyester dryer sheet in. Let soak overnight. In the morning, use the same dryer sheet to wipe off the food, easy as can be.
5. Eliminate soap scum
- Get rid of stubborn shower scum. Sprinkle water on a used dryer sheet. Then, scrub and rub all over your shower doors, walls, bathtubs and sinks. Try as it might, the soap scum just won’t be able to cling to your surfaces anymore.
Stay Minimal with Multi-purpose Laundry Items
So long, single uses! Laundry items aren’t just for doing laundry. With new ways and uses for your dryer sheets and laundry detergent, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Now that’s something to celebrate.