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Mike Mozart via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Mike Mozart via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

10 Handy Uses for Dryer Sheets

Mike Mozart via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Mike Mozart via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Dryer sheets aren't just for laundry. The thin, anti-static sheets have a host of other uses outside the laundry basket. Here are 10 other ways you can use them. 

1. MAKE YOUR DIRTY LAUNDRY SMELL CLEAN.

Don’t save your dryer sheets for the clean laundry pile. They can also keep piles of dirty laundry from stinking up the room. Throw in a sheet as an odor absorber to tide you over until laundry day. When traveling, toss one in your suitcase, too. 

2. TAKE THE STATIC OUT OF YOUR HAIR. 

Dryer sheets help tamp down static in your laundry—and your hair. Just wipe one through your silky strands and static disappears. If you don’t want your hair to smell like fresh laundry, you can spring for a slightly-more-expensive variety that’s actually designed for head use.

3. EMPTY THE LINT TRAP. 

Lint trapped in clothes dryers causes thousands of fires every year. After you take your laundry out, give your lint trap a swipe using the used dryer sheet to catch all the trapped debris. 

4. CLEAN COMPUTER SCREENS.

Dryer sheets provide a soft surface to wipe away dust from glasses and computer screens—and if you’ve got a desktop PC, a dryer sheet taped over the ventilation slats can keep dust out without blocking the air movement. 

5. WIPE AWAY SOAP SCUM AND MINERAL DEPOSITS. 

Dampen the dryer sheet and use it to wipe off scummy surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen like shower doors or chrome fixtures.

6. CLEAN PAINT BRUSHES. 

Soak dirty paintbrushes in warm water that has a dryer sheet floating in it to make latex-based paint easier to slough off. 

7. DEODORIZE YOUR SMELLY SHOES. 

Just like dryer sheets absorb the nasty odors of dirty laundry, they can soak up your rancid foot smell. Stick half of one in each shoe before you go to bed, and enjoy fresher shoes in the morning. 

8. DETANGLE THREAD.  

Before you start sewing, stick the threaded needle through a dryer sheet. This keeps the static down, preventing the thread from sticking to itself and becoming a tangled mess. 

9. FRESHEN MUSTY USED BOOKS.

If the smell of dank libraries doesn’t please you, you can insert fresh dryer sheets into the pages of a musty used book. You can even perfume your whole bookshelf with this method

10. REMOVE PET HAIR. 

Wipe pet hair up off the couch or floor using a dryer sheet as your cloth. Rub it over the fabric to de-fur your furniture. 

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In-Flight Bidets Could Be the Next Big Thing in Plane Design
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There are plenty of things to hate about flying, but having to repeatedly use a public (and very tiny) bathroom over the course of several hours is up there. That could change in the near future, though. Travel + Leisure reports that Zodiac Aerospace, a manufacturer of plane cabin interiors, is working on a fancy plane toilet like no other—outside of private jets, that is. Yes, it's a toilet with a built-in bidet.

Zodiac debuted its new design at the recent Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. The company's latest and greatest toilet, which you can operate from a remote control that would be installed on a wall of the bathroom, features an adjustable water spout that retracts and can provide a nice spray for both the front part of your undercarriage and your back end. For those who understandably worry about germs on their airplane toilets, it comes with a special UV light to disinfect the loo.

According to Travel + Leisure, Zodiac's bidet-equipped toilets will most likely appear first on airlines based in places like Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, where bidets are more commonplace. The design might not be so appealing to airlines in the U.S., which is strangely averse to two-in-one toilet/butt-washing technology.

It's rare to see a plane upgrade that's actually good news for travelers. While there is the occasional proposal that might make economy travel more comfortable—like a design that would make middle seats wider and more accessible, or a seat that could alert the crew if you're having a panic attack mid-air—most new proposals would make flying even more of a nightmare than it already is, like a seat Airbus proposed in 2014 that would put passengers essentially in rows of bicycle seats for their entire flights.

Zodiac hasn't announced whether a specific plane or airline already plans to put this upgraded toilet into use, so it could be a while before you get to use it for yourself. Sorry, butts.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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Bathroom Hand Dryers Might Be Blasting Us With Poo Particles
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Using a public restroom can be a stressful experience. People inevitably shake the flimsy stall doors to check for occupancy. Soap can be missing and gastrointestinal noises can be heard. Now, a new study has found that the perils of public voiding may not end at the sink. The wall-mounted hand dryers—often believed to be a sanitary solution—could be blasting fecal bacteria right back on your hands.

Published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, the report looked at 36 bathrooms at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Samples of bacterial colonies were taken on plates. A typical bathroom air sample averaged less than one colony, while plates positioned underneath a hand dryer for 30 seconds averaged 18 to 60 colonies per plate.

Researchers aren't yet sure whether the dryers are actually harboring bacteria or simply sucking it up and then blowing a concentrated amount back out: Swabs of dryer nozzles had only minimal bacteria levels. Researchers found that installing a HEPA filter in the dryers dramatically reduced their bacterial load.

Bacteria in a public bathroom are likely coming from nearby toilets, which don't have lids and can release fecal particles when flushed. So what do you do if you don't want weaponized poo on your freshly washed hands? Avoid the dryer and stick with paper towels. But for relatively healthy people who aren't immunocompromised, a few blasts of contaminated air probably won't harm you.

[h/t CBS Pittsburgh]

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