The Icky Reason You May Want to Put Dryer Sheets Under the Legs of Your Table

published Aug 26, 2019
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

It never feels good to have insects (or arachnids, rodents, reptiles, or amphibians, for that matter) invade our “human” spaces. Having them help themselves to our food supply feels especially repulsive.

Aside from the ick factor, pests that make their way into our pantries or set-out food create a lot of waste. Throwing out flour infested by squirming weevils, for instance, is a stomach-turning and dollar-burning affair. And who wants an al-fresco lunch interrupted by ants marching onto the tabletop and all over your hot dogs?

Luckily, you probably have something around the house that does a great job of repelling ants: dryer sheets.

Dryer sheets, especially scented ones, have gotten a bad rap as of late. But these very same fragrance-laden fabric softeners are an excellent ant deterrent (among many other hack-type uses for dryer sheets, if you need to finish off a pack). Using dryer sheets near your table can help keep these tiny pests from ruining a meal, both indoors and out.

To use dryer sheets to deter ants from crawling onto your tabletop:.

1. Start with fresh dryer sheets.

The undiluted chemicals and fragrance found in unused dryer sheets will work best to keep ants away.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

2. Cut out small pieces.

Using normal scissors (the dryer sheets will actually help clean and sharpen them!), cut a dryer sheet into small pieces, just big enough that they provide a barrier between the floor and the table’s leg. You’ll need as many small pieces as your table has legs.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Apartment Therapy

3. Stick the pieces under the legs of your table

If you’re using dryer sheets to repel ants at an indoor table, you may want to make the dryer sheets as unobtrusive as possible. If you have round table legs, for instance, you could cut the dryer sheets into circles that are slightly bigger than the table leg’s footprint and place them perfectly below.

If you’re outside and/or care less about aesthetics and/or just need to get through that pack of dryer sheets, simply lift your table’s legs and tuck a whole or folded dryer sheet underneath.

You can leave the dryer sheets there for days at a time — or as long as they continue to work. Just replace with fresh pieces when you notice the keep-away-scent has worn off and the ants have marched back up to feast.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: One Icky Reason You May Want to Put Dryer Sheets Under the Legs of Your Table