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Do Dryer Sheets Repel Mosquitoes or Other Insects? The Interesting Answer!

a box of dryer sheets on top of the dryer

Many savvy DIYers believe that dryer sheets help repel mosquitoes and other insects. But is this true or fallacy? The truth is somewhere between the two, which is why we took the time to come up with this guide and break down everything that you need to know about using dryer sheets as a mosquito and insect repellent. Spoiler alert, though, don’t ditch the bug sprays just yet.

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Do Dryer Sheets Repel Mosquitoes?

There are no studies that show that dryer sheets repel or don’t repel mosquitoes.

This is an area where the jury is still out, so there are many conflicting opinions out there. It is worth noting that most dryer sheets contain an ingredient called linalool, which is a known insect repellent.

With linalool as an ingredient, it’s certainly possible that dryer sheets can help repel mosquitoes, but right now, we just don’t know for sure.

Dryer Sheet
Image Credit: Noah Rolseth, Shutterstock

Do Dryer Sheets Repel Other Insects?

While we don’t quite know if dryer sheets are an effective way to repel mosquitoes, we do know that they can help repel other types of insects. One study by researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Illinois found that “Bounce” dryer sheets function as an effective fungus gnat deterrent.

Moreover, studies have shown that linalool, an active ingredient in many dryer sheets, acts as an excellent deterrent for insects like mites, beetles, weevils, and some types of cockroaches. While we don’t know for sure how effective dryer sheets are for repelling mosquitoes, they can at least help keep other types of insects away!

What Is Linalool?

Linalool is a naturally occurring substance that you can find in over 200 types of plants. It’s common in citrus fruits and lavenders, and today, you can find it in a wide range of products and applications. It’s a common ingredient in various essential oils, sedatives, and even alcohol.

Linalool is an extremely versatile and effective ingredient for a wide range of applications, so it’s no surprise to find it in dryer sheets.

lavender essential oil
Image Credit: googlerankfaster, Pixabay

Other Ways to Keep Mosquitoes and Other Insects Away

Just because we don’t know if dryer sheets work at repelling mosquitoes doesn’t mean you just need to accept having these bugs around. The most effective way to keep mosquitoes and other types of insects away is to use a dedicated, high-quality bug spray.

Bug sprays can also deter a wider range of insects than dryer sheets with linalool can. Of course, you can keep using dryer sheets, but we recommend pairing them with a more effective method, like bug spray.

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Final Thoughts

While there might be some truth to using dryer sheets as a mosquito repellent, there’s just not enough evidence to say for sure either way. However, you can keep away certain insects, like fungus gnats, mites, and even some cockroaches, with dryer sheets, so they do have helpful properties.

But if you’re trying to keep insects away from you the next time that you’re out, we recommend playing it safe by going with a top-notch bug spray instead of stuffing your pockets full of dryer sheets.

Featured Image Credit: Nathan Antonino, Shutterstock


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