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Is a Dryer Sheet the Best Bug Repellent?

A box of dryer sheets sits on top of a washing machine.

Are you tired of dealing with pesky bugs buzzing around your outdoor gatherings? You may have heard a rumor that dryer sheets can repel insects and wondered if it’s true. It’s time we separate fact from fiction.

The truth is, dryer sheets are much better at reducing static than reliably repelling bugs.

According to experts, the notion that dryer sheets can repel insects is largely a myth since there is little evidence to suggest that bugs are consistently repelled. An ingredient called “linalool” is found in dryer sheets as well as some fragrances, and it supposedly deters bugs…but not all that well. 

OFF! Family Care Insect & Mosquito Repellent

The best insect repellent is a reliable bug spray.

Typically, the concentration of linalool in dryer sheets is not high enough to effectively repel insects. This means that the scent of dryer sheets may temporarily mask odors bugs are attracted to, which could potentially confuse bugs and deter them for a little while, but it’s not a foolproof solution.

When it comes to keeping insects at bay, it’s best to rely on methods that are designed to deter them. Bug sprays and insect repellents that have undergone rigorous testing and have been proven to effectively repel a wide range of insects (including mosquitoes, ticks, and flies) are your best bet.

So, while dryer sheets may have their laundry-enhancing benefits, it’s safe to say that they shouldn’t be your go-to solution for keeping bugs away. Stick to tried-and-true insect repellents to ensure you enjoy bug-free summer.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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