Do Dryer Sheets Keep Roaches Away or Kill Them?

A study by Michigan State University shows that dryer sheets are more effective in controlling fungus gnats than any other household items. The results made people believe that they can also repel other bugs. If you are annoyed with the roach infestation at home, you may want to know, “Do dryer sheets keep roaches away?”

Yes! Dryer sheets have some particular components, such as linalool or citronella, that keep roaches away. Cockroaches hate the strong fragrances of the dryer sheet and try to avoid going near it. If you place a few dryer sheets around your home, it should deter them.

Bounce Dryer Sheets is one of the most popular products for softening fabric and keeping roaches away. However, if you have enough time, read a lil bit further to learn more about repelling roaches with dryer sheets.


What specific compounds in dryer sheets have repellent properties?

Dryer sheets may include various components depending on the brand. Here are some of the major chemical properties that most dryer sheets include:

  • Fabric softeners (quaternary ammonium compounds): Diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride (DEEDMAC), Diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium bromide (DEEDMAB), etc.
  • Fragrances: Synthetic fragrance compounds, Natural essential oils, etc.
  • Antistatic agents: Sodium stearate, Fatty acids, etc.
  • Conditioning agents: Silicone derivatives, Cationic surfactants, etc.
  • Humectants: Glycerin, Propylene glycol, etc.
  • Lubricants: Various types of waxes, Oils, etc.

All dryer sheets include some kind of fragrance to offer you a pleasant smell, and that is the main compound that deters the roaches.

Essential oils are known for repelling various types of bugs and insects. The dryer sheet includes the essential oil fragrances or linalool that irritate the cockroaches.

How do dryer sheets keep roaches away? [Usage Process]

My friend Andy had the strange idea to keep dryer sheets in his pocket to keep away bugs. Interestingly, it kept him safe from mosquitos for more than a week.

However, that method will not work to deter roaches at home. Then what will?

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to use dryer sheets to keep roaches away:

Step 1: Get the right dryer sheets

First, you need to find the scented dryer sheets. That’s because the strong fragrance is the main reason why roaches stay away from dryer sheets.

Some sheets are unscented. Avoid them as they will not work for repelling roaches. As mentioned earlier, Bounce dryer sheets usually do well against different types of roaches.

Step 2: Identify infested areas

Once you have the dryer sheets, you need to find the infested areas. Mark the locations where you see them the most.

However, roaches are mostly found in the kitchen, basements, bathroom, or cracks. 

Step 3: Place dryer sheets

Now, place the dryer sheets in every place where you see the cockroaches the most. Usually, placing one sheet in every location is enough. But if there is a heavy infestation, you can place multiple.

Warning: Dryer sheets are flammable. While placing it in the kitchen, keep it away from the stove or any other heat or fire source.

Step 4: Monitor & assess roach activities

Next, wait, monitor, and assess the roach activities. When they inhale the dryer sheet smell, their mind usually goes blank. They find it tough to move freely and find food. That’s why they will try to go away.

You need to check if the method is working or not. See if there are fewer roaches than before not.

Step 5: Replace

If you see a reduction in roach infestation after placing the dryer sheets, that means the strategy is working well. Try replacing the sheets once every week until all the roaches are gone.

However, if you do not see much improvement, then you should look for alternative strategies. I usually recommend using pet-safe roach killers to get rid of stubborn and heavy roach infestations.

Do dryer sheets keep roaches away

How effective are dryer sheets in repelling roaches?

The linalool and other essential oil properties in dryer sheets help keep roaches away. But these compounds are low in dryer sheets, so it may not work too well to keep roaches away.

If you are wondering whether dryer sheets can kill roaches, the answer is no. They are not strong enough to kill the pesky insects.

However, if there is a light cockroach infestation, then dryer sheets should be enough to keep them away from your home. But in case of heavy infestation, I will suggest you go for commercial products or contact professional pest control companies.


Can dryer sheets be used as a standalone solution for roach control?

Dryer sheets worked pretty well for roach control for many house owners. But its efficiency can vary. That is why it is suggested to use dryer sheets first and evaluate the results. Then decide whether to follow other strategies or use only dryer sheets.

Are there any risks or downsides to using dryer sheets for roach repellent?

Using dryer sheets has almost no risk compared to other chemical killers. However, their strong scent may trigger allergic reactions in some. Besides, they are flammable, and you must keep them away from fire sources.

How can I prevent roach infestations in the first place?

Practicing good sanitation habits is the first step to preventing roach infestations. Keep your home clean and free from food debris, fix any leaks or moisture issues, seal cracks and openings that may serve as entry points, and store food in airtight containers.

Regularly inspect your home for signs of roaches and take immediate action if you spot any.

What other bugs do dryer sheets keep away?

Many people reported that dryer sheets helped them keep away the following bugs and insects:

  • Mosquitos
  • Gnats
  • Flies
  • Bed bugs
  • Mites
  • Gnats
  • Spiders, etc.

Final words

Again, do dryer sheets keep roaches away? Yes, but only to a certain point. They also do not kill roaches. Use dryer sheets when you have a light roach infestation. But if there is a heavy infestation, try finding a different strategy to get rid of roaches.

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