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Home --> Inboxer Rebellion --> Household Tips --> Bounce Back

Bounce Back

Claim:   Bounce brand fabric softener sheets are effective for a variety of household uses.

Status:   Multiple.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2003]

And all this time we've just been putting Bounce in the dryer:

1. Get rid of ants: It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them.

2. Musty book smells: It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.

3. Repels mosquitoes: Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.

4. Eliminates static electricity from your television screen.
Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

5. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.

6. Freshen the air in your home. Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.

7. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.

8. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.

9. Freshen the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.

10. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food.

11. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

12. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

13. Eliminate static electricity from venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.

14. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

15. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

16. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight so they will smell better in the AM.

Origins:   Classifying Bounce as "True" or "False" items which enumerate the many wonderful uses to which a particular household product can be put is always problematic, for a couple of reasons:
  • Many household products will do at least a passable job in a variety of uses other than the ones for which they are primarily intended, so such claims are hardly remarkable or unique.
  • Products designed for particular uses are generally more effective at those tasks than other products put to non-intended uses. (That is, bug spray might clean glass just fine, but plain old window cleaner is better, cheaper, and safer for that purpose.)
Many of the uses for Bounce brand fabric softener sheets listed above can be found on the Bounce web site and have to do with odor elimination. This is hardly surprising since Bounce is a scented fabric softener sheet, and just about any scented product can be used (with varying degrees of effectiveness) to mask ordinary household smells.

Nonetheless, one of our more intrepid readers tested most of the uses for Bounce listed above and reported the following mixed results:
  1. Get rid of ants: It will chase ants away when you lay a sheet near them.

    Totally did not work. My kitchen is right next to the back stoop, and we get a lot of ants around summer time. I must have stuffed every nook and cranny of my kitchen with Bounce sheets, but the suckers just crawled all over them and into the kitchen anyway. Orange Clean, I found, worked like a charm to not only safely disinfect my kitchen, but create a veritable ant Jonestown.
  2. Musty book smells: It takes the odor out of books and photo albums that don't get opened too often.

    Well, kinda. I have an old Bible that we don't open because it's so fragile. I stuck a couple of sheets in there and a few weeks later they smelled like ... flowery Bible pages. I guess if a big household problem for you is a book smelling too "booky," then Bounce may be your solution. For me, it still smelled like a book, and I still didn't care that much.
  3. Repels mosquitoes: Tie a sheet of Bounce through a belt loop when outdoors during mosquito season.

    Another totally didn't work. I went to Florida on vacation, and spent a lot of time horseback riding. I dislike mosquito bites, and that whole West Nile thing was going on, so I had a Bounce sheet tied around every belt loop. It looked kind of funky and cool, but didn't repel a mosquito worth a darn. My knees were COVERED in bumps. I'm thinking maybe the stupid sheets ATTRACTED the little bugs. Stupid Bounce.
  4. Eliminates static electricity from your television screen. Since Bounce is designed to help eliminate static cling, wipe your television screen with a used sheet of Bounce to keep dust from resettling.

    Worked! I was so shocked. Then I remembered — a paper towel will do the same thing. On a test between two TVs in my home, the Bounce actually did about the same as plain old Windex on a paper towel.
  5. Dissolve soap scum from shower doors. Clean with a sheet of Bounce.

    I don't have shower doors, but I did try it on my shower curtain. The scrubby feeling on the Bounce sheet actually helped in the scrubbing of some soap residue, but I wouldn't trade in my S.O.S. pad for it.
  6. Freshen the air in your home. Place an individual sheet of Bounce in a drawer or hang in the closet.

    I have a chest of drawers that constantly makes my clothes smell like lumber. I tried this and it worked like a charm. My clothes not only stopped smelling like the Keith Brown, but if I put a sheet between individual pairs of nylons, they wouldn't stick together or get all tangled up. This is pretty cool.

  7. Prevent thread from tangling. Run a threaded needle through a sheet of Bounce before beginning to sew.

    I couldn't tell you, I can't sew anything without a machine, and I could tangle anything. This is tough to test — how do you tell human error from just natural thread tangling?
  8. Prevent musty suitcases. Place an individual sheet of Bounce inside empty luggage before storing.

    Same thing with the musty books. I never noticed my suitcases smelling like anything. They did smell a little flowery, but nothing to write home about.
  9. Freshen the air in your car. Place a sheet of Bounce under the front seat.

    That poor Bounce sheet got so smashed, stomped, spilled on and generally abused sitting on the floor beneath the seat that no fresh scent happened. I did stick one in the glove compartment, but it just kept getting in the way of my glove compartment stuff, and for what? A flowery smell? Buy a little pine tree and get over it.
  10. Clean baked-on foods from a cooking pan. Put a sheet in a pan, fill with water, let sit overnight, and sponge clean. The anti static agent apparently weakens the bond between the food and the pan while the fabric softening agents soften the baked-on food.

    Totally did not work at all. Not only did I not feel completely comfortable washing things I eat off of with laundry stuff, but I did a side-by-side test. Two casseroles. One bounce sheet, one plain water. Water did the same as a Bounce sheet; that is, helped unstick the glued-on food, and so I'd say that the H2O weakened the bond between the food and the pan, not the Bounce.
  11. Eliminate odors in wastebaskets. Place a sheet of Bounce at the bottom of the wastebasket.

    Right. This made me feel like I was just throwing stuff away. I used it in the bathroom, and it kind of worked, but no better or worse than the aerosol can I keep in there and occasionally spritz in the trash.
  12. Collect cat hair. Rubbing the area with a sheet of Bounce will magnetically attract all the loose hairs.

    No, it won't. I tried on my couch, and it just pushed them around. A lint roller works wonders, though.
  13. Eliminate static electricity from venetian blinds. Wipe the blinds with a sheet of Bounce to prevent dust from resettling.

    See the bit about the TV.
  14. Wipe up sawdust from drilling or sand papering. A used sheet of Bounce will collect sawdust like a tack cloth.

    Did not test.
  15. Eliminate odors in dirty laundry. Place an individual sheet of Bounce at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper.

    This didn't work well for me. Five people keep all our dirty laundry centrally located in a big box in the laundry room. A few Bounce sheets mixed in did little to detox that area. However, I will say, for a small hamper it may just work.
  16. Deodorize shoes or sneakers. Place a sheet of Bounce in your shoes or sneakers overnight so they will smell better in the AM.

    I am a Birkenstocks girl, and if you are in your bare feet in the same shoes everyday, they get to SMELL. I stuck a couple of Bounce sheets in my sandals, wrapped them in a plastic bag and waited overnight. Worked like a charm. Now, after a particularly hard day, I do the Bounce wrap treatment. Loved it.
Last updated:   7 November 2008

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