Who doesn’t have toothpaste, rubber bands or salt at home? There are many items in our homes that have many more uses than we realize - some that can greatly improve our lives and save us money too. These 10 items most likely can be found in your home already. Some probably just lie there gathering dust. By knowing the extra uses you can get out of each item, you can employ them more effectively when you need them.
1. Remove ink and lipstick stains – Has a leaky pen stained your shirt or pants? Apply some plain toothpaste to the stain and give it a good scrub, then rinse and repeat until the stain is gone. This trick also works for lipstick stains.
2. Remove strong odors from your hands - If you were peeling garlic and can’t seem to get rid of the smell, wash your hands with toothpaste instead of soap.
3. Prevents glass surfaces from fogging up – This is a trick I learned while diving. Plain toothpaste prevents glass surfaces from fogging up, which is important while diving. It also works for bathroom mirrors, glass shower doors and so on.
4. Remove oil stains from walls – If you've left your kid alone for a moment, only to return and discover he or she has “decorated” the walls with crayons, then toothpaste is your best friend. Grab a brush or microfiber cloth, put on some plain toothpaste and scrub the wall. Follow this up by using a wet cloth to wipe off the paste and enjoy your clean wall.
5. Polish diamonds – Grab an old toothbrush, put some toothpaste on it and give your diamond ring or earrings a scrub. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste and watch how your diamonds sparkle again.
1. Better tool grip – If you’ve got sweaty hands or you’re trying to unscrew something that screwed in too tightly, try wrapping your tool's handle in a few rubber bands. The rubber’s natural qualities will provide for better grip, making each job that much easier. It even works for tightly-sealed jar lids.
2. Prevent glasses from slipping – If you wear prescription glasses while exercising, you can use a rubber band to keep them securely in place. All you need to do is wrap a rubber band around the edges of your glasses' temples to keep them from flying off.
3. Cushion falling remotes – If you have a history of accidentally dropping remote controls, you can wrap them in a couple of rubber bands to prevent them from breaking. The rubber’s elasticity will serve as a shock absorber and cushion the fall!
4. Safely close cabinets – If you keep cleaning detergents and other poisonous materials in cabinets but want to keep your kids from opening the doors, wrap the handles tightly with a rubber band to ensure their safety.
5. Revitalize an old broom – If your broom’s bristles are too frayed, wrap a rubber band around them to keep them together. This trick will make your broom sweep like brand-new.
1. Strengthen screws – Is the handle of your favorite pot coming loose? Is your cupboard door loosening all the time? Unscrew them, apply clear nail polish to the screw, and then screw it back in, allowing the nail polish to dry. Another benefit is that the polish prevents the screw from rusting.
2. Seal envelopes – If the adhesive on your envelope is too weak or non-existent, you can substitute it for clear nail polish. Just remember to keep the envelope sealed while the polish is drying.
3. Thread a needle – Are you struggling with threading a needle? Dip the tip of the thread into a little nail polish and let it dry. Now that it’s hard, you can thread the needle with ease.
4. Keep jewels from tarnishing – If you’ve got simple jewelry that might tarnish with time, coat it with a thin layer of clear nail polish. It’ll remain tarnish-free and looking like new for a long time to come.
5. Tell your keys apart – If you’ve got a bunch of keys that look similar, apply different-colored nail polish to the head of each key to help you tell them apart in an instant.
1. Shoe deodorizer – If your sneakers are a source of foul smells, shove a dryer sheet into each shoe and leave them in overnight for odorless shoes come morning. This also works for suitcases and backpacks. To be even more “green”, you can use dryer sheets that have already been through the dryer.
2. Clean tough stains from pans – Are there burn stains on your pans that just refuse to come off no matter how hard you scrub? Pour water into the pan, pot, or baking dish and leave a dryer sheet in. Give it a few hours and those tough stains will become a thing of the past.
3. Effectively clean dust – If there are surfaces you want to dust but would rather not use a damp cloth on, try using a dryer sheet as a substitute, which is as effective at removing dust, even when it’s dry.
4. Insect repellent – Mosquitoes and bees hate the smell of dryer sheets. You can leave some around you when you sleep, or tuck some in hidden corners of your house or apartment. Don't smear them on yourself though, as they contain lots of chemicals.
5. Remove scum from the shower – If your shower glass door is filled with scum stains, grab a dryer sheet and scrub them away with ease.
1. Protect your pets’ cracked paws – If your pet is suffering from dry or cracked paws, rub some Vaseline on and message it into the paw. It’s best to do this after a walk.
2. Prevents mishaps when painting your nails – If you hate having to clean up after you apply nail polish, rub some Vaseline around the nail to prevent the polish from adhering to that surface.
3. Helps heal sunburns – Sunburns are unpleasant at best and painful at worst. Apply Vaseline to the burnt areas to help them heal faster and prevent the skin from cracking and peeling.
4. Prevents chafing – If you suffer from chafing and don’t have talcum powder accessible, you can apply a little Vaseline to the chafing area to protect it.
5. Hides split ends – No time to go to the hair stylist? Use a little Vaseline on your split ends to hide them.
1. Moth repellent – If you can’t get mothballs, you can use pencil shavings instead. The smell of the shavings is an effective repellent.
2. Fix stuck zippers – If your zipper is stuck, rub the “teeth” on either side with the pencil’s graphite - it’ll act as a dry lubricant and free the zipper. This also works wonders on old locks.
3. Pincushion substitute – Are you doing some sewing but can’t find that darn pin cushion? Stick the needles into a pencil eraser to keep them safe for the time being.
4. Temporary earring clasp – If you've lost the back clasp of your earring, cut a piece of the eraser from a pencil and use it as a temporary clasp.
5. Clean the soles of your shoes – If you've stepped in something sticky (like gum) and need to clean it somehow, a pencil will do the job perfectly.
1. Cleaning vegetables – The best way to wash vegetables is in a bowl of salt water. The salt and water combination is tough on dirt but harmless to the vegetable.
2. Better-tasting coffee – Sprinkle a little bit of salt in your coffee to make it less acidic and bring out the real coffee flavors.
3. Cheese-preserver – Dip napkins in salt water and use them to wrap pieces of cheese before putting them back in the fridge. The salt prevents mold from forming on the cheese, keeping it fresh for longer.
4. Clean wine stains – Have you spilled some wine on your table cloth? Cover it with salt and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then clear the salt and wash it in the washing machine. The stain will be a thing of the past.
5. Relieve mosquito bites – If you’ve become a mosquito’s meal and are now scratching yourself raw, dip a napkin or washcloth in salt water, then apply to the bites. For tough bites, you can also try adding some olive oil.
1. Prevent fabrics from fading – If you’re worried that your favorite piece of clothing will fade in the wash, soak it in an equal mix of water and vinegar for 15 minutes prior to washing. The vinegar will protect the color.
2. Kill weeds – Pouring vinegar on weeds is a fantastic method for killing them effectively.
3. Revive mushy vegetables – If your veggies have gained a mushy texture, you can fix them in a jiffy by dipping them for 10 minutes in a mix of two cups of water combined with a teaspoon of vinegar. Just remember to rinse them afterwards.
4. Clean your keyboard – Keyboards can get greasy and dirty, but cleaning them can be very easy. Unplug yours from the computer, grab a microfiber cloth and dip it in a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Next, wring it as hard as you can, then wipe the grime off of the keys. If you need to clean between the keys, use cotton swabs.
5. Get rid of the smell of smoke – If you've accidentally burned a dish and now the house stinks of smoke, grab a rag and dip it in vinegar, wring it, and then flap it around the room. It might feel silly, but the vinegar absorbs the smoke particles that make the house smell bad. You should also leave a bowl of vinegar in the kitchen for a few hours to absorb any leftover smell.
1. Stop boiled water from overflowing – Scared of leaving a pot on the stove? Stick a toothpick between the pot and the lid. This will allow the steam to escape, preventing the pressure that causes water to overflow.
2. Find the ends of sticky tape with ease – If you hate struggling with a roll of tape just to find the end, stick a toothpick to the edge before putting the roll away to make it easy to find next time.
3. Efficiently fry sausages – By running a toothpick through every pair of sausages, you can make sure that they fry evenly on all sides.
4. Keep young seedlings straight – Just like you’d use a piece of wood as a splint for a young tree, you can stick a few toothpicks around a young seedling to make sure it grows vertically.
5. Paint hard-to-reach corners – When painting, if you encounter corners, grooves, or crevices that your brush can’t reach, you can dip a toothpick in the paint and use it on those areas.
1. Easily remove rubber and latex gloves – If you have problems removing gloves once you’re done using them, pour a bit of talcum powder into them before putting them on. Once you’re ready, the gloves will come off with ease.
2. Remove sand with ease – If you’re going to the beach, keep some talcum powder in the car. When you go back to it, pour some powder on your feet and give them a rub to get rid of any sand that's stuck to them.
3. Get rid of oil stains – If you've spilled oil on your favorite shirt, dip a cotton ball in talcum powder and rub the stain until the oil’s gone. Afterward, put the shirt in the wash and see how the oil stain has disappeared.
4. Free knotted necklaces – If your necklace is in a bit of a tangle, sprinkle talcum powder over it and give it a shake. This will make it much easier to untangle.
5. Ant repellent – Ants hate talcum powder, so if you find the place they’re entering your house from, pour talcum powder over it and say goodbye to your ant problem.
Know any more alternative uses for household objects?
Let us know in the comments section.