Monday, February 3, 2014

I Can Do What With That?

I love to find new uses for ordinary things that are found around the house.  Hopefully I am not the only one who has lots of stuff around their house but since I do I have found it kind of a challenge to find new uses for some of the things that are just laying around. Here are just a few:

Clear Nail Polish - Use clear nail polish to stop the runs in your nylons. Put a little drop on the top and the bottom of the run because of course - a run can go both ways! And don't use too much or you will end up gluing your nylons to your legs. Yes, I've done it before and it doesn't feel good when you have to peel it off.

Black or Brown Sharpie - Depending on which color of dress shoes you have that have scuff marks or worn marks that are easily seen, color over the spot or spots with a sharpie to help with the discoloration. It isn't a perfect fix but if you are at work and you don't want someone to see an unsightly scuff on your shoes, this is a quick fix until you can find a more suitable repair for your shoes.

Vegetable Oil - Vegetable oil will put a shine on leather shoes. Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt, then run a soft cloth with a drop of oil over the surface to (literally) add a shine.

Pumice Stone - Use a pumice stone to clean the pile and lint off your wool winter coat. You can run the stone over your garment in long strokes and it will pull the lint and dirt right off. Just make sure that it is a clean pumice stone!

Binder Clips - There are so many great uses for binder clips but one that I love is that you can use them as chip bag clips or clips for cereal bags. Instead of spending $5 - $6 on very pretty colored ones, just use a large binder clip.  I'm sure you have a few around your house!

Packing Tape - It's true! Cut a piece of packing tape long enough to wrap around your fingers and rub the tape in long strokes on your coat, sweater or pants. When a piece of the tape is covered with lint or dirt and no longer picks up anything, turn it around to a clean piece of tape and continue running across your coat or sweater.

Dryer Sheets - Use a dryer sheet to get the static out of your hair. I have had this problem more than I care to tell, especially this time of year. Just take a dryer sheet and wipe it through your hair making sure to get the ends of your hair as well that may be laying on top of a sweater or wool coat. I keep one in the glove compartment of my car for when I am running in to Church or a public place and my hair is going crazy and I also keep one in my desk drawer at work.  And you know it is bad when you are talking to someone and they are looking at the dancing hairs on the top of your head.  Embarrassing.

Unusual Containers for Kitchen Crocks - I love this glass popcorn bucket not because popcorn is my favorite snack but because my good friend Mandi gave it to me. She and her family LOVE movies and popcorn and it just makes me smile every time I see it so why not use it all the time? I have it sitting prominently on my counter with all my baking tools right beside my mixer and I love it!  It is deep and wide and holds just about all the baking utensils I have.

Free Hotel Shower Caps - One of the very few things that are still free in a hotel room is a shower cap.  If you don't need it, leave it behind.  But if you have a pair of shoes in your suitcase that you are worried might get other things dirty, slip your shoes inside with the bottoms down.  This will help to keep those soles from getting all over your other suitcase items and soiling them.

Hair Dryer - Its frustrating to get out of the shower and not be able to see in the mirror because it is all steamy shower from your shower! Dry that steam off with a quick blast of hot air from your hair dryer.

Grocery Bags - A supermarket bag, tightly secured with a rubber band, will keep a brush (or roller) moist for a day or two in between painting sessions: the end of dried-out bristles.

Contact Lens Case - When traveling, eliminate clunky bottles for nonprescription meds from your purse by putting the pills into a contact-lens case. (This is not childproof!)

Table Salt - Salt can save your carpet after a spill. Just completely coat and cake that spill in salt immediately after getting rid of the majority of the spill with a rag or some sort of clean cloth. The salt will absorb the remaining liquid as it dries, taking the stain with it, and then you just have to vacuum to clean up.  If it is a tough stain, you may need to use a little bit of liquid soap and water to gently scrub out the remainder of the stain..

Sharpening Scissors w/Aluminum Foil - Rather than buy a new pair of scissors every time they start to get dull, yes, some people do this, why not just use a few pieces of aluminum foil to sharpen them? Just use your dull scissors to cut through 6-8 layers of aluminum foil. It won't make them super sharp but it will improve the cutting edge until you can do a thorough sharpening.

Asprin - Salicylic acid, an ingredient in aspirin, is used in many acne treatments. Crush up an aspirin pill, add some water to make a paste and apply the aspirin paste to a pimple and wait for several minutes. Rinse off the past without rubbing too much, and the pimple should start to get small and lost some of its redness.

Dish Towels - Use dish towels as place mats. Let a colorful dish towel span the center of your table, and you’ll get two place mats for the price one dish towel.

Sticky Notes - Before you toss one of these paper reminders in the trash, run the sticky side between the keys of your computer's keyboard to collect crumbs and other grime.

Penny - Drop one into vase water and add a pinch of sugar to keep cut flowers perkier longer. Who says you can't get anything for a penny these days?

Colander - A pasta drainer is great for wring-free removal of water from hand-washed delicates. Rinse clothing in the colander; let drip for a bit; lay flat to dry.

Bar of Soap - To budge a stiff zipper, hold the fabric taut and rub the soap along the front and back sides of the teeth of the zipper. Then pull and see how smoothly it glides.

Baking Soda - If you have a stomach ache or sour stomach, stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1/2 cup of water and drink for a safe and effective antacid.

Wax Paper - Put a sheet between cast iron pans when stacking them.  The thin coat of wax paper helps prevent rusting.

If you have a great idea for doubling the use of an every day household item please share it below. If I get enough additional great ideas, I will put together another list to post later!


  1. Great idea for the shower cap! I have a few of them by my front door. Sometimes it's impractical for us to take off our shoes right after we come in from the snow-- especially when doing things like making trips to bring groceries in the house Of course the snow and salt makes a mess of the floors, so we slip a shower cap on our boots, go about our business and avoid disaster!

  2. Thanks, Jessica. That is a great idea to use a shower cap to cover shoes or boots when you are bringing things into the house in bad weather. I am going to slip some into my umbrella vase by the door where no one will see them for that very reason. Thanks for the comment!


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