Give Everyday Items a Second Chance

Try some of these tips to reuse those items that would otherwise go into our waste stream.

1. Remove ring around the collar stains by marking the stains with chalk before the wash. The dust helps absorb the oils, making the stain easier to clean.
2. Rub chalk over the handle of a screwdriver to prevent slipping.
3. Draw chalk lines around entry points for ants in your home. Many chalks contain calcium carbonate, which ants don’t like.

1. Clean a coffeemaker by filling the reservoir with 1 part white vinegar, 2 parts water, and brewing. Repeat every 3 weeks.
2. Kill grass and weeds by pouring vinegar on them. The acidic component kills young weeds in one shot.
3. Perk up soggy leafy vegetables by soaking them in 2 cups cold water mixed with 1 Tablespoon vinegar for 10 minutes. Rinse, dry and serve.

1. Knead dough by using 2 quart-size bags as gloves to avoid getting your hands sticky. You can also use a bag to store extra dough.
2. Create a temporary funnel for anything from shampoo to children’s beads and glitter.
3. Clean a showerhead by pouring a little white vinegar into a bag, rubber band it to the showerhead and soak for 30 minutes.

1. Make a faucet shine by rubbing chrome fixtures to prevent water spots and finger smudges.
2. Run a piece of wax paper through the gears of your hand held can opener to loosen dirt and coat them.
3. Unstick pages – insert paper between wet pages of a book. When they dry, they’ll be good as new.

1. Remove dirt from spinach, arugula and kale by swirling them around in a bowl of salt water.
2. Rub the inside of windows with a sponge dipped in salt water to prevent frost from collecting.
3. Clean a greasy pan by shaking a little salt on the pan before washing to absorb most of the grease.

1. Clean mirrors, windows and drinking glasses by putting your hand inside like a mitt and wipe. Filters are lint-free and leave no streaks.
2. Place a filter inside a flower pot to stop soil from leaking through the drainage holes on the bottom.
3. Protect your dishes by putting one between each piece when stacking.

1. When your cat’s or dog’s paw pads are cracked and dry, rub a little on them to soothe the discomfort.
2. Dirt and dust can cause outdoor bulbs to stick. Rub a little petroleum jelly on the threads of the bulb before you screw it in and it won’t stick in the future.
3. Coat the pole of a bird feeder to prevent squirrels from climbing up.

1. Sprinkle inside rubber gloves before you put them on so they won’t stick.
4. Shake a bit into socks to absorb moisture and help prevent blisters.
5. Get cooking grease off a wall by putting on a cloth and rub the spot until the mark is gone.

1. Remove crayon marks or wax spills by blow-drying the stain on high heat until the wax melts, then wipe it up with a sponge.
2. Iron out plastic tablecloth or shower curtain. The hot air relaxes pesky wrinkles. Be sure to hold the dryer 12” away.
3. Dust hard to reach places by setting the dryer on cool. Blows the dust right off.

1. Tuck a dryer sheet into smelly shoes overnight to eliminate odors.
2. Place a fresh sheet in a pan with baked on food and fill with water. Let sit for a few hours and the food will be easy to wipe away.
3. Rub shower doors and walls with a wet sheet to remove mineral deposits and soap scum.

1. Place a small piece on the spot where you’re going to hammer in a nail. This keeps paint from chipping.
2. If button threads are becoming loose, put a small piece over them to hold the button in place.
3. Can’t find the end of the saran wrap roll? Lift it up with a piece touched to the edge.

1. Keep spools of thread from unraveling by wrapping then with a rubber band.
2. Prevent a potluck disaster by securing the lid of the dish by stretching a band over the top.
3. Wrap a rubber band around the handle of a hammer or screwdriver for a firmer grip.

1. Remove crayon marks by squirting a small dab of non-gel toothpaste on the wall where the mark is. Rub gently with a soft cloth then rinse with warm water.
2. Can’t get garlic or onion odor off your hands? Wash them with a blob of toothpaste.
3. Get rid of light scratches on a DVD by squeezing a little non-gel toothpaste onto a cotton ball. Wipe over the DVD from the center out to the edge. Rinse with water and dry with a non-abrasive, lint-free cloth – all gone.

Do you have uses for everyday items that are not listed? Please share.

Comments are closed.