Easy, Unusual Uses for Handy Household Items

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Easy, Unusual Uses for Handy Household Items


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By Carrie Griffin Munn - Commentary

The modern market offers a wide selection of cleaners for use in the household, but many are packed with harmful chemicals. For an often greener, and usually cheaper, solution for cleaning, laundry and various household tasks, we need only look to the old school, yet inventive tricks and tips of housewives and the do-it-yourself savvy throughout the ages.

Take a look at the multiple uses for these common items:
Toothpaste-  Sure we all use it to keep our teeth clean and breath fresh, but you can also…
  • Remove those crayon, marker or ball point pen drawings on your wall by putting a dab on a    damp cloth and gently rubbing out the marks.
  • Deep clean and brighten up your fingernails by using it on a nail or toothbrush and scrubbing your fingertips.
  • Revive an un-sticky, dried out stamp by putting a thin layer on the back to replace the adhesive.
  • Fill in small nail holes in your wall prior to painting or polish chrome with toothpaste on a damp rag.
Olive Oil- A staple in many pantries, this natural product serves more purposes than culinary ones:
  • Safely and painlessly decrease your pets’ shedding by mixing 2 tablespoons into their food weekly.
  • Moisturize and protect your skin from razor burn by using a thin layer of olive oil instead of shaving cream or gel. It also easily removes paint from skin.
  • Get relief after scalding your mouth on that coffee or cheesy pizza by swishing, then swallowing a spoonful.
  • Polish your wood furniture by mixing with a little lemon juice or coat the bottoms of candles with it to prevent sticking to the holders.
White Vinegar- Nature’s cleaner may not smell like daisies but it gets the job done in many situations…
  • Prevent your windshield wipers from streaking by wiping white vinegar along the blades.
  • Diminish bruising after a spill or scrape by applying a vinegar-soaked gauze pad where it’s sore
  • Mix with water and your preferred detergent to create an inexpensive yet effective laundry stain remover. This works especially well on coffee, tea and red spills.
  • Make that shower head work like new again by soaking it in a half-vinegar-half-water mixture to remove the mineral deposits. Too hard to take down? Place the mixture in a plastic bag and secure around the mounted hardware with a rubber band.
Here are some other easy and ingenious household how-to’s…
  • Use a paintbrush to work talcum powder into your wood floor joints to eliminate squeaky steps.
  • Dishwasher dingy with mineral deposits and funk? Run a container of Tang drink mix through while empty and see your appliance revitalized.
  • Cooked on food splatters in the microwave? Place a soaking wet sponge in and “nuke” on high for two minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes with the door closed, then wipe down easily.
  • Waxing your car? Hit the stovetop while you’re at it to prevent grease and grime build-up, making it easy to wipe down with soap and water.
  • Do you have cream of tartar on your spice rack? Few recipes call for it, but it works wonders when mixed with lemon juice as a bleach-like stain fighter for white clothes and rust stains on metal or ceramic sinks.
  • Dinner overcooked and now the bottom of your pot or pan is burnt? Legend has it that good, ol’ Coca-Cola is the best salvation for your cookware. Pour in enough soda to cover the bottom and soak for an hour…and voila.
Editor’s note: This list was compiled from multiple online resources reporting on commonly used practices, though some were tested and effective, TheBAYNET.com does not support these claims.

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