Try a New Use for: Chalk
- Get out grease stains from clothes: Rub the stain with a stick of chalk to absorb any lingering grease. Toss the clothes in the wash and the stain should be gone at the end of the wash cycle.
Try a New Use for: Vodka
- Keep flowers fresh: Add a few drops of vodka to your flower vase to keep them alive longer. The alcohol prevents bacteria from growing in the water and stops the production of a chemical that causes the flowers to age
Try a New Use for: Alka-Seltzer
- Clean burned food off glass cookware: Add 5 tablets to a sink full of hot water and let your dish soak for an hour. After the dish soaks, lightly scrub it with a non-abrasive pad.
Try a New Use for: Dryer Sheets
- Clean soap scum off shower doors: Get a second life out of a used dryer sheet by using it to wipe soap residue off a dirty shower door. Add a few drops of water to the sheet for the best results.
Try a New Use for: Paper Clips
- Make a phone stand: Use this holder to prop up your smartphone so you can enjoy a video with friends or read a recipe while cooking. Start with a jumbo paper clip and straighen out all the bends. Bend in half, like a hairpin. Measure 1 1/4" down from the bend, and bend each leg forward. Measure another 1 1/4" down and bend each leg forward again. Place on a table and set your phone in it on its side.
- Fix a zipper: If you are missing the pull tab on a zipper, thread a paper clip through the zipper loop.
- Repair eyeglasses: Tighten or loosen the arms of your glasses by using the tip of the clip as a screwdriver.
- Unclog spray bottles: Get rid of the gunk by inserting the end of a clip into the spray hole.
- Correct a wardrobe malfunction: Should your skirt or pants hem come undone during the day, use a paper clip to hold it up until you have time to fix it.
Try a New Use for: Wine Bottles
- Roll out dough: Empty or full, the bottle does the trick.
- Paint them pretty: "I spray-paint wine bottles and use them as vases or candleholders
Try a New Use for: a Can Opener
- Open plastic packaging: Struggling with a tightly sealed clamshell package? Use your can opener in place of scissors to save time and energy.
Try a New Use for: Toothpaste
- Spackle your walls: Use white toothpaste to fill in small nail holes.
- Soothe bug bites: Rub a dab onto itchy spots for quick relief.
- Clean sneakers: Scrub white leather sneakers with an old toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Banish odors: After chopping garlic or onions, use a small amount on hands to eliminate any lingering odor.
- Remove water rings: Rub paste onto the wood with a soft cloth. Then wipe with a damp one.
- Brighten jewelry: Give metal a shine by applying paste and buffing with a clean, dry cloth.
- Scrub hands: "I wash my hands with toothpaste to remove ink stains."
Try a New Use for: Coffee Filters
- Craft a wreath: Mix 1 tsp. acrylic paint into 1 cup of water; stir. Dip filters into dye, wring out and let dry. Stack 2 filters. Make a fist with your left hand. Push center of filters into center of fist. Open fist, twist center of flower, and hot-glue twisted end to wreath form. Repeat until form is covered.
- Get dust off screens: Instead of using cleaning spray or a microfiber cloth on your computer and TV screens, grab a coffee filter. It grabs dust without leaving behind the fibers or streaks that paper towels do.
- Line planters: Place at the bottom of a houseplant container to prevent soil from leaking out of the drainage hole.
- Keep the microwave clean: "When I'm heating up food in the microwave, I cover it with a filter. It's the perfect size to fit over a bowl and prevent messes."
Try a New Use for: Straws
- Make a koozie: Cut off the ankle portion of a sock and slip it over a bottled or canned beverage to keep it insulated.
- Style your locks: "Wrap sections of damp hair around a sock and tie the ends together. Leave in overnight; remove in the a.m. for nice waves." -- Tina Butler, 47, Royse City,
Try a New Use for: Socks
- Make a koozie: Cut off the ankle portion of a sock and slip it over a bottled or canned beverage to keep it insulated.
- Style your locks: "Wrap sections of damp hair around a sock and tie the ends together. Leave in overnight; remove in the a.m. for nice waves."
Try a New Use for: Tinfoil
- Sharpen scissors: Use scissors to cut a few strips of foil and -- voila! -- no more dull blades.
- Scour pots and pans: "If you run out of scrubbing pads, try using crumpled-up foil instead. It works great on baked-on foods and is a good way to reuse foil
Try a New Use for: Binder Clips
- Money clip: Fold bills and clip them together to keep them neat and organized.
- Corral cables: Attach an extra-large binder clip to the back of a desk or table, then thread a charger cord through the handle to prevent multiple cords from getting tangled.
- Cover razors: To prevent accidents, clip over your shaving razor when storing or packing for travel.
- Squeeze toothpaste: As you roll the tube, secure the end with a binder clip to help ensure that you get every last bit.
- Hold a wet sponge: Place the flat part of a clip on a counter with the handles pointing up. Wedge the sponge between the handles.
Try a New Use For: Baby Wipes
- Shine leather: Bring out the luster in your leather goods, including bags, shoes and even sofas, with a quick pass of an alcohol-free wipe. Be sure to test the wipe first in an inconspicuous spot.
- Clean your cell phone: Keep harsh chemicals away from your skin by wiping down everything but your screen with baby wipes.
Try a New Use for: Newspaper
- Wrap a gift: Choose an appropriate section or article, like the comics or horoscope, to give a present a touch of whimsy.
- Dry shoes: Leather shoes got soaked in a rainstorm? Place a few crumpled pieces inside overnight to help soak up the moisture.
- Keep the produce bin clean: Line it with newspaper to absorb spills and prevent caked-on messes.
- Fend off frost: Lay a few sheets over your car's windshield and secure overnight with the wipers -- you won't have to de-ice in the morning!
- Eliminate odors: Place small balled pieces inside plastic food containers and let them sit for a day to remove bad smells.
- Stop stray shoots: "Lay wet newspaper in the garden, then cover with a thin layer of dirt. The paper keeps weeds from sprouting. When planting bulbs, make sure you leave a large hole so the plants can grow
Try a New Use for: Aspirin
- Stain remover: Make a paste of two aspirin and warm water, then use it to presoak clothing for two hours
Try a New Use for: Bananas
- Polish shoes: Rub the inside of a banana peel on the shoe. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. The oils and potassium in the peel will add shine.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Scuff remover
To get rid of scuff marks, rub the inside of a banana peel over silverware, leather shoes and leather furniture. Wipe with a soft cloth. Be sure to test on a small, inconspicuous section first
Try a New Use for: a Bowl
- DIY speakers: Place your iPhone or iPod in a bowl or glass to amplify the sound
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Soft chunks of crustless white bread will get smudges off wallpaper and wipe away fingerprints and other grime.
Hardwater stain remover
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>To get rid of lime buildup, make a paste of 1 teaspoon vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Apply to sink fixtures and rub with a cloth.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda in the drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes, then flush with a pot of boilng water.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Rub a thin veneer of car wax on your stovetop, then wipe it off. The wax allows future cooking spills to lift off more easily.
Enamel repair paint
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Use correction fluid (like White-Out) to cover nicks and chips on white enamel kitchen appliances like ranges and mixers.
Stainless steel polish
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>A staple in most garages, WD-40 also works wonders on stainless steel. Just spray and rub with a cloth for a spotless shine
Washing machine cleaner
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Using the warm water setting, fill the basin and add 2 cups white vinegar. Let stand for an hour, then run the cycle as usual.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>For a natural bleaching effect and to save money on energy costs (you don't have to use the dryer!), hang your whites outside to dry.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Clean a bathroom mirror with shaving cream (the old-fashioned white kind, not a gel variety), then wipe with a soft cloth. This tip also helps keep the mirror fog-free after showers.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Use an antistatic spray on blinds to keep dust from piling up.
Antibacterial bathroom cleaner
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>To kill bathroom germs, spray full-strength vinegar around the sink and tub. Wipe clean with a damp cloth
Silver jewelry polish
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Using a soft toothbrush, scrub pieces of silver jewelry with a bit of toothpaste containing baking soda. Rinse with warm water to restore sparkle
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Unstick drawers and keep them sliding smoothly by rubbing the runners with a candle or bar of soap.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Place a piece of white chalk in your silver or jewelry chest to absorb moisture and prevent tarnish.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Slip an old pillowcase over each blade of a ceiling fan, then apply mild pressure as you peel it off. The dust will stay in the case.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>To get glass vases sparkling clean, fill three-quarters with hot water, add a teaspoon of baking soda and shake. Let stand overnight; rinse.
Store cords tangle-free by winding each one back and forth, then inserting it into an empty toilet paper tube
Clean and shine the leaves of houseplants by wiping them down with the inside of a banana peel.
Paint remover for skin
To take off oil-based paint on your skin, put a little extra-virgin olive oil on a soft cloth and rub clean.
Instead of using harsh chemicals, spray vinegar in the cracks of your walkway to get rid of weeds.
To maintain a clean barbecue grill, sprinkle dry baking soda on a damp brush, scrub, then rinse.
Use your morning pick-me-up to eliminate odors in the fridge. Simply place coffee grounds, new or used, in a bowl on a shelf. Replace them every two months for a fresh, slightly caffeinated smell.
Keep your dishwasher extra clean with white vinegar. Pour ½ cup into the detergent cups and run the empty machine for a complete cycle. Cleaning tips: you can also use a few tablespoons of powdered laundry bleach, Tang or lemon-flavored Kool-Aid (it must be lemon) for the same results.
It won't be a pretty sound, tossing ice cubes into the garbage disposal break sup grease and keeps it clean. Every few weeks, toss in a handful of cubes, turn on the disposal and run cold water. Add some orange, lemon or lime peels to ward off odors
Get baked-on foods off pots and pans with these laundry cleaning tips. Just place a dryer sheet in a pot, fill with water and let sit overnight, then sponge off the next morning. The antistatic agent weakens the bond between the stuck-on food and the surface of the pan, while the fabric softener works its loosening magic
Sponge and Baking Soda
Use this classic combo to get rid of scuffs on vinyl flooring.
Use this playtime gear to pick up tiny slivers of broken glass (you know, the ones you don’t notice until you’ve stepped on them). Simply press a piece into the area to grab those smaller shards. Be sure to wrap the glass up carefully before throwing it away!
To keep bacteria from taking up permanent residence in your kitchen sponges, rinse them with water at the end of each day, squeeze, then put in the microwave for three minutes. Let cool before touching. Do the same with your cutting boards, if they are microwaveable
Harness the power of citrus to clean your microwave. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze juice into a small bowl of water, add both lemon halves and place in the microwave for five minutes. The fresh scent eliminates cooking odors, and condensation from the steam loosens random splatters that have hardened. Wipe away the loose stains with a damp cloth.
It's not just for yout teeth! Use dental floss to remove debris from the cutting disc on your electric can opener
The same product that kills bad-breath germs also zaps the gunk beneath your feet. Add a capful of mouthwash to a gallon of water and mop vinyl or tile—but not wood—floors with the mixture
Grab a few disinfecting wipes to give faucets, sinks, tubs, toilet seats—you name it—an easy daily touch-up.
After going over your bathtub, sink or shower with disinfectant, wipe the area with baby oil or lemon oil. Do this once or twice a month to help dirty water bead and roll down the drain faster, buying you more time before the next cleaning.
Freshen the toilet bowl with effervescent tablets (denture or antacid) in between scourings. Drop two in the water, let soak for at least 20 minutes, then brush and flush. A can of cola dumped in for one hour also does the trick. The phosphoric acid in this mixture removes rust rings and other mineral deposits
Vinegar and Rags
Get rid of lime buildup on sinks by soaking an old rag in vinegar, then wrapping it around the faucet and clasping with a hair clip. Let sit for an hour, then take off rag and dry faucet.
Baking Powder and Lemon Juice
Combat mold and mildew on tiles and shower curtains with a paste of equal parts lemon juice and baking powder. Spread on the mixture, leave for two hours, then rinse.
A dry paintbrush (with bristles at least 3 inches long) is great for both the surface and grooves of your collectibles. Dust framed photos with a pastry brush, which is softer than a paintbrush and easier to dip into corners and places that are difficult to reach.
Take a hands-on approach to your mini blinds and venetians. Just slip on a pair of white cotton gloves, dip fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, then run your fingers across both sides of each slat. Rinse gloves as necessary in a bowl of clean water.
Slice a potato in half and gently rub the cut end on a muddy slipcover or comforter. Soak the fabric in cool water, then throw it in your next load of laundry.
Keep air pure with houseplants. Research from NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America suggests that palms, English ivy, ferns, mums and similar plants remove up to 87 percent of indoor pollutants.
Use a lint brush with disposable sheets to dust lamp shades and plant leaves.
To wash a narrow vase, pour in 2 tablespoons of dry rice and ½ cup warm water, cover with the palm of your hand, shake vigorously, then rinse.
Give chandeliers a quick cleaning with a blow-dryer (set on low) or a feather duster. For tougher jobs, fill a spray bottle with one part vodka to five parts water, spritz on fixtures and blow-dry
Wrap a microfiber cloth over the bristles of a regular broom or around the end of a golf club, secure it with a rubber band and use to get rid of cobwebs or dust in hard-to-reach places
Did your child use the painted walls as a canvas? Mist them with hairspray and wipe immediately to remove colored marker. For crayon, scrub with a toothpaste-covered toothbrush, or gently massage with baking soda and a damp microfiber cloth.
Shine brass using a dab of Worcestershire sauce or ketchup. Squeeze the condiment onto a cloth, rub the item, then rinse with water and dry with a towel.
Use a new tennis ball to wipe scuff marks off tile, vinyl, woodwork—even painted walls. It won’t harm the surface.