11 May 23 Unconventional Uses for Conventional Household Items
Some of our favorite household items have a secret life. Yes, some conventional household items, such as lemons and aspirin, are really more like MacGyver and provide unconventional ways to help around the home!
For example, aspirin is terrific for everything from extending the life of flowers to helping rejuvenate hair!
And what about the expression “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade?” Well, there are some truly unconventional ways to use the standard lemon to help around the home. From reducing mildew or acting as a week repellent to keeping cats, there are plenty of ways to make lemonade!
As spring continues and summer approaches, we tend to have more home entertainment needs. To help with the last minute rush, or simply our busy lives, here are some great ways to save time and leverage our standard household items!
Unconventional Household Items for Home Maintenance
1. Get Rid of Home Odors with Leftover Tea Bags
Simply place some used tea bags in a jar, which will remove some home odors. This works great to absorb refrigerator smells.
2. Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Remove Stains
Yes, the same hydrogen peroxide that disinfects and bleaches hair works well as a household cleaner mixed with water to disinfect countertops or makeshift stain remover.
3. Work on Clogged Drains with Baking Soda
Although avoiding clogs works best, baking soda is a great way to loosen up food and debris in the drain and a much safer alternative to chemicals.
Of course, if the clogged drain still persists, then contact your trusted plumber to help.
4. Remove Fingerprints with Bread
Simply cut of the crusts on some standard white bread and rub any dirty or greasy fingerprints from painted walls (or even non-washable wallpaper).
5. Add a Penny to Flowers
Drop a penny (or dissolve some aspirin) into a vase, plus add a pinch of sugar and keep freshly cut flowers a little more perky this season!
6. Prevent Splinters with WD-40
Protect your hands and prevent splinters from working with any of your wood tools by spraying an ample amount of WD-40 to the wood. The WD-40 works to remove moisture from the surface and creates a barrier against corrosive elements in the environment that can cause splintering.
7. Remove Water Rings with Mayonnaise
Water rings are quite annoying (and an eyesore), but if you dry the area and add some (non low-fat) mayonnaise to the spot and let sit for several hours, then the water rings should be gone within the day!
8. Clean Your Oven with Ammonia
To effortlessly clean your oven, simply fill a bowl with ammonia and set it in an unheated oven overnight. The fumes from the ammonia will loosen the gunk so you can wipe it off with a wet sponge or paper towel.
9. Add Cooking Spray to Stop Squeaky Doors
If that squeaky door is frustrating, then simply spray a little cooking spray on the door hinge and swing the door back and forth a few times to quiet the creaking. Remember to wipe away any drips with a paper towel.
10. Stop Insects with Baking Soda & Sugar Cocktail
Mix equal parts baking soda and sugar, then sprinkle in the areas where you have seen any insects. The solution works because insects are attracted to the sweet mixture but die when they can’t properly digest the baking soda.
11. Avoid Ants with Cinnamon
If you have a pest problem, the spread powdered cinnamon around problem areas, which will deter ants, but also make your home smell delicious.
Unconventional Household Items to Help with the Great Outdoors
12. Prevent Rust with Petroleum Jelly
Help protect to your outdoor tools, machines or appliances (such as nuts and bolts or even chrome on bikes) by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly, which will protect the metal from moisture and air that causes rust to build.
13. A Beer a Day Keeps the Slugs Away
If you find yourself with any leftover beer from a weekend gathering, then put it to good use and keep some slugs away. According to Wisebread, the slugs head right into jars of beer (the jars need to be buried at ground level). This trick works just like salt, except no need to find and discard the actual slugs, simply toss the slug-filled beer!
14. Help Plants Grow with Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds are filled with plenty of nutrients that are great for plants. Add the leftover coffee grounds to fertilize bushes, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreens and camellias. For a more nutrient-rich fertilizer, then use grounds from a drip coffeemaker, which are richer in nitrogen.
15. Vodka Kill the Pain of Weeding
Vodka and a couple drops of dish detergent create a nature weed killer. Mix 30 ml vodka, a few drops of washing-up liquid and 400 ml water in a spray bottle. Apply at midday on a sunny day to weeds growing in direct sunlight. The solution only works in sunlight because alcohol breaks down the waxy cuticle covering on leaves, leaving them susceptible to dehydration.
16. White Vinegar Stops Weeds
Add to standard white vinegar to a spray bottle and spritz any weeds growing in your walkways. A simple (and natural) solution to stop a frustrating eye-sore.
17. Soothe Stings with WD-40
The magic of WD-40 works to provide fast relief for a bee sting while working in the garden.
18. Cheese Please! Use Old Shaker to Store Plant Food
Save your parmesan cheese container, clean it, then fill it up with your preferred granular plant fertilizer to easily feed your garden.
19. Recycle Cooking Water to Feed Plants
Instead of pouring excess boiled water used during dinner, recycle the water and feed the plants. Unsalted water, particularly from hard-boiled or steamed vegetables (from your home garden!) contain minerals that provide a nutrient-rich water source for your garden.
Unconventional Household Items to Help with Pets
20. Save Yoga Mats to Comfort Cats
If you have cats and are constantly cleaning (not only the litter box) around the litter box, then reuse some old yoga mats. Excess litter in cat paws tend to stick to the yoga mats, so simply vacuum the mats when the litter starts to cluster (or just roll up the mat and shake outside).
21. Make your Dog Shine with Vinegar
Ignore the smell of vinegar and appreciate its value as a dog shampoo to make your dog shine. Mix a cup of standard white distilled vinegar with a quart of water and rub down your dog’s coat!
22. Pick Up Pet Hair with Rubber Gloves
If you forgot to vacuum the couch and guests are on the way over, then dampen some rubber kitchen gloves and run them over any couches (or any upholstery) to collect pet hair!
23. Spray Lemon Juice to Create Cat-Free Zone
Although lemons are a common smell in many homes (and kitchens), the smell repulses most cats. Add some lemon juice into a spray bottle and mist to create cat-free zones (such as countertops or the Christmas Tree)!