Do More With Everyday Products A-Z

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Do-It-Yourself, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living | 16 comments

Do More With Everyday Products A-Z, is a bit different from my usual list posts. Those focused on one specific product -this one has tips for how to do more with everyday products A-Z. No need to run to the store when you run out of something. Take a look around and you can probably find what you need right in your own home.Do more with everyday products A-Z

Do More With Everyday Products A-Z:

Aluminum Foil – Line a paint tray with aluminum foil and clean-up is a cinch. When finished painting, simply grab the foil and discard. No washing the tray. No need to buy liners.

Bottles – Trap those pests. Partly fill a large soda bottle (2 litre) with a mixture of ½ cup sugar, 2 cups tepid water and 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Put the top back on and shake to mix really well. Cut a one-inch hole near the top of the bottle. Wrap a string around the neck of the bottle and hang from a tree or other place where yellow jackets and wasps congregate. Once it’s full of pests, discard and replace. This does the trick without resorting to chemical sprays.

Cooking Spray – Lightly spray a grater with cooking spray before shredding cheese to make cleanup much easier.

Dental Floss – Use this to slice cheese. Simply place a piece of floss under the cheese and slowly pull up.

Emery Boards – Use to lightly sand the outer shell of seeds before planting. This speeds germination and allows the seeds to better absorb moisture.

Freezer – Place musty smelling books in the freezer for a day or two to eliminate the bad odour.

Garlic Press – The perfect gadget to smash up hard-boiled eggs.

Hair Spray – Give your recipe cards a good shot of hairspray to protect them from grease and food splatters while you’re using them. 

Ice Cube Trays – Bought extra eggs on sale and don’t know what to do with them? Freeze them in ice cube trays. Each cell will hold one egg. Once they’re frozen, remove them and store in freezer bags.

Jar Lids – Keep one handy on the stove to use as spoon rest.

Keys – Don’t throw those extra, unused keys out. They can be used as fishing sinkers or plumb jobs.

Lemons – Add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice to the water in the humidifier. This doesn’t just deodorize the humidifier, it also adds a pleasant natural lemon scent to the house. Repeat as needed.

Mayonnaise – Soften your elbows and feet by rubbing mayonnaise on them, leave for a little while, then wipe fairly hard (not so hard it hurts) with a face cloth and finally rinse off.

Newspaper – Let wet boots or shoes keep their shape by stuffing them with newspaper while they dry.

Oatmeal – Soak your cares away. Grind one cup of oatmeal in a blender and add 5-6 drops (more or less, personal choice) lavender essential oil. Put the mixture in a bath bag, old pantyhose or sock and tie closed. Hang from the tap as the tub is filling with lukewarm (not hot) water. Then just lay back and enjoy.

Panty Hose – Cut in strips and use to tie plants to garden stakes. The ‘give’ in the hose won’t hurt the plants.

Q-Tips – These make great little dusting tools for your keyboard, remote controls, and other delicate instruments.

Rolling Pins – Place a hand-washed sweater between two towels then roll across the top towel with the rolling pin to squeeze out extra moisture. Remove the wet towels and let dry as you normally would. Makes drying much faster.

Salt – Make your own room freshener. Layer dried lavender flowers and salt in a glass jar that has a lid. When the room needs freshening, remove the lid. Later put the lid back on. Can be reused again and again.

Toothpaste – This is for the fisherman. Keep a tube of toothpaste in the tackle box and next time you’ve been fishing or cleaned a fish, use the toothpaste to remove the fishy odour from your hands.

Umbrella – Have an unusable umbrella that has lost its fabric? Count yourself lucky. Stick it in the garden to support a trumpet vine or other flowering vine. Imagine how pretty that will be in full flower.

Vinegar – The combination of baking soda and vinegar will keep drains clear. Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain – leave for a few minutes to deodorize, add a cup of vinegar and watch it foam away. Once the foaming stops, run the hot water to flush away all the grease and gunk.

WD-40 – To keep your leather things – coats, shoes, purses, and even furniture – supple and in good condition, spray with WD-40, then buff really well with a soft cloth.

Xerox – Remember when Xerox was THE copier to use for all your copying? For the sake of using the X we’ll substitute Xerox for copy. Therefore Xerox (copy) your personal papers, such as debit/credit/government ID cards, etc. so that if any cards get lost you will have a much easier time replacing them. Keep the Xerox (copy) in a safe place.

Yogurt – If you spent too much time in the sun and received a mild sunburn, apply a thin layer of yogurt. The cool yogurt soothes and provides relief quickly.

Zipper Type Bags – Plastic bags that come with a zipper can be used to decorate cakes. Put frosting in the bag, zip it closed, cut off a small corner and squeeze the frosting through the hole.

There you have it. 26 ways to do more with everyday products A-Z. No more running to the store when you need that item that isn’t there. Just head to the appropriate cupboard or spot in your house.

Talk to you again next week,

Lenie

16 Comments

  1. What a treasure trove of great uses for things we already have! Wasps are bugging “our” hummingbirds at the feeders. I’m going to try that one today. Maybe one a day for a month! I always enjoy your hints!

    • Hi Beth – I love the idea of trying one of the tips everyday for a month. Wish I had thought of that. Let me know how you make out.

      • Ditto Beth & Lenie–that was the one I immediately thought of using. I’d love to keep those irritating buggers away from the hummingbird feeders!

        Shared this on Facebook, Lenie–great tips for my practical-minded friends.

        • Hi Rose – so glad you find the tips useful and thanks so much for sharing them. I really do appreciate that – you’re one of the best!!

  2. Thanks for sharing these great tips! I love the old books in the freezer tip. I will have to try that one.

    • Hi Sabrina – that freezer tip really works – I’ve also done it with unused comforters that had picked up a bit of an odour simply by not being used. Once the freezer empties out a bit, I just place the blanket on the bottom and pile the food stuff on top. Does double duty – keeps the freezer full (saves energy) and freshens the blanket – win, win.

  3. I love these tips! There are several I’d have never thought of, and I especially like the umbrella idea. It will be so pretty!

    • Meredith – if you do the umbrella thing it would be great if you could send me a picture of it. I’m almost looking forward to the day my patio umbrella breaks so I can do it myself because once that happens, I really will. Like you, I can just picture how pretty that will be.

  4. I absolutely love the homemade bug catching solution. I’m really against using chemicals anywhere near my home or my body, so I really love learning a way to do that naturally. While there aren’t a ton of bugs here in the city, I will definitely give it a try!

    • I’m with you Erica -anything we can do to keep those bugs away without chemicals (or those horrible zappers). I don’t imagine that you have a lot living in the city but wasps somehow seem to find you no matter where you live, or so it seems.

  5. Vinegar has to be the most versatile product out there! I recently used it to clean a smelly cupboard, and it worked 100%. Also to clear calcium deposits out of my kettle. But how clever to use dental floss to slice cheese?!?!? Genius.

    • Hi Krystyna – like you I use a lot of vinegar. That is so much nicer than all the harsh chemical cleaners. The dental floss also works well on cake but in that case you put the floss on top of the cake and pull down. Does a nicer job than a knife. You’ll have to try that one.

  6. I definitely need to save this somewhere visible! Thank you for these tips 😀

    • Hi Lily, welcome to my blog. So nice of you to take the time to comment. I have a list of tips at the end of each month – sneak peak (no one else knows yet), the next one will be on different uses for ice-cube trays. You may also want to check Avon Bubble Bath – A multitasker, That is my most popular post of all. Anyway, so nice to meet you.

  7. Love the combination of baking soda and vinegar for clearing the drain. Great money saving tips!

    • Hi Bola, the baking soda/vinegar combo is a cleaner(s) I use all over the house, but especially in the bathroom and kitchen. After reading up on the harmful effects of all the chemicals we use, I am totally turned off them so am glad to be able to share use of natural products.