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:
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,