Common Household Products With Uncommon Uses
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« on: January 12, 2011, 06:10:43 pm »

by Marquette Heaven

Sometimes it is best to take things back to the basics. If you have walked through the cleaning, beauty, and kitchen supply areas of your local store you will see that there are hundreds of products for hundreds of dollars that claim to be able to clean your kitchen the best, condition your hair the best and brighten your smile the best.

Well; what if I told you that you could get great results with common household products that cost just a few dollars? You would be excited, right? Well we asked around to a lot of different people and here are common household products with uncommon uses. From using peanut butter to get gum out of hair to using beer to stave off pesky bugs, we found lots of creative ways to tackle everyday problems. Some things seem pretty wacky, so make sure to try at your own risk!


"Vicks Vapo Rub is a great remedy for treating toenail fungus. Simply apply a little on the cuticle of the infected toenail at least once or twice a day, every day for about six months. It takes a while but eventually the Vick's kills the fungus, the old toenail grows out and a new, healthy nail grows in it's place. I've used this remedy myself in the past, and it really does work!" Stacy


"For carpet stains, use shaving cream! Just apply the foam (not gel) to the area affected, and rub with a cloth or paper towel. The foam absorbs the stain. Two applications removed an entire bottle of red food coloring from my rug. (And THAT is a story for another day)." Pat

"It never fails, I always forget to buy laundry detergent when I'm at the store, so I began making it from bar soap. I grate half a bar of soap into boiling water, let cool and add cold water, borax and washing soda for a clean I can count on. " Karen


"Hard to believe but true: Worcestershire sauce makes a great (and cheap) compound for restoring dull, tarnished brass to its original shine. Just take a small amount of Worcestershire sauce, place it on a soft toothbrush, rub it wherever your brass needs a good polish, let sit for a few minutes, then rub off residue with a soft damp cloth. Do this a few times as needed and soon you're brass will look shiny and new once again! " J.

"We have heard that using a clarifying shampoo weekly will reduce buildup left behind by other shampoos. However, mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with your regular shampoo in the palm of your hand does the trick at a much cheaper price. The baking soda will remove the buildup and do not be surprised if you find your shower tiles has an extra sparkle as well. " Joyce


"Baking soda is an inexpensive baking product, but also a great way to whiten your teeth. Just mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a quarter cup of water. Use a Que-tip or cotton-ball to spread the baking soda and water concoction on your teeth. Use the whitening solution for a few weeks and you will see the results. Don't forget to rinse your mouth after applying the baking soda solution." Ariel


"Most people use olive oil in the kitchen, but it can be used in the bathroom and living room too. I put a little on a cotton ball, and then swipe it across stubborn makeup for a clean face. I also use it to moisturize my elbows and hands. And, if your wood tables crack or peel, an olive oil rubdown makes them look like new." Kayla

"Peanut butter is for more than PB&J sandwiches! Due to the high oil content in peanut butter, it does a great job at getting chewing gum out of hair! When choosing the peanut butter, get a creamy, regular peanut butter. Apply the peanut butter over the affected area, then let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, pull out the gum with a dry towel and rinse out the peanut butter. Caution: This works best when the gum is fresh." K.


"Castor oil is a super beauty oil and is useful for softening fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes and face. All you have to do is to wash your face and then rub in some of the oil. It will also help your eyelashes grow thicker without the risk of changing your eye color. " D.A

"Have an important engagement and can't find the back of your favorite earring? Grab a pencil and cut off a piece of the eraser. Stick the earring pole through the eraser and carry on as normal. Don't worry. No one cares how the back of your ear lobes look." Obelia


"Brass and gold items can be beautiful when shiny. However, time can make them dull and tarnished. Ketchup is all you need to quickly and easily bring the luster right back! The acid content works as a fast fix when rubbed into the surface. Simply use an old rag to rub the ketchup liberally over the entire surface, making sure to penetrate any grooves. Let sit for approximately 30 minutes, and wipe completely off. I have rinsed the item with water just to make sure the ketchup is completely gone (to avoid any smells) , but make sure to dry it completely or you will invite more tarnish. Instantly, your brass and gold will shine brightly for all to see!" Kathy


"White distilled vinegar is a housewife's best kept secret! It is one of the strongest natural astringents, so you can disinfect your bathrooms toilets, tubs, and also clean your kitchen counter top with it. Plus, it removes stains from upholstery, carpet, and clothes! You can also get rid of an abscess toothache, toe nail fungus, and strep throat with it. All for these things for just a couple dollars at your local grocery store." T.


"Use common everyday table salt to combat spills on carpeting, from wine to cola. Grab a box of salt and pour generously over the spill. Allow the salt to sit for at least 30 minutes and then vacuum the whole mess up. This keeps liquid from permanently soaking into fibers." Valarie


"Dryer sheets contain positively charged ingredients that are released by heat and movement. To loosen caked-on food from a pan, place a fresh sheet in the bottom of a dirty pan, fill with lukewarm water, and let soak in the sink overnight. The pan will be a breeze to clean in the morning." Charyn


"If you ever feel like you don't want to wash your hair or you don't have enough time, then try baby powder! It's true, sprinkle a little on the roots and rub it in and viola!! The powder actually absorbs the natural oils from your hair while giving you that "just washed" look. Not only does this take just seconds to do but it also leaves your hair smelling like a babies bottom! So next time you are rushed or just lazy and neglect the mane, reach for the baby powder and get on with your day!" Danielle

"To get rid of bugs in your yard or your home, pour a small amount of beer into a glass jar, such as a baby food jar, and make a hole in the lid. Place these around your house or your yard to catch your pests. The beer draws the bugs in, but they will not be able to escape the jar (change weekly). Make sure you keep out of the reach of children! You can also use beer as a rinse for your hair to make it soft and shiny!" Linda


"Barrettes, claw clips, banana clips, bobby pins and other hair clips can all be stored on a rubber band so they securely dangle from it, with the 'head' side in the inner part of the rubber band loop. It can then be hung over a nail or tack by a mirror, tossed into a travel bag or stored in a drawer or organizer for easy access and use." Daniella


"When you are in a hurry and accidentally cut yourself while shaving, ChapStick lets you avoid the telltale tissue paper blotter. Simply rub your tube of ChapStick over the cut to quickly stop the bleeding. Keep a tube in your desk drawer to soothe painful paper cuts as well as the intended purpose of softening dry lips." Sylvie


"Lemon peels are a great way to clean and freshen your garbage disposal. The next time your dinner recipe calls for a lemon, save the lemon peel. Slice the lemon peel into four pieces, and put the peels into your garbage disposal. Allow your disposal to run until it grinds up the entire lemon peel. This will freshen and clean your garbage disposal." Lisa


"Accidentally used a permanent marker on a white board and can't get it to come off? Use an erasable marker and color over the area where the permanent marker was used. The permanent mark will cling to the erasable ink. Erase as you normally would and it should easily wipe away." Calissa


"Have you ever gotten out of the shower and noticed your hair was still oily? Instead of purchasing a clarifying shampoo, rinse hair with apple cider vinegar once a week before shampooing. Once the oil buildup is gone, your shampoo can give you a better cleansing. Apple cider vinegar is my favorite low cost trick! " Renata


"Coat hair thickly that is suffering from dandruff during the dry winter months with plain yogurt and wrap in a towel. Leave on for minimum of 20 minutes then rinse out. Use a mild shampoo and no conditioner. The enzymes in the yogurt help ease dandruff itch and flakes." Dawne


"During high volume cooking seasons, everyone always needs extra room in their refrigerator. Using soup cans to support them, place cookie sheets on top and voila' an extra shelf. This is great for casseroles and other things that are not very tall. It sure beats stacking them right on top of each other. " Sharon







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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 06:51:59 pm »

Now that's very interesting.
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"Education is all we have left when we have forgotten everything we learned in school." -- Albert Einstein
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 07:24:36 pm »

There are a lot of good and interesting things here but where is this cheap Worcestershire sauce?  It is expensive everywhere I shop!

And the lady that can't remember to buy laundry soap?  How old is this hint? I haven't seen washing soda for years.  And Borax?  Most larger supermarkets have it and I like it & use it;  but how does she remember to buy that and not the laundry soap?  They are right next to each other!  And a half a bar of soap for each load of clothes?  Sounds very very expensive. (well, she doesn't say how much to use!)   But for really difficult dirt/stains it may be worth giving a try, presuming you can find the washing soda!

I like MaryEllen's hints, Heloise and Jerry Baker each have whole books of hints, well organized into chapters about food/clothes/laundry etc.  .  My favorite is the one with the aluminum foil in a pan of hot water to polish silver and you add (water softener powder?)  I forget. Just touch the silver to the foil and tarnish disappears.  Amazing.  But you still need to follow up with real polish for the soft glow.  But with the major black stuff gone, it is much easier.   Except hardly anyone uses real silverplated stuff any more.  However, the best hint for that is AFTER you get your silver platters and whatnot polished, wrap them in plastic wrap - and they won't tarnish hardly at all.  You will see just a little where the air bubbles (in the plastic) are, since of course you can't get it as tight as shrink wrap.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 08:47:57 pm by (Hidden) » Logged


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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 08:04:32 pm »

The best tip I was given years ago, was how to get oil off your hands after working on the car. Rub a small quantity of washing up liquid into you hands then add some sugar into your palms and rub thoroughly. The oil comes off easily while rinsing.
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 08:56:29 pm »

Martini20 - of course that would work, adding the sugar, and it is probably much cheaper than those hand washes exclusively for grimy hands, esp. those that come out of a pump can.  Great idea.  Except I don't work on my car anymore.  I hated it, am not good at it and I can (usually) affford to pay someone else now.   
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 12:49:33 am »

Another uncommon use for a common household item is Coca Cola. Pepsi doesn't cut it for some reason, it has to be Coca Cola

Take a 591mL bottle of Coca Cola and open it. Place your thumb over the top of the bottle and aim it at your windshield and begin to shake it really hard. The pressure from the gases will cause the Coca Cola to go fizzing out the top of the bottle and onto your windshield. Let sit for 3 - 5 seconds on your windshield and bye bye bug guts!

This also works for bird poo as well strangely enough.
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The only difference between martyrdom and suicide is press coverage!

"Education is all we have left when we have forgotten everything we learned in school." -- Albert Einstein
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2013, 06:47:18 am »

I know this may be an uncommon item to have in your bathroom but a pumice stone can be used to remove toilet bowl ring that will not come off with anything else. You can get these at stores but people don't commonly think of them as a solution to a common problem. It won't wreck the porcelain either. Thanks LBC for all your tips! A lot of these our grandmother maybe knew about from a  simpler time but nowadays we forget.
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2015, 08:05:21 pm »

Quote
"It never fails, I always forget to buy laundry detergent when I'm at the store, so I began making it from bar soap. I grate half a bar of soap into boiling water, let cool and add cold water, borax and washing soda for a clean I can count on. " Karen

I find it kind of strange that "Karen" somehow forgets to buy laundry detergent but somehow manages to have everything to make it on hand... 
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2015, 07:05:09 pm »

Quote
"It never fails, I always forget to buy laundry detergent when I'm at the store, so I began making it from bar soap. I grate half a bar of soap into boiling water, let cool and add cold water, borax and washing soda for a clean I can count on. " Karen

I find it kind of strange that "Karen" somehow forgets to buy laundry detergent but somehow manages to have everything to make it on hand... 

"Karen" was born Kevin and spent her formative years as a Boy Scout, be prepared.  Also, everyone knows a well appointed pantry is a necessity these days.  You never know when unsuspected guests pop in and don't come with their own laundry supplies.

Sticking with uncommon uses:  Vaseline for sexual purposes place it on the doorknob so unsuspected guests can't just pop in.   Cheers
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2015, 06:31:12 am »

I started reusing white vinegar (diluted in water)  to clean the metal around the sinks and mirrors. It works great
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2015, 11:25:50 am »

I started reusing white vinegar (diluted in water)  to clean the metal around the sinks and mirrors. It works great

I used to use vinegar until very recently I discovered rubbing alcohol as my new goto for many cleaning purposes, particularly metal.  Also that a spent lime rind and some salt brings my sink up to a shine that I never thought possible.
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 10:18:25 pm »

I saw a lot of times people using hair conditioner as lubricant. It seems gross to me, but it happens :S
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2015, 10:40:45 am »

I saw a lot of times people using hair conditioner as lubricant. It seems gross to me, but it happens :S

Had a really hot guy years ago who seemed to keep getting sticky quickly.  I was young, he was hot & so he was there in the morning (!!!) allowing me to discover Dep hair gel had been our lotion for the motion.
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