32 Ex­tra­or­di­nary Uses for Or­di­nary Things

It’s a breeze to fin­ish chores, make re­pairs and clean messes – us­ing com­mon items you al­ready own

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Front Page - PRO­DUCED BY KELSEY KLOSS

Ev­ery­day Clean­ing Hacks

ALU­MINIUM FOIL SCRUBS POTS

CLEAN No scrub­bing pad? Use alu­minium foil as a tem­po­rary re­place­ment. Crum­ple a hand­ful and use to scour and pol­ish stain­less steel pots (foil may dam­age non-stick pots). COOK­ING SPRAY RE­MOVES SHOWER

SOAP SCUM Con­ven­tional clean­ers may not dis­solve stub­born soap build-up on shower screens. Spray the glass with cook­ing spray and leave for 30 min­utes. The oil slides be­tween the glass and the soap scum, mak­ing

it easy to wash. Wipe off with soapy wa­ter and a sponge.

SPONGES PICK UP PET HAIR

Is Fido or Fluffy leav­ing fur or hair on your fur­ni­ture? Take a sponge and rub it across up­hol­stery. It will eas­ily lift pet hair from the sur­face.

Up­grade Your Laun­dry LE­MON JUICE LIFTS INK STAINS

Soak an ink stain in le­mon juice for five to ten min­utes be­fore wash­ing in a nor­mal cy­cle. The juice’s cit­ric acid is a nat­u­ral stain fighter that breaks up the ink on cloth­ing.

PILLOWCASES PRO­TECT DELICATES

The wash­ing ma­chine can pull ­frag­ile jumpers and un­der­gar­ments out of shape. Toss them in a pil­low­case. Close the case with a rub­ber band, place in the wash­ing ma­chine and run it on a gen­tle set­ting.

SU­GAR RE­MOVES GRASS STAINS

­En­zymes in su­gar help break down the chloro­phyll that causes grass stains. Mix a quar­ter of a cup of su­gar with just enough warm wa­ter to cre­ate a paste. Ap­ply it to the stain, then let it sit for 30 min­utes be­fore wash­ing.

MILK POL­ISHES LEATHER

To clean patent leather (the glossy type used for belts, shoes and purses), dip a soft cot­ton cloth into milk. Gen­tly buff the leather in cir­cu­lar mo­tions to mois­turise. The milk’s en­zymes and fat soften and pol­ish the leather. Buff again with a clean, dry cloth to re­move milk residue.

VEG­ETABLE SHORT­EN­ING GETS RID OF LIP­STICK STAINS

Rub a dab of short­en­ing into the lip­stick mark, and laun­der as usual. The oil acts as a sol­vent to loosen the stain.

Ex­tend the Life of Your Stuff SPONGES PRE­SERVE SOAP

To help a bar of soap last longer, sit it on a sponge next to the sink or in the shower. The sponge will pre­vent slime and drips by help­ing the soap dry faster.

HAIR SPRAY PRO­TECTS ART­WORK

When your mini Pi­casso brings home a mas­ter­piece, pre­serve it with a few spritzes of hair spray. This is es­pe­cially handy for chalk and other ma­te­ri­als that smudge eas­ily.

PE­TRO­LEUM JELLY PRE­VENTS RUST

Ap­ply a thin layer to the sur­face in

ques­tion (e.g., out­door ma­chin­ery, nuts and bolts, and chrome on bikes). The pe­tro­leum jelly will pro­tect the metal from mois­ture and air, both of which fa­cil­i­tate rust.

Oh No! I Just Ran Out of …

DISH­WASH­ING LIQ­UID Sham­poo (the plainer the bet­ter) will get the job done. Stick to us­ing it in the sink – fill­ing your dish­washer with sham­poo may drown it in suds.

DE­ODOR­ANT Make your own de­odor­ant from a mix­ture of bi­car­bon­ate of soda and corn­flour, which will fight odour and help pre­vent wet­ness. Sim­ply mix one part bi­carb soda with six parts corn­flour and dust a little on your un­der­arms with a cot­ton ball.

ALL- PUR­POSE CLEAN­ING SPRAY

To clean up marks, glue or paint from a ta­ble, try this teacher’s trick: spray a dol­lop of shav­ing cream on the sur­face and spread with a dry sponge. Leave for five to 15 min­utes. Wipe off with a damp sponge. Es­sen­tially con­densed soap, shav­ing cream will leave the ta­ble squeaky clean.

SHAM­POO

Sprin­kle flour into your hair and shake through­out. The flour ab­sorbs ex­cess oils, leav­ing you with a fresh-look­ing mane. Comb out the residue.

HAND SANITISER

If you need to wash your hands while trav­el­ling but no bath­room is in sight, use an­ti­sep­tic mouth­wash. Put a few drops on your hands and rub like hand sanitiser. The mouth­wash’s high al­co­hol con­tent at­tacks bac­te­ria and gives skin a minty fresh scent.

Be­fore You Throw It Out BUT­TER TUBS DOU­BLE AS WA­TER DISHES

When you travel with your pet, make sure you pack an empty, washed but­ter tub in­stead of a bulkier ev­ery­day bowl. The light­weight ­con­tainer makes a re­seal­able food and wa­ter dish. It can also pro­tect frag­ile dog bis­cuits.

CLOTHES DRYER DUST­ING SHEETS FOR

Tele­vi­sion and com­puter screens are elec­tri­cally charged, which causes them to at­tract dust. Since clothes dryer sheets are de­signed to re­duce static cling, they’ll re­move dust and pre­vent it from re­set­tling for sev­eral days. For a softer

MILK POL­ISHES LEATHER

LE­MON JUICE LIFTS INK STAINS

SPONGES PRE­SERVE SOAP

SHAV­ING CREAM WORKS AS ALL-PUR­POSE CLEAN­ING SPRAY

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