10 bril­liant uses for CHALK

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Keep a ham­per smelling fresh

Damp tow­els and dirty work­out clothes can leave your ham­per with a stale, musty odor. To out­smart the prob­lem, drop a few pieces of side­walk chalk into an un­sealed plas­tic bag­gie and place it in the bot­tom of the ham­per. The chalk will soak up ex­cess mois­ture, pre­vent­ing stinky mildew from lin­ger­ing. (For best re­sults, re­place the chalk ev­ery few weeks.)

Ant-proof your pup’s bowl

You like to keep your dog’s food and wa­ter bowls on the porch, but you’ve spot­ted a few ants try­ing to share his food. To keep them away, use chalk to draw thick lines around the bowl. Chalk’s cal­cium car­bon­ate is a nat­u­ral in­sect re­pel­lent, so the pests won’t cross the bor­der to get to the food.

Cover up a paint­ing “oops”

While giv­ing your din­ing room a fresh coat of paint, you got some splat­ters on the ceil­ing—and you’re all out of ceil­ing paint. The in-a-pinch fix: Use a piece of white chalk to color over the spots to hide them un­til you can get to the paint store.

Elim­i­nate an un­sightly wart

Be­fore buy­ing a pricey over-the­counter med­i­ca­tion to heal the wart that popped up on your foot, try this sim­ple at-home rem­edy: Care­fully rub a piece of chalk over the blem­ish un­til it’s cov­ered, then top with a ban­dage. Re­peat daily un­til the wart heals. Warts thrive on mois­ture, but the cal­cium car­bon­ate in the chalk will dry out the wart so it dis­ap­pears.

Lift grease stains from leather

Oops! While out to lunch with a friend, you spilled salad dress­ing on your leather bag. The save: Cover the spot with chalk, then top with pa­per tow­els and a heavy book and let sit overnight. The book will press the chalk into the leather so it can ab­sorb the grease.

Make sand­ing a breeze

You re­stored a table last week­end but had trou­ble de­ter­min­ing whether you sanded the sur­face evenly. Next time, rub chalk over the sur­face be­fore you start. When all the chalk dust is gone, you’ll know you sanded it evenly.

Out­smart ring around the col­lar

To elim­i­nate those yel­low sweat stains that tend to pop up on the col­lars of your hus­band’s white but­ton-down shirts, rub a gen­er­ous amount of white chalk over the prob­lem ar­eas and let sit for 10 min­utes, then wash as usual. The chalk will ab­sorb the body oils that cause the stain, leav­ing his shirts look­ing like new.

Pro­tect sil­ver­ware from tar­nish

You only use your grandma’s sil­ver on spe­cial oc­ca­sions, but ev­ery time you pull it out, the uten­sils have tar­nished. To pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing again, wrap a few pieces of chalk in cheese­cloth and store it with the sil­ver­ware. The chalk will soak up the sul­fur com­pounds that cause sil­ver to tar­nish, so your uten­sils will re­main per­fectly pol­ished be­tween uses.

Brighten yel­lowed fin­ger­nails

Pro­fes­sional man­i­cures look gor­geous, but with all your daily to-do’s around the house, the pol­ish al­ways chips off. An easy al­ter­na­tive for pretty nails: File nails, then glide a nail brush over a piece of white chalk and rub it un­der the tips of your nails. The brush will re­move dirt and it will de­posit the chalk’s pow­der un­der your nails so they look bright, white and stun­ning!

Map out fur­ni­ture place­ment

You want to move your sofa to the op­po­site wall in the den, but your mea­sure­ments show that do­ing so may make it tough to open the closet door. To test it out with­out mov­ing the heavy couch, use chalk to mark the floor where the sofa would go. The chalk lines al­low you to see if the new ar­range­ment works be­fore you move any­thing. When you’re fin­ished, sim­ply sweep up the chalk dust.

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