32 Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things
It’s a breeze to finish chores, make repairs and clean messes – using common items you already own
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.
Sprinkle flour into your hair and shake throughout. The flour absorbs excess oils, leaving you with a fresh-looking mane. Comb out the residue.
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
SPONGES PRESERVE SOAP
MILK POLISHES LEATHER
LEMON JUICE LIFTS INK STAINS
SHAVING CREAM WORKS AS ALL-PURPOSE CLEANING SPRAY