This article is a reference to a book I found at my local op shop Extraordinary Uses For Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest published in 2006. I paid $3 for the book and have to say I got good value out of discovering new ways to use common household items. The book covers ingenious ways to use common household items to restore, repair, replace or revive almost everything and around your home.
So let’s dig in!
1. Bake Perfect Pie Crust
Cover edges of pies with strips of aluminium foil to prevent them from overcooking before the rest of the pie is perfectly done
2. Create Special Shaped Cake Tins
Form any shape you desire by using a double layer of heavy duty aluminium foil then sit the shape inside a larger cake tin to bake
3. Polish Silver
Line a dish with a sheet of aluminium foil, fill it with cold water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Drop in your tarnished silverware and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then rinse off and dry. The process creates a molecular ion exchange reaction where the aluminium acts as a catalyst.
4. Catch Ice Cream Cone Drips
Wrap the bottom of the cone with aluminium foil to catch the drips before handing it to the kids
5. Scrub Pots
Don’t have a pad handy to wash up? Crumple up a handful of aluminium foil and use it to scrub
6. Move Furniture Easily
Place small pieces of aluminium foil under the legs of furniture dull side facing down (it’s more slippery) to slide furniture around easily
7. Impromptu Picnic Platter
Cover a piece of cardboard with aluminium foil when you need a quick disposable platter for picnics or any events
8. Remove Band-aids
Rub baby oil onto the adhesive parts of band-aids and they will rub loose easier
9. Slip Off A Stuck Ring
Lubricate the ring area with plenty of baby oil and swivel the ring around to work the oil under it. You should be able to slide the ring off easily
10. Remove Acrylic Paint From Skin
Acrylic paint comes off easily with baby oil by just rubbing it on then washing the area with soap and hot water
11. Make Your Own Bath Oil
Add a few drops of your scent of choice to ¼ cup of baby oil in a small plastic bottle. Shake well and add it to your bath
12. Dry Shampoo For Pets
Vigorously rub a handful or two of baby powder into your pet’s fur. Let it settle for a few minutes then give them a thorough brushing. They will smell great!
13. Keep Mould Off Cheese
Give semi hard cheese a light coat of butter to keep it fresh and free of mould
14. Make A Cat Feel At Home
Cats in particular find moving traumatic. To help them adjust, rub a bit of butter on their front paws, they will love licking it off and keep coming back for more!
15. Fasten Christmas Lights
Fix Christmas lights to difficult places like trees and bushes using clip on clothes pegs
16. Keep Snacks Fresh
Use clip on clothes pegs to seal off half eaten packets of potato chips and crackers to keep them fresh longer
17. Grip A Nail
Use clothes pegs to hold nails and keeps your fingers free when hammering in nails
18. Unclog Toilets and Vacuums
Use a straightened coat hanger to fish out blockages in toilets and a jammed vacuum
19. Bake Perfectly Round Break
Place your dough inside greased coffee tins, you may need a little trial and error to see how much dough makes how much bread in each size tin
20. Make A Piggy Bank
Cut a coin slot in the top of the tin and use it as a money bank/piggy bank!
21. Keep Laundry Tidy
Use empty coffee tins on your laundry bench as a small disposable bin for items you find in pockets before putting a load on. Things like lolly wrappers, paper scraps and coins always end up in the laundry
22. Keep Toilet Paper Dry When Camping
Use a empty coffee tin to store your toilet paper rolls when camping to keep them free from any moisture
23. Make An Impromptu Pin Cushion
Corks make great pin cushions when sewing
24. Prevent Chairs Scraping
Cut corks into slices and glue them to the bottoms of chair legs to prevent them from scraping on your beautiful floor
25. Slice Cake And Cheese Easily
Use dental floss to cut cakes and cheeses easily, this is especially great for sticky cakes that tend to stick to a knife
26. Storing And Organizing
Organise small items in egg cartons like buttons, safety pins, small nuts and bolts or anything you otherwise might lose.
27. Start Seedlings
Egg cartons make great seedling starters. Plant seeds with a bit of soil in egg cartons. Once they are ready to transplant to pots you can put them in, cardboard and all!
28. Grip A Stubborn Jar Lid
Put on a rubber glove to better grip that vegemite lid you just can’t unscrew
29. Remove Cat Hair
Wear a slightly wet rubber glove to wipe off cat hair from upholstery. The cat hair will stick to the glove and come off easily. Test it in an inconspicuous area first.
30. Make An Ice Pack
Fill a rubber glove with water then tie it off and freeze it for a cheap ice pack!
30 Uses For Common Household Items
Our homes are filled with a plethora of common household items that can be used for more than just the intended use. Using things like gloves and ice packs can help us save bit by bit more.