Uncommon Uses for Everyday Items 2

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uncommon uses for everyday itemsReady for some more uncommon uses for everyday items around the house? Again, my favorite source for these is from my magazine Real Simple. They have all kinds of interesting articles on organizing, time management, cooking, cleaning tips and more. My favorite column though is the one they call “New Uses for Old Things” where they take an everyday household product and give you several other ways of using it. I clip these articles each month and keep them so when I can’t think of how to recycle something, or remember where I read it, I refer to my file.

I had comments from some of you that you like these tips on using things up around the house so I thought I’d throw some more your way. As always, if you have any tips of your own to contribute, please leave a comment. You just may see your tip in the next series.

Uncommon Uses for Everyday Items

Lip Balm as a Lifesaver

We all know what lip balm is for; chapped lips right? Did you know you could use it for other things on your body as well? Soothe rough patches on your elbows, knees, cuticles and other small places that get roughed up. Have a stuck ring? Rub some lip balm on your finger next time and it will slide off with ease. It can also be used to erase mascara smudges, tame flyaways and put those eyebrow hairs back into place.

Sugar as an Exfoliator
Run out of your favorite facial cleanser for exfoliating your skin? Try any kind of mild cream soap with sugar mixed in. I’ve done this tons of times when I’ve run out and I’m in a pinch. Just add a teaspoon of sugar to the soap in the palm of your hand, mix it in well and slather it on. Cleanse your skin as normal. I think you’ll find it works just as well. This also works on your lips when you add sugar to petroleum jelly.

uncommon uses for everyday itemsMatch Book as a Nail File
Just snag a nail and there’s no file in sight? Grab a matchbook instead. Use the striker portion as the file and it will save you until you can get to the big guns. This can be very handy when in a place where whipping out a nail file and going to town wouldn’t be acceptable too.

Baking Soda as a Stain Remover
Don’t you hate all those tea and coffee stains in your white cups? Remove them easily with a mixture of baking soda and water. Simply make a paste and rub it on the stains. Soak it for a minute, then rinse and wash as usual. Voilà! No more stains.

Use those Clip-ons
If you have some old clip-on earrings you no longer wear, or have inherited some from a loved one, put them back into use by clipping them on a pretty pair of shoes. It will look like it was made that way and you’ll be giving an old pair of shoes a facelift with zero out of pocket. Everyone will be asking, “Where did you get those beautiful shoes?”

uncommon uses for everyday itemsUnstick a Stubborn Zipper
If you have a zipper that won’t budge, grab a candle. The dry waxy substance of a candle is perfect for unsticking a stuck zipper. Simply rub the candle around where it’s sticking, being careful not to touch the fabric because it can stain, until you can slide the zipper up and down with ease.

De-Pill a Sweater with Pumice
I can’t tell you how many sweaters I’ve tossed over the years because of those annoying pills that develop. Then one day I learned how easy they were to remove with a pumice stone. The next time you have this problem, grab a pumice stone and gently rub the sweater with downward strokes. The pills will loosen and fall right off.

De-charge Static with Wire
The next time your skirt is sticking to your legs from static electricity, grab a wire hanger instead of the dryer sheet. It works just as well, but is a heck of a lot cheaper. Using the long side of the hanger, rub it down your leg, from hip to calf, on the outside of the skirt and then on the inside. The metal will de-charge the static electricity and your skirt or dress will flow around your legs once again.

uncommon uses for everyday itemsWine Bottle as a Dough Flattener
Making a pie from scratch but can’t find your rolling pin to make the crust? Grab a full wine bottle instead. Using wax paper between the bottle and the dough so nothing will stick, use the wine bottle just as you would a rolling pin. Roll out the dough and carry on with your pie. While it’s cooking, use the wine bottle for its intended purpose and open it up 😉

Until next time, Shop Happy ~ Michele

p.s. If you’re not a member of Recycle Bank, click on any of the pictures in this post and check that site out. You can earn gift cards, coupons and other prizes simply by learning how to recycle and doing other things to help the environment! I’ve been a member for almost 2 years now and love it. I myself have printed tons of great coupons from them.


  1. Randi Greene says

    Put vinegar and chunks of lemon (peel and all) into ice cube trays and freeze. Now you have garbage disposal cleaners! Just pop one or two in a running garbage disposal and your kitchen will smell fabulous.

    A&D ointment works great on very chapped lips.

    Sunday comics work great for wrapping paper.

    Store small, indoor extension cords in toilet paper or paper towel rolls.

  2. Shanna Hartwell says

    Instead of using an abrasive sponge in your coffee carafe to remove stubborn coffee stands, put on tsp of salt into the hot pot, add a couple of ice cubes and swirl around until the ice is melted. Wash with hot soapy water when done.

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