25 Surprising New Uses for Everyday Items
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My Hairdryer Can Do What?!1 of 26
Use your hairdryer to dust behind the couch, or polish your silver service with toothpaste. Make good on your New Year's resolution to save money and space in your home by trying out these surprising uses for everyday household items from our friends at Woman's Day.
Photo Shop2 of 26
Use your hairdryer to... detach a photo from an album. To work a delicate photograph off one of those sticky pages, blow warm air onto the back of the page while gently tugging the photo free.
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Blow Off3 of 26
Use your hairdryer to... dust tough-to-reach places. Set the dryer on cool and point it at dusty shelves or intricate knickknacks to blow the debris right off. (Start from the highest shelf to make gravity work with you.)
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Heat Wave4 of 26
Use your hairdryer to... de-wrinkle plastic shower curtains or tablecloths. Blow hot air onto fresh-out-of-the-bag material to "iron" out wrinkles—just keep the dryer 12 inches from the surface so it won't melt.
Top Chef5 of 26
Use your hairdryer to... perfect frosting or icing. To harden frosting on cakes or cookies, blow cool air directly on it. To brighten a dull finish, give the icing a hit of hot air.
Child's Play6 of 26
Use your hairdryer to... erase crayon marks or wax spills. Kids gone wild? Blow-dry the stain on high until the wax melts, and then wipe with a soapy sponge.
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Spic 'n' Span7 of 26
Use Alka-Seltzer to... clean your toilet. So you’re having friends for dinner in 20 minutes, and you’ve just noticed your grimy toilet? No worries— drop in a couple of tablets of Alka-Seltzer, leave for ten minutes and then easily wipe scum away! The fizzing action of Alka Seltzer works as a powerful cleaning agent, so you don't have to get your hands dirty.
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Sporty Spice8 of 26
Use dryer sheets to... freshen stinky shoes. Good news: You're making good on your promise to hit the gym every day. Bad news: Your running shoes and gym bag smell to high heaven! Until you can give them a good wash this weekend, air out those bad boys by stuffing dryer sheets in them and leaving overnight. The sheets will absorb the odor so you can hit the gym tomorrow, odor-free!
Bottle Service9 of 26
Use old wine bottles to... make your boots stand upright. Make use of those leftover holiday wine bottles by cleaning them out and placing them into your boots to keep their shape. The average wine bottle works in almost every boot, and they won't stretch them out like some shoe shapers can.
Bright & Shiny10 of 26
Use lemon and salt to... shine copper and brass. Next time you throw a dinner party, impress your friends by pulling out Granny's good copper candleholders. To shine in a pinch, grab a half a lemon dipped in salt and rub it over the candlesticks (or any other copper or brass item), and then polish with a soft cloth dipped in water. Voilà! Your table is set.
In a Pinch11 of 26
Use olive oil to... shave your legs. Ran out of shaving cream? Well, there's something in your kitchen that can help: olive oil. Because olive oil is thicker than you think, it works well on coating your legs or face giving you a nice shave without razor burn. And because it's so moisturizing, you won't even need to apply lotion afterward!
Computer Science12 of 26
Use your makeup brushes to... clean your keyboard. Like it or not, we all too often eat lunch at our desks. And even if we're good about cleaning our area, inevitably we drop crumbs in our keyboard. Gross! An easy way to clean our keyboards is by wiping them with makeup brushes. The cheap ones are fine, and small or large, they work like a charm.
Iced Out13 of 26
Use ice cube trays to... organize your jewelry. If you've got an icemaker, then you probably don't need those extra trays that are sitting in your freezer. But the trays are perfect for sorting rings and small earrings.
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Pack Rat14 of 26
Use old plastic bags to... pack boxes. You've probably got a stash of plastic bags somewhere in your house. Use them to cushion items you're mailing or to fill in empty space in boxes. It's a free alternative to pricey bubble wrap—just don't try this with fragile items.
Wrap Star15 of 26
Use old magazines to... wrap presents. Don't just recycle your old wrapping paper. Turn a flashy fashion spread or a pretty gardening page into cheap and chic giftwrap.
Clear & Present Decor16 of 26
Use old jelly jars as... vases and storage containers. When you've finished your jelly, peanut butter or mayo, wash the glass jar and remove the label. Now you've got a shabby-chic glass or mini vase. (Yep, your grandma did this.) Or, before you remove the label, write the size of the jar on the bottom with a marker—now you've got a makeshift measuring cup.
Natural Beauty17 of 26
Use vinegar to... replace harsh chemical cleaners. A natural disinfectant and deodorizer, white vinegar can be used as an all-purpose cleaner on most surfaces around your home. Try mixing a half-water and half-vinegar solution in a spray bottle, and use it to cut grease and remove mildew and other stains.
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Handy-Bac18 of 26
Use isopropyl alcohol to... disinfect your phone and other communal surfaces. Who knew this medicine-cabinet staple could have so many practical uses around the house? Use it to disinfect and clean grime from often-handled phones, computer keyboards, doorknobs and switch plates, as well as to remove dust from decorative candles (alcohol won't ruin the wick, as water might). Rubbing alcohol is also effective at combating fresh ink stains on clothing or carpets; try using a soaked cotton ball to blot away the spots.
Kitchen Confidential19 of 26
Use cornstarch to... clean kitchen appliances. An excellent oil absorber, cornstarch can be mixed with water to form a paste to clean grease on stovetops, vent hoods, cabinetry and other grease magnets around the kitchen. You can also use cornstarch to deodorize and refresh carpeting: Sprinkle a liberal amount over rugs or carpets and wait 20 minutes before vacuuming away.
Wood Work20 of 26
Use mineral oil to... revitalize and clean wooden accents. Put down the Pledge! This all-natural substance can be used to give all your furniture a good shine. Use it straight, or add a few drops of essential oil or lemon juice to add a pleasant scent. You can also use mineral oil to rehydrate wooden cutting boards and prevent splits and cracks, which can harbor dangerous bacteria. Simply use a clean cloth to rub the oil into the board, working in the direction of the grain. Let it absorb for several minutes, and then wipe off excess oil with a clean, dry cloth.
Cut & Paste21 of 26
Use toothpaste to... polish your silver and eliminate watermarks. Good for more than polishing up your pearly whites, toothpaste can also be used to remove tarnish and restore shine to silver. Discover a water stain on your wooden coffee table? Dab a bit of toothpaste on the spot, allow it to dry, and then wipe away to eliminate the mark.
Put a Cork in It22 of 26
Use old wine corks to... make a coaster. Wrap together wine corks with wire to create a trivet that can help prevent heat damage to your dinner table.
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Reduce & Reuse23 of 26
Use an old tablecloth as... a quick stash of napkins. Cut a partly stained tablecloth into rectangles to create a set of napkins.
Wax On24 of 26
Use extra wax paper to... wrap the kids' lunches. Repurpose cereal box liners as wax paper for wrapping sandwiches.
Soak It In25 of 26
Use old loofahs to... clean the bathroom. Take your shabby loofahs and put them to work when you scrub the tub.
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Safety First26 of 26
Use damaged CDs and DVDs to... make your child's bike safe. Attach a scratched CD or DVD to the back of a child's bike as a safety reflector.
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