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Photo by I to Eye.

 

In one of my last posts, I talked about the wonders of using vinegar, which not only removes lingering odors, but also works great as a natural alternative to fabric softener. One of the other cheap and natural solutions I found is to use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative to bleach. If you want to whiten your whites, pour about a cup full of hydrogen peroxide in with your laundry along with your normal washing detergent. CAUTION: Do not use hydrogen peroxide on colors, as it can remove or fade the color.

 

What natural solutions do you use in your laundry?

This post was originally published on February 27, 2009 at repurposeful.

 

Want to stretch the use of your dish soap? Looking to reuse an empty spray bottle? I have your answers.

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Fill an empty spray bottle (if using a recycled spray bottle, be sure to clean it thoroughly) half full with water. Fill the other half with liquid dish soap. Slowly turn it back and forth (don’t shake it) to mix the soap and water. The next time you need to wash a dirty pan, spray it a few times with your new money-saving soap mixture. You’ll find that you don’t need full strength soap to get your dishes clean and you’ll find that your soap lasts so much longer!

 

To save yourself even more time, money and to reduce packaging waste, buy dish soap in bulk-sized containers.

 

This trick also works in the foaming pump dishwashing soap dispensers. When the original mixture runs out, refill it using the instructions above.

 

Take this One Small Step one step further: If you want more control over the ingredients in your dish soap, consider making your own. It’s cheaper and you’ll reduce waste by not having to purchase new containers. Check out this simple recipe.

 

 Photo by Conor Lawless.

Once again, vinegar proves to be a wonder-liquid. A while back, I stopped using dryer sheets to cut back on some of the chemicals. It hasn’t been bad, but my biggest complaint is stiff clothes. Enter vinegar. Turns out, a half-cup or so of vinegar in the rinse cycle softens clothes. And don’t worry about remembering to add it– most machines have a rinse cycle receptacle, or just buy the Downy ball and use it for vinegar instead of liquid fabric softener. And no, your clothes do not come out of the dryer smelling like vinegar — the scent evaporates.

 

Now, if only vinegar could actually fold my clothes and put them away too!

I don’t make this stuff up, people. There are folks out there who are so resourceful that they reuse the pickle juice left when all of the dills are gone. I would have never thought about repurposing pickle juice, but a loyal reader wrote in asking, “I hate to just dump out the leftover, flavorful pickle juice — so now I have four jars worth of pickle juice (sans pickles) in my fridge. Any ideas?” Personally, no — I had no clue! But here are a few ideas that I dug up.

 

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Photo by ayalehs.

 

Re-pickle. They won’t be exactly the same as before, but you can put fresh or blanched veggies in pickle juice to soak up some of the flavor. Be sure to refrigerate. You can also pickle hard-boiled eggs in the leftover juice.

 

Liven up homemade bread, potato salad, bbq sauce, hummus and more! Add a dash (or more) of pickle juice to some of your favorite recipes… go ahead, be bold and experiment! You might just like it better than the original.

 

Marinade or salad dressing. Add pickle juice to a marinade recipe or use it on its own — same goes for salad dressing. Although I think you might want to add a little oil to it for salad dressing. Just a thought.

 

Chime in! Have you reused leftover pickle juice? Leave a comment and let us know how!

…doubles quite nicely as a drying rack.

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And did you know, that an old table cloth work great as a drop cloth for kids’ painting projects? 

 

And when you’re done with said art project, be sure to keep all large pieces of artwork to use them later as wrapping paper for gifts. We did this recently for another child’s birthday party gift and the unique wrapping paper was a hit with kids and parents.

 

Happy art-making!

It’s been a rough and busy week. Just wanted to let you know that I’ll be back with more repurposeful ideas very soon!

My kitchen drawer contains a couple of pot holders that I’ve held onto for a few years too long. I really should throw them out. Really. But I can’t turn my back on repurposing!

 

After searching the ‘Net far and wide, I could find nothing on alternate uses for old pot holders. I did find one set of instructions for revamping old pot holders by stitching on new outer fabric. I also found a TON of ideas for creating pot holders out of recycled, repurposed and reused materials. Check it out:

 

Repurposed materials turned pot holders

 

Old sweater into a pot holder.

 

Old stockings/tights/panty hose into a pot holder.

 

Old socks into a pot holder.

 

Old jeans into a pot holder.

 

Old t-shirts into a pot holder.

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