Archive for the ‘Household’ Category

I recently received a forwarded e-mail on the purported many uses of WD-40. As it turns out, this little wonder-in-a-can can be used to remedy lots of little things around the house. The list below is what was contained in the e-mail I received; I simply re-organized the information to read more logically. I have not researched whether the claims below hold true, so if you have any experience in using WD-40 for alternative purposes, leave a comment to let us know!


 Photo by ocean yamaha.3015736627_da224dfd7f


On your car

  • Removes road tar and grime from cars.
  • Bug guts will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!  Use WD-40!
  • Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
  • Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
  • If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.

In the kitchen

  • Protects silver from tarnishing. 
  • Gives floors that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
  • Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
  • Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
  • Keeps scissors working smoothly.
  • It removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor!  Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring.  It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.  Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
  • Removes splattered grease on stove.


  • Keeps flies off cows.
  • Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
  • Keeps ceramic/terra cotta garden pots from oxidizing.
  • Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
  • Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
  • Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
  • Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.

In the bathroom

  • Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
  • Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.


  • Removes lipstick stains. And, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. 
  • Loosens stubborn zippers.
  • Removes tomato stains from clothing.
  • Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.

In the garage

  • Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
  • Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.

Kids’ stuff

  • Restores and cleans chalkboards.
  • Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
  • WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls.  Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.

Around the house

  • Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
  • Untangles jewelry chains.
  • Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
  • Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
  • Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
  • Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans
  • Removes all traces of duct tape.

Alternative health care

  • Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
  • Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.

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Photo by futurestreet.


If you’re not a parent or at all grossed out by potty talk, you may just want to skip on to the next post in the blog. I promise not to be offended. If, however, you’re interested in an unconventional way to protect your identity, listen up. When you need to get rid of an old credit card, you most likely cut it into little pieces or shred it before tossing it out. If you’re at all concerned about trash digging and identity theft, there is one more thing you can do to dispose of the card. Save your cut-up card bits for the next time that Junior makes a stinky. Sprinkle the piecesinto the soiled diaper, roll it up and toss it out! The last place an identity thief would want to look for valuable information is inside a child’s diaper — can you blame him?


I must give credit where it’s due. I discovered this idea through one of my bloggie buds, Random Neural Firings. She’s hosting a Zutano baby clothing $75 giveaway that ends on Wednesday, check it out!

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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?

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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.



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.

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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!

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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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Use an old placemat to line drawers

I have found that placemats, which I rarely use on my table, have such versatile uses. And today, I just discovered a new one! You can take an old placemat — cloth or vinyl — and use it to line drawers. This is especially helpful for kitchen or cosmetic drawers that tend to get pretty yucky after a while. When it’s time to clean it out, just lift up the placemat with it’s contents, empty it out onto a clear countertop and shake the placemat over the trash can. If it’s really dirty, wipe it with a wet cloth or throw in with a load of laundry.


I’m adding this post to We Are That Family’s Works for Me Wednesday (WFMW) series. Go check it out to find more helpful tips!

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A reader recently wrote in asking for ideas to repurpose a leaky garden hose. To my surprise, there are quite a few!


hosePhoto by dno1967.


Furniture. If you’re skilled, like this artist, try your hand at using a hose to make a new chair.


Refashion a handle. Works well for anything heavy — a bucket, luggage, a box with a homemade handle. Cut a section of the hose and slit it down the side. Slip it over the handle and use duct tape or electrical tape to secure it shut. This sounds a lot like something my Grandpa would do.


Garden hose wreath. Pull out your crafty hat for this one! Take a look at some examples here and here.


Leaky, holey hose? If you can’t beat em, join em! Make a soaker hose for your garden.


And, quite possibly one of the best ideas: fix it! After all “repair” is considered the 4th “R” after reduce, reuse, recycle.


Have you reused an old or leaky garden hose? Leave a comment and tell us how! 



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Baby monitors can come in handy long after the days of listening to the sound of sweet little baby whimpers (I can say “sweet” because I no longer have a little baby). Before you sell it in a garage sale or give it away on Freecycle, consider the other ways in which you can use a baby monitor.


Sick child. If your child goes to bed with a fever, upset tummy or other illness, put a monitor in her room before she goes to bed. Often, when kids are sick, they may talk in a more quiet voice or not recognize when they need to call you in for help. With a monitor in the room, you’ll be able to hear quiet cries for help, a coughing fit or [worse] vomiting, which you may not have heard otherwise until later.


Guests. We’ve had a lot of babies come through our house recently. It’s nice to have a monitor on hand when guests bring little ones. That way, adults can peacefully enjoy some downtime in another room or outside without worrying about hearing their children.


Somethin’ in the oven. Like many of you, I’m a multitasker. So it wouldn’t be unusual for me to pop something into the oven then head outside to do some yardwork while watching my kids play in the back yard. And, oh yeah, maybe I would catch up with my Grandma on the phone too. Which means, of course, that I would most likely forget about whatever I threw in the oven. But… if I turned on the oven timer and plugged in the monitor in my kitchen, I could take the portable receiver outside to hear the timer. Et voilà, no burned cookies!

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Have you ever been left with gooey residue from a sticker on piece of clothing? Often this happens on clothes that are tagged in the store with the long vertical sticker strips. In my case, I washed and dried my son’s shirt that (unbeknownst to me) had two “great job” stickers on it. What I was left with was very stuck on sticker mess. I tried rewashing it to see if it would come off. Nope. I put the shirt up on a shelf in our laundry room with the intention to get back to it. Somehow it ended up getting washed — and dried — yet another time. Stickers were still there.


Then, in a  moment of inspiration, I came up with the idea (all by myself, thank you) to use tape to remove the sticker residue. It worked like a charm! I took a small square of sticky packing tape (the average Scotch tape is probably too weak) and went over the sticky areas several times. Little by little the tape removed all of the residue. Nice! Saved a piece of clothing with very little effort.

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