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Thursday, April 9, 2009

New Uses for Everyday Things...(part 2)

Here is my final list of my favorite things from "101 New Uses for Everyday Things" by Real Simple.

  • Diffuse the flash on a camera.  When you're taking a close-up, soften the brightness by placing a coffee filter over the flash.
  • Prevent soil from draining out of flowerpots.  When repotting, place a filter at the bottom, over the drainage hole, then add the soil.
  • Prevent scuffs and scratches on fine china.  Use flattened coffee filters as spacers when you stack your dishes.
  • Strain wine from a bottle with a broken cork.  Place the filter over a pitcher or a carafe and slowly pour the wine into it.
  • Pinch-hit for lemon in a savory recipe. Use 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar in place of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • Clean a dishwasher.  Once a month, with the machine empty, run a cup of vinegar through an entire cycle to reduce soap buildup on the inner mechanisms and glassware.
  • Remove stubborn price tags or stickers.  Paint them with several coats of vinegar, let the liquid soak in for 5 minutes, then wipe away the residue.
  • Kill weeds between cracks in paving stones/sidewalks.  Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times. (Be careful not to get any of the surrounding grass, as it will kill that too.)
  • Exfoliate skin.  Wash your face, then apply a soft paste made of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water.  Massage gently with a circular motion, avoiding the eye area; rinse clean.
  • Unclog a drain.  Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar after it.  Let sit for 5 minutes (covered, if possible).  Follow with a gallon of boiling water.
  • Scrub pans.  Sprinkle soda on crusted casseroles and roasting pans and let sit for 5 minutes.  Lightly scrub and rinse.
  • Settle a stomach during occasional indigestion.  Stir 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1/2 cup of water and drink for a safe/effective antacid.  
  • Prevent frost from accumulating inside car windows. Rub the glass with a solution of 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 gallon of hot water.  Wipe dry.
  • Remove dirt from leafy vegetables, such as spinach.  Wash the vegetables in a bath of salt water.
  • Clean drains.  Pour a hot, strong solution (1/2 cup salt for every quart of water) down the drain.
  • Eliminate sticky residue from an iron.  Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.
Hope you enjoyed this little series of "New Uses for Everyday Things" from Real Simple.  You Live, You Learn.


  1. Salt prevents frost on a car? Learn something new every day huh :)

  2. Jamieollie--I know, right! Seems weird. Thanks for commenting! Have a great day.