Doing Double Duty - Household Edition|
Editor's Notes - When upgrading our website in 2010, we came upon this classic article outlining some great and frugal double-duty items. Our plan was to create a second, companion article. However, since the piece covered both household and kitchen items, we decided to split the article and update both of them with the old suggestions and many new ones. We hope you enjoy it. Be sure to check out the companion article.|
Baking soda has to be my favorite multitasker, next to duct tape that is. I use it to bake yes, but also to....
- Add to my laundry as a detergent booster.
- Scrub my counters (it's less abrasive them Comet and there are no chemicals).
- Make a paste of it and polish my silver.
- Sprinkle it in smelly shoes, stuff them with newspaper and let them sit over night. Bye bye funk.
- Slow running drains, pour 1/4 cup of baking soda in the drain and add 1 cup vinager. When the foaming stops, pour hot water down the drain to rinse it through.
Salt is another great multi tasker...
- Use it to get rid of weeds and grass in side walk cracks. Just be careful where you pour it, it will kill off and vegitation it touches.
- Pour in a plastic grocery bag, put in silk flowers and gentle shake. Remove flowers and shake off salt and you flowers will be dust free.
- Sprinkle on your cutting board and rub with half a lemon then rinse. It will get into the cuts in the board and get rid of onion and garlic smells.
- Ziplock baggies not only store food well but the also work well as a disposable frosting bag. Put frosting in snip off a small corner and frost away.
- Did you know the dishwasher does more then just wash dishes? You can also sanatize your sponges in them. Just put them in and put it on high temp rinse and hot temp dry and say goodbye germs. You can also wash hats and sneakers in the dish washer on the top rack. Note: if you wash sneakers, be sure and run a rinse cycle before you wash dishes again.
Updated - Even More Duel Duty Kitchen Items!
- Vinegar - Vinegar has so many uses, it deserves its own article. It's a great natural home cleaner and can be used in the laundry to soften without smell. You can also use it to remove hard water deposits from coffee pots. Just run a pot of water with a cup of vinegar through the unit. Run another pot of clear water through next to finish the process. Speaking of vinegar, if you graduate up to the apple cider variety, there are many purported health benefits such as weight loss and helping with allergies and helping keep one from getting sick after eating bad food.
- Dried Spaghetti - Stick a couple of pieces of dried spaghetti into the top of your frosted cake before covering the pan with plastic. The "sticks" will keep the plastic from clinging to the frosting and pulling it off. Dried spaghetti can also be used as a makeshift longhandle matchstick for lighting candles, etc.
- Peanut Butter - One of the best solutions I've found for getting dried gum out of hair and off of clothing.
- Honey -
- For years our family has relied on honey as a natural burn treatment. Pour honey on the burn immediately. Bacteria cannot live in honey and will clean the wound. It will also ease the pain and cool the burn. Dress lightly and the burn will heal several days quicker.
- Have a sore throat. Brew a cup of tea and generously add fresh lemon juice and honey. The honey soothes the throat and the lemon juice acts as an antiseptic. Our family lives on this during the cold-ridden winter months.
- Coffee -
- Did you know that in a recent wide study the smell of coffee was considered the most recognizable smell by people all over the world (baby powder was another one)? Coffee can be used a a power odor neutralizer. Instead of baking soda, place a small bowl of coffee in the refrigerator and/or freezer overnight.
- Pour a cup or two of grounds down the sink trap, followed by a pitcher of boiling water, and it will help control the smell.
- Fill a sachet with coffee grounds and place in your closet to absorb odors.
- When washing hands after gardening or other overly dirty work, use coffee grounds along with your soap as a natural abrasive cleaner. It will get the much AND the odors off your hands.
- Freeze leftover coffee in ice cubes for use in iced coffee to avoid dilluting your chilled brew.
- Leftover coffee can be added to bbq sauce and chili to give a smokey flavor.
- Not really a double-duty, but a person favorite. Add a teaspoon of coffee ground to your chocolate milkshake. It's like drinking (instead of eating) gourmet chocolate covered coffee beans! Great for those late nights.
- Coffee Filters -
- Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter. Can also be used to strain oils after adding flavorings such as garlic.
- On the go taco/pita/hot dog/sandwich holder. Coffee filters make a great wrap to contain drips and other sandwich messes when you're on the go.
- Use them in place of paper towels for absorbing grease from foods. Just line a plate with them and placed cooked bacon, fries, and other items right on it. Coffee filter are also good for cleaning windows as they won't leave behind lint.
Article by: Springmay and Michelle Lehmann
2004 & 2010 - Lotsofkids.com