USU Extension: Repurposing Everyday Items

Teresa Hunsaker, USU Extension, Weber County Family and consumer Science Educator talks about simple repurposing ideas

1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

2) For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze. Even better, add a little rubbing alcohol to it.

3) Crayon marks on walls? A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).

4) Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time!

5) To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

6) Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won’t be any stains.

7) Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

8) When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

9) Look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. * Clean a toilet: Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China. * Clean a vase: To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets. * Polish jewelry: Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes. * Clean a thermos bottle: Fill the bottle with water, drop in 4 Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer,if necessary). * Unclog a drain: Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

10) Did you know you could use olive oil to shave with—good for the skin, especially men’s faces, it provides a closer shave, and is a super replacement when out of shaving cream.

11) Did you know you can use a dryer sheet to keep thread from from tangling when sewing? Run a threaded needle through a dryer sheet right before you begin your handiwork.

12) Did you know you can use a coffee filter to prevent soil from draining out of flowerpots? When repotting, place a filter at the bottom, over the drainage hole, then add the soil.

13) And last, but not least, it is so easy to make your own “baby wipes”.

• 1-roll of Bounty paper towels cut in half & cardboard removed

• 2-cups water

• 2-Tablespoons each baby bath and lotion

• 1-plastic bowl (about 6 cup capacity-with lid)

Bring water to boil and add baby bath and lotion. Place one half of paper towel roll into plastic container, and pour solution over paper towels. Once cool, pull your “wipes” from the center of the roll. keep sealed when not in use to prevent evaporation.

For more ideas or any other consumer issue you have, call USU Extension/Weber County Family and Consumer Science Division at (801) 399-8200 or click on to

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