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    Tuesday
    Mar132012

    5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items

     

     

    You may have heard the term “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but did you know that many items around your home can be repurposed for uses you never thought possible? Repurposing everyday items not only stretches your budget further, it reduces clutter. Here are five of our favorite clever reuses for things around your home.
    Coffee Grounds
    Some of the best household tips we’ve collected over the years involve coffee grounds. Damp coffee grounds can be put over fireplace ashes to weigh them down and make for dust-free removal. Dry coffee grounds can be used as deodorizers – put some in a paper bag, punch a few holes in it, and put in a musty closet or basement. The most unbelievable use for coffee grounds is to combine a little with olive oil and use it as an exfoliating scrub. It’s great for treating cellulite because it gently dehydrates the cells. Who knew?
    Blue Jeans
    Denim is incredibly durable. Cut up old jeans for great potholders and cleaning rags (especially in the kitchen and in the garage). If you have a dog that comes in and out of the backyard, large denim scraps are perfect for wiping off muddy paws. Dogs who like to play tug-of-war will love pulling on a jean leg tied in a knot! If you’re interested in sewing and crafting, there are dozens of other things to make with blue jeans, including Christmas stockings and coffee cozies. Or check out these roads for toy cars made out of the pant-legs of jeans!
    Pantyhose
    Unlike denim, nylon isn’t durable at all, and it’s frustrating to have to buy new pantyhose as soon as one pair gets a snag. But if you hang on to the damaged pantyhose you’ll find that the delicate fabric is great for polishing silver, or for using as extra stuffing for couch cushions or throw pillows! Because yellow onions spoil more quickly when they’re close together, we hang them in the pantry in separate legs of pantyhose, tying knots in between each onion.
    Newspaper
    Believe it or not, newspaper is a natural companion for gardeners. Place sheets of it over an area where you’re trying to germinate seeds, and it will trap the necessary warmth close to the ground. Wet newspapers placed around plants and covered in dirt will keep weeds from growing. Ripen tomatoes more quickly by wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in a dark cabinet – this is a useful tip if you need to pick tomatoes early to protect them from frost. For those of us who use the backyard not to garden, but to grill, place several sheets of wet newspaper (for example, the entire sports section) onto the grill after you put the fire out, and close the lid. The dampness will create enough steam so that the grease will easily scrub off in an hour or so.
    Netflix Envelopes
    Okay, we admit that this one is a little less conventional than our usual household tips, but it’s so creative we couldn’t pass it up. Netflix has filled an entire website, NetflixOrigami.com, with instructions on how to fold the tear-off flaps from Netflix envelopes into paper airplanes, animals, and more. We love the idea of making a snack tray to hold our popcorn in while watching a Netflix movie.
    Do you save old household items to reuse in your home? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below!

     

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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books
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      5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items - Household Shortcuts - Who Knew Tips - from the authors of the As Seen on TV books

    Reader Comments (8)

    I would not use coffee grounds in the shower. I think they would clog the drain eventually.

    March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLee Anne

    Vinegar. It's one of my favorite cleaning products. I add a little to each dishwashing load (it gets rid of that cloudy film on glasses and is way cheaper than Jet Dry), and I always add some to my laundry cycles, too. It extends the life of my fabric softener. It also works great to get rid of that nasty smell when you leave clothes in the washer too long. Just run the cycle again, this time adding a little vinegar. The clothes will come out smelling great!

    April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary Jane

    Beer and soda can tabs. I put them over the hook on a clothes hanger, allowing me to hang another hook off the bottom of the tab. Saves space in the closet and it's free (he'd drink the beer anyway).

    August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda Cronkhite

    I would NEVER use newsprint in a vegetable garden or on the grill. Newsprint contains dyes and chemicals that leach into the soil or onto your grill. Not worht it.

    October 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenB23

    These are a few of my favorite RRR tips:
    * I recently bought a bag full of miscellaneous doodads at a yard sale and there were a couple dozen pairs of tiny hair claws for little girls in there. They're the perfect size to clip on plastic hangers so I used them to hold shirts in place that have a tendency to slide around or off the hanger by clipping the shirt to the hanger along the shoulder seam. They work great for minimizing "shoulder bumps" caused by hangers.
    * I buy children-sized hangers at thrift stores to use for hanging pants. The smaller size won't allow the pants to slide and bunch up on one end of the hanger.
    * I use old panty hose to store rolls of wrapping paper. Each leg holds several rolls and I drape them over a closet rod for storing.
    * I keep clothes that can't be donated to wear for dirty chores like gardening, yard work, painting, cleaning the garage, etc. After that, I cut them up into rags.
    * I use old towels and washcloths as paint and garage towels.
    * I often buy bags full of old towels and small blankets when I find good bargains at thrift stores and yard sales which I then donate to local animal shelters and rescue groups like PETA.
    * I use old sheets like drop cloths to cover everything whenever I paint or sand. When I spray paint, I hang sheets to make an enclosure to prevent spray paint dust from getting all over. I often buy them at thrift stores and yard sales for as little as a quarter.
    * I save jar lids and deli tub lids that aren't recyclable to use for mixing epoxy on.
    * I love the foaming hand and dish soaps which require a special dispenser and a special soap formula. Buy it once, keep the dispenser, and make your own soap using an economical large refill size of any liquid hand or dish soap. Fill the empty foaming dispenser about 1/8 - 1/4 full of liquid soap and fill the rest of the way with water. Screw the pump top back on and turn it over several times to gently mix the soap/water solution (don't shake it) and you're ready to go. It costs a fraction of the price and you buy way less plastic.
    * I use dryer sheets like sachets - put them in drawers or hang them in closets. I also line my heating duct vent covers with them which greatly reduces the dust level in the house. I use the used dryer sheet to clean out the lint trap.
    * Wipe down your wooden cutting boards, butcher block tops, and wooden-handled knives with vegetable oil to keep the wood from aging, drying, and splitting.
    * Old non-leather belts are great for "clamping" on some gluing projects when you need the pieces to be held together while the glue sets. I find leather belts usually won't form to the project very well to hold the pieces tightly together.
    * Old leather belts make great sharpening strops which typically cost $35 - $45. If you don't have one, you can buy them at most thrift stores for $1-$2.

    October 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Reyes

    I use cut off pantyhose or nylon socks in the dishwasher. You can put the colored glass "marbles" from a decorative candle holder or vase into the nylon, put a knot in the end and put it on the top rack of the dishwasher. The nylon is also good for gathering small appliance parts to run through the dishwasher.

    November 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

    old t-shirts are good to wax cars and if you are a female and have those tops with the boob padding in them cut the padding with t-shirt material left on them and that is great for buffing in wax on car

    February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterangie

    if you have any of those magic erasers, they are great if you get tar on your car or black scuff marks on it , i have a white care and someone grazed their black bumper on my bumper and it left a black mark on it, used magic eraser,took it right off, my husband had a blowout and the ire whipped around and left black tire marks all over the outside of his truck, i tried a magic eraser and it cleaned the black marks right off

    February 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterangie

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