When it comes to common household items with a million practical uses, baking soda reigns supreme. We all know that baking soda is great for deodorizing stinky things, whitening your teeth, and helping with clean-up around the house, but did you know about the other weirdly unexpected and esoteric uses for baking soda?
Though silica gel packets clearly instruct you to throw them away (and not eat them), you can actually keep them for a variety of unexpectedly practical uses around the home. Silica gel is a desiccant, a substance that absorbs moisture, which makes these packets perfect for keeping things extremely dry and moisture-free.
Paper towels are great for absorbing your kitchen spills, but did you know that they're also perfect for cooking bacon in the microwave? Simply place bacon side-by-side on a layer of two paper towels and place two more paper towels on top of the bacon. Zap in the microwave at 1-minute interval for 3-4 minutes until desired crispiness is reached. No greasy pan-cleaning to worry about afterwards.
Plain yellow mustard, most commonly used for adding an extra zing of flavor to your ballpark hot dog, also contains potent medicinal properties that is perfect for relieving your sore throat, relaxing your sore back muscles and decreasing the intensity of your headache.
Sick of using potatoes as side dishes for your dinner meal? Left in their uncooked form, raw potatoes have a variety of weirdly practical uses, from aiding you in removing a broken light bulb from its fixture to keeping your ski goggles clear in the cold weather. A raw potato can also help with your floral arrangement, add new life to your beat-up shoes, and absorb the excess salt from your overly salted soup and stews.
Other than helping you make your morning cup of joe, coffee filters have a number of surprisingly practical uses that have nothing to do with coffee.
Do you drink a lot of coffee? Before you toss your used coffee grounds into the trash or compost bin, see if you can use them to deodorize your freezer, cover up your wooden furniture scratches, and help clean up the grease and grime from your pots and pans.
Just dried a load of laundry? Don't throw away that used fabric softener sheet just yet. You can repurpose a used sheet for a variety of practical uses around the home, such as picking up pet hair from your furniture, deodorizing your gym bag, removing static cling from your stockings, and adding shine to your mirrors and toaster.
Got a minor cut, but no Neosporin? Rather than running to the nearest drug store, simply grab a jar of honey from your pantry and apply directly to the wound before wrapping with a band-aid.
Other than adding that missing component to your jelly sandwich, peanut butter is another weirdly useful pantry staple that can also be used as emergency shaving cream, door hinge lubricant, gum remover and more.
Want to reduce the overwhelming smell of paint from a newly painted room? Slice up some raw onions, place them in a bowl of water, and leave them in the room overnight.
A single paper clip can go a long way. Having just one of these ubiquitous office supplies can make you a smartphone mount, replace your broken zipper tab, scratch your lottery ticket, and eject the CD from your stuck DVD drive.
If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of used computer paper lying around at your home or in your office. Before you toss them directly into the recycling bin (which you should at least be doing if you're going to be getting rid of them), what are some crafty and practical things you can do with used computer paper?
Bored of using your bottle of dishwashing soap for just washing dishes? You're in luck. Not surprisingly, the soapy liquid commonly used for removing stubborn food build-up from your eating utensils can also be used as a general cleaner for washing windows, removing clothing and carpet stains, and cleaning your blender without taking it apart. For more unusual uses, dishwashing liquid is surprisingly useful for prepping your nails before a manicure and can even be used to kill fleas.
Other than something you can place on the floor as an ironic reference to a bygone era when a banana peel fall was considered to be the height of comedic gold, banana peels have many weirdly useful applications for your beauty regimen, the maintenance of your leather couch, the health of your backyard garden, and more.
What can you do with your egg cartons after you are done using up all the eggs? The compartmentalized spaces used for storing eggs are also perfect to use as seed starters, DIY candle makers, paint palettes, and for storing similarly fragile or round objects like Christmas ornaments and golf balls. The sturdy, lightweight material of styrofoam egg cartons are also ideal to use as cheap packing material and an alternative to packing peanuts.
If you are cutting down on sugar and don't know what to do with the excess box of sweet stuff taking up space in your pantry, you are in luck—sugar is another one of those super-common household items that has many practical, non-edible uses around the home and garden.
The best thing since the creation of bread may just be... sliced bread. Soft bread slices have the perfect absorbent texture for picking up tiny pieces of broken glass, gently cleaning dust off your precious oil paintings, and even safely removing splinters from your finger when soaked with milk and taped to your skin with a bandage.
Though it may seem like sacrilege for some to use butter for something other than to flavor your food with delicious buttery goodness, butter has many other surprisingly practical uses, like keeping your hard cheeses mold-free or helping you swallow your pills.
Just like soda pop, beer has many strangely useful and non-drinkable uses that can be pretty handy around the house and garden, in the kitchen, and even for your beauty routine. Beer bath, anyone?
Do you have a bunch of old jeans that no longer fit you or are too outdated to wear in public? If you are handy with a sewing machine, the possibilities for upcycling your jeans into something crafty are endless. You can update your old denims into a jean tote bag, yoga mat bag, quilt, or a super-handy utility belt (or mini-apron).
Invented by Philadelphia tinsmith John L. Manson in 1858 for canning and preserving perishables, mason jars are experiencing a major resurgence in the DIY community. In addition to being a handy storage device for both food and non-food items, its old-timey, quaintly antiquated look also makes for good drinking glasses, candle holders, flower vases and eye-pleasing decorations.
Just as how plastic grocery bags have many amazing reuses if you have a whole bunch of them stocked up in your home, the same goes for their papery counterparts as well.
If you are like most people, you have a lot of plastic grocery bags lying around the house. Most of us end up reusing them as trash bags for small trash cans, doggy-doo pickup, kitty litter box liners, or plastic versions of a paper lunch sack.
Scotch tape may not be as versatile as duct tape when it comes to mending things, but it still has a number of weirdly practical uses that goes beyond taping down wrapping paper and sealing envelopes.
Originally invented in the 1950s to develop a rust-preventing solvent and degreaser for the aerospace industry, WD-40 spray has at least 2,000 practical uses for house-cleaning, gardening, furniture maintenance, farming, and more. Commonly used to repel water and prevent corrosion, WD-40 can also be used to help lubricate stuck objects (like zippers and LEGO parts), make shovels slippier for more efficient use, and even keep pigeons from pooping on your balcony.
Duct tape can be used for a variety of minor to major emergencies, from baby-proofing your power outlets to temporarily repairing the hole in your canoe. In a pinch, duct tape can serve as a handy band-aid, DIY clothesline and a not-too-shabby robot costume if you are in dire need of a last-minute Halloween costume.
If rubbing alcohol is commonly used to treat minor scrapes and disinfect surgical instruments in hospitals, then you might as well use its medicinal qualities to also disinfect your cell phone and mix with aloe vera gel to make your very own DIY hand sanitizer.
What to do with the canisters of tennis balls gathering dust in your garage? If playing tennis is no longer your passion and you don't have any dogs to play catch with, don't give away your tennis balls just yet—tennis balls happen to have many practical, non-sport uses that can help with your laundry, gardening, back massage needs and more.
A small, pointy wooden stick normally used for picking at your teeth after a meal can do many other things. Use the humble toothpick to aid you in microwaving your potatoes, marking the end of clear packing tape, applying glue onto sequins and plugging the hole in your garden hose.
The annoying thing about pantyhose? They snag and tear very easily. The amazing thing about pantyhose? They have about a gazillion practical uses even if you can no longer wear them.
Sandwich bags are great and all—but what should you do with them after you are done eating your sandwich? Thankfully, these waterproof and durable bags do not need to add to the landfill right away; you can reuse sandwich bags for a variety of uses ranging from DIY gloves for messy projects to an instant pastry bag for frosting your cupcakes.
If you just gave up drinking soda and you don't know what to do with the six-pack of Coke gathering dust in your garage, then this article is perfect for you. The acidity, sugar content and carbonated nature of most soda drinks are perfect for a number of surprisingly practical uses for DIY home projects, garden work, kitchen cleanup, car maintenance, cooking and more.
Other than holding together bundles of pens or creating a miniature catapult for a science project, rubber bands have many other surprisingly practical uses in the kitchen, office, for DIY home projects and more.
Even if you plan on never giving yourself a manicure or a pedicure for the rest of your life, it doesn't hurt to have a bottle of clear nail polish in your home. You can use this clear adhesive stuff to seal envelopes, make your handwritten labels smudge-proof, keep your bathroom screws from getting rusty, fix small tears in your window screen and more.
If you have an excess of glass bottles lying around in your home, don't throw them into the recycling bin just yet. With a little creativity and handiwork, you can make terrariums, hummingbird feeders, candle holders and fish tanks out of them.
If you want to cut down on your sodium intake but don't want to get rid of all the salt in the kitchen, you're in luck. Salt has many unexpected uses, ranging from killing weeds to removing perspiration stains from garments to extending the shelf life of your new natural bristle broom.
The next time you buy bread, tortillas and other produce or baked goods items that come with twist ties, don't throw them away. These handy pieces of plastic-covered wire come to good use when you need to build a garden trellis, organize your power cords, replace your zipper pull or securely tie your Christmas ornaments to your Christmas tree.
Other than sticking your crayon drawings onto your refrigerator door, magnets have a variety of unexpected and sometimes surprisingly practical uses, ranging from keeping your chip bags sealed to creating weird patterns on your nail beds using magnetic nail polish.
Your hair dryer can come in handy for a number of unexpected uses, from removing crayon marks on walls to helping mold your plastic store-bought glasses to fit your big head. Not surprisingly, your hair dryer can also be used to defrost things, quickly dry wet things, and speed up the cooking at your next summer BBQ by heating up your cooking charcoal quickly after lighting.