household hacks http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10857/all en-US 30 Easy Ways to Unstick Something That's Stuck http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-ways-to-unstick-something-thats-stuck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-easy-ways-to-unstick-something-thats-stuck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-5269415-small.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever purchased an item only to have difficulty removing the price tag? Or tried to get chewing gum out of clothing or hair? Scrubbed a pan with burnt-on food? Had something stuck but you just could not get it &quot;un-stuck&quot;?</p> <p>Some of the best methods for unsticking require items you have in your home right now. If one doesn't work, try another! Here is a big list of the ones to start trying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips?ref=seealso">14 Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a>)</p> <h2>Petroleum Jelly</h2> <h3>1. Rings</h3> <p>This common beauty staple works great when unsticking a ring that is stuck. Apply some to the finger area, dip your hand in cold water, and then twist the ring back and forth until it slips off.</p> <h3>2. Zippers</h3> <p>It will also work on a stuck zipper. Rub it on the area that is stuck and slide the pull back and forth to lubricate the area until it unsticks.</p> <h3>3. Candle Wax</h3> <p>Did a drippy candle leave melted wax behind that you can't seem to remove? Apply the jelly to the edges of the wax. Let it sit for a few minutes and then begin to lift the wax up with your fingernail.</p> <h3>4. Gum in Hair</h3> <p>Gum stuck in hair is no match for the petroleum jelly either. Apply it to the gum until it slips out of the hair, or work it out gently with a fine-toothed comb.</p> <h3>5. Gum on Furniture</h3> <p>You can rub petroleum jelly on gum that is stuck on wood, as well. Just rub it until the gum loosens and falls apart. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-old-furniture-shine-with-these-simple-refinishing-tricks?ref=seealso">Refinishing Tricks to Make Old Furniture Shine</a>)</p> <h2>Pencil Lead</h2> <h3>6. Zippers (Again)</h3> <p>Most everyone has a pencil lying around, but you can also use dried graphite in a commercial spray applicator. Either will work to unstick a zipper. Just rub the pencil (or spray the graphite) over the area that is stuck together and work the pull back and forth until it unsticks.</p> <h2>Rubbing Alcohol</h2> <h3>7. Bandage Adhesive</h3> <p>When bandages have left residue on the skin, use this to remove the gummy leftovers. Just dab it onto the skin liberally and then wash off.</p> <h3>8. Price Tags</h3> <p>Rubbing alcohol can also remove stuck on price tags. Just dab it on with a cotton ball, let it sit for a minute, and wipe off!</p> <h2>Glass Cleaner</h2> <h3>9. Price Tags (on Glass)</h3> <p>This handy cleaner also works great for removing price tags from glass. Spray on the tag well, and then wipe off with a cloth.</p> <h2>Vinegar</h2> <h3>10. Stickers (on Plastic and Glass)</h3> <p>This wonder solution works to remove stickers from plastic and glass (like car windows). Spray the vinegar onto the sticker, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wash off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace?ref=seealso">30 Products That Vinegar Can Replace</a>)</p> <h2>Dry Erase Marker</h2> <h3>11. Permanent Marker (on Dry Erase Board)</h3> <p>Did someone use the wrong marker (like a permanent one) on your dry erase board? Permanent marker can be &quot;un-stuck&quot; from a dry erase board by using a dry erase marker. Just write over the permanent marker with the dry erase marker and then wipe away.</p> <h2>Peanut Butter</h2> <h3>12. Stickers and Labels</h3> <p>Creamy works better than chunky, but either will remove labels from jugs, jars, and other objects with a stuck on sticker. Buy the cheapest peanut butter you can find, slather it on top of whatever is stuck, let it set for about 30 minutes, and then wipe away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-uses-for-peanut-butter?ref=seealso">15 Surprising Uses for Peanut Butter</a>)</p> <h2>Salt</h2> <h3>13. Sweaty Drinking Glasses (on Coasters)</h3> <p>Surprisingly, this table staple can be used to keep a coaster or napkin from sticking to your sweating glass! Sprinkle salt onto the napkin, and the glass will no longer stick to it when you pick it up.</p> <h3>14. Clothing Iron Gunk</h3> <p>If you have an iron with gunk on it, sprinkle it with salt and then iron a brown paper sack. This may need to be repeated a few times for all the gunk to be removed.</p> <h2>Toothpaste</h2> <h3>15. Trumpet Valve</h3> <p>This minty must-have is a secret weapon for musicians who play brass instruments. Used correctly, toothpaste can unstick a stuck valve.</p> <h3>16. Crayon Marks (on Walls)</h3> <p>Toothpaste can remove crayon from walls. Use the non-gel kind, wipe it onto the wax with a cloth, and then wash off with warm, soapy water.</p> <h2>Soap</h2> <h3>17. Drawers and Windows</h3> <p>A bar of soap can be used to unstick a stubborn drawer or window. Rub the spot where it is stuck with a bar of soap and begins sliding it back and forth. Add more soap as more area is exposed. This will keep it from getting stuck again as well.</p> <h2>Baby Oil</h2> <h3>18. Stickers, Labels, and Price Tags</h3> <p>Not just good for babies, this is yet another solution to remove sticky residue left from price tags, stickers, and labels. Rub the oil on the sticky area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe away. Dish detergent will remove any leftover oil as well.</p> <h2>Mr. Clean Magic Eraser</h2> <h3>19. Scuff Marks (and Sticker Residue)</h3> <p>If you have a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001339ZMW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001339ZMW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Mr. Clean Magic Eraser</a> on hand, you can use it to remove more than scuff marks and dirt. These work great for removing stickers, labels, and price tags as well.</p> <h2>Citrus &quot;Unsticker&quot; (or a Citrus Peel)</h2> <h3>20. Gum, Adhesive Residue, Glue, Whatever</h3> <p>Citrus cleaner, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006IBNJ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00006IBNJ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Goo Gone</a> (or a lemon or orange peel if you don't have any cleaner) works great for removing sticky things as well. The added bonus is that everything will smell great once you are done &quot;un-sticking.&quot;</p> <h2>Mayo</h2> <h3>21. Stickers, Labels, and Price Tags</h3> <p>Mayonnaise can also be spread onto sticky residue, labels, and price tags. Smear it on, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-home-uses-for-mayonnaise?ref=seealso">Unexpected Uses for Mayonnaise</a>)</p> <h2>Hair Spray</h2> <h3>22. Ink Stains</h3> <p>If you have ink stuck on a surface that you can't remove, try using hair spray. Spray some onto the ink, and wipe away easy as can be.</p> <h2>Hand Sanitizer</h2> <h3>23. Ink and Permanent Marker (on Skin)</h3> <p>Hand sanitizer can be used to remove ink or permanent marker stuck on the skin.</p> <h2>Baking Soda / Peroxide</h2> <h3>24. Gross Stuck-On Food</h3> <p>If you have stuck on food, grease, coffee, or tea stains, a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will remove them. Make the paste and let it set on the stain for 30 minutes, then wipe away. This may need to be repeated for longer if it is a stubborn stain. Works great on drip pans as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-essential-tricks-for-quick-and-easy-cleaning?ref=seealso">25 Tricks for Quick and Easy Cleaning</a>)</p> <h2>Heat</h2> <h3>25. Candle Wax and Gum</h3> <p>Candle wax or gum can be removed using an iron and a paper sack. Lay the sack over top of the wax and then run a warm iron over top of it. Gently lift the sack and move to a clean place until all the wax or gum is removed.</p> <h3>26. Photographs</h3> <p>A hair dryer will remove a stuck photograph. Start with the lowest setting on the dryer and blow the warm air over the back of the photograph. It will then lift from whatever it is stuck to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maintaining-memories-how-to-save-old-photographs?ref=seealso">How to Save Old Photographs</a>)</p> <h2>Cold</h2> <h3>27. Candle Wax and Gum</h3> <p>When candle wax or gum needs to be removed from something, ice or the freezer works great. The cold hardens the wax and allows it to pop off or out of whatever it is stuck in. This method works great for getting the last of the candle wax unstuck from the candle holder.</p> <h2>Aluminum Foil</h2> <h3>28. Grease, Caked On Food, Other Icky Things</h3> <p>Crumpling up a little of this can help scrape off a number of icky, sticky things. Use it instead of steel wool on your pots and pans (as long as they don't have a non-stick coating). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil?ref=seealso">36 Uses for Tin Foil</a>)</p> <h2>Dryer Sheets</h2> <h3>29. Baked-on Food</h3> <p>Dryer sheets can be used to remove baked on food from pans. Place a new dryer sheet in the pan and fill with warm water. Let it sit for a few hours and then wash out with soap and water.</p> <h2>Cornstarch</h2> <h3>30. Stubborn Knot</h3> <p>Cornstarch will unstick a stubborn knot. Sprinkle the knot with cornstarch and it will easily slip out.</p> <p>No matter what is stuck, there's a solution in your home to fix it. All of the items mentioned in this list are easier to find and usually cheaper than any commercial product.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>How do you get things unstuck? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-ways-to-unstick-something-thats-stuck" class="sharethis-link" title="30 Easy Ways to Unstick Something That&#039;s Stuck" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Home household cleaners household hacks unstick Mon, 17 Feb 2014 11:36:17 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1125316 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Alternative Uses for Nail Polish http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nailpolish.jpg" alt="Woman painting her nails" title="Woman painting her nails" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember that time you glued your fingers together with Super Glue? Don&rsquo;t be embarrassed &mdash; we&rsquo;ve all done it <em>at least</em> once. What did your mom tell you she needed? Nail polish remover, right? And you were probably like, that&rsquo;s not gonna work. Except it did.</p> <p>Before there was nail polish remover, however, there was nail polish &mdash; a predecessor of multifunctional proportions. What, pray tell, can a tiny bottle of liquid paint do besides make millions of women (and some men) feel beautiful? You may be surprised. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola: The Ultimate List</a>)</p> <h3>1. Seal an Envelope</h3> <p>You know when you seal an envelope but realize you forgot to sign the check or left something out all together? You can still open it without tearing the envelope immediately after licking it, but it&rsquo;s hard to reseal it again with another lick; by now the glue has transferred to the other side. Instead of throwing it away and grabbing a new envelope, brush clear nail polish on the flap to seal it even better than before.</p> <h3>2. Prevent Rusty Screws</h3> <p>If you have hardware (screws, bolts, etc.) in damp places &mdash; like the bathroom, for instance &mdash; coat them with clear polish to prevent them from rusting.</p> <h3>3. Repair Frayed Laces</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t you hate when shoelaces become frayed at the end? They&rsquo;re still perfecting useful but look like a mess. Dip the ends in clear nail polish, roll them between your fingers, and let the laces dry overnight.</p> <h3>4. Stiffen Thread</h3> <p>I don&rsquo;t sew because it&rsquo;s really annoying (seriously, it makes me feel like a pilgrim), but if this is one of your hobbies, you can thread a needle more easily if you dip the end in nail polish. The polish will stiffen the end, making it a breeze to pull through the eye.</p> <h3>5. Stop a Pantyhose Run</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ll admit that I&rsquo;ve worn tights before &mdash; for Halloween &mdash; but I can&rsquo;t say I&rsquo;ve ever put on a pair of pantyhose. I know for a fact, however (I&rsquo;ve got a mom, ya know), that a dab of clear nail polish on a stocking run will prevent it from going any further.</p> <h3>6. Prepare Smudge-Proof Labels</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re making labels for your garden out of Popsicle sticks or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">old silverware</a>, you can prevent the marker ink from being ruined by the elements by coating the area with clear nail polish.</p> <h3>7. Ward Off Tarnish on Cheap Jewelry</h3> <p>Note that this says cheap jewelry! If you have costume jewelry, make it last longer by brushing it with clear nail polish to prevent tarnishing. Do not use nail polish on valuable jewelry; you will ruin it.</p> <h3>8. Color-Code Keys</h3> <p>All your keys look the same? Differentiate them by painting the tops of each key a separate color. This is great to help kids remember which key is which.</p> <h3>9. Use as a Band-Aid</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;ve got a small cut &mdash; paper cut, hangnail, or other minute scratch &mdash; and you can&rsquo;t find a Band-Aid, use clear nail polish as an alternative adhesive. Nail polish is nontoxic, and it works nearly the same as more expensive liquid adhesives.</p> <h3>10. Heal a Wart</h3> <p>This might sound hard to believe, but it&rsquo;s true. You can <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/how-remove-planters-wart-nail-polish-218784.html?cat=25">heal a plantar wart by covering it with nail polish</a>. It works because the wart needs oxygen to live, but the nail polish prevents it from getting any. Just be sure to throw out that bottle when you&rsquo;re done. You don&rsquo;t want to spread the germs.&nbsp;</p> <h3>11. Protect Pearl Buttons</h3> <p>Pearl buttons are beautiful &mdash; and they can be pricey. Make them last as long as possible by brushing them with clear nail polish. A thin coat will keep them from cracking or chipping.</p> <h3>12. Plug a Small Hole</h3> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-repair-a-dripping-faucet">small leak</a> or a tiny hole in your door or window screen, nail polish has the heavy-duty power to keep in the stuff you want in and keep out the stuff you want out. If your cooler has sprung a small leak, seal it with nail polish. Likewise, if there&rsquo;s a small hole in your screen and you want to keep the bugs at bay, brush the area with nail polish.</p> <h3>13. Mark Poisonous Products</h3> <p>When I was a kid, my school gave us Mr. Yuck stickers to take home to our parents so they could label all the products that would essentially kill us. I&rsquo;m not sure if that program is still intact, or even if it was nationwide, but a big X in red nail polish on toxic chemicals will do the same job.</p> <h3>14. Make Objects Glow in the Dark</h3> <p>Can&rsquo;t see the buttons on the remote when the lights are out? Have a hard time finding the light switch when you come in at night? To make these objects &mdash; and lots more &mdash; glow in the dark, paint them with luminescent nail polish.&nbsp;</p> <h3>15. Touch Up Chipped Glass</h3> <p>If you have a mirror (or any glass, for that matter) that has a chipped corner, prevent a future cut by brushing the corner with nail polish to create a smoother surface.</p> <p><em>Have even more ways to use nail polish around the house? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternative-uses-for-nail-polish" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Alternative Uses for Nail Polish" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Health and Beauty household hacks jewelry nail polish Fri, 23 Mar 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 913115 at http://www.wisebread.com Another 36 Uses for Tin Foil http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/foil_cat_3.jpg" alt="Cat in a foil outfit" title="Cat in a foil outfit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A while back, Jeff wrote a great post on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-reuse-aluminum-foil">surprising ways to reuse foil</a>, such as sharpening scissors and knives, reducing static cling, and repairing stripped threads. Here are 36 more ways to use the shiny stuff!</p> <p>Note &mdash; make sure you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-reuse-common-household-items">reuse</a>, rewash, and recycle your foil whenever possible. This helps your money go further and reduces unnecessary waste. Also, instead of ripping off a sheet larger than you need, cut your foil to suit your exact size requirements (this has the added benefit of sharpening your scissors too).</p> <h2>Kitchen</h2> <p>Foil is usually kept in the kitchen, so let&rsquo;s start there. It&rsquo;s good for so much more than you might think!</p> <h3>1. Storing Food</h3> <p>The reason foil is good for food storage is because it creates a total barrier against light, oxygen, odors, flavors, moisture, and bacteria. Fats &mdash; for example &mdash; won&rsquo;t oxidize and become rancid. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-strategies-for-using-your-leftover-food">Simple Strategies for Using Your Leftover Food</a>)</p> <h3>2. Cooking</h3> <p>Along the premise of foil being a barrier against moisture, it also holds it in. Wrap food in foil (especially handy before chucking it on the barbecue), and get creative by making little foil packets with combinations of veggies and spices. You can also use foil to finish cooking something (like meat) that has been mostly cooked and is still hot, but needs a little bit longer to tenderize. (This works well for timing a meal if the other components aren't ready yet).</p> <h3>3. Funnel</h3> <p>Roll a double-thickness of foil (ideally the heavy duty kind) into a cone shape and snip off the end.</p> <h3>4. Pastry/Piping Bag</h3> <p>Start with the funnel (make sure the hole at the end is small). Fill the cone with icing and twist or fold the top closed so it doesn&rsquo;t seep out. Use heavy-duty foil and get creative cutting designs or patterns into the end to shape how the icing comes out. (This might take a trial run or three).</p> <h3>5. Novelty Cake Shapes</h3> <p>As long as you&rsquo;re icing a cake with foil as an aid, why not bake one with it? Don&rsquo;t buy a heart-shaped cake pan &mdash; make one! Use several thicknesses of foil to create whatever shape of a cake pan you desire, and place it inside a regular cake pan or on a baking sheet. Every cake can be a work of creative genius, without having to spend money on specialty cake pans.</p> <h3>6. Oven Rack Spill Catcher</h3> <p>Although pizzas may cook best when placed directly on the rack, I have no interest in watching cheese drip over the edges and turn into a blackened mess on the oven bottom. Cover your oven rack with foil, and you have a spill-catcher and pretty much the same cooking conditions as if it were on the rack itself.</p> <h3>7. Oven Liner</h3> <p>As long as you&rsquo;re worried about spillage, you can line the whole bottom of your oven with foil as well. However, as pointed out in this article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-tips-to-cut-costs-by-using-your-oven-efficiently">oven efficiency</a>, don't make a habit of leaving foil on the rack or the bottom of the oven, as it reduces air flow.</p> <h3>8. Burner Catchers</h3> <p>Use foil to line the bowl-shaped catchers underneath each stove element, and you&rsquo;ll save quite a bit of scrubbing. Replace as necessary.</p> <h3>9. Oven-Cleaning Aid</h3> <p>If you can&rsquo;t remove the elements from your oven before spraying cleaner, just cover them in foil to protect them from the spray.</p> <h3>10. Soften Brown Sugar</h3> <p>Wrap your unwitting brick of brown sugar in foil and bake for five minutes at 300&deg;F to soften it. Leave it in the foil and store in an air-tight plastic bag to keep it soft.</p> <h3>11. Bake Pies With Perfect Crusts</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve burned many a pie crust waiting for the filling to finish cooking. Save yourself the agony by covering the edge of the crust with foil once it&rsquo;s golden brown to prevent it from burning.</p> <h3>12. Make a Solar Cooker</h3> <p>This takes a little more than foil alone, but if you&rsquo;ve got sunshine, you may as well make full use of it with a <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cooker">solar cooker</a>&nbsp;and save money on energy costs.</p> <h3>13. Keep Rolls Hot</h3> <p>Want to serve perfectly warmed dinner rolls even if guests are slow to the table? Line a bread basket with foil, put your warm rolls in, and cover them with a napkin.</p> <h2>Camping</h2> <p>Foil is a light and easily portable tool that has many handy uses when camping.</p> <h3>14. Keep Things Dry</h3> <p>As a barrier against moisture, foil is a great way to keep things dry. For example, if you have a cooler full of ice, you can wrap sandwiches in foil to keep them cool and prevent sogginess. Or if you&rsquo;re headed off the trails, wrapping your lunch in foil could protect it from being destroyed during that wonky river crossing.</p> <h3>15. Cooking</h3> <p>As stated in the kitchen section, making creative packets of goodies and cooking them can be fun for the whole family. This is especially handy if you&rsquo;re cooking over a campfire.</p> <p>Craving a grilled cheese sandwich? Wrap your bread and cheese in foil and cook it over the fire. (And if you&rsquo;re &ldquo;camped out&rdquo; at a hotel, you can even make these sandwiches by using an iron to grill your sandwich. Yup. An iron).</p> <h2>Beauty</h2> <p>I couldn't find too many beauty uses for tin foil &mdash; not like you can for other unlikely suspects like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paint-a-room-and-wash-your-face-more-uses-for-powdered-milk-than-you-ever-imagined">powdered milk</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/two-dozen-uses-for-toothpaste-aside-from-cleaning-your-teeth">toothpaste</a>, or even <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">banana peels</a>.&nbsp;But below is one I tested when I performed in a musical requiring curly locks &mdash; it really works.</p> <h3>16. Curl Your Hair</h3> <p>While your hair is still damp, wrap sections lengthwise in foil, and roll the foil around your fingers as tight or loose as you choose. Sleep well, and awake to super-curly locks!</p> <h2>Household</h2> <p>Oh, there are so many household uses for foil! Where to begin?</p> <h3>17. Rust Remover</h3> <p>Got rust? Use a crumpled piece of foil to rub it off. Rumor has it if you dip the foil in cola first, it works even better.</p> <h3>18. Polish Steel</h3> <p>Using the principle of oxidization, dip a piece of foil in water and use it to remove rust from and polish your steel.</p> <h3>19. Polish Silver</h3> <p>See this article on how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">clean silver naturally</a> for more on this nifty and easy technique.</p> <h3>20. Soap Saver</h3> <p>By putting a piece of foil on the bottom of a bar of soap, it won't sit in a puddle of water, and will last longer.</p> <h3>21. Plant Rescue</h3> <p>Cut the side out of a cardboard box and line the inside with foil. Put your sun-starved plant inside the box, and place it in a window with the open side facing the window/sun. The sun reflecting off the foil will give your plant a boost of light and will help it to grow straighter too.</p> <h3>22. Line Fireplaces and Grills</h3> <p>To protect your fireplace or grill from soot damage, you can line the bottom with foil.</p> <h3>23. Furniture Protector</h3> <p>Shampooing your carpets? Protect furniture legs by covering them in foil to keep the shampoo off and save you (and your back) from playing Tetris with heavy furniture.</p> <h3>24. Sculptures</h3> <p>When struck with a bout of creativity, foil can be loads of fun for making sculptures and other crafty items.</p> <h3>25. Improve TV Reception</h3> <p>No, I'm not talking about creating foil rabbit ears (though this helps too). If your DVD player lives atop your TV, the picture might be fuzzy. Put a sheet of foil between the two to reduce interference.</p> <h3>26. Iron Both Sides at Once</h3> <p>Putting foil underneath your ironing board cover doubles the effectiveness of your iron by reflecting the heat back up and helping you to iron both sides at once.</p> <h3>27. Steam Delicate Garments</h3> <p>Don't put that iron away yet! Put a piece of foil under your garment and hold the iron a few inches above the garment while holding down the steam button. Voila &mdash; you've de-wrinkled your delicates without using direct heat.</p> <h3>28. Wrapping Paper</h3> <p>In a pinch, foil does the trick as wrapping paper, especially for those awkwardly shaped gifts. You can also cut out custom pictures and shapes and incorporate a creative sculpture or two!</p> <h3>29. Heat Your Home</h3> <p>Placing foil on the wall behind your radiator will direct heat back into the room, making it more efficient. (Here are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">six other ways to reduce your heating expenses and stay warm</a>.)</p> <h3>30. Keep It Cold</h3> <p>Conversely, on a really hot day you can keep your drinks cold for longer by wrapping your cup or glass in foil.</p> <h3>31. Makeshift Washer</h3> <p>Jeff mentions how foil can be used to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-surprising-ways-to-reuse-aluminum-foil">repair stripped threads on screws</a>; you can also twist a small strip of foil around a bolt as a makeshift washer. Tighten the nut down and the foil works its way into uneven spots between metal surfaces.</p> <h3>32. Paint Brush Preserver</h3> <p>Painting a room or three? Instead of laboriously washing your brushes each night, just wrap them in foil and refrigerate. They'll remain soft and ready for further use for up to four days.</p> <h3>33. Cat Toy</h3> <p>Roll some foil into a small ball and teach your cats to play fetch (good luck with that, by the way). Attach the ball to a string and hang it from a door handle, and your kitty has hours of self-directed entertainment.</p> <h3>34. Rim Cleaner</h3> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;">If your car rims are full of brake dust, use foil and a little dish soap to remove the gunk and shine those puppies up.</p> <h3>35. Keep Batteries in Place</h3> <p>If the battery compartment is a little loose and the battery isn't always in proper contact with the connectors, pad out the spring side with some foil. The batteries will stay in place and keep a solid connection.</p> <h3>36. Photography Reflector</h3> <p>Fancy a photo shoot? Covering a piece of cardboard with foil gives you an excellent reflector to give your subject the perfect lighting.</p> <p><em>What uses do you have for this shiny stuff?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/another-36-uses-for-tin-foil" class="sharethis-link" title="Another 36 Uses for Tin Foil" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink General Tips Home aluminium foil household hacks reuse tin foil Tue, 04 Oct 2011 10:24:12 +0000 Nora Dunn 729888 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Money-Saving Uses for Mouthwash http://www.wisebread.com/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009691185Small.jpg" alt="Man with mouthwash" title="Man with mouthwash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Mouthwash is useful for so much more than just rinsing plaque away! When it was first invented, it hailed as a surgical antiseptic, and as such it has unique properties that can save you lots of money. So before you head to the store for an athlete&rsquo;s foot treatment, sanitizer, or astringent (or over a dozen other things), check out this list to see how you can replace them with mouthwash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a>)</p> <p><em>Note: For almost all the tips here, you want to use mouthwash that is alcohol-based (that&rsquo;s one of the secret ingredients), and in most cases without sugar. </em></p> <h2>Health and Beauty</h2> <p>With its antiseptic properties, mouthwash is brilliant for cleaning and light medical uses. It's also great for travelers, since it's so multifunctional. Check out these creative uses for mouthwash that will keep you fresh &mdash; in more ways than one.</p> <h3>Nail Fungus Eradicator</h3> <p>Nail fungus problems can make your toenails or fingernails thick and discolored, and once you&rsquo;re infected it&rsquo;s incredibly difficult to eradicate. Make up a 50/50 solution of alcohol-based mouthwash and vinegar, and apply to the affected area with a cotton ball (use a new one each time) two-to-three times per day. Be warned &mdash; nail fungus is stubborn&hellip;.you won&rsquo;t likely see results for at least a few weeks.</p> <h3>Bruise Treatment</h3> <p>Did you go bump in the night? Waiting for a whopper of a bruise to appear? Rub some mouthwash on the affected area, and you can save yourself from a gaudy bruise (or at least reduce the appearance of it).</p> <h3>Poison Ivy Treatment</h3> <p>Stop scratching! Instead, apply some mouthwash, and not only will it relieve the itchiness and inflammation of a poison ivy attack, but it can also dry up the area and begin the healing process.</p> <h3>Hand Sanitizer</h3> <p>I once had a hand sanitizer that came in a small spray bottle, which I treasured for its convenience and sanitary properties. I&rsquo;ve been searching (unsuccessfully) for a replacement ever since. Now I just use mouthwash, and I can freshen up any time. It&rsquo;s also great for cleaning the kids&rsquo; hands in a pinch. (Again, make sure it&rsquo;s alcohol-based and sugar-free, otherwise you&rsquo;ll be a sticky mess).</p> <h3>Deodorant</h3> <p>Mouthwash makes an easy substitute deodorant in a pinch, with its bacteria-killing properties. Be warned though &mdash; if you just shaved your armpits, applying an alcohol-based mouthwash will sting!</p> <h3>After-Piercing Care</h3> <p>Part of the after-care process for tending to new piercings (or even caring for older ones that have become infected) is to apply a special disinfectant solution twice daily. Why not use mouthwash instead? Mouthwash is (obviously) especially handy in healing a tongue piercing.</p> <h3>Athlete&rsquo;s Foot</h3> <p>In the same way that mouthwash treats nail fungus, it acts as an antiseptic for athlete&rsquo;s foot. Soak a cotton ball in mouthwash and apply twice a day. You know it&rsquo;s working if it stings a bit, and you should see positive results in a few days.</p> <h3>Foot Bath</h3> <p>Even if you don&rsquo;t have athlete&rsquo;s foot or some pesky fungus to tend to, soaking your tootsies in a mixture of mouthwash and water can refresh and soften them after a long day on your feet.</p> <h3>Garlic-Odor Killer</h3> <p>It would be stating the obvious to suggest that mouthwash &mdash; in your mouth &mdash; eliminates garlic odor. But it can also take care of the smell of garlic on your hands after you&rsquo;ve handled it. Just pour some on your hands, rub them together, and let them air-dry.</p> <h3>Facial Astringent</h3> <p>Apply mouthwash (again, make sure it&rsquo;s alcohol-based and sugar-free) to a cotton ball and wipe on your face after you&rsquo;ve used your normal face wash. Rinse with water afterward, and you&rsquo;ll have saved yourself the bulk &mdash; and cost &mdash; of a fancy facial astringent.</p> <h3>Clean Cuts and Scrapes</h3> <p>Remember, mouthwash was first used as a surgical antiseptic before people figured out its mouth-washing properties. Apply some mouthwash to your boo-boo, dry, and dress it with a bandage as necessary.</p> <h3>Dandruff Treatment</h3> <p>Not into expensive specialized dandruff shampoos? After shampooing, try rinsing your hair with a 50/50 mixture of mouthwash and water (1/2 a cup of each will do). You may have to repeat this process a few times to eradicate the dandruff completely. Bonus &mdash; your hair will smell minty fresh.</p> <h2>Around the House</h2> <p>Mouthwash cleans, sanitizes, and even revives. Here's how you can make good use of it around the house.</p> <h3>Keep Cut Flowers Fresh</h3> <p>By mixing two tablespoons of mouthwash per gallon of water and filling your flower vase with this mixture, your cut flowers will last longer (by killing the bacteria that accelerates decomposition).</p> <h3>Glass Cleaner</h3> <p>Apply mouthwash to a damp cloth and go to town on glass surfaces. Dry with a cotton cloth.</p> <h3>Computer Screen Cleaner</h3> <p>As long as your computer screen is glass (<em>DO NOT use this technique on LCD screens!</em>), you&rsquo;ll save mad money on specialty computer screen cleaners by simply using the technique above to remove smudges and computer dust.</p> <h3>Laundry Sanitizer</h3> <p>In the same way that mouthwash removes bacteria from your mouth, you can remove it from your laundry as well. Add one cup to the regular cycle of a full load of laundry (make sure the mouthwash is sugar-free and alcohol-based).</p> <p>This is especially handy for those stinky gym socks; mouthwash kills all the bacteria that is sometimes left behind in a regular wash.</p> <h3>Toothbrush Cleaner</h3> <p>Mouthwash cleans your teeth; why not your toothbrush as well? A rinse with or dunk in a cup of mouthwash before brushing will ensure your toothbrush is clean and free of the bacteria hanging around your bathroom. Eeeww.</p> <h3>Toilet Cleaner</h3> <p>Out of toilet bowl cleaner? No problem. Just pour a cup of mouthwash into the toilet, let it sit for half an hour, and give it a swish with the toilet brush.</p> <h3>Plant Rescue</h3> <p>A mixture of 25% mouthwash and 75% water sprayed onto your plant leaves rescues them from mildew and fungus. Don&rsquo;t do this more than once per week, though.</p> <p>Do you enjoy having items in the house that serve many purposes and save you money? Then check out these articles on how to make good use of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">vinegar</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/two-dozen-uses-for-toothpaste-aside-from-cleaning-your-teeth">toothpaste</a>, and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">banana peels</a>.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash" class="sharethis-link" title="19 Money-Saving Uses for Mouthwash" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Health and Beauty Home household hacks mouthwash multi purpose items Thu, 21 Apr 2011 10:36:12 +0000 Nora Dunn 527435 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money by Rekindling the Art of Reusing your Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Reusing.JPG" alt="garbage" title="garbage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-recycle-your-clothes-shoes-electronics-and-more">recycling</a> became popular, reducing and reusing were the key methods of keeping our stuff out of landfills. But long before overflowing landfills were an issue, our forefathers were masters at the age-old art of reusing. Ingenious and creative, their ways of putting old things to new uses were practical and well and truly frugal. We could all stand to learn some lessons from them and rekindle the art of reusing by breathing new life into old stuff.</p> <p>So before you chuck that tattered trinket in the bin, here are a few ways we can reuse our tired toys right now.</p> <h2>Socks</h2> <p>The sock monster visits most homes, illicitly leaving us with missing and mis-matched socks. Here are a few things you can do with those lonely left-over socks.</p> <h4>Moth Repellant</h4> <p>This is a great way to reuse two things that would otherwise wend their way to the garbage bin: used socks and pencil shavings. Stuff those pencil shavings into an unmatched sock, tie off the end, and store it with your sweaters to keep the moths away.</p> <h4>Shoe Freshener</h4> <p>Fill an old sock with baking soda, and stuff it in the toe of a stinky shoe overnight for de-smellification.</p> <h4>Washcloth</h4> <p>Do you use <a href="http://www.vagabondish.com/how-to-be-a-solid-traveler/">solid soap</a>? If so, you know how difficult it is to put those last slivers of bar soap to good use. Fill an old (clean) sock with these soap slivers, and you have a soapy washcloth. This takes &ldquo;soap on a rope&rdquo; to new levels.</p> <h4>Hot Pack</h4> <p>This is probably my favorite piece of reusing brilliance: fill that old sock (the bigger the better) with rice. Tie or sew off the end, microwave for one minute, and melt away your stress with your homemade hot pack. Add some lavender or essential oils and your hot pack will have aroma therapeutic effects too.</p> <h4>Draft Dodger</h4> <p>Filling a long sock with rice and/or (even better) dryer lint or any other material you have for reusing and putting the sock along the bottom of doors will keep the cool drafts out and the warmth in.</p> <h4>Drink Cozy</h4> <p>Although not exactly fashionable, an old tube sock with the foot cut off makes for a handy beer cozy.</p> <h4>Dolly Dresses</h4> <p>If keeping your drink insulated is not a priority(!), then use your tube socks (again, with the foot cut off) as a tube dress for your kids&rsquo; dolls. Decorate it with fabric paint or markers and buttons, and your kids will enjoy expanding their dolls&rsquo; wardrobes.</p> <h4>Broom Buddy</h4> <p>Tie an old sock on to the end of a broom handle, and now you have a way to dust under the fridge, behind the stove, and other hard to reach places.</p> <h2>Crayons</h2> <p>Any household with children has probably seen its share of little crayon pieces. Once they are small enough, these well-loved crayons seem to wend their way to all manner of nooks and crannies in the house, if not the garbage can itself. Never throw another crayon away! Here are a few things you can do to breathe new life into these colorful tools.</p> <h4>Crayon Cupcakes</h4> <p>Peel the paper off your collection of crayon pieces, and break the larger remnants into smaller pieces. Fill an old muffin tin with the crayon pieces, and bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes, or until the wax melts. Allow to cool, and enjoy your multicolored creation.</p> <p>Alternately, you can use pie plates or ice cube trays instead of a muffin tin, and you can use the microwave or a double boiler instead of the oven.</p> <h4>Candy Crayons</h4> <p>Instead of using muffin tins, melt the crayons using a double boiler or microwave, and pour the melted wax into candy molds. Insert a candy stick, and allow to cool. These rainbow-colored &ldquo;candy crayons&rdquo; look good enough to eat, and will be like new toys for your kids. They also make fabulous <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-hack-gift-calendars">gifts</a>, and are even something easy and inexpensive to make that enterprising kids can sell at the local craft fair.</p> <h2>Miscellaneous Household Hacks</h2> <h4>Floor Protectors</h4> <p>Stop floor scratches in their tracks by cutting up old mouse pads or carpet pieces, and gluing them to the bottoms of chair and furniture legs.</p> <h4>Insect Repellant</h4> <p>Once cold season is over, use extra or expired vapor rub on clothes and skin to repel ticks and mosquitoes.</p> <h4>Paintbrush Renewal</h4> <p>Once a paintbrush is caked in dried paint and is hard as a rock, it is tough to believe that it can be restored. But in fact it can, and without any harsh solvents. Simply soak the brush in vinegar for five minutes, then massage the bristles while you rinse.</p> <h4>Christmas Delights</h4> <p>Instead of letting your child gorge on their Halloween take, freeze some of the candy. When Christmas season rolls around, use the Halloween candy to decorate a gingerbread house.</p> <h4>Apple Cores</h4> <p>After making a batch of apple pie or applesauce, you undoubtedly have the peels and cores to contend with. Before you throw them into the compost bin, put them into a pot, cover with water, and boil on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. The strained juice can be used for drinking, or as a flavorful broth for cooking grains like oatmeal and rice.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff" class="sharethis-link" title="Save Money by Rekindling the Art of Reusing your Stuff" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/green-living">Green Living articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Home household hacks recycle reuse Mon, 11 May 2009 03:19:05 +0000 Nora Dunn 3147 at http://www.wisebread.com