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Twenty Household Solutions Using Stuff You Already Have

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 12:55 pm
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We've all been in this predicament, with an itch in the center of our back and no one there to scratch it, right? That's what hairbrushes and serving forks are for.

Have a dog-hair-in-the-house problem? A dog brush with metal teeth does more than remove hair from a shedding dog. It is also a great solution for eliminating hair from a tight weave rug.

Items you already have around your house can be great solutions for everyday household problems. Read on for 20 surprising uses.

1. Need to light a bunch of candles but don't have a long lighter? Try a piece of uncooked spaghetti instead. "Simply light the noodle, and you can make it around your patio twice without burning your finger tips," said Yahoo.

2. It's inevitable there will be a power outage when you've just burned through your last candle.

If you have an orange and a bottle of olive oil, you can create a makeshift candle in under one minute. Check out this video to learn how.

3. Need some tunes while you're cleaning and organizing? "Hack a bowl to blast your music," said Yahoo. "Simply place the speaker end of the phone in a bowl (or juice glass) and press play."

4. Make a simple stencil. It's polka dots the easy way when you hack off a piece of your extra laundry basket and tape it to the wall.

5. When's the last time you used that old magazine holder? Dig it out of the back of the closet and put it to good use as a storage container for your plastic wrap, baggies, and foil, or your cutting boards. The shape of the holder helps to keep different shapes wrangled and easy to access.

6. Have a broken light bulb you can't get out of the socket? Raid your fridge. A carrot, or a potato cut in half, shoved into the socket can help you get out all the broken bits.

7. Create a prettier laundry room. Turn that unused drink dispenser into a laundry dispenser and kiss the ugly detergent bottle goodbye.

8. Company's coming over and your bathroom mirror is a mess. Where's the glass cleaner when you need it?! Forget the spit-shine and grab a coffee filter for clean windows and mirrors in a pinch, said Good Housekeeping.

9. And about that toilet…you can clean it even without the blue stuff. Drop in a couple of tablets of Alka Seltzer, and "wait 20 minutes. The citric acid will dissolve the grime," said Buzzfeed.

10. Soap is great, but the only thing that can remove the smell of onions and garlic from your hands is time. Unless you use this Good Housekeeping tip: "Keep coffee grounds in a can near the sink. Rub a small amount over your hands after peeling onions, chopping garlic or handling fish to get rid of the odor." Of course, then your hands will smell like coffee, but that's probably preferable to fish fingers.

If you've got a bottle of olive oil, you have more than the beginnings of a good salad dressing. Real Simple says you can also use olive oil to:

11. Shine stainless steel

12. Keep wax from sticking to a candle holder when rubbed on the base of the holder

13. Unstick a zipper

14. Dust wooden furniture

15. Lubricate a squeaky door by dabbing oil on the hinges

Baking soda is another multi-purpose item Real Simple says you can use to:

16. "Erase crayon, pencil, ink, and furniture scuffs from painted surfaces" with a damp sponge

17. Unclog a drain. "Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible). Follow with a gallon of boiling water."

18. "Remove tough stains from enameled cast iron and stainless steel" and remove crusted food from casserole pans

19. Clean up small oil and grease spills in the garage floor or your driveway by scrubbing with a wet brush

20. Ants marching through your home? Forget the bug spray and head for the spice rack. "Cinnamon is a natural deterrent for bugs," said Business Insider.

"If you want to keep ants at bay, cinnamon may be all you need. Use it to deter the six-legged critters from invading your home by spreading powdered cinnamon anywhere you catch sight of them."

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