How to use ordinary objects in extraordinary ways
See how ordinary, unassuming household products have hidden superpowers
See how ordinary, unassuming household items have hidden superpowers. (iStock.com photo)
We scoured cleaning guides, magazines and the Internet, along with asking our friends, moms and grandmothers to find the best double-duty ideas.
The next time you stain a shirt, smell something funky or think about tossing an old banana peel, check our 112 extraordinary uses first. Not only will you be going green, you'll be saving some green.
1. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait 20 minutes, brush and flush.
2. Attract fish. Fill a tube jig with a piece of Alka-Seltzer and cast off.
3. Remove burned food from cookware. Fill your cookware with warm water, then dissolve six tablets and allow to sit for an hour or so.
4. Soothe insect bites. Dissolve two tablets in water and saturate a cloth or cotton ball with the solution, and place on the bite for 30 minutes. Don't do this if you are allergic to aspirin, which is a key ingredient in Alka-Seltzer.
6. Sharpen your scissors by cutting through six to eight layers of aluminum foil.
7. Shine rusty chrome. With a bit of water on a wadded-up piece of aluminum foil, you can rub most rust spots off chrome car parts.
8. Keep birds out of your fruit trees. Hang twisted strips of aluminum foil all over your fruit trees using fishing line. The light reflections and the sound will keep birds away from your fruit.
9. Keep the bottom of your fireplace or charcoal grill from becoming encrusted with soot. Line the bottom of your fireplace or grill with aluminum foil before starting a fire, then dispose of the foil after the fire is out and the coals are completely cooled.
10. Eliminate electromagnetic interference if your TV and DVD player are stacked on top of each other. If the picture is fuzzy, place a sheet of aluminum foil between them.
11. Iron more effectively by putting a piece of aluminum foil under the ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat from the iron so both sides get ironed at once.
12. Move furniture with ease. To slide big pieces of furniture over a smooth floor, place small pieces of aluminum foil under the legs. Put the dull side of the foil down _ the dull side is actually more slippery than the shiny side.
13. Clean starch build-up from your iron by running a hot iron over a piece of aluminum foil.
14. Remove perspiration stains from white fabric by dissolving two aspirin in half a cup of warm water and applying to stained fabric. Leave for a couple of hours before washing.