Double-duty ideas

See how ordinary, unassuming household items have hidden superpowers. ( photo)

15. Eliminate chlorine discoloration from hair by dissolving eight tablets in a glass of water and rubbing into your hair. Leave for about 10 minutes and then rinse. Shampoo.

16. Reduce pimples by making a paste with water and crushed aspirin. Cover the pimple with this paste; rinse after a few minutes.

17. Recharge a car battery by dropping two tablets into the battery itself. The aspirin's acetylsalicylic acid will combine with the battery's sulfuric acid to produce one last charge. Drive to the nearest service station.

Banana peel

18. Polish leather shoes by using a de-stringed banana peel. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth or paper towel.

19. Remove warts by rubbing the inside of a little piece of a banana peel on a wart every night for several weeks.

20. Detract aphids by burying dried or cut-up banana peels a few inches deep around the base of rosebushes.

21. Nourish your skin by mashing a medium-sized banana and combining with 1/4-cup plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons honey to make a facial mask. Leave on 20 minutes.

22. Tenderize a roast by adding a peeled banana to the pan.

23. Wipe your houseplant leaves down with the inside of a banana peel to remove dirt and leave a shine.

24. Rub scraped knees with the inside of a banana peel to promote healing.

Baking soda

25. Extinguish a grease or electrical fire. Scatter the powder by the handful to safely put it out.

26. Clean combs and brushes in a soda solution.

27. Wash glass or stainless steel coffee pots (but not aluminum) in a soda solution (3 tablespoons soda to 1 quart water).

28. Sprinkle soda on barbecue grills, let soak, then rinse off.

29. Sprinkle soda on greasy garage floor. Let stand, scrub and rinse.

30. For a badly burned pan with a thick layer of burned-on food: pour a thick layer of soda directly onto the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle on just enough water so as to moisten the soda. Leave the pot overnight, then scrub it clean the next day.

31. Soak your shower curtains in water and soda to clean them.

32. Sprinkle soda in tennis shoes, socks, boots and slippers to eliminate odor.