Double-duty ideas

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

80. Clean patent leather shoes to a gleaming shine by rubbing them with a little milk on a soft cloth. Leave to dry and then buff them.

81. Remove ink stains on clothing by soaking the area in milk. This can take anything from half an hour to overnight to remove the stain completely.

82. Repair fine cracks in china plates and cups can by boiling them in milk. The milk reacts with the kaolin in china and closes the crack. Place the plate in a pan, cover it with milk (fresh or reconstituted powdered milk) and bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.

Mini photo album

83. Use to hold information for a DIY project: fabric swatches, paint color chips, measurements.

Nail polish

84. Make cup measurements visible by using a brightly colored polish to trace over basic measurement levels.

85. Mark levels inside a bucket with a color that stands out.

86. Seal an envelope by brushing a little polish on the underside of the flap.

87. Protect your belt buckle's shine by covering new or just-shined belt buckles with a coat of clear polish.

88. Stop a windshield crack from spreading by brushing both sides of the glass with polish to fill it.

Newspaper

89. Store sweaters and blankets in a few sheets to keep moths away.

90. Clean and polish windows without leaving streaks.

91. Make an impromptu ironing board by filling a pillowcase with a short stack of newspapers. Place on floor or countertop for ironing.

92. Put traction under your car wheels if you are ever stuck on a patch of ice or slush by placing a dozen sheets of newspaper under each rear wheel to gain traction.

Oatmeal

93. Treat itchy poison ivy or chicken pox by soaking in an oatmeal bath. Grind 1 cup of oatmeal into a thin powder, pour into cheesecloth or into a clean old stocking and tie into a knot. Suspend the bag under the faucet as it fills with warm water.

Olive oil

94. Polish wood furniture with a teaspoon of oil and a soft rag.