8 new uses for home items you already own


Tea bag

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You’re sitting on a gold mine. A gold mine of useful items, that is! Common things like baby oil and toothpaste can double as useful tools all over the home. Here are our eight favorite home hacks using common items:


1. Prevent soap scum with baby oil

Baby oil is like a coat of armor against soap scum for your shower curtain. Once a shower curtain is covered with soap scum, cleaning it is tough. So add a protective layer by coating your shower door or liner with baby oil. That’s it! The oil’s residue will prevent soap scum from sticking to the surface.


2. Erase watermarks from wood with toothpaste

To erase nasty watermarks, rub non-gel toothpaste into the wood with a soft cloth. Once the ring has disappeared, wipe it off with a damp cloth. Then, place a few coasters around to gently remind your family to use them!


3. Prevent freezer bag bubbles with a straw

Freezer bags are a great way to make food last longer, but they only work if they have an airtight seal. To prevent freezer bag air bubbles, leave a space that allows enough room to slip a straw in when you seal the bag. Push the straw into the opening and then draw any excess air out with your mouth. Seal the bag! The food inside will stay fresh.


4. Soften leather furniture with butter

To soften leather furniture, rub a very small amount of butter into the furniture with a soft cloth. Work it in a circular motion until it’s fully absorbed. Got pets? Remove excess butter with a buffing cloth to prevent your leather couch from smelling like a snack to your four-legged friends.


5. Loosen tight lids with flour

Sometimes lids get stuck. And that’s okay. If you have a few stubborn jars in the fridge, don’t resign yourself to a mini-battle every time you want a snack. Instead, outsmart the problem with a little bit of flour. To avoid a stuck lid, wipe the container’s inside edge with flour before replacing the lid. It will be a cinch to open the next time around!


6. Fertilize plants with tea bags

To make your plants lush and your flowers beautiful, transfer tea’s nutrients to your soil by adding a few tea bags to the mix. Simply stick a few tea bags in the potting soil. Done! If you don’t like the look of tea bags in your soil, simply empty the contents of the bags into the pot or use loose tea leaves, instead.


7. Corral cords with Velcro

Are a lot of the tables and desks in your home hiding an ugly cord secret? An abundance of gadgets and a lack of organization can turn these areas into a messy, tangled-cord jungle. Velcro can help. The company makes custom cord holders in a variety of colors and sizes ($6 for a pack of 100). Use them to defeat the cord mess once and for all!


8. Stop clogged nozzles with pantyhose

Picture this: you’ve made some awesome eco-friendly cleaners but hate using them because of sticky spray bottles. Instead of dealing with a clogged bottle, prevent the problem with pantyhose. Cover the open end of the nozzle with a small square of pantyhose held in place with a rubber band. After each cleaning adventure, replace the pantyhose square. This will keep sticky residue from building up and ruining your spray bottle.


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