Best Of – 74 Alt Uses For Everyday Household Items


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You can stock a household with tons of products, whatsits and gadgets, and still find a reason to need something different to handle a new task. But when we learn and invent new alternate uses for everyday things, we extend the life of stuff we might not have used otherwise, or create something totally new out of something old.

Exploring alternative uses for everyday items is a great way to channel resourcefulness, creativity and thriftiness. We’ve pulled together our favorite lists of alt uses and shared our favorite tips from each.

7 Alt Uses For Baby Powder

When baby powder is NOT for babies. Photo:

When baby powder is NOT for babies. Photo:

Using baby powder to keep babies dry and happy is as old a practice as, well, having babies. But a little powder goes a long way, and what’s a parent to do with all the leftover? It turns out there are some handy things you can do other than powder your little one.

Favorite tip: Did you know that if you sprinkle baby powder on a squeaky floor board and sweep the excess into the cracks, the floor will be as quiet as a sleeping baby?

Full list at

10 Alt Uses For Olive Oil

Delicious olive oil is also gorgeous. Photo:

Delicious olive oil is also gorgeous. Photo:

Olive oil is considered an exceptionally healthy food in many parts of the world and can be used in dozens of different ways in the kitchen. But there are tons of things that olive oil is good for other than salads and sautés.

Favorite tip: Use olive oil instead of a store-bought shaving cream. It gives you a closer shave and keeps you moisturized.

Full list at

20 Ways To Clean Your House Using Alternatives to Harsh Chemicals

When we make our own soaps and supplies, we can also put them in pretty jars. Nerdy? Yes. Fun? Absolutely! Photo:

When we make our own soaps and supplies, we can also put them in pretty jars. Nerdy? Yes. Fun? Absolutely! Photo:

There is an effective recipe out there for almost any kind of cleanser. From soft scrubs to laundry detergent, you can make this stuff at home for a fraction of the price while making a remarkably greener concoction than store-bought products. And don’t be afraid that your homemade cleansers aren’t effective because they are! Vinegar, for example, is a reoccurring ingredient to a green home’s supply kit and it kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses.

Favorite recipes:

  • To cut down on harsh mildew-fighting chemicals, use vinegar OR water and tea tree oil OR water and lavender essential oil to spray the shower after each use to reduce mold and soap scum build up. This ultimately reduces the amount of hard chemicals you need to use to clean your tub.
  • To clean grout, first make it wet, and then use baking soda with a toothbrush as a scrub.
  • To make your own soft scrub, add baking soda and just enough liquid soap to a bowl. Using the cut side of half a lemon, scrub on dirty areas. Use a damp rag or sponge to wipe away anything that’s left.
  • To whiten stained tiles or grout, use 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water. Spray the surface, allow it to dry, wipe with a damp cloth.
  • To clean cast iron pans, use coarse salt and a soft sponge with no water.
  • To whiten fabrics, bring a pot of water to boil with several slices of lemon. Turn off the heat and add linens, napkins and socks, letting soak for an hour. Launder as usual.

Warning: First, never use vinegar on natural stone such as granite or marble because it will scratch and pit the stone. Second, never mix bleach with vinegar because it will give off a toxic gas.

For a list of 12 recipes including glass cleaner, fabric softener, laundry detergent, and furniture polish, visit

7 Alt Uses For Eggs

The incredible, edible egg.

The incredible, edible egg.

From shining your hair to improving your skin to making your plants happy with the mineral-rich shells of eggs, there are a tons of alternate uses for eggs. And this doesn’t even count the 150 ways to cook one.

Favorite tip: Crushed eggshell on potted plants create a sharp and jagged terraine for small pests. After trying to feast on your plants, they’ll find the surface too inhospitable, leaving you and your plants pest-free.

Full list on Lifehackery.

30 Alt Uses For Old Socks

Make your cat happy with an old sock filled with catnip.

Make your cat happy with an old sock filled with catnip.

It happens to the best of us. We do the wash, and only one sock comes back from the pair. Where do those cast-aways go anyway? Instead of throwing them out, and because we know that we can’t donate just one sock, try using them for another purpose.

Favorite tip: Fill up your remaining sock with catnip, close it up and let your cat at it. They’ll be so happy and love you forever.

Full list on

What Else?

We know this list can go on and on and on, so let’s build it together. What other alternative uses do you have for everyday household items?

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  • juwandy susilo

    nice post :)

  • The information is very interesting. It made me understand something, and it is that I never knew before.

  • Anonymous

    we’ve started using coarse salt to clean our skillets! it’s freaking awesome.