Uncommon Uses of Common Household Items

Globally, we are at the stage where environmental consciousness is highly promoted, encouraged and implemented. For instance, we are all familiar with the term hybrid in the automotive industry. These are cars that essentially cut down on fuel consumption, thus lowering carbon footprints, by incorporating an electric motor to the engine. We have also heard of huge water treatment plants like that of Singapore that actually recycles waste water into safe drinking water. On the extreme, scientists have now come up with nano-technology. This has a huge potential for curing diseases and cleaning up man’s environmental abuses among others.

These are all very expensive acts for the sake of our environment that no lower to middle class family can afford. So how can we give back our long-standing overdue debt to the environment? The answer is simple: Go green!

We have all bought commercial cleaning products, plastics and personal hygiene items. These things contain chemicals that can be extremely harmful to nature. By going green, we not only help the environment we live in but we can actually save money as well. Now, that’s hitting two birds with one stone. How? Here are a couple everyday household items that you can start with:

SALT

There are at least 14,000 uses for salt but we’ll only be talking about a few good uncommon uses for it.

Consumer Salt Tips

Kitchen/Bathroom

  • Mix equal portions of salt, vinegar and flour to make a paste. With a soft cloth, rub the compound on dull brass of copper items. Rinse the item with warm water and buff it. They will look just like brand new.
  • Save up on the soap for greasy woks or cooking pans. Just sprinkle salt on the grease, wipe it off and wash as usual.
  • Through time, glasses get stained and no amount of scrubbing can get rid of it. Try soaking them in a solution of a liter of vinegar with a handful of salt overnight. Simply wipe it off the following day.
  • Equal parts of salt and hot water poured down a drain eliminate foul sewage odors. This also helps keep the drains clear because it dissolves grease and slows down any future build-up.

Insect repellent

  • For those who have ants invading places where they’re not supposed to, draw a line, literally, across their path with salt. This could be laid out as inconspicuously as possible across your front door, on shelves, in cabinets, around your trash bin and so on.
  • You know that when your dog has fleas, its kennel will undoubtedly be a sanctuary for them. Send them packing by washing it down with salt water every couple of weeks or so.

General/In and Around the House

  • Don’t feel like washing your stinky shoes all the time? After taking them off for the day, sprinkle salt on the inside and let it stand overnight. The salt helps absorb the moisture that the odor-causing germs like to thrive in. Don’t forget to shake it out in the mornings when you go to work.
  • Pulling out weeds does not guarantee that they won’t come back. You can’t get all the roots out and that’s what gives them the chance to regrow. Get rid of the ungainly weed easily by simply sprinkling salt on them followed by a little water. Another way is to let the salt stand overnight or whole day and then follow it up with hot water. Either method will dilute the salt and carry it down to where it matters most, the roots of the weeds. Naturally, the hot water simply hastens things along.

VINEGAR

There are over 250 additional uses of vinegar aside from being consumed as a food ingredient.

254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.

Kitchen

  • Getting tired of serving cracked hard boiled eggs? Stop the cracking by adding 2 spoonfuls of vinegar to the boiling water.
  • Have you wondered how to put the shine back on your stainless steel pots, pans and utensils? After soaping and rinsing them like you usually do, wet a sponge or clean rag with vinegar and wipe it all over any discoloration on the stainless item. The effect is immediate.

Bath/Shower room

  • Corrosion is an ungainly sight and there are a lot of commercial products out there claiming to be the best solution. Don’t get me wrong, many of them do work well but at such a price that you normally end up trying to save it instead of using it. Go green and dampen a cloth with vinegar instead. Wrap it around the offensive sight overnight. Voila!
  • Toilet stains can be removed cheaply and naturally by spraying vinegar on them directly followed by some scrubbing. After flushing, add 3 cups of vinegar and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Not only is your toilet clean, it just got deodorized as well.

General

  • Get rid of mustiness in your lockers, cabinets or basically any humid area by either a half-filled bowl of vinegar or by soaking a piece of loaf bread in vinegar and placing it in the area where the smell is strongest. Leave it overnight.
  • Do you remember when you got chewing gum on your hair? To get rid of it, you’ll need to remove as much of the gum as possible. Later on, wet the remaining gum on your hair with vinegar and watch (at this stage, I assume you’ll be facing a mirror) as the vinegar dissolves the gum. If you heat the vinegar, it will work wonders a lot faster.
  • Add vinegar as an addition to your first aid kit especially when going to the beach. When you get stung by jellyfish, dampen the inflicted area with it and you’ll get a much-needed relief from the sting.

There are many other uses of salt and vinegar as well as their combination. With only these two kitchen items, the annual savings you can make can be astounding compared to commercially available products. Furthermore, you’re helping out Mother Nature a lot since these ingredients are natural and completely eco-friendly. If you think something is more important than what is listed here, let us hear about it through your comments.