9 household items with multiple, unique uses

Before you buy more things that will clutter up your apartment, sometimes the products you need are already sitting in your kitchen cupboard, bathroom, or other places around the house. Reusing items is a great way to save money and to be green. Read on for 48 ways to recycle these nine everyday items.

Cheap Vodka

It's always good to have vodka around the house, and no, it's not to drink your cares away. Here are some great uses for this multipurpose drink:

• Clean clothes: You can spray a vodka and water mixture on your clothes to keep them fresh in between washes and to kill any odors. You need to do a spot test first to be on the safe side. Dab it on some stains before you throw it into the wash because it's also a good stain remover.
• Kill mold: Spray a vodka water mixture on the mold to get rid of it. Let it soak for a while before wiping it clean. The alcohol will kill the mold.
• Preserve flowers: Add a few drops of vodka into a vase to preserve flowers. Vodka lengthens the life of the blooms because it inhibits ethylene production, which is what helps the plant mature, according to Scientific American.
• Repel insects: Use vodka to repel bugs. DIYlife.com recommends mixing it with apple cider vinegar and drops of citronella or eucalyptus essential oil. Spray it on yourself or areas you don't want bugs to come crawling such as your patio furniture.
• Polish and shine: Wet some cloth with vodka and polish your glasses with it. You can also spray a vodka water mixture on windows and mirrors to make them shine.


Butter isn't just good for making meals delicious and raising your cholesterol. Here are a couple of uses for the dairy product:

• Swallow pills: Coat a thin layer of butter on pills to make them go down easier. This is especially helpful for bigger pills and ones that have no coating.
• De-stress cats: If you're moving or throwing a party, your cat can get a bit stressed by the sudden change in the environment. To take her mind off things, put some butter on the top of her paws. She'll be distracted by cleaning herself.
• Prevent cheese mold: Put a thin coat of butter on the cheese after you have cut it so it won't get too hard or start molding. This works best for harder cheeses.
• Preserve onions: If you cut an onion in half and decide to leave the other half in the fridge, coat the exposed side with a bit of butter to keep it fresh longer.
• Stop liquid from boiling over: If you add a bit of butter to the boiling pot of liquid, it'll stop it from boiling over. Of course, you need to make sure that the butter goes with whatever you're cooking.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are so handy, I don't know what I'd do without them in the kitchen. Other than the more obvious uses of wiping up messes, here are a couple of other uses:

• Cover food when microwaving: Instead of covering the food with a plastic cover, I put a paper towel on top of it to keep the food from bubbling over or splashing the inside of the microwave.
• Line your cabinets, drawers, or fridge bins: I use paper towels to line my kitchen or bathroom cabinets, drawers, and even the vegetable bins in the fridge. It apparently helps keep the veggies fresh longer because the towels absorb the moisture. The towels make the cabinets and drawers easy to clean and prevents the bacteria from entering the wood.
• Soak up fat: When you think a dish is too fattening, you can dab it with a paper towel. You can even dip the paper towel on top of soup to absorb the oil.

Baby Oil

I use baby oil for practically everything. I love the fact that it's made for babies because that means it's formulated for more sensitive skin.

• Makeup remover: Dab some baby oil onto a cotton swab to remove your makeup. Works like a charm!
• Massage oil: Looking to give someone or get a massage? Use the baby oil instead of buying a massage oil. It smells good and works just as well.
• Shaving gel substitute: When you're shaving your legs, use baby oil to make the task go a lot smoother.
• Smoother zippers: If your zipper is stuck, add some baby oil and you'll soon be able to zip it up and down.
• Paint remover: If you splash latex paint on yourself by accident and it gets on your skin, pour baby oil onto the splatter and scrub it out.
• Clean ears: Put a couple of warm baby oil drops into your ear to dissolve the wax. Let it sit there for a bit, then drain the oil out on a paper towel.
• Oil hinges: Put baby oil on a squeaky hinge for it to open and close smoothly.


Vaseline was originally meant to protect cuts and scrapes, but this jar of petroleum jelly has evolved into an item with dozens of uses.

• Chapstick: Smear Vaseline on your lips to keep them from being chapped. Do it the night before and you'll wake up with smooth, soft lips.
• Moisturize skin: Vaseline can be used on skin that's prone to psoriasis and eczema. It'll heal by moisturizing the dry patches. The petroleum jelly can also be used on elbows, cuticles, hands, and feet.
• Protect skin from hair dye: When you're dyeing your hair at home, put Vaseline around your hairline to prevent your forehead from being dyed as well as protect it from the chemicals.
• Scrub: Add sea salt to Vaseline to make your own body scrub.
• Soothe and heal: Vaseline can help to heal poison ivy lesions, new tattoos, and light burns. It is a good moisturizer when it comes to skin irritants like diaper rash.
• Prevent rust: Put a light layer on tools or machinery to prevent it from rusting. • Shine leather: Dab a little bit of Vaseline on leather items like bags or shoes to polish them and add a little bit of shine.

Lemon Juice

You can make more out of lemons than lemonade. Here are a couple of other uses for the yellow fruit:

• Wash your hands: When you're serving messy food like crabs or ribs, put little bowls of lemon water for guests to wash the smell and gunk off their fingers.
• Relieve flu symptoms: If you have a sore throat or a cough, mix lemon with honey and water for a drink that will soothe your throat.
• Clean a chopping board: Add some lemon juice or use a lemon slice to wipe the chopping board to deodorize and sanitize it.
• Lighten blemishes: If you have some blemishes or you notice your face darkening in pigment in some spots, put some lemon juice on it every day until it lightens.
• Brighten white loads: To make the whites even brighter, add a quarter cup of lemon juice with the clothes you throw into the washing machine.
• Brighten fingernails: Soak your fingernails in a lemon water mixture to whiten and brighten them.
• Freshen household equipment: Make your appliances fresh by adding lemon juice or lemons to them. For example, microwave slices of lemons to freshen it up. Add lemon juice to the dishwasher when it's empty and let it run a cycle and clean itself with the lemon juice. Add a bit of lemon juice to the humidifier or vacuum bag if those appliances are getting a little smelly and old.
• Disinfect wounds: Stop bleeding and clean small cuts and scrapes with lemon juice.

Dryer Sheets

Recycle your dryer sheets with these uses:

• Freshen your suitcase: Leave a dryer sheet in your suitcase when you're traveling so it'll stay and smell fresh.
• Reduce static cling: Get rid of static cling by rubbing dryer sheets on the problem areas.
• Clean irons: Rub the iron on the dryer sheet while the heat is set to low and the sheet will clean the residue off the iron.
• Remove pet and human hair: Run the dryer sheet over the areas with a lot of fur or hair on them, such as clothing or furniture.


If you're a magazine fiend like I am, you'll probably have a couple lying around the house. Here's what you can reuse them for:

• Wrapping paper: Wrapping the gifts up in color magazine paper looks so much more presentable than wrapping them up in newspaper. Your friends will marvel at your creativity and frugality!
• Decor: Laminate your favorite or pretty pages and use them as wall decor or even as creative place mats on the dining table.
• Elevate your computer: You should place your PC on a bunch of magazines to elevate it to the proper height so your neck won't ache.
• Kid projects: Use old magazines to entertain children by creating scrap books with them or making jewelry and bookmarks.


Jars are one of my favorite objects to reuse because they're so versatile and can be very attractive if you dress them up right. Here are some uses:

• Piggy bank: Throw your extra change into a jar. Transparent glass jars make for fun piggy banks because you can actually see the money accumulate.
• Bath accessories: You can place your homemade bath salts or other bath lotions into a jar and dress it up with ribbons and labels.
• Stationary holder: Use the jar to place pens and pencils in it. Spray paint the inside of them if you want to add some color.
• Cup or tumbler: Reuse jars as cups and tumblers and customize them with a fun straw. • Store food items: Store food items like cookies, herbs, pasta, sugar, flour, and other dried goods.

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This article originally appeared in SavvySugar