It’s a simple truth that getting back to basics combined with some ingenuity can help you save money around the house. I recall seeing a product advertised in Target that was designed to stop the fly on your jeans from falling open. For $19.95 you could buy a ring that attached to the pull-tab of your zipper and then hooked over the top button to keep the zipper closed. Genius, right? Until I found out the same trick can be achieved with a key ring – an everyday item that is a fraction of the cost.
This got me thinking – what are some other simple products and items that can be used to solve everyday problems around the home? Here are 10 brilliant tricks using household items. In most cases, you will find that your pantry contains most of the items you will need.
1. Loosen a stubborn zipper with a crayon
Does the zipper on your new dress or jacket get stuck all the time? One nifty trick to get it running more smoothly is to run a crayon (make sure it’s similar in colour) or regular graphite pencil along both sides of the zipper.
2. Use mayo to remove water stains
Has someone left a water stain on your wooden table? Spread on a thick layer of mayonnaise to get rid of that bad boy. To make sure no additional damage occurs, make sure to leave the mayonnaise on the table for only about 10 minutes. You can always re-apply, if needed.
3. Open jars with rubber bands
When a jar lid refuses to budge, simply stretch a thick rubber band around the rim of the lid to act as a non-slip grip and help you twist it open more easily.
4. Remove crayon and pencil with toothpaste
If you come back into the room and discover the grandkids have gone to work with crayons and pencils on the walls and tables, don’t panic. White toothpaste (not gel), works a treat to dissolve the unwanted wall art. You can also use baking soda.
5. Using tin foil to scrub dirty pans
You don’t need to buy aluminium scrubbers if you have a wad of tin foil handy. Just remember to rinse the tin foil and pop it into the household recycling when you are finished.
6. Slap yoghurt on sunburn
It might not sound appealing but when you need to soothe sunburned skin, a thick layer of cold Greek yoghurt makes for surprisingly effective after-sun care. Leave for 10 minutes before wiping off with a cool, damp towel.
7. Remove chewing gum with peanut butter
So you’ve just stepped in somebody’s discarded chewing gum – yuck! The oil in peanut butter will help to break down the gum. Just apply to the sole of your shoe and leave for 10 minutes before scraping it off. If that doesn’t work, a good dose of hairspray will harden the gum and make it easier to lift.
8. Speed up ironing with tin foil
Do you detest the ironing? A layer of tin foil on top of the ironing board cover will absorb heat faster and enable you to finish the ironing in half the time.
9. Olive oil for the inside and outside
We know the omega-3 fats in olive oil makes it great for our insides, but what about our skin? Why spend money on expensive and chemically-based moisturisers when you can use much cheaper oils for the supermarket? Go for olive and nut oils rather than flower oils and you’ll be glowing. Just avoid layering it on too thickly, since it is possible to clog pores and cause breakouts.
10. Add baking soda to the washing
Adding a cup of baking soda to the laundry cycle will help to boost your laundry powder’s effectiveness and keep colours vibrant. It’s also better for the environment and will make your laundry powder last longer.
Do you have any of your own household tips and tricks? We’d love to hear them.