One Item, Two Uses
Using common household products and items for more than one use is a great way to save money.
Vinegar is inexpensive and can be used in a variey of ways. Here are just a few -
Clean Shower Heads - Vinegar works well to remove hard water deposits from shower heads. Remove the shower head and soak it in a mix of half hot water and half vinegar for an hour.
Buttermilk Substitute - Have a recipe that calls for a cup of buttermilk but you don't have any on hand? Just take one tablespoon of vinegar and add milk to make one cup. Let sit for ten minutes and it's ready to use.
Glass Cleaner - Vinegar and water make a great glass cleaner. Just mix half vinegar and half water in a clean spray bottle. You can use the mix on windows and mirrors to make them squeaky clean!
Note - if you are going to reuse an old spray bottle, make sure to wash it very well before you put the vinegar and water into it!
Clean Your Coffee Maker - Vinegar works great to clean drip coffee makers! Pour straight vinegar into the water resevoir. Put a filter in the filter basket. (This will catch any little hard water bits that come through the line.) Put the coffee pot in place and start the brew cycle. When the vinegar reaches the halfway point in the coffee pot, turn the switch off and let it sit to 'soak' for half an hour. When the half hour is over, turn the switch back on and let the rest of the vinegar run through. Dump the vinegar and then run two brew cycles using only clean water.
Clean Your Floors - You can clean no-wax floors with a vinegar and water mix. Just add one cup of vinegar per gallon of water.
Note - Instead of throwing away the vinegar you used to clean your coffee maker, why not reuse it in your mop water? Just dump a cup of the vinegar into a bucket and add a gallon of water.
Vinegar isn't the only common item around the house that has more than one use!
Hair Conditioner - Did you know mayonaise makes a great hair conditioner? Instead of tossing that last bit of mayo in the jar, spoon it out and massage it through your hair. Comb it through using a wide-tooth comb and leave it in for half an hour. Then wash your hair as usual. Makes your hair shiny!
Furniture Polish - Out of furniture polish? Put a little bit of mayonaise on a soft cloth and polish away. Wipe again with a clean cloth to remove any residue.
Note - A little "mayonaise furniture polish" goes a long way. Try just a teaspoon or so to start.
Soda Pop -
Toilet Bowl Cleaner - Cola can be used as a toilet bowl cleaner. Pour a can of cola into the commode, let it sit for an hour. Clean using a toilet bowl brush and then flush.
Loosen Bolts - Cola can also be used to loosen a rusty bolt. Soak an old cloth in cola, wrap it around the bolt and let it sit for a while.
Baking Soda -
Clean Your Stovetop - Baking soda makes a great no-scratch cleaner for your stovetop. Sprinkle a little baking soda on a crusty food spot and then scrub it with a wet dishcloth.
Freshen Your Carpets - Sprinkle some baking soda on your carpets and let sit for a few minutes. Vacuum as usual. The baking soda acts as an odor absorber!
Fabric Softener Sheets -
Dust Your TV - Reuse fabric softener sheets that have gone through the dryer to dust your tv screen. It helps reduce static that attracts dust.
Deoderize boots - Got stinky work boots? Stick a couple of used dryer sheets in them over the weekend to absorb moisture and give a clean scent.
Clean Window Blinds - Use a clean, old sock to dust window blinds. Just slip it on your hand like a mitten and dust away!
Cobweb Catcher - Old socks can be used to get cobwebs out of the corners - slip a clean, old sock on the end of the broom handle and use a rubberband to hold it on. Swish it around the corners to grab the cobwebs.
What is your favorite "second use" item or product?