6 unusual uses for household items

I just received my first issue of Real Simple – it turns out it is more of a girl magazine than I realized. It looks like every ad in the magazine is geared towards women somehow. So, being a guy, I didn’t get that much of a kick out of it, but Linda seemed to enjoy it quite a bit! That said, I did find a very useful article in it that mentioned some common household items that have unusual, but practical uses. It talks about a bunch of ways to recycle or reuse common items that most people have laying around the house. These were my faves…

uncommon uses for household items - spaghetti candle lighter

1. Sandpaper as a scissors sharpener

When your scissors go dull, just use them to cut through sandpaper a few times and voila! – they will be sharper. I prefer sharpening them with a knife sharpener, but this is a nice quick fix.

2. Use a candle to release a stuck zipper

If you have a stubborn zipper, you can just lightly rub a candle along the teeth on both sides. Then pull your zipper back and a forth a few times and it should be working better!

3. Paper-towel tube to store plastic bags

This one is much needed for us. We have a drawer dedicated to plastic bags from the grocery store or Target that is overflowing. They suggested just taking a paper towel tube and stuffing them in there. I think I am going to go spill something on the floor so I can use up all the paper towels to try this! 😉

They also suggested using a Kleenex box as well.

4. Use a toothpick to mark your packaging tape

You know how you have a roll of tape that you can never find the end of? Their suggestion was to just put the end of the tape over a toothpick, then you can always find the end with ease.

5. Use Spaghetti as a candle-lighter

I haven’t tried this one yet, but apparently you can light a spaghetti noodle and it will hold a flame for a while. This is much more convenient than burning your fingers trying to use a match to light 10 candles.

6. Baking Soda as Silver-Polisher

I have tried this one on some of Linda’s jewelry and it works wonderfully. Here’s how:

Take a large container and line it with aluminum foil. Place the silver items on top of the foil. Pour boiling water over the items and quickly add 1/4 of baking soda and a few teaspoons of salt to the water. A chemical reaction takes place and silver cleans up nicely. Let it sit for a few minutes and repeat if necessary.

What about you? Got any items that you have an uncommon purpose for?  


  1. And then for everything else there’s…DUCT TAPE! (Don’t be home without it!) 😉

  2. Oh Man! Thank you!
    I am doing this one right away!
    “Paper-towel tube to store plastic bags” – we have a cabinet that is overflowing with the bags since we just stuff them in there.