Double Duty ItemsIf you ever find yourself wondering what to do with an old pair of socks or growing collection of spare buttons, we've got some double-duty solutions for you. Here, alternative uses for 25 household items.
1. Rubber Bands
Coming in and out with your hands full? Loop a single rubber band around a door's inside and outside knobs, twisting it as you do so that the "X" presses the latch open. Once finished, hang the band on the inner knob for the next time.
2. Eyeglasses Case
Snag a spare one to stow jewelry when packing a suitcase. Another great use? For your MP3 player and earbuds.3. Socks
No need to buy pricey, not-so-eco-friendly Bubble Wrap. Socks, T-shirts, and towels make excellent padding when boxing up breakables for a move.4. Chocolate-Box Insert
Once the tasty treats are just a sweet Valentine's memory, use the rinsed-out tray to hold tacks and paper clips in a desk drawer.5. Emery Board
Use this manicure staple for more than just shaping your nails - it can gently buff away stains on suede bags and shoes.
After slicing onions or mincing garlic, neutralize smelly hands by rubbing fingers on a stainless steel spoon under running water.
7. Parmesan Cheese Shaker
Clean it out, then fill it up with your preferred granular plant fertilizer for an easy way to feed your garden.
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This art-class must-have does more than zap errant pencil marks. Use it to rub out scuffs on hardwood or tile floors, as well as smudges on light-colored leather bags and shoes. Once the eraser is dirty, knead to reveal a clean spot.9. Drinking Straw
Spring bouquet to display? Firm up the soft stems of flowers like tulips or daffodils by inserting each into a wide straw before adding to a vase. You can rinse straws and reuse for the same purpose.10. Newspaper
Spiff up dark-colored leather shoes in a pinch by rubbing them with a balled-up black-and-white newspaper page (note: full-color pages won't work). No polish needed.11. Cooking Spray
Spritz a little on a squeaky door hinge, then swing the door back and forth to work it in and quiet the creaking. Wipe away any drips with a paper towel.12. Sticky Note
Before you toss one of these paper reminders, run the sticky side between the keys of your computer's keyboard to collect crumbs and other grime.13. Wide-Tooth Comb
Use one to unsnarl tangled fringe on an area rug. As with your hair, start at the tips and work in, to avoid making a bigger knot.14. Plastic Lid
Create a "coaster" for a shaving-cream can with the top of a small sour cream, potato chip, or other food container - and end rusty rings on bathroom surfaces.
Fill it with ice to keep canned or bottled drinks cool at your next party! When the drinks are gone, let the ice melt; run the spin cycle to empty the tub.16. Shower Cap
Snag those hotel-freebie shower caps to cover shoes before packing them in a suitcase. The plastic keeps dirty soles from sullying clothes.
When storing coats or special-occasion clothes, cover each item with an old pillowcase (cut a hold in the closed end to slip over a hanger). It won't hold in mildew-causing moisture like plastic does.
18. Scrub Sponges
This kitchen workhorse can also remove pills from sweaters. Gently run the textured side of a new sponge across your knits to de-fuzz.
Drop one into vase water and add a pinch of sugar to keep cut flowers perkier longer. Who says you can't get anything for a cent these days?20. Rubber Gloves
Get Fido's fur off the couch faster: Don slightly dampened rubber gloves )who knew they did so much more than prevent dishpan hands?) and run them over upholstery to quickly collect pet hair.
21. Old Soda-Can Tab
Make more closet space! Expand your clothing capacity by repurposing a soda-can tab: Slip one end over a hanger's hook, then suspend a second hanger from the tab's other end.
22. Baby Powder
Got a knotty problem? Untangle it with this no-sweat trick: Sprinkle a bit of baby powder over the knot to help loosen it, then use a pin to finish freeing it.
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Don't let weeds ruin your walkway. Eliminate them naturally: Just pour this household staple into a spray bottle and spritz away.
24. Toothbrush Holder with Makeup Brushes
Keep your makeup brushes neat and gunk-free by stashing them, bristles up, in a clean toothbrush stand.
This pasta drainer is great for wring-free removal of water from hand-washed delicates. Rinse clothing in the colander; let drip for a bit; lay flat to dry.
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