12 Ways to Help Household Items Last Longer and Not Get Damaged
Having your favorite sweater shrink after washing it or your only razor getting rusty not long after purchasing it can feel like a major letdown. Luckily, some people have grown to become experts in the preservation of household items, and they are generously sharing simple but precious tips with everyone on the Internet.
We at Bright Side made a collection of seriously useful tips that can help you make everyday items last longer than expected.
1. Add some salt to your candles to extend the burning time.
As strange as it may sound, adding a bit of salt to warm wax after blowing out a candle can slow down the burning process. Evenly spread a pinch of salt, use a toothpick or a chopstick to stir it in, and your favorite candle should burn longer the next time you use it.
2. Squish your paper towels to give the roll more friction.
Squashing your toilet paper or paper towel roll gives it an oval shape, making it harder to rotate. With normal, circular-shaped rolls, it’s easy for a lot of tissue to be pulled off at once, and people usually don’t roll back the excess paper.
- Pro tip: pretending that it’s your last roll of paper can make you more conscious about how much you use.
3. Extend the shelf life of your sponges by not wiping surfaces that were in contact with raw meat.
Many health experts say that sponges that were used to clean surfaces that came in contact with raw meat should be thrown away. This doesn’t mean that you should buy a new sponge every time you clean such a mess. Instead, use antibacterial spray and paper towels to wipe off the cutting board. This will keep you safe from deadly germs and help extend the shelf life of your kitchen sponge.
- Bonus tip: Instead of leaving your sponge sitting at the bottom of the sink, get one of those sponge holders that hangs above the surface so the sponge can be dry all the time. Moisture eats away the sponge, so keeping it dry is the key to making it last longer.
4. Seasoning your nonstick pan can make it last for years.
The majority of delicious recipes call for some oil, but using oil can have a positive effect on your nonstick pots and pans too. The oil will help fill in any small gaps or pores in the pan, making the surface completely smooth and even. Here’s how to do it:
- Wash the pan in warm, soapy water.
- Wipe it thoroughly with a paper towel or kitchen cloth.
- Add one tablespoon of oil and rub the bottom and the edges of the pan.
- Heat it for about 60 seconds.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down.
- Wipe off the excess oil.
- Now your pan is ready to be exposed to high temperatures without getting damaged.
5. Give your towels a shake after washing to keep them fluffy.
When you’re done washing your hand and bath towels, shake them out before folding them and putting them away. It improves absorbency, keeps their fiber fluffy, gives them a luxurious feel, and allows them to last longer than planned.
- Bonus tip: Avoid washing too many towels at once. Instead, sort them into groups based on color, size, and how dirty they are. This will create more space and allow your towels to rinse out properly, without any germs or impurities being left in the fabric, which will prolong the life of your towels.
6. To ensure your flour stays fresh for months, store it in the freezer.
Flour is not one of those grocery items that have a long shelf life, but to make your flour stay super-fresh, it’s not enough to just store it in a cool, dry pantry. The best way to achieve this is to place the flour in an airtight bag or container and store it in the fridge or freezer.
The first thing you should do after you buy a new bag of flour is to place it in the freezer and keep it there for 2 days. The cold temperature will kill off any germs that may have already been in the flour when you purchased it.
7. Don’t keep your razors in the shower if you want to use them for a long time.
According to experts, a humid and warm environment is the worst possible place to keep your razors. Not only can it make them rusty, but it can also cause rashes and skin problems. So to make your blades last longer, use a clean towel to dry your razors after each use and keep them in a dry place outside the shower.
8. Keep your condiment jars upside down to prevent mold growth.
Discovering that your favorite jam has gone bad before the expiration date can totally spoil your day. To make sure this doesn’t happen, keep your condiment jars upside down to create a vacuum space that will prevent or slow down mold growth.
9. Don’t throw away shrunken sweaters.
There is actually an easy solution to this disaster that can happen to anyone. To reverse a shrunken sweater, simply soak it in a mix of hair conditioner and warm water and let it sit for about 30 minutes. The softening effect of the hair conditioner will help loosen up the fabric, allowing you to stretch the sweater back to its original size. Don’t forget to do this gently to avoid stretching it out way too much.
10. Sprinkle some baking soda on your sofa for fabric preservation.
This handy little trick will help you save money on hiring a professional to clean your upholstery. Just sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on your sofa, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After the time is up, remove the excess baking soda with the vacuum cleaner. The baking soda will break up some light stains and release odors from the fabric. Doing this every once in a while will keep your sofa nice and fresh.
11. There’s a way to keep your loaf of bread fresh for months.
Contrary to what some of us would think, the fridge is not the best place to keep the bread from going stale — it’s quite the opposite, actually. Instead, place it in an air-tight bag or container and put it in the freezer where it can last for up to 3 months.
12. Clean your laptop screen with lens wipes.
Knowing how to properly clean sensitive surfaces such as a laptop screen can make it look shiny and new for a long time. Use wipes for eyeglasses to remove fingerprints, greasy stains, and debris without harming or removing your display’s delicate coating. The individually wrapped wipes are also great for people on the go who require a quick clean.
Have you tried any of these methods? How successful were you in prolonging the life of your household items? Share your stories and experiences with us in the comments.