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8 Household Products You Can Use in Unexpected Ways to Solve Everyday Problems

Our house is often full of undiscovered treasures that can make our life easier in an instant. With just a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can overcome all sorts of little inconveniences that all of us are bound to encounter at some point. You’d be surprised at the unexpected problem-solving potential of these ordinary household products.

To help you save time and money, and make your everyday life a bit easier, Bright Side compiled a list of clever uses for common products you probably already have in your house.

1. Apple cider vinegar

  • Since ACV acts as a natural antibiotic, it can be a fantastic replacement for factory-made deodorant. A mixture of equal parts ACV and water dabbed on a cotton ball can effectively clean your skin from the odor-causing bacteria under the arm. You can even store the mixture in a spray bottle for easy application anytime you need it.
    Another thing you can do is add aloe vera gel to the mix. This will help ACV get deeper into the skin’s layers, plus, you’ll get all of the moisturizing benefits from the aloe.
  • Use ACV to deodorize laundry. ACV is biodegradable, non-toxic, and it is excellent for removing bacteria, dirt, and mineral deposits. You can use it to remove odors from laundry by adding a cup of ACV to each laundry load. Your washing machine can stay sparkling clean for longer if you add two cups of ACV and run an empty washer in a laundry cycle.
  • ACV can also relieve hiccups. Its acidity stimulates the nerves in your throat that are responsible for these unpleasant spasms. Just mixing a couple of drops of ACV with water and sugar should get rid you of hiccups in no time.

2. Ketchup

  • Use it as a hair color corrector. The acidity in tomatoes can help balance the pH levels in your hair, which makes it a great, natural color-corrector. In theory, its natural red color can help remove brassiness after a failed hair dying session. All you have to do is apply this widely available condiment onto your hair, spread it evenly, and leave it for 20-25 minutes. According to those who tried it, it can act as an emergency purple shampoo.
    You can also use it to neutralize greenish tones after a swim in a chlorinated pool. To remove chlorine buildup, just put a thick layer of tomato sauce or ketchup on the top of your head, spread it evenly to the ends of your hair, put on a shower cap, and let it sit for about 30-90 minutes.
  • Ketchup is great for cleaning brass items. Thanks to its acidity, this widespread condiment has the power to remove stains from metallic surfaces. Tomato sauce, tomato paste, or ketchup can work equally well for this purpose. You can simply coat your brass item in a layer of any kind of tomato-based product, let it sit for an hour or so, and then rinse it with some warm water and soap to bring back the old shine.
  • You can use it as a home remedy for mosquito bites. The acidic and salty nature of ketchup or tomato sauce can alter the pH of the skin and reduce inflammation. That’s why applying ketchup to the mosquito bite and leaving it for a few minutes can provide temporary relief.

3. Aspirin

  • Mix one crushed aspirin with shampoo to get rid of dandruff. One of the main ingredients of aspirin is salicylic acid, which is also commonly used in dandruff shampoos. Salicylic acid can promote the exfoliation of excess dandruff flakes, reduce inflammation of the scalp, and prevent oil buildup, which makes it a fantastic SOS dandruff prevention product.
  • Aspirin can protect your plants. Ingredients in this commonly used medicine have the ability to activate the plants’ natural defense mechanism and prevent the growth of fungus. It can also improve the growth rate of your garden and indoor plants. Just dissolve one uncoated aspirin in one gallon of water and use the mixture to spray your indoor and outdoor plants. Amazingly, aspirin can also help prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers.

4. Toothpaste

  • Toothpaste can be used to prevent your mirrors from getting foggy. To keep your bathroom mirror spotless and fog-free even after you get out of the shower, simply apply a coat of non-gel toothpaste to the mirror surface. Wipe it off before you start showering and come out with a clear view.
  • In addition, toothpaste can remove crayon marks off of the walls, polish up metal and silver, and even clean a gunky iron. Apply a coat of toothpaste to the bottom of your clothing iron when it’s cold, scrub it off with a cloth, and rinse it to make your iron shiny and gunk-free.

5. Newspaper

  • Remove bad smells by using newspaper. Surprisingly, your morning newspaper can work wonders as an odor-remover from drawers, closets, shoes, and even your refrigerator. Simply stuff a generous amount of crumpled newspaper into each shoe. Carbon used in printing does a great job of absorbing odors, and the paper itself is excellent for removing excess moisture.
  • Old newspaper can also be used as fruit and vegetable drawer liner in your fridge. Place sheets of newspaper at the bottom of the fruit and vegetable drawer, and it will absorb any mess from rotten produce, keeping the drawer and the whole fridge free from odors. Bonus tip: You can even accelerate the ripening process of green tomatoes by wrapping them in some newspaper.

6. Aluminum foil

  • In addition to its numerous uses, aluminum foil can be an amazing tool for polishing your silverware. All you need is a plastic container, hot tap water, some salt, and a piece of aluminum foil. Place a sheet of foil on the bottom of the plastic container, add about a tablespoon of salt, put your silverware in there, and soak it in hot water. A chemical reaction will cause silver to instantly appear brighter and spotless.
  • Another unusual thing aluminum foil can do is to sharpen dull scissors. Start by tearing off a piece of foil that’s about 12 inches long. Then, fold the sheet a couple of times until it’s at least six layers thick. Now, using full-stroke cuts of the scissors, slice the foil packet into 10 or 12 strips. Finally, test the sharpness of the scissors by cutting some paper.

7. Soap

  • You are probably familiar with the versatility of this household item, but it may come as a surprise that soap can actually contribute to detecting a gas leak. Simply mix a teaspoon of liquid soap in water and spray the solution on the area that you suspect is leaking. If bubbles start to form, it’s a sign that you have a leak. Of course, routine maintenance is the best way to prevent a gas leak from happening in the first place, but knowing this little trick can be really useful.
  • A bar of soap can also prevent floorboards from squeaking if you just rub a small amount of the product around the edges of the floorboard. It can also unstick drawers and zippers, and even help you cover up small holes in the wall — just rub a bar of soap of the similar color into the hole to fill it out and disguise the gap.

8. Nail polish

  • Aside from keeping your nails looking gorgeous, you can use nail polish to thread a needle. By applying a little nail polish to the tip of the thread makes it stiffer, and therefore easier to push through. In a similar way, you can keep your shoelaces from getting frayed by dipping them into clear (or colorful, if you want to match your workout clothes) nail polish.
  • Another genius way to use nail polish is to keep the frames of your glasses tight. If there is a loose screw in the frame of your glasses that you constantly have to tighten, try applying some clear nail polish to it as an emergency measure. When the nail polish dries, it will keep the frame in place until you can take your glasses for a professional repair.

Have you tried any of these hacks and how did it work for you? Share your experience with us in the commnets.

Preview photo credit DUANGJAN J/
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