10 household items that are amazing multipurpose hacks

Katie Avis-Riordan
Photo credit: thenakedsnail / Getty

From House Beautiful UK

Who would have thought that a tennis ball could be of use when it came to housekeeping? But this is just one of the unexpected products that can be used for multiple things in and around the home to save time and money.

Household items can be used for many clever things other than their designated purpose, and the great news is they're often cheap!

'The average home is full of items that have many more uses than just the one they're designed for,' says Darren Williams from money saving experts Promotionalcodes.org.uk. 'Homeowners could be saving time and money by putting these items to good use instead of chucking them in the bin.

'Rather than going to the shop people should look first to their own homes. There are plenty of multipurpose items there that could save the day.'

Here are the top 10 multipurpose items for the home:

1. Aluminium foil

  • Scrubber: To make this handy tool, scrunch up some used foil and use it to clean tough stains off pots and pans.
  • Scarecrow: Birds are not big fans of foil, so it makes the perfect bird repellant. Cut some pieces of foil and hang them in fruit trees to protect the produce. If you feel a little guilty about scaring off the winged creatures, just put a feeder in the garden for them. That way, everyone's happy.
  • Speed up ironing: Place a layer of foil under your ironing board cover. This makes ironing faster and more efficient.
Photo credit: thenakedsnail / Getty

2. Glass jars and food tins

  • Desk tidies: Detach the labels and use tins and jars as storage solutions on your desk.
  • Planters: Large jars can be used as stylish planters for houseplants.
  • Cutlery boxes: Aluminium tins make funky knife and fork holders for the dining table.

3. Nail varnish

  • Seal envelopes: You can seal or reseal an envelope by painting clear nail varnish along the top and pressing down.
  • Thread needles: Dip the end of a piece of thread in nail varnish and leave to dry for a minute. This makes threading the needle so much easier.
  • Colour code keys: Use different coloured nail varnish to colour code the tops of your keys.

4. Tennis balls

  • Floor protectors: Cut into the tennis balls and then put them at the bottom of chair legs. This will protect your floors from scratches and scrapes. Match with the décor by spray painting them before they are attached.
  • Parking aids: A simple method for knowing when to brake when driving into your garage is by tying an old tennis ball to the roof of your garage. This will help you figure out the spot you need to brake and park instead of bumping the back wall.
Photo credit: Mardis Coers / Getty

5. Metal spoons

  • Reduces eye puffiness: If you wake up in the morning with puffy eyes this is a great solution. Just put a metal spoon in the fridge overnight and when you wake up use it to reduce puffiness around tired eyes.
  • Dipping spoons: Make your own chocolate dipping spoon by melting spare chocolate cubes into the spoon and leaving it to set in the fridge.

6. Olive oil

  • Skin softener: Apply a small amount of olive oil to your face and body and see fast moisturising results.
  • Furniture polish: Use a small amount on a duster to get wooden furniture gleaming.

7. Old tights

  • Dusters: Tights make great dusters because of their soft fibres.
  • Food strainers: If you have spare or new unused tights you can use it as a food strainer.
  • Soap tidy: To stop soap sliding around, store them in a pair of tights. Cut the feet off your tights, pop bars of soap inside and tie up.

8. Toothbrushes

  • Cleans tricky areas: To get to all those hard-to-reach areas, an old toothbrush is perfect. Remove grout grime and clean the soles of your shoes with this DIY cleaner.
  • Groom brows: Instead of investing in a brow-grooming tool, a cheap toothbrush will get brows neat and tidy.
Photo credit: Russell Sadur / Getty

9. Petroleum jelly

  • Loosens up drawers and hinges: Stop squeaking doors and drawers by rubbing petroleum jelly on the outside corners of drawers and hinges.

10. Baking soda

  • Boosts laundry power: Adding half a cup of baking soda to your laundry powder will make clothes cleaner and the powder last longer.
  • DIY air freshener: Make your own natural air freshener by placing baking soda in a jar and mixing with essential oils. Place some cloth over the top and secure with an elastic band.

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