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Get More Out of Household Items with Double-Duty Tips

By Barbara Pronin

From removing stains to shining shoes, you can do more than think with common household items. Here are a dozen ideas from Good Housekeeping Magazine just to get you started:

  • Mayo for water rings – Water rings on the table? Dab on mayonnaise (not the lite kind), let sit for a few hours and wipe away the mayo and the water ring.
  • Eyeglass case – When packing for your next vacation, use a spare eyeglass case for safely stowing jewelry, ear buds, chargers or other small items.
  • Kitchen tongs – Use them to help you grab something from a high closet shelf or something that fell behind the washer or dryer.
  • Liquid laundry pre-treater – Use it to loosen labels on washable hard surfaces or that annoying adhesive left by price stickers.
  • Emery boards – Use them to gently buff away stains on your suede handbags or shoes.
  • Table spoon – After chopping onions or garlic, neutralize your smelly hands by rubbing them on a stainless steel spoon under running water.
  • Kneadable art eraser – It does a fine job of removing scuffmarks from tile or wooden floors.
  • Drinking straws – Making a bouquet or floral centerpiece? Firm up the stems of tulips, daffodils and other flowers by inserting each stem into a drinking straw before adding it to a vase or bowl. Cut straws to size if you need to.
  • Newspaper – Spiff up dark colored shoes in a pinch by rubbing them with a balled-up sheet of black and white newspaper. (No polish needed.)
  • Cooking spray – Spritz a little on a squeaky door hinge, then swing the door back and forth a few times until the squeaking stops.
  • Rubber gloves – Grab one from under the sink and use to help you open a tight or stuck jar lid.
  • Kitchen colander – The old pasta drainer provides a wring-proof way to get the water out of hand-washed delicates. Push the water out, let drip for a bit and lay flat to dry.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.