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A List of Must Have Household Items

Updated on March 7, 2014

Disclaimer: ALWAYS KEEP HAZARDOUS PRODUCTS OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN! I am not a health professional. Please seek the advice of your doctor before you change your diet, exercise program, or any other lifestyle changes.

Simple Home Remedies

Sometimes we take for granted all the fancy cleaning products, fancy cleaners, and other products that are sold to make our lives easier. We also spend millions of dollars every year on medicines. Listed below are a few items that will save you money, keep your house and clothes clean and stain-free, and soothe your ailments. Listed below are a few basic products to keep in the house for the purpose of safety and practical use.


Natural and Store Bought Cleaners and Deodorizers

  • By keeping a box of matches in the bathroom you can eliminate odors simply by striking the match. The strong smell of sulfur will cover any unwanted odors. Be absolutely sure you keep the matches in an area where small children are unable to reach.
  • Baking soda can be used to absorb odors, as well. By sprinkling the powder into an empty litter box before you fill it with litter, you can minimize that horrible “cat smell” if you own an indoor cat. You can also use baking soda to keep your refrigerator and freezer odor free by leaving an open box in the back of each. This product is also great for keeping your teeth clean and white; so brushing with it on a regular basis is a good idea.
  • Vinegar can be used for odor control, especially if you have pets. If you place one cup of vinegar near the unpleasant area such as a bathroom corner, closet corner, or near a litter box, it will help absorb unwanted odors in the air. The vinegar will evaporate, so be sure to change it on a regular basis. If you have pets that are older, babies, or have medical problems, it is wise to keep a 1 to 1 ratio of vinegar to water solution in a spray bottle for accidents.
  • Bleach can for disinfecting surfaces and cleaning coffee pot stains. If you keep a 1 to 2 ratio of bleach and water in a spray bottle in your bathroom, you will always be ready to eliminate mildew in the tub or sink, as soon as it appears.

  • Rubbing alcohol is convenient to keep around the house to disinfect thermometers, tooth brushes, hair brushes and other hygiene products in addition to other uses.
  • Borax will give an extra boost to your load of laundry for cleaner clothes. Borax is also a great deterrent to rid bugs from your home and prevent them from coming in. For example, if you find you have a flea infestation, after treating the animal, sprinkle borax on your carpet and furniture and rub it in with a broom or cloth. Leave it on for about an hour and vacuum the affected areas. Also, if you sprinkle borax on the outside of the threshold for each door and window in your home, you will find less bugs, big and small, will be less likely to enter your home.
  • Toothpaste not only keeps your teeth clean and mouth fresh, but it also makes a wonderful jewelry cleaner. Using an old toothbrush and a small bit of toothpaste, scrub your valuables until they are sparkly and eye catching. Believe it or not, you can also use toothpaste (not a gel) to clean the headlight covers of your vehicle if they become cloudy.

  • Dawn © dish soap is an excellent product to have in your home for many reasons. It eliminates grease and oil from clothes, dishes, carpets, and any other item you wish to remove oil based stain from. It is recommended that you select the non-scented bottle to purchase. You can use this product to wash clothing that will be worn to a picnic or hike in the woods. Because of the lack of flowery smell, you will be less likely to attract bugs, bees, and other insects.
  • Ziploc © bags of all sizes make great homemade compresses, hot or cold. They are always handy to use for freezing leftovers, keeping important documents and priceless photos safe and moisture free. These sealable bags are also reusable in most cases, so the saving in food, goods, and the product itself can be tremendous.
  • Petroleum Jelly is a great lubricant if needed for squeaky hinges and other metal parts. It also serves as a wonderful eye makeup remover and hand moisturizer. You may also use it to shine the tires and dashboard of your vehicle and it will help preserve the rubber or plastic, especially in a hot, dry climate.
  • Aluminum foil is definitely a must have in the household. If you line bottom of oven and toaster oven, spills, crumbs, and burnt food are a breeze to eliminate. You’ll never have to use that self cleaning option on your oven.

Disaster and Additional Safety Items to Have at Home

With hurricane season approaching on the east coast of the United States, it is always good to have the following handy:

  • Sturdy step ladder
  • Fire extinguisher and flour for grease fires
  • First aid kit complete with ace bandage, sterile gauze, antibiotic ointment, band aids, tweezers, small scissors, medical tape
  • Appliqués or rubber bath mats in each bath tub or shower
  • Sun block
  • Off © bug repellent
  • Extra air filter
  • Anti-bacterial hand soap
  • Flash lights and batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Thermal blanket
  • Plenty of canned goods
  • Hand held can opener
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bottled water
  • Extra prescription medications

Staples for Home Medicines and Sickness Prevention

  • Use sterile gloves for protection from germs while cleaning and cooking.
  • Use disinfectant sprays, or wipes, to create germ free fans, door knobs and handles, air vents, and bathroom surfaces.
  • Drink Chamomile tea for better sleep, and add a teaspoon of honey to help soothe a sore throat if you feel a cold coming on.
  • Lemon juice can be added to the hot tea for a shot of Vitamin C to help your immune system fight off any viruses. Also, lemon juice keeps fresh fruit from turning brown. And, if you mix it with iodized salt it will clean your coffee or tea pot, naturally.
  • Hot chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory and mucus thinning effect to help ease the symptoms of colds and other viruses, as well.
  • Eucalyptus oil is great for relieving nasal congestion, by using it in a vaporizer, or simply by inhaling it through the nose.
  • A neti pot and sea salt can be used for sinus cleansing if allergies or sinus headaches are ailing you. Gargling with a sea salt and warm water solution can help fight off a sore throat, also.
  • Soaking in a warm bath with epsom salts or using a heating pad can be helpful if you have sore, achy, or pulled muscles. A heating pad can also be helpful if you have an ear ache. A drop or two of warm olive oil in the ear can be quite a relief for ear aches as well. PLEASE BE SURE TO CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL FOR SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS.
  • Peppermint candy, ginger ale, or soda crackers, may be consumed to help ease an upset stomach or nausea. Pepto bismal © also works well for correcting digestive issues.
  • Use a cold rag for fevers and soothing relief from headaches or nausea.
  • Acetaminophen can be used for pain and fever, and Ibuprofen can be used for pain, fever, and inflammation.
  • Calamine lotion is a great way to ease itching caused by rashes.
  • Witch hazel is helpful for slight burns and itching from bug bites, blemishes, and diaper rash.
  • Clear nail polish can be used to smother sea lice, chiggers, or other parasites under the skin, offering relief from itching.
  • Use aloe vera gel soothes sun burns.
  • Always keep hydrogen peroxide in the house for disinfecting wounds.

I am hopeful this hub was helpful and enlightening. Please feel free to make suggestions or leave comments.

"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen

God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan


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    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Wonderful tips! I don't think I could survive without my neti pot. Voted up and shared!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 6 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thank you all so much for your comments! They are each truly appreciated.

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 6 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      Great hub. I also use baking soda to scrub the bottom of my pans, and to clean out the sink. It's a great natural way to scrub, and it deodorizes the drain on the way down. Lots of great tips...voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      Your list is wonderful and I love the way you added suggestions for use. I will have to check on the toothpaste as a jewelry cleaner. I have run out and this I am ready to try.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Lots of handy hints in your hub!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 6 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, peroxide is a bleaching agent used in salons to lighten hair. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 6 years ago

      Nice Hub.. Thank you. I love your suggestions. I did just discover that hydrogen peroxide is made of mostly bleach.


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