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Alternate Uses for Common Household Items

Updated on September 11, 2012

In today's struggling economy many people are looking for ways to save money. Discount sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial are very popular offering daily discounted specials. There are several blogs such as DealSeekingMom and that send daily coupons and thrifty ideas to Facebook subscribers. Take your savings a step further by using common household products in non-traditional ways.


Toothbrush and Toothpaste

The other day I purchased a twin pack of toothbrushes and was shocked they were $7. If you don't change yours regularly that probably isn't a big deal. I change mine every 2 or 3 months so the cost does begin to add up. Instead of throwing away a brush that isn't completely destroyed, I save them. No this isn't some weird collection fetish I have, I reuse them around the house. Toothbrushes are perfect for cleaning small spaces around the house. The smallest nooks and cracks are always the dirtiest and a toothbrush fits perfectly. I use them to clean the grout in the bathroom. When the inside of the window frames need cleaning from condensation and mold growth, toothbrushes are perfect.

Have you ever pulled out a piece of jewelry to wear and discovered it is tarnished? Don't worry if you're out of jewelry cleaner. A toothbrush and a little dab of toothpaste will remove the tarnish and have it looking like new in minutes.

Baby Powder

As a busy mom on the go I don't dedicate much time to a beauty routine. A pair of yoga pants, a t-shirt and a ponytail do the trick on most days. When I have to leave the house I'll quickly cover the dark circles with concealer and add a few strokes of mascara to the upper lashes. Some days I'll notice the front of my hair looks a little oily. In those instances where throwing on a hat is inappropriate I use baby powder to soak up the oil. Yes, they make dry shampoo, but I think this works just as well. My hair is a dark shade of brown so I feared creating a white spot on top of my head. However, it didn't. I sprinkle a little powder in my hand, rub my hands together, and then run my fingers through my hair. Powder can make your hair a little staticky, but it does take care of the oily hair look.


Hair Conditioner

They say the best hair conditioner are the oils produced by the scalp. With long hair I don't shampoo everyday and only condition once a week. Since I don't condition my hair every time I wash it, I tend to accumulate bottles of conditioner. Luckily it can also be used to shave. Squirt a dab of conditioner on your palm and rub it all over your leg. It has a much better glide than ordinary soap and it saves on buying shaving gel.


Pumice Stone

While we're still in the bathroom let's talk about the pumice stone. I'm sure this stone could be used until it were the size of a dime, but I think it's best to replace the stone once or twice a year. The pores of the stone become filled with dead skin, it gets wet, I really rather not think about what grows in there. Instead of tossing the stone way there is another place it can be used. If you've ever had a hard water ring in your toilet that a simple toilet brush doesn't take care of, the pumice stone will remove the ring. Wearing a rubber glove, simply use the stone to scrub the stained area in the toilet.

Dawn Dish Soap

Dawn dish soap has a variety of uses. I remember a few practical jokes when I lived in Ohio. Many of us have seen fountains full of bubbles because someone added soap. High school kids would pour a bottle on someone's driveway. During the next downpour the driveway would be covered in bubbles. Besides cleaning dirty dishes with ease it can also be used to clean wildlife exposed to an oil spill. Another special attribute this powerful soap carries is sheeting action. Dishes that are hand washed will dry without spots. A few drops of Dawn dish soap, a squeegee, and a few hours later the windows on your house will be clean and spotless.

Cooking Water

Typically when people boil potatoes or make pasta a generous amount of salt is added to the cooking liquid. A stockpot with a strainer insert is ideal for removing the food and leaving the cooking water behind. Instead of dumping this valuable water down the drain take it outside while it's still hot and pour it over some weeds. Just be sure you don't pour it too close to plants you actually like.

Butter Knife

Any single girl who has ever lived on her own has experienced the creativity required to fix something without the proper tools. Instead of running to the hardware store I decided to improvise. Did you know a butter knife will also work as a screwdriver? Naturally it depends on the screw and the knife. Often times a flat head screw works better, but they will also work on larger phillips head screws.

Clothes Pins

Our current neighborhood doesn't allow clothes lines because they're not "pretty". Instead I use them to keep bags closed in the kitchen. Cutting a self adhesive business card magnet to fit one side of the clip they can be used to hold notes on the refrigerator. When you run out of hangers with clips, clothes pins will hold a pair of pants on a metal hanger.


Newspaper is excellent because it is easy to find even if you don't have a subscription. Stuffing it into your shoes helps draw out odors. Books and gifts can be wrapped with newspaper. I recently saw a show where they made a holiday wreath with wadded up sections attached to a metal frame and then spray painted. In the garden newspaper is a double duty friend. Surround your plants with 2 or 3 layers of newspaper to act as a weed barrier. Cover the newsprint with mulch and as the paper decomposes it also fertilizes the soil.

Glass Jars

Pasta sauces, pickles, jams, and olives are just a few of the grocery items that come in glass jars. My local market has a bulk food section where you can scoop out only what you need into a plastic produce bag. I use the extra jars to store these bulk food items. Large jars can be used as drinking glasses. Smaller jars can be used to organize the junk drawer in the kitchen or small items in the bathroom. A drawer I recently organized with 3 glass jars separates ponytail elastics, medium sized hair clips, and bobby pins. When everything was mixed together I was always digging around for bobby pins with great frustration. Now, I am able to go directly to them.

My husband loves candles and some of them come in pretty nice jars with lids such as the Yankee Candles. When the candle has been used place it in a pan of water over medium heat to melt the remaining wax and dump it in the trash. After cleaning the jar use it to store other items. I suppose you could collect the wax and re-melt it to make your own candles if you wanted to. Another option is to restock your candle jar with a pillar candle. Since they don't come with a container they are usually cheaper.

Some candles come with nice lids made of wood or metal but they may not seal as well as you'd like them to. In those instances we use them for coasters. The baby can throw them and give them to the dog and we can put our nice coasters away for awhile.

Candle Lids as Coasters


Drain or Cook Greasy Foods on a Cooling Rack

Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet to cook bacon in the oven. Bake at 350 F until the desired crispness is reached.
Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet to cook bacon in the oven. Bake at 350 F until the desired crispness is reached. | Source

Using Fewer Paper Towels

Between the toddler and 2 Labrador retrievers I use more paper towels than I wish. I've always thought I needed these towels for draining grease from foods. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and allow the foods to drain onto the sheet. There are more dishes to wash but if you cook your bacon on the rack and sheet in the oven you won't have a cook top to clean.

Shopping Bags

Whether you accumulate paper or plastic bags there are uses for each. When I have to clean up dog vomit with a paper towel I put one of the plastic bags over my hand to hold the paper towel. Then I simply invert the bag, tie it up, and place it in the trash. I never buy small trash can bags because these fit those cans perfectly. If you spend a lot of time in your car commuting and need a place to put the trash, drape the handles of a plastic grocery bag over your gear shift. It gives you a place to put your car trash without cluttering your car. Brown paper bags can be used for crafts, wrapping paper, book covers, and compost. Whenever I receive a nice bag from a store with handles I'll save it for future occasions. These sturdy bags work especially well for items you're giving away.

Socks, T-Shirts, and Old Clothes

A few weeks ago I StumbledUpon the Julie Ann Art blog with several ideas for old t-shirts but the rug in the photo below is the one I'm looking forward to making. The original post with step by step instructions and photographs is found on If you don't have time to make a rug the simplest solution is to cut old t-shirts into rags for dusting and other cleaning jobs.

One of our dogs is prone to seizures and there can be quite a mess left behind on the hardwood floor. After cleaning the floor a few times with the Swiffer I'll grab a strip of old t-shirt to clean it again. I think the shirts clean better than the pads do. They can be washed and re-used but I generally toss it if it's a nasty mess.

If you're one of those people who always has an odd number of socks you can still put them to good use. Who knows where they go but there comes a time when you have to give up hope the match will re-appear. Slip these old socks on your hand and use them for dusting or cleaning the bathtub.

A rug made out of t-shirts.
A rug made out of t-shirts. | Source

Old Sheets

When your next painting or craft project comes around use an old sheet to protect the floor. Depending on the the quality of your old sheets they may be destined for better things than paint splotches. Cut them and use them for quilting projects or turn them into tea towels. If they're the right color use them to line your existing curtains to help insulate your windows. Instead of spending money on sheets exclusively sold for massage tables use a twin sized set if you own a table. Old twin sheets are perfect if you can find a friend or spouse to give you a body scrub or mud wrap at home.


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    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 5 years ago from Idaho

      Hey Rajan : ) It's good to hear from you. I hope you found something useful you can repurpose around your home. Thanks for the votes and share : )

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Jennifer, this an awesome list of some useful ideas to do with items we usually throw away without a second thought. Voting up, useful and awesome. Sharing it too on G+1.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 5 years ago from Idaho

      CrisSp, Thanks for stopping by : ) They sell pumice stones in the cleaning aisle specifically for cleaning toilets. I've used pumice on my toilets and I haven't had any problems but I'm not an expert on toilets and what they are made of. If you suspect yours may be too delicate I'd do a little research or do a spot test before I scrubbed the whole thing.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great tips, up and useful. Just not sure about for the pumice stone. Don't you think it will scratch the delicate surface of the ceramics (toilet)? (:

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Don't forget that the Dawn also works excellent for washing your dog. Gentle and thorough, it does not cost near as much as pet shampoo and has the added advantage of being repellent to fleas without the insecticide. We put so much insecticide on our pets that we are poisoning them.

      Use Brewers Yeast tablets to give them natural protection without poisoning them. 10 grams per 10 lbs of dog. Your 40 lb dog would get 40 grams. Also they are full of vitamins.They are also a lot less money than the insecticide the vet sells to put on your dog. My dog loves them, they are a treat.

    • profile image

      pat b 5 years ago

      Since I got an egg didn't think of those hateful water rings I didn't think of using my spare pumice stick for that.Hope I still have the spare.Just be sure and keep it with your cleaning supplies.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Great hub! I love these tips. Great information, both money and time savers. Thanks for sharing your information. Voted up, useful and socially sharing! Have a great day! :)

    • ladeda profile image

      ladeda 6 years ago

      I always love tips like these! Thanks for sharing this Hub!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      hoteltravel, LOL! When I was a teen living at home swimming for the local swim team I did the exact same thing. I'm sure I looked funny, but it worked. If I'm wearing contacts onions don't bother me. I've also heard that if you have a gas stove turn on a burner and chop the onion on the counter next to it. The air movement created by the heat will evidently pull the onion vapors away. I've never tried it but it sound plausible.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      Jennifer, today I was thinking about this hub while chopping onions. My eyes water so much after just seconds that I can't continue chopping anymore. A couple of years back, when I was having a hard time with onions, I had a light bulb moment. Why not wear swimming goggles when chopping. It works great.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      imaudraleigh, I use baby powder quite often since it's usually just me and a toddler all day. When I was still working I did use it from time to time on those days I had limited shower time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts : )

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 6 years ago

      Interesting hub, especially using baby powder for oily hair. I really thout your hub was useful. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      vocalcoach, I'm happy you enjoyed this hub and hope you can put some of the tips to good use. Tips like these seem to be the ones I'm always pinning on Pinterest. Thank you for the vote and kind words : )

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Absolutely one of my favorite hubs. Love these types of tips and use them all the time.

      A big thanks and a big vote up and more!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Ruchira, Thank you for your kind words. I am looking forward to the journey as well : )

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 years ago from United States

      Excellent tips...I have been using most of them. The boiling water was new for me. It sounds useful to kill the weeds in my yard :)

      Thank you jennifer. You have such wonderful hubs...will be a pleasure to follow you and learn some good things :)

      LEt our journey of learning news things begin...Cheers!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      pedrn44, I remember my mother using newspaper in the garden. I like that it offers double duty benefits. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and time : )

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      Thanks for all these great tips. I didn't know about using newspaper in the garden and will try that in the spring.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you to everyone for your kind words, votes, and thoughts. Although times are tough it is comforting to know we're all in this boat together no matter where we live. I am very grateful for my HubPages family.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      i like all these practical tips.

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 6 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      These are awesome tips! I especially loved the trick about making your hair look oil-free. You are a genius. Thank you for sharing all these.

      Voted up and useful!

    • cebutouristspot profile image

      cebutouristspot 6 years ago from Cebu

      You are right some of those I don't know or have not consider before. Excellent tip that will help save money during this tough times

    • dinkan53 profile image

      dinkan53 6 years ago from India

      Some useful tips here. Yes nobody gives us money without doing some service, so we have to save it in every possible ways. thanks.Voted up and useful!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      formosangirl, I hope you found some ideas you can use. Thanks for voting and sharing your thoughts : )

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      gjfalcone, Thanks for SHARING. It's amazing to me that I came up with the idea for this Hub while I was taking a shower and it's been read more times than any other Hub I've written. I'll have to get to work on a follow up because you're not the first to ask for one : )

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Jennifer, you have so many great tips. You are so resourceful. Voted up and useful.

    • gjfalcone profile image

      gjfalcone 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Great tips to save money on costly specialty items. I enjoyed this Hub and I'm looking forward to another in the series.

      Thanks For SHARING

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you skys : ) I'm always looking for ways to save money and thought others would enjoy these benefits as well. Thank you for your kind words and time.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you skys : ) I'm always looking for ways to save money and thought others would enjoy these benefits as well. Thank you for your kind words and time.

    • skys profile image

      Samad Aslam Khan 6 years ago

      Jennifer you done a great job. It's good utilization of time and hence you can save good bucks. Moreover, you are called creative as well :D

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you for all of your comments. I hope each of you will put these items to work for you. Thanks again for sharing your vote, comments, and links.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 years ago from United States

      brilliant hub esp where prices of things are sky rocketing. This is saving money and also saving our planet's resources.

      Voted up as useful/brilliant/awesome!

    • DeviousOne profile image

      DeviousOne 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I found many of those to be interesting. Regarding the following, "Surround your plants with 2 or 3 layers of newspaper to act as a weed barrier. Cover the newsprint with mulch and as the paper decomposes it also fertilizes the soil", I would like to add the following article to supplement the information provided.

      How Could Newspaper Help Your Composting Bin?

    • Alex Parker profile image

      Alex Parker 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Love these tips, I'm sure I'll use almost all of them at some point :)

    • RicoShae profile image

      RicoShae 6 years ago from Ballwin, mo

      This was neat and very informative, might come in handy to me one day!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      Sondra Rochelle 6 years ago from USA

      I already knew some of these, but the others are great...except for the one about cleaning your jewelry with toothpaste. If you do this, especially on soft metals like gold, it will scratch them.

    • qwin profile image

      qwin 6 years ago from Malaysia

      wow interesting tips! awesome things.. now i'd know more of what i could make full use with the common things around the house. tks for sharing!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Many thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses a butter knife as a screwdriver and shaves with hair conditioner :) I hope everyone has some new ideas they can put to use. Thanks again.

    • Maximizer profile image

      Maximizer 6 years ago from San Jose, Costa Rica

      Interesting tips. I've been using the butter knife screwdriver since I was a kid!

    • profile image

      Pat 6 years ago

      If you hang one of thoes plastic bag holders near your laundry you can put all your unmatched soxs in them , every once in a while empty it out and you will find a few matches .

    • SherryDigital profile image

      Sherry Duffy 6 years ago from Here. There. Everywhere. Currently: Portland, OR

      Great ideas! I have replaced most of my commercial beauty and cleaning products with simple items found in the kitchen. I have been using baking soda instead of toothpaste for over a year now and LOVE it! It did take a little while to get used to it though.

    • Kim Cammaro profile image

      Kim Cammaro 6 years ago from NY

      I never thought of using a pumic stone on anything but my feet! Awesome tips.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 6 years ago

      Jennifer, Thank you for sharing these great nifty tips! Nice job! Peace & Blessings!

    • ytsenoh profile image

      Cathy 6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

      Excellent hub. I agree on the starch water for weeds, that's a new one. I especially liked the idea of newspaper in the garden; have heard about the effect of Dawn on windows. Thanks for the interesting read.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very useful tips; I feel sure you could keep going with another hub on the topic. Again well done!

    • dappledesigns profile image

      dappledesigns 6 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

      I've used conditioner for shaving since I can't remember when...(good to see it's actually documented somewhere so people can stop looking at me funny when I say that) but I've never heard of using starch water for weeds. I have to try this! Great tips.

    • smiileyfacexo profile image

      smiileyfacexo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Toothpaste as a jewellery cleaner. That's really cool!

    • profile image

      icountthetimes 6 years ago

      These are really wonderul tips :). Thanks for sharing them with us.

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 6 years ago from Maine

      Excellent hub with excellent household hints. Thank you!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Awesome suggestions! These are good recycling ideas for the environment also. Voted way up!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you Lisa! I hope you found a few ideas that you can put to work. Blessings to you as well.

    • Rusticliving profile image

      Elizabeth Rayen 6 years ago from California

      Love this Hub. I always look for alternative ways to clean. Voted up and very useful!


      Lisa RusticLiving

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      I've heard of using newspaper to clean glass, but I've always wondered about the ink. Cooking water to remove grease....I always get a sense of satisfaction when I strain pasta over the dishes in the sink. I feel like it's free dish cleaning help : ) Thanks for sharing your tips hoteltravel.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      Butter knife as screwdriver is a great suggestion. I find crumpled up newspapers ideal for polishing glass and mirror. Cooking water may be used instead of water in other gravies. It is also helpful to remove grease from bottles, pots and pans.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thanks Alecia : ) I hate weeds, especially thistle since it always finds a way to poke me through my garden glove.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      These are great tips. I knew about toothbrushes and butter knives but I didn't know about hot water on weeds. I'll have to remember that for spring gardening. Great job!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Cagsil, Thoughtforce, and Denisemai,

      Many thanks for sharing your thoughts, voting, and sharing this link. I hope everyone finds these tips to be useful in their daily lives.

    • Cagsil profile image

      Cagsil 6 years ago from USA or America

      Very useful tips Jennifer. :) Very nicely written as well. Thank you for sharing. :) Voted up! :)

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      Many great tips here and many I didn't know about! I will definitely try the conditioner and the other ideas too!

      Thanks for sharing


    • denisemai profile image

      Denise Mai 6 years ago from Idaho

      Great tips, thanks! I also use the handle of a butter knife as a hammer to hang wall art. I always thought it was because I'm too lazy to find a hammer but, thanks to you, I'll think of it as just multi-purposing.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      I'd love to get that rule overturned along with the watering the lawn rule. It's a waste of water and money to grow grass in this climate.

    • Suki C profile image

      Barbara C 6 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      I agree - that sure IS a total waste of energy when wind & sunshine are free!

      Maybe you could get together with your neighbours and start a campaign to get the rule overturned :)

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Wow! Lots of comments to respond to.

      Suki- We use a clothes dryer to dry our things. I think it's a waste of energy especially since we live in a very dry and sunny climate.

      Moby- I haven't seen the grocery bag holder's you're referring to, but I can imagine it. Must be nice to be able to clear up drawer space : )

      Nolimits- The cooking water would make an excellent soup base. Potato soup comes to mind.

      I'm happy the rest of you found this Hub useful. We're always looking for ways to save money. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts : )

    • Suki C profile image

      Barbara C 6 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

      Great tips here - I also use hair conditioner for shaving and keep a supply of clothes pegs in my kitchen drawer for closing packets, but I've not thought of the hot, salted water for weeds - will give that a try :)

      ps - how are you expected to dry your washing in your neighbourhood if they don't allow lines?

    • geetbhim profile image

      sangeeta verma 6 years ago from Ludhiana India

      Very useful tips,Thanks for sharing and going to bookmark this hub.

    • MobyWho profile image

      MobyWho 6 years ago from Burlington VT

      Ever seen those long bags to hold used plastic grocery bags (at Christmas Tree Shops)? I use mine to hold my underpants...Yep; put the clean ones in from the top; pull one out from the bottom for a new day. Hang it from a coat hanger in your closet or bathroom. And they're pretty!

    • Nolimits Nana profile image

      Nicolette Goff 6 years ago from British Columbia

      That cooking water also makes a terrific soup base - full of minerals. Great hub!

    • ambassadornchains profile image

      ambassadornchains 6 years ago

      This was a GREAT hub! I will definitely be putting some of these ideas to use!!

    • lilibees profile image

      lilibees 6 years ago

      Great great tips. I myself use hair conditioner to shave.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 6 years ago from Sweden

      Valuable and great tips! Bookmarking. This hub will come to great use.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • barbergirl28 profile image

      Stacy Harris 6 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Outstadning tips. I have heard of the conditioner for shaving creme before and even tried it a couple of times. It leaves the legs nice and smooth. Unfortunately, I am always running low on conditioner so I don't have much to spare. I love the idea with the pumic stone. We have really hard water and I bet that would do the trick. Great hub!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Jennifer - what real housewife can't use tips like this? I have been a butter knife user since I can remember. But no one should ever try to pry the electric burners off the stove with a butter will end up on your bum like I did! lol It doesn't matter if the stove is off and you want to clean it - electricity runs through there. Apparently. haha!

      Up and everything!

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      MissOlive - Thank you for voting and bookmarking.

      Ardie - The first time I used a butter knife I was amazed at how well it works. I'm happy to know there are others out there who've done the same thing.

      Susan - Excellent point! I guess I should have clarified that I use the toothpaste mostly on silver jewelry. When it comes to my wedding ring I take it to the jeweler. Thanks for sharing.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Excellent tips. I used to clean my diamonds with toothpaste and later found out from my Jeweler that the toothpaste can erode some metals and over time loosen the prongs. He told me to soak the rings in a mild dish soap and gently clean with a soft toothbrush.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 6 years ago from Neverland

      Hahah I loved the tool the butter knife. I've used a butter knife for many things...only because I learned it from my mom who raised me on my own! Great hub here :)

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 6 years ago from Texas

      Excellent and useful tips Jennifer! Thank you for sharing.

      voted up, across and bookmarked in my 'useful tips' file :)

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 6 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Great ideas, it's always nice to find tips that can save you money, specially nowadays. Will definetelly try some of them. Thank you.

    • Jennifer Essary profile image

      Jennifer Essary 6 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you everyone for sharing your time and thoughts. I hope these ideas work as well for you as they have for me.

    • WritingItUp profile image

      Writing It Up 6 years ago from New York City

      Very valuable tips. Thank you!

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      There is no better household hint than a helpful one that's also cheap. These are great.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Wow, doing double-duty on these common items saves money. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great tips, I have often used a butter knife as a screw driver. You are a creative problem solver!

    • Geoff Morova profile image

      Geoff Morova 6 years ago from South Dakota

      Great tips!