- Home Decorating
Ten ways to use kitty litter besides in the litter box
For keeping humidity down in your home and basement
Clay kitty litter is good, but the scoopable kind works faster and is better for this. Also, if you get one with a scent, it will make the house smell better. Be sure to put the litter in small bowls or short open boxes because, if you leave the litter in the big box or bag, it won’t work as well. The more surface that is available, the better it works. You can put them all over the house if you like, but be sure the containers sit high enough to avoid the attention of children and pets alike. Change as needed. (Just a quick note--because kitty litter is something that the cats use, you shouldn't use it for regular freshening.)
I know it sounds a little silly, putting short boxes of kitty litter all over the house, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I, myself, like to decorate the containers before I use them. I had my kids do some of the decorating as well. I would give them construction paper to decorate and then wrap them around the containers. During Christmas, I would wrap them in leftover wrapping paper. Another idea is to put baking soda in with the clay type litter. It will help it to work more like the scoopable kind. If you get the bulk containers of both items, it will cost much less in the long run.
If your container is glass, and you do not want anyone to see the kitty litter, try using colored tissue paper or aluminum foil and a rubber band to cover the container.
As a container to hold non-cooking items straight and easy to reach
I have dug through draw after draw or tool box after tool box for hours looking for that one item I needed to do a quick fix on something. Then I get behind in housework, laundry, cooking, you name it. I have tried everything to organize these things and this is the best.
Get a container tall enough and wide enough to hold several like items. Then pour about three inches of litter into the container (about half of the container height). Try to get the lowest dust litter that you can get. That way you won’t be breathing dust every time you use the container. You can use the clay or scoopable type because either will work in this case, but I suggest clay because it is cheaper. For a container, you can use a clean coffee can or a tin of some type. After the litter is in, just slide your items straight into the litter until they stand on their own. If you need to, you can always put more litter in or take some litter out of your container to hold what you need. Now when you reach for your scissors, a pair of pliers or your crochet needles they are right there. You can grab and go. No more digging under other items to find what you need. And the best part is, your junk draw will be just about empty!
This trick is especially good for candles, pens and pencils, crafting items, decorating items, tools for the house, and small bottles of things like conditioner, lotions, and makeup. Bigger items can be put into a box or window planters that have cardboard underneath to prevent the litter from coming out. Check your kitty litter regularly for signs of clumping (usually during heavy rainy seasons or lots of humidity-again clay is best since is doesn't clump as easily); change when necessary. Note: Never store an open container of kitty litter outside during inclement weather!
"What do you mean this isn't the portable commode?"
In the portable commode
No one wants to use a commode. And no one especially wants to have to clean one after use. If you or a loved one has to use a portable commode for whatever reason, make the clean up easier for yourself and/or your caregiver.
Put a plastic bag inside the bucket (make sure the bag is strong enough to hold the weight) and then put in about two inches of litter. Although the feces will remain on top of the litter, the urine will be soaked up. When the task is complete, simply pull and tie the bag. Replace the bag and litter as above. Easy, fast cleanup so you can get on with other things; and it is better for everyone's nose. Sometimes people who are ill will need to have samples of their urine sent for testing. If that is the case, you can sprinkle a little litter in the bottom of the bag and then use a disposable basting tube or cup to remove the water for the testing bottle. Then tie up and in the trash it goes. Or, just leave the bag empty, get the urine you need and then sprinkle kitty litter before tying up and disposing of the bag.
By using the bag and kitty litter, you prevent the urine from running everywhere. You make it easier to clean up. You make it more sanitary for everyone. And, you make it a bit less embarrassing for the one who has to use the commode because the urine sound is not quite so audible (been there, done that, don't want to have to do it again).
Do you think you might try kitty litter in your home for other things?
To use in candle holders
Put a generous amount of kitty litter into your container and then nestle your candle in the center; the larger the candle, the larger the container. Be sure your candle is stable before you light it. This trick also prevents fires because when the candle reaches the level of the litter, it burns out. Clean up is easier as well. Just remove the excess wax and put in a new candle.
If you are using small glass votive candle holders, you can put enough litter in the container to cover the bottom of the container. Center the votive candle directly on top. This will keep the candle from burning all the way to the bottom and cracking the glass. Also good for plastic, wood or any other type of votive candle.
For taper candles, I have found that putting about half of the kitty litter in first, centering a taper candle, and then carefully pouring in more litter is a bit messy; but it is easier to establish the candle. I actually prefer to put in my kitty litter and then push my candle in until it reaches the bottom of my container. It is a bit harder, especially if you are using a large container, but there is less of a mess to clean up.
Holding flowers in the vase
Have you ever created your best work of art with flowers only to have them sag or fall out the minute you turn your back? I have and I find that putting kitty litter in first helps to keep them where they belong. It also allows you to change the arrangement whenever you want. This works best for plastic flowers because they can go through the kitty litter easier than real ones. Just as above, pour a generous amount of the litter into the bottom of the vase and then set your flowers as you like, making sure the stems are at least an inch and a half deep. If you are using real flowers, try attaching a floral tie first. The more kitty litter you use in your container, the more decoration you can use because the container will not be top heavy.
Now you can have a flower arrangement for every holiday while using the same vase and in some case the same flowers. Just add or remove things to make another master piece for the family (and you) to enjoy. Also great for parties because the flower arrangements will be fast and easy to make.
Flowers in a vase
Dirt for Tommy’s dump trucks or to make a beach for Sally’s doll pool
This is especially good for inside the house using a small plastic pool or even a rug of some sort. The kids have a great time, you don’t have to watch them every minute, and they are safe from the dangers of the outdoors. Try to get the low dust kind so the kids aren’t inhaling dust as they play. I found that the scoopable kind works better for this kind of play because the litter is finer than the clay litter. But you can use any type you like.
You can also put it on the porch, in the garage, in the yard, anywhere you like. You can reuse the litter by storing it in an airtight container. Or just toss it when done and get more for the next time around. I suggest using the hard plastic pools for this because the inflatable ones might get holes from the clay or the toys.
A cheap burglar alarm
Burglars won’t like kitty litter, especially the clay type, because it crunches when they walk on it. Put a good sized amount under windows, in front of doors and behind the bedroom door if you have safety issues in the neighborhood and you will hear them before they get to you. Of course cleanup is necessary first thing in the morning, but the vacuum will make short work of that.
Okay, I admit it, if you are a deep sleeper, this one may not be a great giant idea, but kids love it. Got a monster under the bed or in the closet? Instant monster barrier! The kids sleep better and so do you. You could use it when camping. The kids will get a kick out of spreading it around the tents or RV for security. Try spreading it along the floor in front of the cookie jar. You'll catch the tyrant in no time!
It crunches when you step on it with shoes on....
For flooded basements
I have used this method before and it worked wonders. However, I do offer one bit of advice before you try this. You should remove any water in excess of one-half inch by bailing with a bucket or sump pump before using the kitty litter. With large amounts of water, the litter cannot absorb it all and will simply make a gooey mess in your basement right on top of the water that still sits in your basement. This will make your clean-up much more cumbersome.
Clay kitty litter does work for absorbing water, but scoopable is the better choice because it works faster and is designed to absorb water. Also, the clumps get harder and last longer. Generously sprinkle the litter over the wet spots and let sit for about 15 minutes. Scoop up the lumps. If there is still a bit of water left, use again. The litter might not get all of the water and you might need to clean up the last bits by using a sponge or rag. Baking Soda is good for removing smells and absorbing the very last bit of the water as well.
If I know my basement tends to flood a bit, I keep litter on the floor along the walls and in the cracks. It expands and keeps the water out of the rest of the basement.
It's so flooded, the ducks are using it! Oh No!
Comfort for just being there.....
Once you have mixed up your bucket of kitty litter and salt, it is generally a pretty heavy bucket. With that in your trunk or back seat, you have more traction for your car. So even if you never use its contents, it will still be a help during those winter drives!
For icy road conditions
**I know some of you don't have this problem, but others do. If the roads are either icy, deep with snow, or slushy, that's no way to get to work! But, we try because we must, right? Well, use that kitty litter and the job will be much better. Because when there is ice on the ground, even brand-new tires might have problems getting out of the driveway or up a hill.
Mix clay kitty litter with which ever brand of ice melt/salt you like in equal amounts. Mix well and put in a small bucket (sealed tight) with a cup or scoop. When you get stuck, sprinkle some in front and behind each tire close up. Run kitty litter about two feet out in the front of each tire as well. Then slowly rock the car back and forth until you can get traction. Be sure to be gentle on the gas pedal or you might get stuck again. Remember, as your tire spins, it melts the snow and ice beneath it which then freezes to pure ice. So be careful not to let those tires spin.
Remember that bucket you mixed up for your car? Well, after shoveling the snow off of the sidewalk and steps, put some of it on them for better traction when getting to your car or your kids who are out playing in the snow. In some places, it is the homeowner's responsibility to clear the sidewalks in front of their homes, with the mix sprinkled all around, there won't be any slips to cause problems. The salt will help to melt any lingering ice as well.
Um, don't bring the kitty litter yet, get me the shovel. Its gonna be a long day!
Use your imagination. Anything goes. Just be sure you get the right type for the job. Of course, you can always use sand, but you would have to buy a truck load or get a bag of play sand which is a lot more expensive. Besides, regular sand doesn't have a nice scent like some of the litters do.
Examples of what type for what job.
Scoopable is better for
Clay Type is better for
indoor desk items
smaller, less fall out
small bottle items
larger crystals to hold better
better, tighter hold
holds heavier items
holds bulkier items
bottom of planters
allows for drainage
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How would you rate my hub? Do you have any additional uses for kitty litter? Be sure to list them below in the comments section.
© 2015 Cheryl Simonds