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Best Tips for Upcycling Those Things You No Longer Use in the Home

Updated on November 2, 2017
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I love writing about a variety of different subjects. I hope you enjoy my view on these subjects and will appreciate your honest opinion.

Open your eyes and you will see there's more to what is in your store cupboard than you thought!
Open your eyes and you will see there's more to what is in your store cupboard than you thought! | Source


I have chosen 5 items that can be used for an array of different purposes. I think your going to have a great deal of fun testing them out! And with us all having to pull our belts in when it comes to spending these ideas could be a god send for some of you.

The five items I have chosen for other uses

  • Baby Oil
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Butter
  • Chest rub
  • Lemons

Baby Oil

Here are my ideas for other uses for baby oil.

Removing Plasters - Removing a plaster can sometimes be very painful and in the case of children can reduce them to tears! If you first rub some baby oil into the adhesive part on top and around the edges and when you notice the plaster working loose let the child finish the job and this will overcome the tears.

Making bath oil - Using 50 ml of baby oil in a small plastic bottle and by adding a few drops of your favorite perfume or cologne it is possible to make your own scented bath oil!

Cleaning golf clubs - This idea has been given to me by a friend, by keeping a small bottle filled with baby oil in your golf bag along with a chamois or towel, after each round of golf dab a few drops of oil on the cloth and polish the head of the club!

When that ring won't come off! - Sometimes your ring just wont come off, this could be due to you being over hot or even overweight! All you need do is wibe the area with a generous amount of baby oil, then swivel the ring to spread the oil underneath the ring. The ring should slide off easily.

Cleaning a bath or shower - There is nothing worse than built-up scum around the bath or shower or in the sop tray , Using a teaspoon of baby oil on a moist cloth and wiping the surfaces firstly with the cloth and then use another cloth to wipe the left over oil away and then finally spraying the area with a disinfectant cleaner to kill any remaining germs will do the trick.

Shining stainless steel sinks - It is incredible how this works, by buffing up a dull looking stainless steel sink with a few drops of baby oil on the cloth and then rubbing dry with a towel the results are amazing.

Polishing leather bags and shoes - By applying a few drops to a cloth, only a few I must add and rubbing the leather and then wiping away the remaining oil on the leather this adds new life to your bags and shoes! I love this one!

Getting scratches off of plastic - By rubbing over the scratches on any plastic item the baby oil disguises them. Useful on a car dashboard around the plastic lenses covering the indicators.

Got emulsion pain on your skin - Remove the emulsion from your skin by rubbing it with some baby oil, followed by a thorough wash with soap and hot water! Works a treat.

Has your baby got cradle cap? - This is very common in many babies. To help it, gently rub in a little baby oil and lightly comb it through your baby's hair. I suggest not leaving it on longer than 24 hours, then wash the hair to remove all of the oil. Repeat the process in persistent cases. If it persists then I would contact the doctor.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of Soda

Here are some ideas I have tried with Bicarbonate of Soda.

Ged rid of food odour's from your hands - When using garlic or gutting gish it can leave a really bad smell on your hands, by wetting your hands and vigorously rubbing in two teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda instead of soap it shou eliminate the smell.

For fluffing up an omelette - This does work have tried it, to make your omelette lighter and fluffier add 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda for every three eggs used when whisking. Lovely!

For cleaning baby bottles and accessories - This idea has been around for years for keeping your baby bottles, teats, caps and brushes sterile and ready to use ust soak them overnight in a container filled with hot water and 200g of bicarbonate of soda. Make sure you give everything a good rinse afterwards and dry thoroughly before using. Bottles can be boiled in a full pan of water and 3 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda added, just boil for 3 minutes.

Cleaning chopping boards - By making a paste from 1 tablespoon each of bicarbonate of soda, salt and water and scrubbing the board with the paste and afterwards rinsing thoroughly with hot water this will keep your board clean.

Washing up liquid not quite strong enough? boost it's potency - By adding 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to your usual washing up liquid watch it cut through grease, it's amazing!

For clearing a clogged drain - If your drain is clogged, pour 200g of bicarbonate of soda followed by 200ml of hot vinegar (just heat in microwave for 1 minute) down the drain, leave for several minutes for it to work and then add 1 litre of boiling water, repeat this if necessary. If you know the drain is clogged with grease, use 100g each of bicarbonate of soda and salt followed by 200ml boiling water. Let the mixture work overnight, then rinse with hot water in the morning.

Smelly dishwasher? - Mad to think that the dishwasher can smell isn't it! But sometimes it does give off an odour, by sprinkling 100g bicarbonate of soda on the bottom of the machine between wash loads or pour in 200g bicarbonate of soda and run the empty machine through a complete rinse cycle, it should remove the smell completely!

If you need more help with unblocking your drain take a look at this video

Ah, lovely relaxing feet!
Ah, lovely relaxing feet!



It's amazing how many uses there are for butter!

Keeping your cheese fresh - You know how the edges of cheese goes hard or mouldy? By coating butter on the edges after each use and re wrapping it in cling film this will stop that from happening.

Hate taking pills? - If you find pills difficult to swallow by rolling them in a small amount of butter or marge first the pills will slide down your throat more easily. Works a treat!

Achy feet? - This is lovely, by massaging them with butter and wrapping them in a damp hot towel and putting your feet up for 10 minutes then rinsing them with warm water your feet will feel revitalised.

Run out of shaving cream? - Ok, so hubby tells you that he has no shaving cream left and you know the shops are closed! Try to convince him first that all he needs to do is to wet his face and then rub the butter into his skin then shave, he will not believe what a good smooth, close shave he will achieve! You need to convince him first though!

Pots boiling over - We've all done it at some time or other, taken our eye off the hob and the pot has come to boiling point, by adding a tablespoon or two of butter prior to boiling this will stop it happening! Tried and tested I promise!

A luxurious treatment for dry hair - At the end of the summer sometimes our hair could do with a bit of attention, by smothering your hair in butter and covering it with a shower cap or cling film for 30 minutes and then rinsing with shampoo thoroughly you will end up with a luxuriant shine, this works I have tried it!

Chest Rub

Chest rub otherwise known as Vapour Rub has other uses too!

Stop insects biting you when in the woods or walking in the forest - If you rub the chest rub on your legs and trousers before starting your walk it will stop you from being bitten especially in the height of summer, it works on gnats and mosquitoes as they hate the smell of it.

Tough skin on your feet - If you cover your feet with the chest rub and then put a sock on them and leave overnight most calluses and hard skin will disappear in a day or two, repeat the procedure if necessary.

Treat toenail fungus - If you apply a thick coat of chest rub to the affected nail several times a day it will work the fungus will go. If after a couple of weeks of using this idea it hasn't gone then I would consult your doctor.

Been bitten? - You can get immediate relief from itchy insect bites if you rub chest rub into the area. The eucalyptus and menthol in the ointment soothes the itch.



There are so many uses for the lemon around the house, in the kitchen, in laundry, read on to find out my uses..

Stains on marble - If you get a stain on a marble floor it can be so hard to get rid of it, by cutting a lemon in half and dipping the exposed flesh into some table salt and rubbing it vigorously on to the stain you will be amazed as the stain disappears!

For de-odourising a humidifier - If your humidifier start to smell, de-odourise it by pouring 3 or 4 teaspoons lemon juice into the water, it will not only remove the odour but will replace it with a lemon fresh fragrance.

Clean dirty brass with a lemon - First you need to make a paste of lemon juice and salt, coat the area and leave the paste on for five minutes, wash the item in warm water and then polish dry. You can also use this method for cleaning metal sinks.

Keep rice from sticking to the pan - To stop rice from sticking to the pan add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the boiling water when cooking. When the rice is done, let it cool for a few minutes then fluff with a fork! Hey Presto!

Fridge need freshening up? - Dab lemon juice on a cotton wool bud or sponge and leave it in the fridge for several hours, works a treat.

Revitalise your lettuce, make it crisp again! - Add the juice of a lemon to a bowl of cold water, then put the lettuce in it and refrigerate for 1 hour, dry the leaves completely before putting them into salads or sandwiches.

Whiten clothes - Lemon juice is a safe and effective fabric whitener when added to washing water. Clothes will also smell lemon fresh.

Age spots? - Lighten them by applying lemon juice directly to the area, let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse clean. Lemon juice is a safe and effective skin lightening agent.

What a surprise, you highlighted your hair without having to overspend!
What a surprise, you highlighted your hair without having to overspend! | Source

More uses for Lemons! The list is unbelievable once you start writing them down!

Want blonde highlights? - It can be very expensive to get highlights done at the hairdressers can't it, If you add 50ml of lemon juice to 150ml water and rinse your hair with the mixture on a sunny day and then sit in the sun until your hair dries (don't forget to put plenty of sun cream on to stop you from burning!) and then wash and condition your hair thoroughly you can achieve highlights! I suggest repeating this once daily for a week, not only do you get the highlights but you achieve a beautiful tan too, and get plenty of free vitamin D! Lovely!

Clean and whiten your nails - Going to a manicurist is expensive too, so by adding the juice of 1/2 a lemon to 200ml warm water and soaking your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes, and then pushing back the cuticles, then rubbing some lemon peel back and forth against the nail, voila! manicure done!

Bad breath! - Try this suggestion, make a mouthwash using lemon juice straight from the bottle, rinse with the juice and then swallow if for longer-lasting fresh breath, great for getting rid of last night's curry smell!

If you don't want to pay the hairdresser for highlighting your hair! Take a look at this do-it-yourself video!

To summarise

I'm sure that you will be amazed at these Top Tips for Using store Cupboard Items, the list is endless it just takes a bit of thought!

Oh, and by the way, a top tip to get the most juice out of fresh lemons is to bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen worktop before squeezing. This breaks down the tissues and juice-cells and allows the lemon to release more liquid when you squeeze it!

Happy days!

© 2014 Trudy Cooper


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