Is your favorite plant drooping sadly because its new growth has no support? Got a door that likes to slam shut on its own or a hard-to-clean chandelier light fixture collecting dust? Rather than invest in expensive fixes or hire a cleaning service to do your dirty work, there's likely an instant cure using ordinary household items you already own. Check out these tips and tricks for repurposing these double-duty items.
Dust your home with a blowdryer
Got a few friends coming over for dinner, but spent too much time on those itty bitty canapes? Do a fast dusting on your shades and knick knacks by setting your blow dryer on cold and then setting it on your household items. Surfaces will be dust-free and your friends will never know you didn't break out the Pine Sol and Windex.
Go nuts on scratched furniture
Many of us have at least one wood surface we'd like to preserve in our pads. Maybe mom gave it to you for your new place, maybe it's your old bedside table from childhood you appropriated on move-out day — whatever. The point is that scratches happen, and mess up the look of something you plan on having for a while. The fix? Rub the meat of a walnut directly on the scratch. You've naturally upped its resale value without applying chemicals that can harm wood.
Soothe bumps and bruises with Chinese take-away
This is genius and I have MSN's Glo site to thank for cluing me in. Grab all those little packets of soy sauce and duck sauce you've got in your junk drawer (hey, you never know when you might need some sauce — and they don't go bad, right?) and put the packets in your freezer. Once frozen, they work as ideal mini ice packs for small bumps, bruises and sprains. The best part, you won't feel bad tossing it away after use.
Support houseplants with chopsticks
As you may already know, household plants grow towards light, meaning, their stalks will bend and droop and twist on their own in the quest for growth and a light source. Make sure your little plant is supported and straightened up by sticking a chopstick in the soil next to the stem. Loosely tie string around the stick and stem to keep them together.
Give dusty fixtures the white glove treatment
Okay, get near that dusty light fixture that has all the tight little spaces a clumsy cloth will never reach. Put on a pair of cotton gloves. Spray one glove with glass cleaner and keep the other dry. Wipe down the fixture with the glass cleaner glove and follow it up with the dry glove. Simple and fast.
Powder your squeaky floors
Many of us are living in buildings that are past their prime, replete with squeaky wood floor boards and doors that like to shut by themselves with a bang. Fix the boards by sweeping talcum powder in the cracks. Fix the door by stretching a wide rubberband between the knobs, making sure you don't cover up the door latch.
Repurpose your wine racks
There are so many different types of wine racks, sometimes you want more than one, and now you have a reason to stock up. They're great for all kinds of storage options other than vino bottels. Put them in the bathroom to store magazines and rolled up towels or your styling tools and irons. In the kitchen, alternate your grappa storage with bottles of vinegar and olive oil. Use standing racks as carriers for silverware and condiments.
Shine your surfaces with wax paper
It's amazing how a room can look 10 times cleaner when its surfaces have a sheen to them, as opposed to dust. What's a quick and fast way to get your countertops, tabletops and desktops gleaming? After you remove surface dust, wipe a sheet of wax paper (wax side down) on the surface. The light coating of wax repels new dust and debris from settling, too.