5 Creative Uses For Common Items

It’s empowering to discover alternate uses for regular household items. Explore these secrets and you can save yourself trips to the store to get things you thought you needed but actually can do without.

Inspiring Pretty offers these examples:

* Use dish soap instead of pet shampoo to give your dog a bath.

* Add baby oil to jewelry chains to prevent them from knotting up when bunched.

* Pour some bubble liquid in a kazoo for an impromptu bubble blower.

* Nail a hammock in your garage and use it to hold sports balls.

* Add dried citrus peels to kindling to make a fire start quicker.

Check out the source link for more of these tips.

Uncommon Uses for Common Things: Summer Edition [Inspiring Pretty]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Great, now I have greasy jewelry and a dog that smells like Dawn Sandalwood and Rosewater. :I

  2. Hoss says:

    “Use dish soap instead of pet shampoo to give your dog a path.”

    Works great if your pet is an oil covered flamingo. Otherwise, not so great…

  3. Portlandia says:

    * Use dish soap instead of pet shampoo to give your dog a path.

    I’m assuming you mean bath, and second this is just plain cheap. Most people value their dog’s health, I can see this leaving their skin dry and flaky.

    Phil, would you wash your own hair in dawn dishwashing detergent?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      No, it’s a path your dog possibly getting sick.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Y’r ssmng Phl rds th mtrl h lfts frm thr blgs…

    • Cat says:

      “would you wash your own hair in dawn dish-washing detergent?”

      Yes. Yes, I have. Major ice storm, roads were closed, we were out of shampoo, and I needed a shower. Not as nice as shampoo, but effective, and better than washing my hair with bar soap.

      And it didn’t affect my health one bit. I’m sure doggy would be just fine.

      • Portlandia says:

        Judging from your hair in the photo, perhaps you should reconsider.

        J/K, my point is Dawn is harsh, they do use it to clean oil from animals after oil spills but prolonged use is really bad for human and canine skin. It would be better just to buy a cheap dollar store human shampoo than to use dishwashing detergent.

        • Kaleey says:

          My mom used Ajax for YEARS on her thick hair. I always thought it was a little odd, until I checked the price of Ajax versus even the cheaper shampoos (like V05)

        • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

          If Cat is really Danny John-Jules, he can leave his hair as-is. MeWOW.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Actually my vet recommends diluted dawn to wash my cats.

      Cue the clean pussy jokes in 3, 2, 1…

  4. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

    Actually, corn chips/Fritos work realllllly well for starting a fire.

    Also, do kazoos have a one way valve in them? Otherwise someone could get a mouth full of “bubble liquid”.

    • deathbecomesme says:

      OMG that stuff taste like Chuck Norris shit in my mouth. Worst bitter taste ever

      • Snowblind says:

        And it does not even cure cancer… wait that is his tears, right?

        Maybe his shit cures halitosis or something..

    • Hoss says:

      The article didn’t say to poor the soap into the kazoo, Phil did. Most of us would dip the end in the soap…

    • dulcinea47 says:

      I would think you should just dip the end of the kazoo into the bubble liquid, rather than *pouring* the liquid into the kazoo and letting it all run into your mouth. You know, when you’re having a bubble blower emergency and have a kazoo but not one of those rings to blow bubbles with.

    • ovalseven says:

      Well, you’re supposed to hum, not blow into it. But you could still end up with a mouthful of liquid if you’re not careful.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      I second the corn chips/Fritos thing. I think they should be part of a survival kit. Start a fire, food, even an impromptu cup for water using the bag?

      Not going to even think about the kazoo thing, just dumb.

  5. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    “Pour some bubble liquid in a kazoo for an impromptu bubble blower”

    Protip: Do not use brake fluid or gasoline.

  6. chefboyardee says:

    Ah, yes, for all those times I have dried citrus peels sitting around and I’m trying to start a fire.

    I also would love to accentuate my “I’m Italian from New Jersey (yes, I actually am)” look by wearing a greasy gold chain instead of a regular one.

    Solid ideas here.

  7. Cat says:

    Blowing bubbles out my kazoo? Wha…?

  8. missy070203 says:

    i actually like the blender/mason jar idea form the actual article- my blender is not broken but i will surely use this for my frozen cocktail fun

    • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

      I do this each morning for a smoothie using mason jar mugs! I’ve been doing this LONG before the Magic Bullet came out. Works great :)

  9. inadequatewife says:

    After painfully reading all 38 tips, complete with over-the-top cheerfulness and horrible grammar (I’m not perfect, but I don’t write a blog either), I found exactly one useful tip… the one about using aluminum foil to cover doorknobs when painting the door.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      Better tip: take the knobs off. Taking knobs, hinges, switchplates, etc. off is almost always the better approach than trying to protect them.

    • Hoss says:

      Just paint around them… You can wipe the paint off easily when wet… and it it dries the paint will come off in about the same time as it would have taken to foil the knobs.

      Otherwise — Goof Off. (paint remover)

    • Ducatisti says:

      Even better is a sandwich ziplock baggie around the knob with regular painter’s tape holding it in place and sealing the edge.

      Best is to simply remove all fixtures, it takes minutes and is much faster and cheaper than taping everything.

  10. yurei avalon says:

    Uhh I don’t think I would risk washing any animal in dish soap unless I’m a professional wildlife rescue type person saving pelicans and seals from an oil spill. I think Dawn is what the professionals use for that purpose but really, your average dog or cat doesn’t need degreasing. I’ve heard human baby shampoo is alright to use on various animals though, which is probably what I will do if my ferrets ever get themselves into something gooey. (It’s only a matter of time… :/)

    • Firethorn says:

      Just what I was thinking – if I’m not using a commercial ‘pet soap’, I’m more likely to use baby soap/shampoo.

      Why? Dish soap isn’t intended for hair, and it’s not designed to be gentle to eyes. It’ll also strip the oils from hair, which are kinda necessary for fur to work as it should.

    • ben_marko says:

      Yes, it is why professionals use it at oil spills. They use speacial degreasers and THOUROGHLY rinse the animals. Using it at home on your dog is stupid.

  11. eezy-peezy says:

    Is a kazoo really a common household item?

  12. MrMagoo is usually sarcastic says:

    “Madge, what can I do to get rid of these dish-dog hands?”

  13. mauispiderweb says:

    I knew it couldn’t last long. :/

  14. jbandsma says:

    Number 1 is one of the worst items ever to cross these pages. Dish soaps are detergents. Detergents strip oils from hair and skin leaving a dog incredibly itchy and scratching to the point of bleeding. Open sores lead to infections.

    My neighbors had to have their Rottweiler put down because they were washing him once a week in Dawn. The infections caused by the scratching became systemic and no antibiotic would touch them.

    All because they wouldn’t listen to their vet and buy a dog shampoo.

    • Heather says:

      That is awful :(

      I give my dog a bath once every few months, if that – and only if he’s extra muddy or smells like a corn chip. I spent the extra $7 on “skin soothing oatmeal” puppy shampoo because he can get dry and itchy pretty fast. He’s one and a half, and I bought the shampoo a week after we got him. It’s still 3/4 full.

      I’d never use dish soap on him – I wash all my dishes by hand and even the ones that are supposed to be nice on your hands leave mine all dry and gross.

  15. misterfweem says:

    Secrets . . . of the . . . Universe!

  16. RandomHookup says:

    I used to have “sports balls”, but a shot cleared it up.

  17. aleck says:

    Phil is scraping the bottom of the pretty girl blogging community…

  18. j2.718ff says:

    Is there a product I can make with dish soap, nails, and citrus peels? I ask because these are the only items mentioned that I actually own.

  19. failurate says:

    Our cat went through a phase where she was taking dumps in a corner of the basement instead of her litter box. I read an article that said that cats avoid the smell of citrus. So I put a couple of slices of lemon on a paper plate and left it in the corner she was miss-using.
    She shit right square in the middle of each lemon slice.
    I have since gated off that side of the room and she has returned to doing her business where it belongs, in her litter box.

    • sprybuzzard says:

      Yuck. Cats can be fussy. We have three and one was peeing outside of his box in the same areas, as if he was marking territory. It was suggested to use aluminum foil to cover the area since they don’t like to scratch on it, but what really worked was using four litter boxes- one more box than number of cats.

  20. failurate says:

    20.) Missing matches for those tiki torches? Just light an uncooked string of pasta on the stove. It burns longer than a match, too.

    Few things smell worse than burning pasta. I guess tiki torches belong outside so the burnt pasta would be outside too… but still, burnt pasta stinks.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDave‚Ñ¢ says:

      How does one light the pasta and not the torch? Do they suggest lighting it on the stove and trying to make it all the way outside w/o the thing going out?

  21. Rose says:

    “Add baby oil to jewelry chains to prevent them from knotting up when bunched.”


  22. ben_marko says:

    Using dish soap to wash your dog is a VERY bad idea. Remember that many dish soaps use perfumes and dyes (even the so-called) “fragrance free” ones) in their formulas. Dogs will lick their fur (it’s not just cats especially, dogs do it too). This can get these same chemicals into your dog’s bodies – and the soaps never really completely wash out. Your pet becomes sick, and at the least you will be cleaning up runny poo more often than you would care to.

    I called our veternarian to ask about this and they said that is a “horribly, bad, stupid” idea to wash your pet with dish soap. Very bad advice here!

  23. tiz says:

    Are you kidding me? Do you know how bad it is to use dish soap on your dog’s skin?

  24. AtlantaCPA says:

    34.) Keep mosquitoes away simply by keeping a dryer sheet around

    This one is bogus. I have tested this, other “home remedies” and different brands of mosquito sprays and dryer sheets had no effect. Actually it made it seem like there were more around since I could see them better against the white background.

    I know it’s probably too much to ask for a website to actually vet the items on a list. Hence misinformation will always circulate.