Hacking The Pantry: 5 Household Items That Have Multiple Uses

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It can be hard to find reasons to justify buying one-time use household items.  Not only will buying too many of these put a serious dent in your budget, but they also take up tons of precious cabinet space. An easy solution? Rely on products that you already own! You’d be surprised at how many commonly purchased items have more than one use – so instead of relying solely on a product’s advertised use, reach into your closet and experiment with one of the below.  

Dryer sheets

Admit it – buying a package of dryer sheets always well intended, but how often do you remember to bring a fresh dryer sheet to the laundromat?  Instead of letting them gather dust, pack a few sheets with your luggage the next time you travel.  The scent will remind you of home and it will freshen your suitcase wardrobe.  The same goes for putting these sheets on your shoes, gym bag, or other stored items – sticking dryer sheets with your stuff will ward off unpleasant odors and leave you with a scent fresher than moth balls.

They also work well for removing static electricity. You know those times when your skirt keeps sticking to your legs or when you get shocked every time you touch metal? Or how about when your hair sticks straight up? That’s static electricity. Next time, whip out a dryer sheet and rub it on yourself to get rid of static in a snap. 


Mayo is an all-purpose food that can be used in place of other products to help with household tasks.  Getting gum out of your hair? Swap the peanut butter for mayonnaise.  Need to get crayon marks off your walls? Mayo can help with that, too.  Whether it’s getting a stubborn ring off your finger, taking a bumper sticker off your car, or removing a water stain from wood, mayonnaise is a must-have for your pantry.

Baking soda

Yes, it’s a great ingredient for a volcano science project, but baking soda has more uses than just sitting in your kitchen.  Adding baking soda to any cleaning task– from a load of laundry to scouring pans to washing your hairbrush – makes it more effective.  Aside from cleaning your house, baking soda can also help you help yourself – massaging your scalp with baking soda (instead of traditional shampoo) is a proven method to fight dandruff, and mixing baking soda with water can help relieve pain from minor skin conditions like sunburns, poison ivy rashes, etc.

Hair dryer

Aside from helping you look fierce, a hair dryer helps make your bathroom a lot more user-friendly.   Thanks to the heat this beauty staple emits, you already know why your hair dryer can help you dry wet clothes and shoes, thaw icy windows, and un-steam your bathroom mirror (it literally dries the steam).  But since you essentially have a heat gun you can plug into any room in your house, a hair dryer helps you remove melted wax off of furniture, remove price tags from newly purchased pieces, and even adds a professional-looking sheen to a homemade cake. How cool is that?


Because who doesn’t need a spare handle around the house?  Yes, it’s great for mixing screwdrivers and cosmopolitans, but adding vodka to a lint-free cloth helps remove window streaks, deodorizes your laundry in between washes, and removes rust from metal objects.  Plus, rubbing down your bathroom and kitchen fixtures with vodka is an easy way to sanitize and give them an extra shine.  It also works well for preventing infections on cuts and sores. We’ll drink to that!

Alex Wilson is a freelance writer interested in fashion, lifestyle, and all forms of pop culture. Her writing has been featured in various digital and print publications, including USA Today and Long Island Pulse. When not writing, Alex can be found testing new recipes, exploring new neighborhoods, and window shopping. She hopes to someday travel to all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica).




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