Every household has one…a crap drawer, or cupboard where lurks an odd collection of bits and bobs that have no permanent home. As fast as you make your mind up to clear it out your resolve goes when you get in there and think ‘but it may come in handy’ and whatever it is your holding goes into the ‘keep’ pile. Sound familiar? Well based on my own crap drawer here’s a list of uses for a few of those items.
Avon Skin So Soft: Ants and bugs hate this stuff, it works great in a small oil burner to deter flying insects and sprayed around door frame ants won’t cross it.
Mix a small amount with sugar to get grease and paint off your hands.
Mix with a really small amount of sugar and use as a skin exfoliant.
A tiny amount on a soft cloth will remove sticky marks from price tags etc from shoes and other non-fabric items.
Spray onto hair to remove gum and other sticky messes.
It’s great for putting a beautiful sheen on wood.
Cleans leather beautifully. The leather softens and has a subtle sheen making shoes, bags and my black leather sofa look far less tired.
It’s a brilliant lubricant for almost anything, pipe joints, hinges, drawer runners…works a treat.
My Horse-mad friend tells me it shines horses hooves beautifully.
Cleans vinyl beautifully and prevents cracking of car dashboards etc.
A broken household candle: I remember why I kept this, the external porch door latch was sticking, I’ll do that now whilst I remember.
Melted and mixed with shredded paper or drier lint you have some great fire starters, egg boxes make good moulds and remember to leave paper or link sticking up in the centre to act as a wick.
Rubbing it on the edges of saws, sheers etc keeps the blades rust free.
I suppose I could actually trim the sides and use it as a candle!
A half used tube of clarinet grease: Small carry-around tube of lubricant for odd jobs, door hinges that squeak etc.
It will also seal a small graze to prevent dirt getting in in a pinch softer than chapstick so goes on easily and has the same petroleum jelly base.
Unstick a stuck zip-fastener
Remove sticker marks – run over, wait a few minutes and wipe off.
Make a tiny candle. Strike a match, blow it out shove into the end of the tube and relight the match. Won’t last long but it’s creative!
Paper clips: Replace a broken zipper tab.
Close food bags.
Use to replace broken hooks on Christmas tree baubles
Half a sheet of sandpaper: Sharpened my kitchen scissors quite nicely just by making cuts in the paper.
Used very gently it’s good for getting pils and bobbles off sweatshirts. Finer sandpaper works well for more delicate non-shiny fabrics.
Out of date aspirin tablets: Crush two aspirin and mix the powder in 100ml warm water. Soak perspiration stained garment in the solution for two to three hours. wash as usual and the marks will have vanished.
Dental floss: Is fine and strong, ideal for sewing on buttons.
Make hard-wearing repairs to outdoor items. Because dental floss is resilient but fine, it is an ideal replacement for thread when you are repairing a tent or rucksack.
4 magnets: I sometimes burn wood with tacks or nails in it and the thin wooden carpet grippers that everyone throws out are great tinder. A magnet is great for getting small tacks and nails out of the wood burner when its all cooled down. I’ve put it on the side of the coal scuttle
Keeping one in the sewing basket to pick up dropped pins and needles.
Another going in the garage for dropped screws and nails. I can’t think of a use for magnet number 4, any ideas?