25 Surprising Alternative Uses For Everyday Things

Posted by , Updated on March 15, 2024

With a little creativity, you can come up with surprising alternative uses for everyday things. Although some objects (like duct tape) have an incredible range of potential uses, these objects were originally intended for a singular purpose. On the other hand, objects like Listerine, may have even had a slightly disturbing origin. (In Listerine’s case, it was used as a floor cleaner.) Either way, here are 25 Surprising Alternative Uses For Everyday Things Found Around Your House!



Duct tape

duct tapeSource: reddit, Image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

It’s terrible on ducts but great for just about everything else.



FebrezeSource: reddit

Not only does it kill flies, it makes the room smell better.



LemonsSource: reddit, earth911

They clean basically anything. But they work especially well for cleaning your microwave. Simply slice a lemon, put it in a bowl of water and microwave for 45 seconds. This will make stains easier to wipe away and as an added bonus will eliminate foul odors.



SqueegeeSource: reddit, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

It’s pretty good for cleaning windows, but it’s awesome at getting animal hair out of your carpet.



AspirinSource: reddit

It started out as a painkiller but more recently has been used as a blood thinner. For example, it can help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs while taking long flights. But make sure that you consult with your physician before taking anything!

Note: blood thinners are medications that people use to prevent their blood from coagulating and forming clots. These clots can cause heart attacks, especially if an artery is already blocked by fatty deposits due atherosclerosis.


Silly putty

Silly puttySource: reddit, wikipedia

It’s not just a toy people. Its unusual chemical characteristics based on silicone polymers mean it can act as both a solid and a liquid. It has found uses in the medical and scientific field for a variety of purposes. Even the Apollo astronauts used it to secure their tools in zero gravity!



Q-tipsSource: reddit, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

You know how you always have trouble lighting those candles with short wicks? Cottons swabs to the rescue! Just dip the tip of the swab in alcohol and then use it to light the candle instead of the match. Works like a charm!



toothbrushSource: instructables

You normally use it to clean out your mouth, but did you know that its really good for disinfecting your toothbrush as well? 


Potato chips

potato chipsSource: reddit, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

They make great fire kindling.


Tennis balls

Tennis ballsSource: instructables

This might sound crazy, but if you want your tumble dried fabrics (like towels) to have the nice and fluffy effect of dryer sheets without the smell or texture…try tennis balls. Seriously, just throw a few of them into the dryer with your towels and you’ll get the fluffiness without the smell.



ButterSource: instructables

If you’ve ever gotten gum in your hair you know how annoying and painful it can be. Fear no more…butter to the rescue! The natural oils in butter make it the perfect un-sticking agent. Just rub some into your hair.

Note: it can also be used in other sticky situations (pun intended!) as well. If you get sap or glue on your hands, try rubbing them with butter before washing them with soap and water.



MustardSource: instructables

This is probably unexpected, but when you combine mustard with some water it makes an incredible deodorizer for just about anything and everything. Seriously, your trash can smells? Rinse it out with mustard and water and your nose will thank you!


Baking soda

Baking sodaSource: reddit, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

It has many alternative uses, but one of the most popular is as a natural deodorant (especially in smelly shoes or refrigerators).



coffeeSource: instructables

Have an insect problem? Just sprinkle the area with coffee! It has a strong odor that many insects dislike. Also, it can be especially useful in your garden due to its acidity. Ants tend to stay away from acidic soil.



eggsSource: instructables

Egg whites can make an egg-celent (sorry, just had to…) leather cleaner. Just rub some egg white onto your dirty shoe or purse and then wipe it off with a damp towel. It’ll shine too!



newspapersSource: reddit

Since you’re not going to read it, you may as well use it to deodorize your lunch box. Just stuff a rolled up ball inside and let it absorb the odors.


Olive oil

olive oilSource: reddit, Image: pixabay.com (public domain)

It can actually provide a closer shave than shaving cream.


Dryer sheets

dryer sheetsSource: reddit

They are really good at removing static from almost anything.


Coffee filters

coffee filterSource: reddit, Image: commons.wikimedia.org (public domain)

Besides filtering coffee, they make great filters for your camera’s flash. When you’re taking close ups you can use a coffee filter to soften the brightness.



vinegarSource: reddit

It’s great for getting rid of coffee and tea stains in cups, kettles, and coffee makers. Just heat the vinegar up and soak the mug or kettle in the vinegar overnight. In the morning it should be good as new!


Makeup brushes

makeup brushesSource: reddit, Image: www.pexels.com (public domain)

They are the perfect size to clean between the keys of your keyboard.


Shower caps

shower capSource: reddit

They make great shoe covers when you are packing so that your shoes don’t get the rest of your things dirty.


Hair straighteners

hair straightenerSource: apartmenttherapy.com

They can double as fabric irons. This can be especially useful if you don’t have an iron available or if your clothes only have a minor crease. It may also save time in the morning. If you’re already using your hair straightener on your hair, why not kill two birds with one stone?


Cooking spray

pamSource: reddit

Before you head out to shovel snow, spray the shovel with cooking spray so that the snow falls right off.