11 More Ways You Can Use This for That

I was halfway out the door, car keys in hand and on the way to the home improvement center when I remembered that I might already have what I needed. Cooking spray! That’s it. I’d heard that it just might work. It did, and quite perfectly, too. No more squeaks and I saved a needless trip and a needless purchase, too.

Squeaky door

Got a squeaky door or sticky drawer? Spritz a little cooking spray on the hinges or drawer slides then work it back and forth to distribute the “lubricant.” Wipe away any drips with a dry cloth or paper towel.

White water rings

Use mayonnaise to get rid of white water rings on wood furniture. Make sure the area is completely dry then spread enough full-fat mayonnaise on the spot. Let it sit for several hours, even overnight. Now wipe it clean, and buff with a soft clean cloth. Magical, right?

Eyeglasses case

Don’t toss out that spare eyeglasses case. Use it to protect your jewelry in your suitcase. Or how about that collection of crochet hooks that are rolling around in a drawer? They’ll fit nicely into an old eyeglasses case. It can also make for a dandy manicure kit or emergency first aid or sewing kit. Kinda’ makes you wish you had several cases, doesn’t it? Here’s one more: Storage bin for those rascally earbuds.

Piping bag

Fresh out of piping bags and that birthday cake must be decorated right now?! Grab a plastic sandwich or freezer bag. Fill the bag with decorating icing. Push it towards one of the bottom corners. Now, using scissors, snip off the end of that corner to create a small opening. There you go—a terrific piping bag.


I can count on one hand the times I’ve purchased a quart of buttermilk. But I use it frequently in recipes that call for buttermilk. How? I make it myself and it works like a charm.

To make one cup of “buttermilk:” Pour 1 tablespoon white vinegar into a one-cup measure, plus enough milk (2% or whole) to the 1-cup line. Stir and allow to sit for 5-minutes.

Copper cleaner

Fresh out of your favorite copper cleaner? No worries. Grab a lemon and that coarse salt sitting in the back of the spice drawer. Just sprinkle salt on the cut side of a lemon half and rub on the copper surface.

Toilet bowl cleaner

Whether you’re fresh out of your favorite toilet bowl cleaner or have a stain problem beyond its ability to clean, you can just grab that can of WD-40 sitting on a shelf in the garage. Spray WD-40 on tough limescale stains and mineral deposits, allow it to sit for a few minutes to an hour, then finish with a toilet brush or pumice stone. Easy.

Dry shampoo

You use it to add a day or two between washing your hair with regular shampoo. That’s a good idea as daily shampooing can dry out your hair. Whether you are trying to avoid traditional dry shampoo or you simply ran out, use baking soda instead. It works great as a dry shampoo, helping with ph levels on the scalp while absorbs odors and oils. It neutralizes odor rather than covering it up with fragrance. Baking soda also adds volume.

Aged shower curtain

Got an old shower curtain? Even if it’s no longer good enough for its original purpose, there are several ways to extend its useful life: Use it to cover your patio furniture or barbecue next winter. Connect it with bungee cords. Or keep it in the trunk of your car as a tarp for roadside emergencies in the event you need to sit on the ground, change a tire or make a quick underbody repair.

Rain-X for Shower Doors

Look for Rain-X in the automotive aisle of your favorite discount store. It’s sold as a product to keep windshields free of water spots and help rain to sheet off windows. It works great on tub and shower walls and doors to prevent hard water stains.

Rubber band

Got an annoying stripped-out screw that you need to remove? Easy! To get a better rip, trap one side of a wide rubber band (use one that you saved from that last bundle of fresh broccoli) between the screwdriver and the screw head. Now give it a try.

Please join me for today’s Podcast episode in our 40-Day Christmas Challenge! It’s super short. You can easily catch up HERE with earlier episodes, too.



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8 replies
  1. Beverley says:

    Cooking spray might work in a pinch for those squeaks and lubrication jobs. But continued use will cause a gunky gummed up situation. So put WD-40 or a graphite lubricant on your list to have on hand for the next time.

  2. Terri says:

    RainX on shower doors: I would love to use this and have heard good things — but then the glass installer warned me that it can make my tile floor very slippery — experienced advice needed!

    I was also wondering if the Rain-X builds up on the glass over time and how it impacts the plastic pieces?

  3. Deb R. says:

    You suggest white vinegar above to make buttermilk which reminded me that I have a question for you.

    In my grocery store, side by side on the shelf, are “White Vinegar” and “Cleaning Vinegar.” The products in the bottles look the same; the packaging, other than the label are the same. But are they the same thing?

    • Sue in TX says:

      Probably the same thing – except – cleaning vinegar MAY be higher strength. Also, read the label, a while ago I ran across a smaller (quart or liter) bottle so labeled that actually had soap or detergent added. It was in a foreign grocery, so may have been manufactured outside the US

  4. Rusty says:

    Plain old tomato juice is an even better copper cleaner. Let it soak for 15-30 minutes, rinse it off and it comes out like a shiny new penny.


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