14 Household items with uncommon life hack powers – lifestyle – capecodtimes.com – hyannis, ma apple muffins healthy

What if you could keep fewer products in your house by choosing items with multiple uses? The web is full of articles like "23 extraordinary uses for pantyhose" and "sort makeup brushes in a toothbrush holder." but I wanted to do better. I wanted to know which household products have the most – and most useful – alternative uses. I wanted the best of the best.

My quest was wholly unscientific, but I did set some rules for myself. First, I searched for articles and blogs about amazing alternative uses for common household items. Then I searched further to see which of those items was the subject of the most articles or the longest lists. I decided that every tip I shared should be unisex, so as to be as universal as possible. And I instituted a "get real" rule: the alternative uses had to be tasteful and not too taxing.

No flower bouquets made out of egg cartons – too cheesy!Household products and no photo projectors made out of shoe boxes – too time-consuming.

I then curated the tips to share only the best of the best for each product. Here, in alphabetical order, are the 14 most useful household products in our homes, according to the internet and me:

* women have been using it to stop runs in their stockings for years, but it also works to keep buttons from unraveling. Just dab a tiny drop onto the loose thread at the center of the button.

* we all know running a lemon rind through your garbage disposal will freshen the smell, but did you know that lemons can also deodorize your microwave? Zap a bowl of water and half a lemon for five minutes.

* if you have water rings on your wood furniture, bob vila himself says a legitimate way to tackle them is by dabbing on little mayonnaise, letting it sit for an hour, then wiping with a soft cloth. Repeat if necessary.

* yeah, yeah, we in the newspaper business know about the birdcage liners . . .Alternative uses but did you know you can shine dark shoes by balling up newspaper and briskly rubbing them with it?

* the oregon state extension service says that wrapping green tomatoes in newspaper helps them ripen faster. Just be sure to wash before eating – and be sure to finish reading this article before wrapping!

* dropping a pre-1982 penny and a pinch of sugar into a vase helps cut flowers last longer because the copper acts as a fungicide. (in 1982 the composition of pennies was changed from mostly copper to mostly zinc.)

* pennies can stabilize tippy tables and other furniture, too. I have a small fountain in my yard, and the installer stuck a couple of pennies between basin and base to level it.

* if a screw gets stripped as you’re trying to remove it, stick a section of rubber band into the stripped area and it gives you just enough grip to get the job done.

* stretch a rubber band from the bottom of a can of paint up over the open top and use it to wipe your brush to remove excess paint and prevent drips.Best best

* when storing food in a zipper bag, close all but a quarter of an inch, then stick a straw in and suck the air out of the bag before closing all the way. This should prevent freezer burn.

* we’ve all probably used an old toothbrush to clean around faucets or scrub grout, but it’s also the perfect tool to clean mud out of the treads of your shoes.

* the acetic acid in vinegar can kill weeds, although expert gardeners suggest using it just on those in the cracks of your pavement because it can also kill your plants.

* so many people have wondered whether spraying a vinegar-and-water solution on your car windows will prevent frost that there’s even a snopes page verifying that it’s true.

* I hoped to get the hiccups while writing this article, so I could test this final offbeat use, but no dice: some swear that a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar will stop the hiccups. Let me know!

Leamy hosts the podcast "easy money." she is a 13-time emmy winner and a 25-year consumer advocate for programs such as "good morning america." connect with her at leamy.Com and @elisabethleamy.Best best