Stuffy nose? Stinky dog? Sore throat? No need to spend big bucks on brand-name problem solvers when you already have budget-friendly solutions right in your own home cabinets!
1. Glue for stuck splinters
Take a bottle of regular white craft glue and squeeze out a little right over the splinter (noting the direction of the splinter as you do!). Let it dry, then peel the glue off in the OPPOSITE direction that the splinter went in to ease it out quickly and painlessly.
Why it works: Like using hot wax for removing hair, the glue dries around the splinter and takes it right out when you pull it away.
2. Gatorade for headaches
Drink two glasses (8 fl. oz. each) of water with electrolytes (such as Gatorade). You can continue to sip very small amounts until the pain is gone.
NOTE: If you have a migraine headache and suspect artificial colors or flavors may be a trigger, skip the sports drinks and consult your physician instead.
Why it works: Many headaches are caused by dehydration, and electrolyte water will rehydrate your body quickly.
3. Mouthwash for blisters
Once the blister breaks, soak 1 cotton ball in a capful of mouthwash, then appy the cotton ball gently over the blistered area.
Why it works: Mouthwash is designed to serve as an antiseptic agent, so it will kill bacteria and speed healing of your blister.
P.S. If you tend to get toenail fungus, soaking your toes in mouthwash for 30 minutes per day can speed up healing time.
4. Vinegar and honey for sore throats
Mix ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup honey. Take one tablespoon every 4 hours.
Why it works: Vinegar kills bacteria and honey soothes and heals.
5. Dryer sheets for smelly dogs
Grab a dryer sheet and wipe it over your dog’s fur.
Why it works: The powerful yet subtle scent of the dryer sheet quickly overrides and neutralizes the underlying odor.
6. Peppermints for stuffy noses
Chew two powerful peppermints (I like Altoids) and feel the blockage ease.
Why it works: Peppermint contains menthol—the same ingredient in many nasal sprays.
7. Toothpaste for burns
Take toothpaste (actual non-mentholated white paste, not gel) and spread it over the burned area. Reapply as needed.
NOTE: Do NOT do this if you have a severe burn–seek medical attention immediately!
Why it works: Even pharmacists aren’t sure exactly why it works, but there is a good chance it has something to do with the presence of antibacterial preservatives, detergents, and humectants in toothpaste that can neutralize bacteria and speed healing without excessive painful drying to the skin.
8. Vinegar for bruises
Take a cotton ball and soak it in a shallow dish of white vinegar. Place it over the bruise for 60 minutes (tape it in place if needed).
Why it works: White vinegar is a warming agent. It improves blood flow at the bruised area to help the pooled “blue” blood under the skin’s surface dissipate faster.
9. Honey for skin blemishes
Dab on pure honey over the blemish, then cover with a soft band-aid. Leave overnight.
Why it works: Honey is a natural sterilizer and anti-bacterial agent.
10. Quick oats for arthritis
Combine 1 cup water and 2 cups “quick” (or 1-minute) oats in a bowl. Microwave on “high” for 60 seconds. Allow to cool for another 60 seconds, then pat over the aching area for immediate relief.
Why it works: The paste is soft and warm and molds itself over the painful area—like a personalized heating pad.