Are you a collector of random things you know will come in handy? Well, today’s the day to find out what to do with them. From old toothbrushes to dryer sheets, you’ll be amazed at the many ways you try repurposing items to give them a second life. Not only will these ideas help you reduce waste and save money, but they’ll also add some fun and creativity to your daily routines.
Let’s explore creative ways to reuse everyday items that you may have thought were destined for the trash bin. Not only is reusing items good for the environment, but it’s also good for the wallet. Don’t go on a cleaning spree and throw everything away before you take a look at these items you didn’t know you could reuse. Let’s get to it.
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1. Make fire starters with old dryer lint.
Place used dryer sheets and dryer lint inside of an old paper towel or toilet paper tube. Pinch each end to keep the materials inside and use them to easily start a fire.
2. Create new crayons out of broken ones.
For this craft, you only need crayon pieces, a muffin tin, and cooking spray.
- Take the paper off of the crayons and break them into ½- to 1-inch pieces.
- Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray and add crayon pieces to each muffin cup.
- Put the muffin tin in the oven at 275 degrees. Bake for 7 – 8 minutes.
3. Use an old toothbrush for cleaning the house.
Yes, using an old toothbrush for cleaning can be a great way to give it a new life and reduce waste. The small bristles on a toothbrush can be really effective for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas or getting into tight corners.
You can use it to scrub grout, clean tile edges, or even remove dirt from shoes. Just make sure to label the toothbrush as “for cleaning only” so that no one accidentally uses it for its original purpose.
4. Grate unused soap for DIY laundry detergent.
The grated soap will help to lift dirt and stains from your clothes, while the washing soda and borax will help to soften the water and boost the cleaning power of the soap. Plus making your own laundry detergent is a great way to avoid unnecessary chemicals that can harm the environment.
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5. Store loose change in an empty gum container.
This reuse tip also makes for an excellent April Fools’ Day prank. But seriously, storing loose change in an empty gum container is a practical way to keep your coins organized and in one place. Gum containers are small and compact, making them perfect for carrying in your pocket or purse.
Plus they have a snap-on lid that keeps the coins secure and prevents them from spilling out.
6. DIY body scrubs with old coffee grounds.
Use old coffee grounds to make a DIY body scrub. This repurposes used java while creating a luxurious, spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home. They’re a natural exfoliant that can help to slough off dead skin cells and reveal smoother, brighter skin. It’s also excellent in smoothing the look of cellulite.
Just mix the grounds with a natural oil, like coconut or olive oil, and a small amount of sugar. If you’d like, add in essential oils for a relaxing or invigorating aroma. Apply the scrub to your skin in the shower, massaging it in circular motions, then rinse off with warm water.
7. Use an old dryer sheet to clean the lint trap screen.
One of the way to reduce waste and reuse dryer sheets is to clean the lint trap screen in your dryer. The static in the dryer sheet helps to attract and remove any remaining lint and debris from it.
Run the used dryer sheet over the lint trap screen, making sure to remove any buildup. This will help to improve your dryer’s efficiency and prevent any potential hazards from built-up lint.
8. Use soda-can tabs to hang more clothing.
Repurposing soda-can tabs is a clever way to create more space in your closet and hang more clothing items. Slide the soda-can tab over the hook of a hanger, and then use the second opening on the tab to hang another hanger. This creates a double hanger that allows you to put two clothing items on one hanger, maximizing the use of your closet space.
9. Scrub your lips with a clean mascara wand.
Start by cleaning the wand with warm water and soap, then apply a small amount of lip balm or sugar scrub to your lips. Use the wand to gently scrub your lips in circular motions, paying special attention to any rough or dry areas. This will help to improve circulation and increase cell turnover, leaving your lips looking and feeling refreshed. It’s like a mini spa treatment at home while also repurposing an old mascara wand that would otherwise be thrown away.
10. Use old candle wax in a candle warmer.
Never, I repeat, never throw out your old candles. Repurposing old candle wax in a candle warmer lets you get more use out of them, thereby reducing waste. Plus it’s an eco-friendly way to save money from having to buy a new one.
Place the old candle wax in the candle warmer and turn it on. The heat from the warmer will melt the wax and release its fragrance. Mix and match different scents of old candle wax to create unique fragrances that suit your mood or the season.
11. Organize colored pencils and crayons in a fast-food drink carrier.
If you’re going to eat fast food, repurpose as much as possible (sans the food). Upcycling the fast-food drink carrier as a colored pencil and crayon organizer is a clever and practical way to keep your art supplies organized and in one place. The divided compartments of the carrier are perfect for separating different colors and types of pencils or crayons, making it easy to find what you need.
Plus the handle on top makes it easy to carry your supplies from one location to another. Have the kiddos decorate it with stickers or paint for a more fun and personalized art organizer.
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12. Plant succulents in old candle jars (once you’ve used the old wax).
Another tip for reusing old candle jars is as a planter for small plants like succulents. Once you have finished burning the candle and removed any remaining wax, clean the jar with warm, soapy water to remove any residue. Then fill it with some well-draining soil and add your succulent plant.
Succulents are perfect for this kind of planter because they don’t require a lot of water and can thrive in small spaces. Plus the clear glass lets you see the plant’s root system. Decorate the jar with some stones, sand, or other decorative items to add some personality to your new planter.
13. Use K-Cups as mini popsicle molds.
First, plug the hole with a bit of tape or hot glue. The easiest way to make homemade popsicles is to freeze juice or yogurt, but you can use whatever recipe you’d like.
Fill clean, plugged K-Cups with the liquid of your choice and place a craft stick in the cup (you may want to cut sticks in half so they aren’t so long), using tape to center the stick. Place filled cups on a baking sheet and freeze.
14. Reuse fake eyelashes up to five times.
Get the most use out of your fake eyelashes by cleaning and reusing them up to five times. Here’s what to do:
- Remove the glue: After removing the fake eyelashes from your eyes, use a pair of tweezers or your fingers to carefully remove any glue residue from the lashes. Be gentle to avoid damaging the lashes.
- Clean the lashes: Use a small amount of makeup remover or micellar water on a cotton swab or pad to clean the lashes. Be sure to remove any makeup or debris from the lashes to keep them looking their best.
- Store the lashes: Once the lashes are clean and dry, store them in their original packaging or in a clean, dry container to protect them from dust and dirt.
When you’re ready to use the lashes again, be gentle when removing them from their packaging and when applying them to your eyes. Avoid pulling or tugging on the lashes to prevent damage.
15. Separate the yolk from an egg white with a plastic bottle.
A water bottle with thicker plastic works perfectly. Follow these instructions:
- Crack an egg over a plate.
- Squeeze the empty water bottle slightly and position it over the yoke.
- Slowly release your squeeze on the bottle to suck up the yolk.
16. Keep snacks in old coffee creamer containers.
When you have kids (or just like munchies), snacks like crackers and cereal can stay fresh by reusing a coffee creamer bottle. These containers are the perfect size for holding a variety of snacks, such as nuts, dried fruit, or popcorn. Their snap-on lids help to keep your snacks fresh and protected from moisture and air.
17. Reuse plastic grocery bags to clean up after your dog.
Instead of wasting money each month by buying poop bags, reuse what you already have lying around. I use plastic bags to pick up poop, flip it inside out, and tie it up. Simple, easy, and mess-free.
18. Remove sweater pills with an old disposable razor.
Sweater pills are those annoying little balls of fabric that can form on sweaters over time, making them look old and worn. To remove them with a disposable razor, lay the sweater on a flat area and use the razor to gently shave the pills off the surface of the sweater. Be sure to use a light touch and move the razor in the direction of the sweater’s knit to avoid damaging the fabric.
Pro Tip: It’s important to use an old disposable razor for this task to avoid damaging the razor or injuring yourself. Once the razor becomes dull or the blades are full of fabric fibers, dispose of it safely.
19. Organize drawers with cardboard boxes.
You’ll need some cardboard, a ruler, and a box cutter to make these easy drawer dividers.
- First, measure your drawer and use the dimensions to create lines on a piece of cardboard. You’ll make two sets of divider pieces: one set for the width, and one set for the length of the drawer.
- Then measure about four inches down into each divider section to create slots. Before you cut out the entire divider section, cut out the thin slots — trust me, it’s easier this way.
- Using the slots as a guide, connect each divider section, place it in your drawer, and you’re done!
20. Reuse a shower curtain liner as a custom playmat.
To repurpose a shower curtain liner as a playmat, cut the liner to the desired size and shape. You can use a marker or paint to draw roads, cities, or other designs on the liner to create a custom playmat that your child will love. Add some fun decorations, such as stickers or foam shapes, to make the playmat even more exciting.
One of the best things about using a shower curtain liner as a playmat is that it’s easy to clean. Simply wipe the playmat down with a damp cloth or toss it in the washing machine when it needs a deeper clean.
21. Wrap your shoes in a shower cap when you travel.
Shower caps are cheap, and they’re useful for more than covering your hair. Use them as smart and affordable solutions to get dirty shoes away from your clean clothes while traveling.
22. Store extra diapers and a change of clothes in an old baby wipes container.
Baby wipes aren’t cheap, so reuse the box while you can. Attach a small wipes package to the top of the holder with rubber bands and store extra diapers and a change of clothes in the bottom. Check out these other genius uses for baby wipes.
23. Soak natural wine corks in rubbing alcohol for fire starters.
Fill a mason jar with wine corks and 90% rubbing alcohol and let the corks soak for at least a week before using. If you’re in need of fire starters ASAP, the alcohol-soaked corks should work after soaking for two days.
Just make sure the corks you burn are made from all-natural cork. Synthetic corks won’t burn as easily. Read more about uses for rubbing alcohol.
24. Get the most out of condiments by setting them upside down in an egg carton.
Getting the most out of condiments can be a challenge, especially when the bottle is almost empty and you can’t get the last bit out. Setting the condiment bottle upside down in an egg carton is a simple and effective solution to this problem. This will allow gravity to do its work, pulling the remaining condiment towards the opening of the bottle.