Tips + Tricks



You’ve probably heard all about the amazing uses of distilled vinegar, using olive oil to condition leather and even that nifty trick of using a potato to loosen a broken light bulb. But today, we are going to talk about some of the not-so-known uses for everyday items like coffee filters, marshmallows and dryer sheets.

COFFEE FILTERS – The little paper-like liners that make your morning cup of joe possible have many more uses than just getting your morning started. Because coffee filters are lint-free and absorb oil very well, there are many, many uses for these little guys. Did you know…

  • You can use coffee filters to clean glass, CD’s/DVD’s, computer monitors and even your iPad.
  • Pour some baking soda into a coffee filter, wrap it up with a rubber band and stick it into smelly athletic shoes to absorb the stench.
  • Use a coffee filter to pour oil into your car engine without messy spillage.
  • There are also many interesting crafts and DIY projects on the World Wide Web using coffee filters. One of my favorites being this Anthropology-inspiredΒ coffee filter garland by Pam Garrison.
  • In case you run out of dryer sheets and you’re in a pinch, just apply a few drops of fabric softener to a coffee filter, rub the sides together and stick it in the dryer.

DRYER SHEETS – Speaking of dryer sheets, did you know…

  • If you plan on storing your luggage for a long period of time, stashing a dryer sheet inside each piece can help prevent musty odors.
  • Going camping this Spring? Hang a dryer sheet outdoors to repel mosquitoes. (It really works!)
  • The anti-static formula used in dryer sheets can help remove baked-on food from pots or pans. If time is on your side, simply place a sheet in the pot/pan, fill it with warm water and let sit overnight. The next morning, the baked-on food should be loose enough to clean as usual.
  • Rub a dryer sheet along the blades of dull scissors for a quick fix.
  • Some golfers have been known to put a dryer sheet in their back pocket to keep the bees away.
  • You can use a dryer sheet to dust wood furniture or even spruce up chrome fixtures.
  • For those of you who sew (I wish I had that talent), try running the needle through a dryer sheet before sewing to prevent the thread from tangling.

MARSHMALLOWS – Yes, it’s true. There are more uses for marshmallows than s’mores or Rice Krispie Treats. Though both are quite delicious, did you know…

  • Stash a few marshmallows in a box of brown sugar or the sugar bowl to prevent the sugar from hardening or clumping.
  • Make ice cream cones less messy by sticking a few marshmallows in the bottom of the cone to prevent the ice cream from leaking out.
  • Eat three or four marshmallows to sooth a sore throat. Greg has actually used this a few times but I’ve always thought it to be quite odd. Come to find out, there’s a scientific reason as to why it works. Apparently, the gelatin is very helpful when it comes to relieving irritation and soothing pain in your throat. And I’m sure it’s a lot more tasty than nasty throat lozenges.

CLEAR NAIL POLISH – Handy for more than runs in your hose. Did you know…

  • A tiny bit of clear nail polish can touch up small dents and scratches on hardwood floors and can help prevent further damage to the area.
  • To prevent rust rings in the shower, you can apply clear nail polish to the bottom of the shaving cream can.
  • Keep ribbons (or even shoelaces) from fraying by painting the ends with clear nail polish.
  • In lieu of licking envelopes, use a few swipes of some clear nail polish. It’s a lot better than tasting the nasty “mint” flavoring.
  • Scratch the paint on your car? Brush a coat of clear nail polish over the scratch to prevent it from rusting until you are able to get it repaired.
  • Reset loose stones in inexpensive costume jewelry with a coat or two of clear nail polish. This also gives the jewels a little extra sparkle.

TOOTHPASTE – Used for making your teeth squeaky clean and sparkling white. But did you know…

  • You can brighten up your white tennis shoes with a toothbrush (one used for cleaning of course) and some whitening toothpaste. Just scrub and rinse.
  • No caulk on hand? Use a bit of (white) toothpaste. This works really well on small pinholes and white woodwork.
  • Use a spot of toothpaste to remove stains from carpet. Just brush it in the carpet, rinse and the stain will come right out.
  • Remove hairspray residue from your hair straightener or curling iron with a tad of toothpaste and a soft cloth. Since toothpaste is abrasive, you may not want to use this on ceramic models.
  • Overnight blemish cream. It works. Enough said.
  • Toothpaste can soothe pain from minor burns (that don’t involve an open wound). It has been said to temporarily relive the pain and actually prevents the wound from opening.
  • Use toothpaste to remove scratches from leather. Just dab some toothpaste on the scratch, wipe it off with a soft cloth then wipe the area with a damp cloth. Be sure not to use whitening toothpaste, as it might bleach the leather.
  • Get rid of the nasty onion smell on your hands by “washing” them with toothpaste.

Do you have any clever uses for everyday products? Let us know in the comments section. We’d love to add them to our list!

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  • Reply
    September 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Tin foil thown into the dryer works well as static control for your clothes..surprizing it really works

  • Reply
    September 29, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Use toothpaste and a toothbrush to make your diamonds SPARKLE!

    • Reply
      July 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      toothpaste is to abrasive for real diamonds it scratches them……soft soap and water is best.

    • Reply
      August 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

      Diamond (Mohs hardness number 10) is the hardest substance known. If toothpaste scratches your diamonds, guess what?

    • Reply
      December 9, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      I also use this trick all the time. You can also use a paste of baking soda and water and a toothbrush. If either of these slightly abrasive substances are scratching your diamonds I think what you’ve got there is a ring with cut glass “diamonds”. Diamonds are used industrially for cutting, grinding and drilling because they are so incredibly hard. A dab of toothpaste would not stand a chance at damaging a real diamond!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Toothpaste also takes away that afeter fishing fishy smell off ur hands

    • Reply
      October 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Best way,… Simply rub your hands on anything stainless steel, like the kitchen sink, a spoon, etc. great for garlic and onion odor on your hands.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Toothpaste on head lights will take away that cloudiness that appears after a while

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    Maurya Wilson
    October 31, 2012 at 8:07 am

    you can toothpaste (doesn’t matter if it whitening or not) on kitchen and bathroom counter tops to remove stains like coffee, kool-aide,etc. just put a small amount on counter top, use a wet cleaning brush of any sort and lightly scrub wipe off with wet cloth and stain will be gone.

  • Reply
    Sherie Butcher
    November 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Use yellow mustard for minor burns! Really works!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    u can use tooth paste to clean your scrached disks.:) really works.

    • Reply
      October 30, 2013 at 3:09 am

      gel or paste? then wipe off with a wet cloth?

      • Reply
        October 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

        I’ve used both (and they both seem to do the trick) and just rinse it with water. That’s just what works for me and my diamond rings though.

  • Reply
    November 10, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    you can also put a spoon in your mouth so you dont cry when you cut onions πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 11, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Mix honey and cinnamon together …..gets rid of your cold quicker also super sweet for a bad cough πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    November 15, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Toothpaste is a great polish for silver jewelry.

  • Reply
    Kim McQueen
    November 16, 2012 at 12:38 am

    you can use dryer sheets to keep mice out of your rv while it is stored for the winter. Just place the dryer sheets all around the rv before closing it up for the season and when you go back next season there will be no sign of any rodents

  • Reply
    November 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Use toothpaste to mark the holes on an object you want to hang, press it against the wall and you have marks on the wall so you know where to put the nails in!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2012 at 12:35 am

    use toothpaste as a temporary adhesive on surfaces you don’t want to ruin
    brush clear nail polish over a hangnail until it heals
    rub dryer sheets over pets between baths to help them smell better. Also, before brushing long haired pets to prevent tangles caused by static

    borax, sprinkle into carpets after vaccuuming to curb a flea infestation (works on most crawling insects)

    • Reply
      December 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Not sure about rubbing dryer sheets on your pet. The fabric softener they are impregnated with would rub off all over them. I don’t think I’d want my cat licking that stuff off his fur.

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Use a dryer sheet to remove the stuck on bugs, tar, etc while washing your vehicle.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Toothpaste works great to clean little fingers and hands stained from coloring Easter eggs .. big hands too πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    rub hands in stainless steel sink to get onion smell off hands. works great do it all the time

  • Reply
    Debi S.
    February 27, 2013 at 1:50 am

    Toothpaste (not gel) will instantly stop the burning from a bee sting or wasp. Also, I tried the marshmallow for a sore throat and it works like magic!

  • Reply
    March 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    rub on deodorant stops bee or ant sting. paste made from tums stops itching from poison ivy

  • Reply
    March 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I use clear nailpolish on fake jewelry when I first get it coat it and the silver won’t rub off also nickel doesn’t like my skin so I out it on the metal button on my jeans on the inside so I don’t get a rash.

  • Reply
    March 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Dryer fabric softener sheets also work great at keeping mice our of your RV while being stored for the winter. Spread them out everywhere. In drawers. On beds. On furniture under sinks and around any openings around pipes. Cheap & easy to clean up.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Rub dryer sheet on hair or clothes to prevent static. Use clear nail polish on earring hooks if you’re allergic to the nickle in the earring

  • Reply
    June 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks for this great list of home remedies! There are so many that I had never heard of before.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    whitening toothpaste really works to clean those stubborn stove plates to.

  • Reply
    Paula Harrington
    July 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I use clear nail polish on the post of earrings which would normally bother my ears such as sterling silver.

  • Reply
    Pam Fuller
    August 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Breathe through your mouth whilst peeling onions, a chef on tv recommended doing this, I have done this since and it works!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    Use chalk to fill nail holes in your wall. Just rub the chalk over the hole & voila’, the hole is filled.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Use a regular window screen to clean hard water stains in toilets. Wont scratch bowl.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I used nail polish remover to take oil dried paint on wood and it took it off easy and didn’t hurt the wood

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    You can use nail polish remover to remove the printed labels on store bought tubs like butter. They are wonderful for re-use.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I use a bit of whitening toothpaste and a nail brush to remove any stains leftover after removing dark colored nail polish. Works like a charm and minimizes drying effects of too much polish remover.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 8:09 am

    A coffee filter placed over a small bowl when reheating soup etc works great to prevent splatters in your microwave. Just press the edges down around the outside of the bowl.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    For dryer sheet think ,put fabric softener in spray bottle ,spray once a j cloth ( you can buy in a roll- smaller but worth it) now throw in your dryer. These will work for years, just give one squirt , can do both sides for towels and such heavier stuff. I buy one small bottle every 6 mo. If you buy the big bottle and only use half in 6 mo. add a cup of water and mix or shake well. Fabric softener leaves a film and eventually it will leave cloth water repellent.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2014 at 4:46 am

    toothpaste also removes coffee stains from mugs wonderfully. most people say vinegar but that didn’t work for me.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Use hairspray to remove ink from clothing.
    You can also use hairspray or clear polish to stop a run in pantyhose.
    I use maximum strength Ben-gay for migraine headaches. Rub on the back of your neck, up to your hairline, and down across your shoulders. Apply heating pad and lay down for 30 minutes.

  • Reply
    October 21, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    I take used fabric softener sheets and a small bit of Soft Scrub to clean my smooth top stove – use a little elbow grease and the marks and cooked on food come right off.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I use toothpaste to clean our whiteboard periodically. It scrubs off all the pen stains but is not so abrasive as to scour the board. It’s also good to scrub off marks from the fridge. Same idea – it only gently scours. But I was told to use regular, not gel, paste.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2015 at 9:56 am


  • Reply
    August 18, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Cayenne pepper (powder form) stops bleeding instantly.
    I had a huge gash in the thumb from a mandolin slicer and it works.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    You can use a USED Dryer Sheet to clean the gunk that builds up on your washing machine and dryer (lint and detergent and dirt will clean off nicely).
    And yes the ball of foil in the dryer does work.
    Buy the fragrant crystals by Gain and others. Put in a spray bottle (just about a 1/4 of the cap and then fill the bottle with water. Let sit for a while and then shake to use like Fabreeze.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2016 at 2:19 am

    I use Bounce dryer sheets to keep mosquitoes away. I put one in my pocket, half of it hanging out, and it keeps the mosquitoes and black flies away. I also rip a couple of sheets and tie the strips around my dog’s collar. The mosquitoes leave him alone also.

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