Super simple household reuse ideas
HOME & GARDEN | January 9, 2014

Super simple household reuse ideas

The only things you'll need to create all ten of these reuses are a little time and a sharp pair of scissors.

No sharp scissors? Well, check out reuse number 1!

1. Aluminium foil as scissor sharpener

Firstly, did you know that aluminium foil can be cleaned and reused over and over again? So next time you unwrap something, don't automatically ball it up, put it to be washed instead.

To sharpen up your scissors, fold your clean, used aluminium foil so that you've got about seven or eight layers in your hand. Cut through the layers with your scissors a few times and they'll be almost as good as new!

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2. Toilet rolls as cable tidy

The average Brit owns ten gadgets, according to the latest stats. That's an awful lot of chargers and connecters to keep under control.

Fortunately, this lifehack has solved the problem of tangled and knotted cables for good. And all you need are an old shoebox and some toilet rolls!

3. Plastic bottle as food saver

Did you know that you can use the top portion of a plastic bottle to seal any plastic bag? Perfect for keeping food fresher for longer!

Cut around the bottle about 3cm below the bottle's neck. Remove the cap. Twist the open end of the bag you want to seal and push this twisted end through the bottom of the neck and out of the mouth of the bottle. Pull the top of the bag around the mouth and screw the cap back on. Ta da!

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4. Plastic bottles as seed starters

New shoots are often too delicate to water directly, so make some of these 'sub-irrigating' seed starters - perfect for larger seedlings such as tomato plants.

Cut round the middle of a 500ml plastic bottle, about 8cm from the base. Turn the top half upside down and fit it into the bottom half, so the neck of the bottle is touching the bottom. Fill with starter compost, plant your seed and water as necessary by removing the top half and pouring a little water into the base.

5. Plastic bag as recipe book protector

Love to bake but hate it when your precious recipe books get batter splatted and flour dusted? Wrap a plastic bag around the book before you start, leaving only the relevant page free. Makes it easier to keep your place too!

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6. Plastic bottle as a watering can

Punch or drill some small holes into the lid of an old milk bottle and you'll have a brand new watering can, ideal for giving your houseplants a quick drink when necessary.

7. Old glue stick as retractable crayon

Did you know that old and battered crayon pieces can easily be remoulded into new crayons, or even candles, if you add a wick? This retractable crayon idea is extra special though and, as with all these tips, super easy to do at home.

8. Plastic bottle as handy scoop

To make a useful scoop, perfect for animal feed or compost, simply cut diagonally around a large plastic bottle. The top of your cut should be about an inch below the handle, with the bottom of your cut just above the lower corner on the opposite site.

9. BBQ charcoal as musty smell remover

Apparently charcoal is an amazing odour absorber - who knew?! If you have leftover charcoal in your garden shed, you can use it around the home to absorb musty and stale smells. Wrap it in fabric and place wherever needs a freshening up: the back of cupboards, a dank cellar, the fridge or even in boxes before they go into storage.

Remember to use only natural charcoal, not that which has been impregnated with fire lighter fluids, otherwise you'll end up with another unwanted smell!

10. Plastic bottle as emergency lighting

Power cut and no candles in the house? Camping out after dark and want to plan the next day's hike? For quick and effective temporary lighting, fill an opaque plastic bottle with water and strap your torch to the side so it shines into the bottle - a head torch is perfect for this!

How do you reuse around the house? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and Facebook!