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8 Reader New Uses for Old Things

Real Simple cast a net far and wide (OK, on Facebook and Twitter) to find your most ingenious ideas for a grab bag of everyday things, from bobby pins to pot holders. Here are the standouts…and a couple of doozies. 

Birthday candle and pinsJames Wojcik

Bobby Pin

“To make my at-home manicure look better, I dip the end of a bobby pin into polish remover then trace along my cuticles to remove excess color.”
Heather Katherine
Aurora, Illinois

“As I use up toothpaste, I roll the tube and secure the end with a bobby pin.”
Mandy Starski
East Lansing, Michigan

Birthday Candle

“I rub wax on a fraying piece of thread to help ease it through the eye of a needle.”
Erica Deary
Worcester, Massachusetts

“To transport a cake smudge-free, I poke a few candles into the top before wrapping it with plastic.”
Amanda Diaz
Claremont, California

Safety Pin

“I use pins to attach the bed skirt to the box spring so the skirt doesn’t shift around.”
Gina Cannary
Austin, Texas

“I’m not sure how or why, but the zipper fobs on my kid’s jackets always break off. Now I salvage a jacket by fastening a safety pin to the remaining pull.”
Steeve Spearmon
Las Vegas, Nevada

Cotton Ball

“To mask that icky carpet smell, I soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract and slip it into a new vacuum bag before taking the machine for a spin.”
Kim Price
Portland, Oregon

“I saturate cotton balls in bleach and shove them in the four corners where my tub meets the tile to break down mildew. After an hour, I remove them, and—voilà—no more spots.”
Melissa Black
Lindenhurst, Illinois

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