Clothing-Care New Uses
Paper Towel Tube as Wrinkle Preventer
Ward off wrinkles in silk scarves by wrapping them around the tube between wearings.
Hair Dryer as Eyeglasses Fitter
Give store-bought plastic eyeglasses a custom fit. Heat them with a dryer, then mold them to suit your face.
Emery Board as Stain Remover
Remove small stains from suede by gently rubbing the file (either side) across the problem area a few times to get rid of the splotch and refresh the nap.
Hanger as Ribbon Organizer
Turn a tangle of ribbons into a neat presentation. Hang coordinating colors over the prongs of a tie hanger.
Cotton Balls as Shoe Resizer
Give roomy heels and ballet flats a perfect fit (so you don't pull a Cinderella) by filling in the toe area with some cotton balls.
Shoe Boxes as Drawer Dividers
Time for your lingerie drawer to step into line. Cut shoe boxes in half, along the length or width, and fill the resulting compartments with folded briefs, socks, or stacked bras.
Colander as Laundry Aid
Hand-launder delicates. A colander shields them from any residue in the sink that can harm the fabric, such as peroxide from toothpaste or caustic agents from cleansers.
Salt as Stain Remover
Remove coffee and tea stains from the insides of cups by rubbing with a salted citrus peel.
Hair Elastic as Tights Bundler
Roll up pairs of stockings or leggings and wrap hair ties around them to keep the rolls from unraveling. It will be easier to find a specific pair on mornings when you're, well, tight on time.
Button as Earring Holder
Travel is best done in pairs (think of Lewis and Clark or Thelma and Louise). To keep a set of earrings together on your next overnight jaunt, fasten them to a button so they won’t get lost in your suitcase pocket.
Felt Pads as Clothing Securer
Help strappy garments stay on hangers. Affix a circle to each end.
Lint Roller as Handbag Cleaner
Quickly clean the interior of your purse by running a lint roller over the lining. Submitted by: Dotchie
Paper Clip as Zipper Pull
Temporarily replace a broken zipper tab by threading a paper clip through the hole. A safety pin also works. Submitted by: Katie12
Tissue Paper as Wrinkle Preventer
Avoid ironing while on the road. Pack clothes between layers of tissue paper and they’ll arrive wrinkle-free.
Sandpaper as Knit Depiller
Wipe fine-grit sandpaper over a sweater in one direction—gently!—to lift pesky pills.
Sandpaper as Sole Scuffer
Fall for new shoes, not in them. Rub medium-grit sandpaper over the bottoms to give slippery soles some traction.
Pant Hanger as Lingerie Dryer
Hang bras, hosiery, and other small items that can't go in the dryer on a mulit-level pant hanger for a compact drying rack. Submitted by: Bettys187
Tissue Paper as Purse Shaper
Help a purse or boots to keep its shape with tissue stuffed inside.
Bar of Soap as Pretty Pincushion
Stick needles and pins in a wrapped bar of soap. The soap’s oils make the pointy ends glide through fabric “sew” easily.
Aluminum Foil as Wrinkle Remover
To get wrinkles out of silk, wool, and rayon clothes that can't take direct heat, place a piece of foil on your ironing board, then lay the garment flat over it. With the steam button down, pass the iron three to four inches over the fabric several times. Wet heat radiating from the foil helps smooth out wrinkles.
Baby Powder as Stain Guard
Sprinkle a little on the shirt’s underarms and collar, then iron to prevent sweat stains on white shirts. The powder forms a barrier that keeps oil and grime from seeping into the threads.
Baby Wipes as Stain Removers
Has your deodorant left its mark? A baby wipe works to lift those hard-to-remove stains.
Bobby Pin as Pleat-Making Tool
Prep a pleated skirt for ironing by sliding a bobby pin onto each pleat at the hem to hold them all in place while you press. (Be sure to remove them afterward!)
Candle as Zipper Fixer
Release a stubborn zipper by lightly rubbing a candle along the teeth on both sides to smooth the way.
Clothespin as Hanger
Use clips to prevent silky sleeveless shirts and dresses from slipping off the hanger. And you can say goodbye to wrinkled sundresses on the closet floor.
Secure a Belt With Double-Sided Tape
Don’t let your too-long belt tail get caught between your legs. Keep it in line with a small bit of Scotch. Neat.
Dryer Sheet as Shoe Freshener
Roll up one sheet per slipper, sneaker, or loafer, insert, and forget about stinky shoes. (Bonus uses: Toss them in hampers, on closet shelves, in diaper bags.)
Dryer Sheet as Static Stopper
Stop static cling on clothes—or tame flyaway hair—by rubbing a sheet over the problem area.
Flat Iron as Touch-Up Iron
No time to drag out your iron and ironing board? A straightening iron works perfectly between buttons where a regular iron doesn’t fit. And it smooths collar creases and minor wrinkles. So you can look perfectly pressed when you're pressed for time.
Baby Oil as Necklace Detangler
Rub a few drops of baby oil into each knot and work them gently free with a straight pin.
Cork as Sewing Kit
Make a compact sewing kit by sticking needles and pins in a cork. For a little zip, wrap it with a few lengths of thread.
Dryer Sheet as Thread Detangler
To prevent tangles, run a threaded needle through a sheet before you begin stitching.
Dryer Sheet as Drawer Sachet
If fabric-softener sheets make your clothes smell nice in the dryer, just think about what they could do in your dresser. Slip a few fresh ones between folded clothes.
Felt Circle as Hanger Helper
Create a support system and help strappy garments stay on hangers. Affix a circle to each end, and your sundresses will stay off the closet floor.
Dental Floss as Umbrella Mender
If your umbrella has detached from its metal spines, tie or sew it back together with waxed floss, which will endure longer than regular thread.
Dental Floss as Thread Substitute
Rely on waxed dental floss for temporary but durable clothing repairs, such as sewing on a button or reattaching a strap.
Hairspray as Static Stopper
Banish static cling in the winter with a quick spritz of hairspray on the areas that are bunching.
Hairspray as Needle Threader
Thread a needle quickly by spraying the string’s end to prevent it from fraying and raising your frustration level.
Lemon as Laundry Brightener
Skip the bleach—add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle to brighter up those fading whites.
Nail Polish as Snag Preventer
Keep a snag in your stockings from growing by dabbing it with clear nail polish.
Newspaper as Shoe Deodorizer
Help shoes keep their shape and smell fresh by stuffing them with newspaper after wearing them.
Pumice Stone as Sweater Depiller
Restore a favorite, well-worn cardigan to form by lightly running the stone across the surface to lift off any unsightly pills.
Salad Spinner as Sweater Dryer
Speed the drying process for a favorite sweater. After hand-washing the garment, twirl it in the spinner to take out excess water.
Seam Ripper as Vacuum Roller Cleaner
Restore a vacuum to maximum power by cutting the lint and hair from its roller brush.
Seam Ripper as DVD Opener
Tear into plastic-wrapped CDs and DVDs without wrecking your nails.
Soda Bottle as Boot Supporter
Insert an empty one-liter plastic bottle into a tall boot to keep it from sagging, creasing, or toppling over. Bonus: Upright boots create space on your closet floor to fill as you please (hmm…more boots?).
Toothpick as Sewing Aid
Sew buttons more skillfully: Hold a stick under the center of a button so you don’t stitch it on too tightly.
Tape as Shoelace Aglets
Seal the end of a frayed shoelace rather than running out for a replacement.
Umbrella as Drying Rack
Air-dry laundry. When a worn out umbrella has lost the capacity to fend off raindrops, cut away the fabric and hang the frame upside down from a rod or a door knob. Clip damp delicate items to the ribs with clothespins.
Velcro as Sweater Depiller
Lightly run the hook side over a pilly sweater to smooth it out.
Wine Bottle as Boot Supporter
Preserve the shape of tall leather boots by placing a bottle into each one's shaft for reinforcement.
Double-Sided Tape as Hem Securer
Fix a fallen hem when there’s no time for a trip to the tailor.
Ice-Cube Tray as Jewelry Storage
Each ring, necklace, bracelet, and pair of earrings gets its own cubby when you use an ice-cube tray to organize your baubles. Trays can be stacked in a drawer for a multitier alternative jewelry box.
Lint Roller as Lamp Shade Duster
Run the roller up and down the outside of the lamp shade to get rid of small particles that shouldn't be there. Ah, the satisfaction of knowing that every surface in your living room will pass the white-glove test.
Lip Balm as Shoelace Securer
Keep shoelaces from coming undone by creating your own version of waxed laces: Just use the balm to coat the strings where you loop and knot and they won’t budge.
Matchbox as Travel Sewing Kit
Once the sticks are gone, fill a matchbox with a few sewing essentials: needles, thread, buttons, and a few safety pins. No more need to panic when a button emergency strikes on a business trip.
Mitten as Sunglasses Protector
Save your shades from scratches by slipping them into a spare mitten before stashing them in your purse or glove compartment.
Nail Polish as Screw Securer
After tightening the loose screw, dab polish across the top for a longer-lasting fix.
Cooking Oil as Shoe Polish
Use a damp cloth to wipe away dirt, then apply a small drop of oil to a soft cloth and rub the surface to remove scuff marks.
Pencil as Zipper Releaser
Unstick a stubborn zipper by rubbing the teeth on both sides with a pencil—graphite is an excellent lubricant.
Plastic Bag as Shoe Protector
It will never be a fashion trend, but tying bags over your shoes can keep you from tracking mud into the house when you come in, or protect slippers from dirt, snow, or rain when you run out to fetch the paper from the front lawn. (Be careful when walking on smooth surfaces, as the plastic won't give you any traction.)
Salt as Wine Stain Remover
Lift red wine stains from washables with this fix: Stretch fabric over a bowl, cover with salt, and then carefully pour boiling water over it.
Shearling Boot as Pot Holder
If your shearling boots have passed “broken-in” on their way to “disreputable” (or if you’re simply over the craze), you can still make good use of them. Cut a square from the shaft of a boot and use it to grab hot pot handles. Just be sure to clean the shearling first.
Starch as Stain Blocker
Spray starch on white sneakers to help repel dirt and grime and keep your kicks looking fresh from the box.
Dusting Cloths as Shoe Cleaners
Revive last season's leather shoes by giving them a wipe with a dusting cloth to remove dirt and lint that's accumulated over the months.
Tea Bag as Drawer Sachet
Subtly scent a drawer by placing a mint, vanilla, or lavender tea bag in a drawer of delicates.
Vinegar as Shoe Cleaner
Erase salt stains from leather and suede shoes by making a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water and applying it with a cotton rag.
Wire Hanger as Static Stopper
Nix static cling by running a wire hanger over the spots where your clothing tends to bunch or climb.
Baby Shampoo as Lingerie Detergent
Baby shampoo is gentle on more than just your little one's eyes. It's perfect for lingerie too. Get the article wet, lather a pea-size amount of it into your hands and wash, as suggested, then air-dry.
Nail Polish as Button Securer
Apply a thin coat of clear polish to the center of a button to keep the thread from coming loose.