Common Household Items That Work Double-time

If you have ever found yourself in a bind with guests or worse yet a showing scheduled, and find you are lacking supplies to do a quick fix or freshen up your house, then read on for clever immediate repairs and fixes using common household items that are typically found in most cupboards.

Damp sponge.  A common household sponge when dampened with water is a quick way to clean pet hair off upholstery and carpet.  Run it over the surface then scrape the hair into the trash.

Baking Soda.  Known for neutralizing odors and great for absorbing grease.

  • Sprinkle it into your trash cans and onto carpets before vacuuming. 
  • Make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and use it in the bathroom and kitchen to clean and deodorize grout. 
  • Pour baking soda in your kitchen drain, then pour in vinegar, put in the stopper quickly and let it bubble the gunk and odor away before flushing with water. 
  • Sprinkle a layer of baking soda in litter boxes before adding a clean layer of litter. 
  • Add 2 teaspoons with your regular dishwasher soap to de-odorize your dishwasher.


Bar of soap.  Use the edge of a bar of soap along a zipper to loosen and unstick it.

Cooking spray.  A quick and alternate use for squeaky hinges.

Alka-Seltzer tablets.  Drop a couple into the toilet bowl for 20 minutes to clean.

Coffee filters.  Use for cleaning glass if you are out of paper towels.