Simplify Chores and Cleaning With Chalk | Reader's Digest

Simplify Chores and Cleaning With Chalk

Chalk's not just handy at school -- it can help you with tasks you would have never imagined it could.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Repel ants
Keep ants at bay by drawing a line around home entry points. The ants will be repelled by the calcium carbonate in the chalk, which is actually made up of ground-up and compressed shells of marine animals. Scatter powdered chalk around garden plants to repel ants and slugs.

Polish metal and marble
To make metal shine like new, put some chalk dust on a damp cloth and wipe. (You can make chalk dust by using a mortar to pulverize pieces of chalk.) Buff with a soft cloth for an even shinier finish. Wipe clean marble with a damp soft cloth dipped in powdered chalk. Rinse with clear water and dry thoroughly.

Keep silver from tarnishing
You love serving company with your fine silver, but polishing it before each use is another story. Put one or two pieces of chalk in the drawer with your good silver. It will absorb moisture and slow tarnishing. Put some in your jewelry box to delay tarnishing there too.

Remove grease spots
Rub chalk on a grease spot on clothing or table linens and let it absorb the oil before you brush it off. If the stain lingers, rub chalk into it again before laundering. Get rid of ring-around-the-collar stains too. Mark the stains heavily with chalk before laundering. The chalk will absorb the oils that hold dirt in.

Stop screwdriver slips
Does your screwdriver slip when you try to tighten a screw? It won’t slip nearly as much if you rub some chalk on the tip of the blade.

Hide ceiling marks
Temporarily cover up water or scuff marks on the ceiling until you have time to paint or make a permanent repair. Rub a stick of white chalk over the mark until it lightens or disappears.

Keep tools rust-free
You can eliminate moisture and prevent rust from invading your toolbox by simply putting a few pieces of chalk in the box. Your tools will be rust-free and so will the toolbox.