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30 Household Items You Had No Idea Were Reusable

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Cardboard BoxPinkybird/Getty Images

Don't just throw these things away!

Sure, there are plenty of things you know are reusable—grocery tote bags, metal straws, reusable water bottles. But, in addition to products made specifically for that purpose, there are also plenty of other things you probably use all the time that can also be reused. Read on to find out the everyday items you shouldn't be tossing after one use. Plus, check out these reusable versions of things you use every day.

Directly Above Shot Of Green Tea Cup On TableJasmin Awad / EyeEm/Getty Images

Tea bags

One tea bag can make two cups of tea—possibly even three or four. To get the most bang for your brew, continuously steep your tea in a teapot on the stove. If you only drink one cup in the morning, place your used tea bag in the refrigerator and re-purpose it later in the day to relax your eyes. Cool tea bags do wonders for eye puffiness and irritation.

reusable household items cookiesThitareeSarmkasat/iStock

Parchment paper

Got a birthday party coming up? Bake multiple batches of cookies on the same piece of parchment paper. Most brands are oven safe up to 450 degrees—and as long as there’s nothing stuck to the paper that could easily burn, it’s safe to reuse.

reusable household items swiffer dusterCasarsa/iStock

Clean Swiffer dusters

The pads that attach to the bottom of your Swiffer don't have to go in the trash when you finish your chores. Fill your sink with warm water and soap and swish the duster around to ready it for a second use. Roll the pad into a power towel to eliminate any extra moisture. Allow it to air dry. These are some more "disposable" items you need to stop buying.

Cropped photo of finished laundry process. High angle above top view of woman hand take out linen from white washing machine standing inside flat with bright interiorbrizmaker/Getty Images

Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets are just as effective when cut in half and can be reused at least once. That's four loads of laundry for the price of one! And find out the laundry products that are actually a waste of money.

reusable household items coffee filterMackoFlower/iStock

Coffee filters

Most coffee filters can be reused at least four or five times before they stop working effectively, according to Try one of these extraordinary uses for the coffee grounds (or just discard them), rinse off the filter, allow it to dry, and reuse.

shower curtainJonathan Mauer/Getty Images

Shower curtain

Just because it's plastic doesn't mean it has to be disposable. Instead of tossing a soap scum–laden curtain, try this. Remove the curtain from its hooks and put it in your washing machine, along with regular detergent and a cup of baking soda. Rehang the shower curtain to dry. The same goes for plastic shower curtain liners.

Towels In ShelfJan Kjerrman / EyeEm/Getty Images

Old towels

As your bath towels fade and accumulate holes, don't immediately throw them in the trash. Cut them up and use them as washable cleaning rags to take care of dirty floors, cars, pets, and more. If you're feeling creative, you can even turn them into DIY creations like bath mats and soft dog toys. Check out these 13 cleaning hacks you'll want to steal from professional house cleaners.

Working in the garden, seeding a plant. Soil top view.Chet_W/Getty Images


Your flowers and vegetables have uses beyond just their harvesting season. Let a few of your plants go to seed (if you don't harvest them, they will stop growing and eventually produce seeds); you can keep those seeds and use them for next year's crops. explains the seed saving instructions for several different plants. Plus, check out the easiest foods to grow at home.

Empty box from under the eggs TOTUGO/Shutterstock

Egg cartons

Egg cartons are designed to keep small, fragile items safe. Who says eggs should be the only things to get that protection? Use empty (and clean!) cartons to store small Christmas ornaments and lightbulbs, or turn them into organizing trays for screws and bolts. Here are 50 more organizing tips you'll wish you knew all along.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest