10 Household Items You Had No Idea Were Reusable
Rinse, wash, and reuse.
Re-steep your tea bagsiStock/Antagain
One teabag 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 teabag in the refrigerator and re-purpose it later in the day to relax your eyes. Cool teabags do wonders for eye puffiness and irritation.
Bake cookies with minimal cleanupiStock/ThitareeSarmkasat
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.
Clean Swiffer dustersiStock/Casarsa
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 to air dry. These are the “disposable” items you need to stop buying.
Give dryer sheets a second lifeiStock/jfmdesign
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!
Use coffee filters more than onceiStock/MackoFlower
Most coffee filters can be reused at least four or five times before they stop working effectively, according to groundtoground.org. Try one of these extraordinary uses for the coffee grounds (or just discard them), rinse off the filter, allow it to dry, and reuse.
Fix a yucky shower curtainiStock/nikitabuida
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.
Repurpose old towelsmama_mia/Shutterstock
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 16 cleaning hacks you’ll want to steal from professional house cleaners.
Get a head start on next year’s gardenSkinfaxi/shutterstock
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. Howtosaveseeds.com explains the seed saving instructions for each plant.
Put something other than eggs in egg cartonsTOTUGO/Shutterstock
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.
Roll out the paper rollsNaparat/Shutterstock
When expert crafters see paper towel or toilet paper rolls, they see endless crafting possibilities. But you don’t need to have an artistic vision to reuse cardboard tubes. Slip them over wrapped cables and extension cords to keep them from tangling. Cut and re-tape tubes over the bottom of hangers to keep pants from creasing. Stuff them with the many plastic bags laying around the house. The options are endless. Don’t miss these other extraordinary uses for household staples you already own.