8 Superb Uses for Soap

Scrub a dub dub!

Loosen stuck zippers
Zipper stuck? Rub it loose with a bar of soap along the zipper’s teeth. The soap’s lubrication will get it moving.

Unstick furniture drawers
If your cabinet or dresser drawers are sticking, rub the bottom of the drawer and the supports they rest on with a bar of soap.

Lubricate screws and saw blades
A little lube with soap makes metal move through wood much more easily. Twist a screw into a bar of soap before driving it and rub some on your handsaw blade.

Remove a broken lightbulb
If a bulb breaks while still screwed in, don’t chance nicks and cuts trying to remove it. First, turn off the power. Insert the corner of a large, dry bar of soap into the socket. Give it a few turns and that base will unscrew.

Mark a hem
Forget chalk. A thin sliver of soap, like the ones left when a bar is just about finished, works just as well when you are marking a hem, and the markings wash right out.

Make a pin holder
Here’s an easy-to-make alternative to a pincushion. Wrap a bar of soap in fabric and tie the fabric in place with a ribbon. Stick in your pins. As a bonus, the soap lubricates the pins, making them easier to insert.

Prevent cast-iron marks
Nip cookout cleanup blues in the bud. Rub the bottom of your cast-iron pot with a bar of soap before cooking with it over a sooty open flame. Look, Ma! No black marks!

Keep stored clothes fresh
Pack a bar of your favorite scented soap when you store clothes or luggage. It will keep your clothes smelling fresh till next season and prevent musty odor in your luggage. Fun fact: even soap can be recycled–and the process is beautiful to watch.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest