How to Use Shampoo 14 Ways

They’re good for more than just hair!

Revitalize leather shoes and purses
You don’t need expensive mink oil to bring life back to your leather shoes and purses. A little shampoo and a clean rag will do the job. Rub shampoo into worn areas in circles to clean and bring back the color of your accessories. It will protect your shoes from salt stains as well.

Lubricate a zipper
If your zipper gets stuck, don’t yank on it until it breaks. Put a drop of shampoo on a cotton swab and dab it onto the zipper. The shampoo will help the zipper to slide free, and any residue will come out in the next wash.

Resize a shrunken sweater
Oh no, you’ve shrunk your favorite sweater! Don’t panic, you can bring it back to full size again with baby shampoo and warm water. Fill a basin with warm water, squirt in some baby shampoo, and swish once with your hand. Lay the sweater on top of the water and let it sink on its own and soak for 15 minutes. Gently take your sweater out without wringing it and put it in a container, then fill the sink again with clean water. Lay the sweater on top and let it sink again to rinse. Take the sweater out, place it on a towel, and roll the towel to take out most of the moisture. Lay the sweater on a dry towel on a flat surface and gently start to reshape it. Come back to the sweater while it’s drying to reshape a little more each time. Your patience will be rewarded!

Wash houseplant leaves
Houseplants get dusty too, but unlike furniture they need to breathe. Make a soapy solution with a few drops of shampoo in a pot of water, dunk in a cloth and wring it out, and wipe those dusty leaves clean.

Clean your car
The grease-cutting power of shampoo works on the family grease monkey’s baby as well. Use about 1/4 cup shampoo to a bucket of water and sponge up the car as usual. Use a dab of shampoo directly on a rag or sponge for hard-to-remove tar spots.

Lubricate stubborn nuts and bolts
Got a nut and bolt that won’t come apart? If your spot lubricant isn’t handy or you’ve run out, try a drop of shampoo. Let it seep into the threads and the bolt will be much more cooperative.

Remove bandages painlessly
Now you don’t have to say “Ready?” when removing a bandage. Rub just a drop of shampoo on and around the bandage to let it seep through the air holes. It will come off with no muss and definitely no fuss.

Revitalize your feet
Give your feet a pick-me-up while you sleep. Rub a little shampoo all over your feet and put on a light pair of cotton socks. When you wake up, your feet will feel smooth and silky.

Substitute for shaving cream
You’re on the road and discover you forgot to bring your shaving cream. Don’t use soap to lather up. With its softening agents, shampoo is a much better alternative.

Clean grimy hands
In place of soap, some straight shampoo works wonders for cleaning stubborn or sticky grime from your hands. It even works well to remove water-based paint.

Remove hair spray from walls
If you’ve been using hair spray to kill flies, or you’ve just noticed hair spray buildup on your bathroom walls, reach for the shampoo. Put some on a wet sponge to clean, and wipe off suds with a clean, wet sponge. Shampoo is tailor-made to handle hair product buildup.

Clean the tub and faucets
Need to do a quick tub cleanup before guests arrive? Grab the handiest item — your shampoo! It does a great job on soap scum because it rinses clean. You can use it to buff a shine into your chrome faucets as well.

Use to wash delicates
Shampoo makes a great cleanser for your delicates. It suds up well with just a drop, and you get two cleaning products for the price of one!

Clean brushes and combs
Skin oils can build up on your combs and brushes faster than you realize. And if you’re tucking them into your purse or pocket, they’re accumulating dust and dirt as well. Give them a fresh start in a shampoo bath. First comb any loose hair out of the brush, then rub a little shampoo around the bristles or along the teeth of the comb. Put a small squirt of shampoo in a tall glass of water, let the comb and brush sit for a few minutes, swish, and rinse clean. Learn more about soap–this is how it gets recycled. 

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest