Why You Should Always Keep a Carpet Remnant in Your Trunk

Hint: it'll help you out in a (literal) jam in the snow and ice.

If you’ve recently done a renovation project to increase your home’s value, you’re likely basking in the glow of your handiwork…but also probably have quite a bit of leftover carpet sitting around. Wondering what, exactly, to do with it? Rather than just toss those carpet remnants in the trash, there’s a surprising use for them. If you don’t have any, ask your local carpet store if it has any leftovers that you could nab.

It turns out carpet remnants are great items to have handy in the trunk of your car if the wheels get stuck on snow or ice and you need traction in bad weather. Here’s how to use one: First, cool it on the gas—you’re only digging yourself deeper. All you need to do is ram the carpet underneath the stuck wheels—just make sure they’re stopped and not in motion—before slowly accelerating on the gas. These are the tires car experts swear by.

Not only will the carpet remnants help get you out of a literal jam, but it’s an easy way to repurpose an item that would otherwise go in the garbage. Items like a rubber bathmat or old towel—or even a piece of cardboard—also work wonders, too, as does cat litter for additional traction. Simply sprinkle the litter (sand also works!) around the tires to give a bit of necessary extra traction. Here are more tips about the safest and most effective ways to remove your snow from your car.

And if you still have leftover carpet, why not donate it to a local animal shelter? They can use it for pet beds, cushioning for crates, cat scratching posts, and more. Learn about the 13 other winter mistakes that could put you in danger.

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Nadine Jolie Courtney
Nadine Jolie Courtney is a Virtuoso travel advisor and regular contributor to Reader's Digest, covering travel, culture, and health. A former magazine editor based in Santa Monica, she also covers lifestyle and parenting, with regular outlets including The Healthy, Oprah Mag, Town & Country, Business Insider, and many other publications. Courtney is the author of four books, including ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL, a Kirkus Best Book of 2019. Follow her on Instagram @nadinejoliecourtney