A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

20 Unbelievable Ways You Never Knew You Could Use Hair Spray

Sure, it holds your 'do, but that's just the start of the useful jobs hairspray performs.

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Exterminate houseflies

An annoying, buzzing housefly has been bobbing and weaving around your house for two days. Make it bite the dust with a squirt of hair spray. Take aim and fire. Watch the fly drop. But make sure the hair spray is water-soluble so that, if any spray hits the walls, you’ll be able to wipe it clean. Works on wasps and bees too.

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Sidewalk chalk sealant

Did your little one just make a beautiful masterpiece on your driveway? In order to prevent the tears that come when it smudges or starts to fade, give it a coat of hairspray in order to preserve it for longer.

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Reduce runs in pantyhose

Often those bothersome runs in your pantyhose or stockings start at the toes. Head off a running disaster by spraying hair spray on the toes of a new pair of pantyhose. The spray strengthens the threads and makes them last longer.

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Clean up pet fur

As much as we love our pets, their shedding creates a mess. If you find that your couch, carpets, or even your clothes are covered in pet fur, use hairspray as a quick fix. Simply spray the hairspray onto a paper towel or rag and then run it over whatever is coated in hair. It should pick it right up and give it the clean you need.

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Remove lipstick from fabric

Apply hair spray to the lipstick stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe off the hair spray and the stain should come off with it. Then wash your shirts as usual.

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Nail polish dryer

If you’re giving yourself a manicure or pedicure and don’t seem to have a quick dry top coat, you can use hairspray to get the job done. Once your nails are double coated and a clear coat has been added, give your nails a gentle spray with the hairspray. Be careful not to spray too close because that can cause them to smudge! These tips can help make your manicure last longer.

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Preserve a Christmas wreath

When you buy a wreath at your local Christmas tree lot, it’s fresh, green, and lush. By the time a week has gone by, it’s starting to shed needles and look a little dry. To make the wreath last longer, grab your can of hair spray and spritz it all over as soon as you get the fresh wreath home. The hair spray traps the moisture in the needles.

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Zipper stiffener

Zippers can be a pain. If you have a zipper on a favorite coat or dress that keeps falling down, spray it with hairspray to harden the teeth and prevent anymore wardrobe malfunctions. You’ll be surprised how convenient this trick can be!

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Protect children’s artwork

Picture this: Your preschooler has just returned home with a priceless work of art demanding that it find a place on the refrigerator door. Before you stick it up, preserve the creation with hair spray, to help it last longer. This works especially well on chalk pictures, keeping them from being smudged so easily.

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Newspaper gift wrap

If you ever find yourself needing to wrap a present and don’t have any gift wrap, get creative and use some newspaper. In order to ensure the newspaper doesn’t tear easily, give it a few coats of hairspray. This will strengthen the sheets and prevent any ink from getting all over your hands.

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Preserve your shoes’ shine

After you’ve lovingly polished your shoes to give them the just-from-the-store look, lightly spray them with hair spray. The shoe polish won’t rub off so easily with this coat of protection. These genius tips can make your shoes last longer.

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Label remover

Did you just buy something at a store but that stubborn price tag label won’t come off? Hairspray works great to remove stickers and sticky residue. Give it a try the next time you find yourself using your nails to scrape a label off.

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Keep recipe cards splatter-free

Don’t let the spaghetti sauce on the stove splatter on your favorite recipe card. A good coating of hair spray will prevent the card from being ruined by kitchen eruptions. With the protection, they wipe off easily.

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Preserve leaves

Fall is a beautiful time of year because all of the leaves change color. (Related: Check out these gorgeous photos of fall across America.) If you are planning on going leaf hunting, you can preserve them by spraying them with hairspray. This will help preserve their color longer and they are great additions for scrapbooking or keeping them in a favorite book on your shelf.

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Keep drapes dirt-free

Did you just buy new drapes or have your old ones cleaned? To keep that like-new look for a while, apply several coats of hair spray, letting each coat dry thoroughly before the next one.

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Remove ink marks on garments

Your toddler just went wild with a ballpoint pen on your white upholstery and your new shirt. Ahhhhh! Before you panic, squirt the stain with hair spray and to help the pen marks come off. These are other household solutions for removing ink stains.

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Eliminate static

Static cling can be annoying, especially if you just got all dolled up for an outing and your hair won’t seem to lay flat. To eliminate static, you can either spray some hairspray on a brush before combing your hair down or spray it on the underside of clinging clothing to prevent anymore static.

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Extend the life of cut flowers

A bouquet of cut flowers is such a beautiful thing, you want to do whatever you can to postpone wilting. Just as it preserves your hairstyle, a spritz of hair spray can preserve your cut flowers. Stand a foot away from the bouquet and give them a quick spray, just on the undersides of the leaves and petals. Try these other pro tricks to make flowers last longer.

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Prevent slippery feet

If you ever find that your feet easily slide out of your shoes, especially when you have stockings or pantyhose on, you can spray hairspray onto the insole of your shoes to prevent them from sliding.

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Self defense

Now this might seem a little out there, but it is always a good idea to have an added form of protection when you are out. Though you commonly hear of people keeping pepper spray on them, who’s to say a miniature bottle of hairspray can’t do the trick? It may not be as crippling as mace or pepper spray, but it is still just as painful and burns when it gets into the eyes. If you ever feel you want to have some extra safety, a bottle of hairspray might be the way to go. Also: Learn these easy Kung Fu moves for self defense.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest