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8 Things Everyone Should Have on Hand

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Alyssa is a wife, mom, and coffee enthusiast who loves sharing her favorite lifestyle tips with the world.

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I'm a big fan of products that have multiple purposes. As a busy mom and wife, I'm always looking for ways to maximize my time. Not only do the following eight items help me with this endeavor, making my life easier, but they also end up saving me money. Who doesn't love that?

Below I've listed the eight products I think everyone should have on hand. They all have a variety of uses, making them important household staples.

WD-40

WD-40 is pure magic in a can. Yes, you can loosen rusted or corroded bolts, nuts, and other parts. It also lubricates hinges, gears, wheels, and chains. However, WD-40 can be used for much, much more! I recently learned this first hand while cleaning my kitchen cabinets. I have a cupboard dedicated to kitchen gadgets, like my crock pots, instapot, Fry Daddy, mini grills, a waffle maker, a blender, etc. The shelves had five years worth of grease spots and build up. After removing everything, I had to tackle this mess. WD-40 was the real MVP. I sprayed a generous amount on the wooden shelves and let it sit for about five minutes. Wiping with a wet sponge, it easily came clean. I was amazed!

WD-40 can also be used to:

  • Remove sticky labels from glass jars
  • Remove rust stains
  • Prevent snow from sticking to your shovel and plow
  • Clean garden tools
  • Remove gum from shoes
  • Extend the life of your showerhead

The Easiest Way to Remove Sticky Labels from Glass Jars

Steel Wool, SOS Pads, Brillo Pads

This is a kitchen staple. We don't have a dishwasher, our kitchen simply doesn't have room. That's okay because I've been doing dishes by hand for a long time. Now I'm slowly passing the chore to my son. Whether you have a dishwasher or not, you should have steel wool, SOS, or Brillo pads in your cabinet. Of course, they'll help you tackle the stubborn left overs on your pans, but there's so much more you can do with them!

  • Restore your cast iron pan
  • Clean dried grease or spots on your stove and walls (don't use it on stainless steel unless you want scratch marks, though.)
  • Clean oven racks
  • Clean your grill
  • Refinish furniture
  • Start a campfire (you'll also need a 9 volt battery for this task)
SOS pads are great for dishes and cleaning around the house. Steel wool also has a variety of purposes, making it a household staple.

SOS pads are great for dishes and cleaning around the house. Steel wool also has a variety of purposes, making it a household staple.

Original Dawn Dish Soap

I rarely use Dawn dish soap to wash my dishes. Instead, I keep a bottle handy for more important tasks. I recently caught a cleaning and organization bug. I decided to tackle my utility room. I have painted wooden cabinets in there, and they needed a good scrub. They were covered in soot, dirt, and grime. I didn't want to ruin the paint or the cupboards, so I filled two buckets with hot water and added a few drops of Dawn dish soap to one. Using a microfiber rag, I wiped the accumulated mess right off, revealing my beautiful white cabinets once again. I use the magical blue Dawn for many indoor and outdoor projects, including:

  • Killing weeds and poison ivy
  • Killing wasps and hornets
  • Eliminating spider mites in house plants
  • Getting rid of grease stains on clothes
  • Cleaning the frier
  • Getting rid of grease on pots, pans, and dishes
Dawn dish soap has a variety of uses around the house.

Dawn dish soap has a variety of uses around the house.

Distilled White Vinegar

I have an important routine on the first of every month. After finishing my coffee and giving my coffee maker ample time to cool, I pour in four to six cups of vinegar and let it run through, once on the strong setting and once on the regular setting. I follow that up with two rounds of water to make sure it's nice and clean. This prevents calcium build up and keeps my coffee maker doing what it does best: making my coffee! I also pour vinegar into our diffusers for the same reason. I keep a bottle of vinegar ready to go for a variety of purposes around the house.

  • Clean your hummingbird feeders
  • Kill weeds
  • Get rid of blood stains on furniture
  • Clean your washer
  • Clean your microwave
  • Kill mold on a variety of surfaces, including untreated wood
Use distilled white vinegar to clean out your hummingbird feeders and keep them fresh for your little visitors.

Use distilled white vinegar to clean out your hummingbird feeders and keep them fresh for your little visitors.

Rubbing Alcohol

This is an important staple in every bathroom. It's great for cleaning out cuts, scrapes, and minor wounds. You can use it to clean your piercings and sanitize your jewelry. Before I put earrings in or when I switch out my belly button ring, I put my jewelry into a capful of rubbing alcohol. The uses for rubbing alcohol extend beyond the bathroom, though.

Use rubbing alcohol to:

  • Clean glass
  • Remove permanent marker from hard surfaces
  • Clean electronics
  • Shine up stainless steel
  • Save a broken makeup palette
  • Sanitize makeup brushes, tools, and palettes
Before putting my earrings in, I always soak them in a capful of rubbing alcohol.

Before putting my earrings in, I always soak them in a capful of rubbing alcohol.

Acetone Nail Polish Remover

When I buy nail polish remover, I always reach for the inexpensive bottle of 100% acetone. I love having products on hand that have multiple purposes. Acetone nail polish remover is the best when it comes to multitasking. Not only does it remove layers of regular polish and fake nails with ease, but it's also great for:

  • Removing paint, spray foam, super glue, and other sticky things from hands
  • Remove sticker residue from glass and tin cans
  • Sanitizing and extending the life of your razor blades
  • Revive your old nail polish
  • Shining up your patent leather shoes
  • Getting rid of ink stains on hands or permanent marker on walls
Great for removing nail polish and sticky glue from hands!

Great for removing nail polish and sticky glue from hands!

Hydrogen Peroxide

Often, I'll reach for hydrogen peroxide as a first aid remedy when I don't want to feel the intense sting of rubbing alcohol. Like the other items on this list, hydrogen peroxide has many uses that make it a household staple.

Use hydrogen peroxide to:

  • Whiten teeth
  • Whiten discolored nails
  • Clean and disinfect your wooden cutting boards
  • Kill mold and mildew
  • Brighten your white t-shirts, pants, and other linens
  • Remove unsightly underarm stains
Brushing with hydrogen peroxide one or two times a week can whiten teeth.

Brushing with hydrogen peroxide one or two times a week can whiten teeth.

Baking Soda

I always keep a few boxes of baking soda in my pantry. I love baking and more often than not, the recipe will call for it. I also use baking soda around the house for a variety of purposes:

  • Mix with powdered sugar to create your own ant killer
  • Shine up your sink
  • Deodorize carpets
  • Boil with water and cornstarch to make your own soft playdough/clay
  • Get rid of tarnish on jewelry
  • Whiten your teeth

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 29, 2020:

This is a very useful article. Well done and thanks. Stay blessed.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 09, 2020:

Alyssa, Thanks for your research of mustard stains. I am going to check out those YouTube videos.

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on August 08, 2020:

Thank you Lora! You can also use regular white toothpaste to clean up jewelry.. that's what I did growing up. The playdough is a really fun craft to do with the kids. My son and I love whipping up a batch, making shapes, and baking them to keep forever. I'm glad you found this article helpful. I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on August 08, 2020:

That's wonderful news, Bill! I'm glad I could be of help. Happy grocery shopping! :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on August 08, 2020:

Thank you, Abby! What a great tip for cleaning scorched pans! I'm going to keep that in my back pocket the next time I accidently burn something in a pan. :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on August 08, 2020:

Thank you Pamela! And thank you for the tip with Hydrogen Peroxide! I'm going to have to give that a try myself. :)

Alyssa (author) from Ohio on August 08, 2020:

That's a tough one,Pamela! I've never had to deal with that. I just did a little internet search. I found two videos on YouTube that might help. The first, https://youtu.be/5FYlPE6ues0 , is from a lady who made a paste with baking soda, peroxide, and vinegar. She rubbed the paste on the stain with hot water a few times. Then she used her iron to steam the cloth. That worked out great. The second video,https://youtu.be/2mgDU7686QI , a gentleman used Dawn dish soap, wet the stain spot, and agitated the stain with a toothbrush and the Dawn. After a little bit of that, he just rubbed the cloth together over the stain. Then he pre-treated the stain with OXI-Clean and put the clothes in the wash. I hope that helps you! Good luck! :)

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 08, 2020:

Alyssa, Do you know the best way to get mustard out of clothing? I worked hard trying to do that recently and it still stained.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 08, 2020:

I have everyone of those items in my home but I did not know some of those great uses. Thanks for all of this information.

I do use hydrogen peroxide in a cup to soak silver jewelry for a few minutes as it shines up the silver very nicely. That is the only thing I can think of that is not on your wonderful lists.

Abby Slutsky from LAFAYETTE HL on August 08, 2020:

I have used vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning, but I didn't know Dawn was so useful. Thanks for sharing. I like to make a heavy paste of bakig soda and water to put on scorched pans. It really helps loosen the burnt residue when it sits for a bit.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 08, 2020:

We have everything except the Dawn, but it was pretty interesting to hear what you can do with it. Thanks for the info. Grocery shopping tomorrow; I think I'll pick some up, thanks to you.

Happy Weekend! We made it to another one!

Lora Hollings on August 08, 2020:

These are great products to have handy, Alyssa. I have used them for cleaning, removing rust and stains. But many other uses that you mention in your article, I wasn't familiar with. I didn't know that baking soda actually removes tarnish on jewelry. What a simple solution to this problem. Using this product, I'll now be able to restore much of my jewelry that I had set aside for many years. And thanks for the recipe for playdough. Sounds like fun! You did a great job in writing this article with such useful information.