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9 Genius Uses for Ordinary Ingredients (That Don’t Involve Cooking)

Tucked away in your kitchen cabinets are secret weapons for tackling basic household tasks. Your ketchup can do double-duty as silver polish and that jar of peanut butter can erase the scratches on your DVDs. Unlock the potential of these pantry staples with a few of our favorite magic tricks…

9 Genius Uses for Ordinary Ingredients (That Don't Involve Cooking)

1. Lemonade Mix
Freshen up your dishwasher with a packet of lemonade mix (some people swear by Kool-Aid). Simply fill the detergent cups with the citrus-y powder, then run the machine empty. Just like that you’ll eliminate nasty odors, iron stains, and lime deposits.

2. Salt
Red wine is the greatest until it splashes on your favorite shirt. If you’re the victim of a spill, get your hands on some table salt ASAP. Cover the stain with a generous layer of it. Wait an hour. Then brush off the grains to reveal your garment as good as new.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Fertilize your plants with a mixture of (organic) apple cider vinegar and water for some all-natural TLC in the garden.

4. Ketchup
Your favorite hot dog topping is also a first class silver shiner. If you want to polish a dull silver bracelet or ring, it’s as simple as dunking the jewelry in a small bowl of ketchup for a couple minutes. Rinse, dry, and beholdshiny, sparkly silver all thanks to that goopy red stuff! And if you’ve got tarnished copper pots and pans, a coating of ketchup will have them gleaming in no time. Apply a layer to the cookware and let it sit 5-30 minutes, then rinse and dry!

5. Oatmeal
Even if oatmeal’s not part of your breakfast routine, it should be part of your skincare regimen. Whether you use it as a face wash, exfoliator, or to combat itchy skin, oatmeal will work its magic and leave you feeling refreshed.

6. Citrus Peels
Show your garbage disposal some love with a citrus peel cleanse. Banish unpleasant odors by filling the disposal with two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt. Turn the power on for five seconds while running cold water. Then plug your sink and fill it with about 3 inches of water while the disposal is on. To finish off the job, take 4-6 lemon peels and run them through the disposal with cold water. Your sink will be squeaky clean!

7. Peanut Butter
Jelly’s BFF doubles as a leather cleaner, gum remover, and DVD scratch-remover. Check out all of peanut butter’s amazing and unlikely uses here.

8. Shelled Walnuts
Erase unsightly scratches on wood furniture with the aid of a walnut. Hide hardwood scratches by taking the meat of a (shelled) walnut and massaging it diagonally into the scratch. Give the area a little rub with your fingers to warm it, then allow the natural oils to soak in and work their magic. If you’re short on walnuts, this trick will work with pecans or almonds, too!


9. Black pepper
Looking for a great alternative to mothballs? Stash some whole black peppercorns in an old pair of pantyhose, then leave it in the closet or wherever moths tend to hide out in your house! This stuff works wonders. Similarly, you can sprinkle some black pepper around outdoor trashcans to ward off animals in search of grub.

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