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    Inspiring Pretty is a home for all the things in which women find beauty. From raising a family to planning a wedding to finding creative crafts and recipes and everything in between, we are here to share the things we love the most while beautifying your life as well. Read our site biography and our writer biographies in order to find out more about who we are!

Uncommon Uses for Common Things: Spring Edition

Aren’t you happy Spring is finally here? The snow will finally melt giving way to flowers, birds heading home, and the ability to go outside without a heavy coat, among other things. It’s one my favorite times of year, if not my favorite. I love it because spring marks the beginning of outdoor fun, school breaks and more. Sadly, not everything is roses, though (ie: spring cleaning). To help  you get through it and enjoy spring to the fullest from the very beginning, here are some helpful uncommon uses for common things to wade through the not-so-fun activities.

via The Kitchn

Save some money by keeping your green onions perpetually growing. Green onions can live and grow in water alone. Just submerge the white ends into water and put them in a window where they will get lots of sunlight. You can then harvest the green onions for as long as the white roots last.

For a quick and intense spring clean of your oven, cover the bottom in baking soda and then pour vinegar over it. Let the concoction sit for 20 minutes and then wipe away easily. It’s cheap, natural, quick and as effortless as possible.

Save your kids’ favorite shirts from armpit stains by covering the spots in vinegar and allowing them to sit for 20 minutes. Nature’s bleach has strong cleaning power that can work wonders on clothing.

Get the perfect manicure by applying petroleum jelly around your cuticles with a q-tip before you start. This way, if you make a mistake while painting, you can simply wipe it away once you’re done. No nail polish remover and nail polish reapplication necessary.

via This Old House

If you want to add a new coat of paint to the house, don’t rush out to get all the supplies right away. You can reuse paintbrushes even if they’re hard and covered in old paint simply by soaking them in vinegar for 30 minutes. Rinse them off with water afterward and allow them to dry before you use them. They’ll be like new!

Every girl loves a great pair of heels, but hates the blisters they bring with them. Save yourself some pain (and skin) by dabbing a little bit of petroleum jelly in problem areas of the shoe before slipping them on. If you don’t want to use store-bought petroleum. Make your own with this recipe.

If you do happen to get a blister from those shoes, then just apply an antiseptic mouthwash to the effected area. It will clean the blistered part quickly and thoroughly. Or, you can make your own mouthwash.

This may sound odd, but you can avoid using a room freshener and still make your house smell sweet by rubbing vanilla extract on light bulbs. The scent will slowly be released in the house from the heat of the light.

via Real Simple

Spring cleaning is deep cleaning, which means cleaning from top to bottom. One top portion that is often ignored is the ceiling fan. Clean off that caked on dust with a pillow case. Not only does it grip the top, bottom and sides at once to clean it quickly, it also captures all of the dust into the pillowcase, so it can’t settle somewhere else.

If you happen to get a bruise when doing heavy lifting during spring cleaning, speed up the healing process by swabbing it with vinegar. When you’re done, you will still be able to wear the warm weather clothes you just pulled out of the closet with smooth, even skin.

For a quick and easy test to see if you’ve lost power when on spring break, use the jar trick. Freeze water in a jar while it is on its side. Once it’s frozen, stand it upright. If the water is settled on the bottom or frozen on the bottom, they you will that you lost power while you were away, saving your from eating food gone bad.

If you’ve ever tried to reheat any bread in the microwave, you know how quickly it is hardened. Keep it moist when reheating by placing a cup of water in the microwave with it.

via Do Me a Favor

Remember chores, appointments and grocery lists with a dry erase board made to your liking. Just find a picture frame and wallpaper, wrapping paper or scrapbook paper for a background to create a stylish way to remember everything you need.

Clean away the mildew that invades your plants by planting a line of mint leaves through the middle of your garden. Mint is a superb natural garden cleanser that will last into the autumn.

One of of downsides of spring is the return of bugs. Mosquitoes are usually the most tiresome of these critters. Take the annoying itch away from this pest with vinegar. Just rub vinegar on the bite with a cotton swab for immediate itch relief.

When cleaning the tiny, nearly invisible glass shards off the floor after a glass has broken(you know, the kind that can only be removed from your feet with tweezers?), wipe the scene of the accident with a wet cotton ball. This will get all of the tiny pieces that sweeping leaves behind.

If your copper pans have been blackened from Christmas cooking, brighten them up by soaking them in hot water with a few pinches of lemon/vinegar and salt. After soaking for an hour, you can easily scrub the pots clean for a bright shine.

via Home Made Simple

For meals that come with plenty of sauces and spices, create stations of sauces with ice cube trays. To make it even easier for guests, lay out a few different tray stations, so guests can get everything they need quickly and easily.

Hang photos in a synch by using a pop can tab. Attach the tab to the nail on the back of the frame and secure it well. Then, you can hang up the photos with ease and precision like never before.

Remove stains on clothing by spraying them with hairspray. Let the garment sit for 10 minutes and then wipe the bulk of the stain off with a damp cloth. For the slight stains remaining, just wash as usual.

Save some money and a trip to the store by making your own Oxyclean. Mix together equal parts hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for the powerful cleaning agent.

Make it easier to weed your garden (and keep it weeded) by pouring vinegar on the problematic plants. A good douse will kill weeds down their very roots leaving your gardens and walkways weed-free for the some time to come.

via Martha Stewart

Spruce up your house design by adding a drawer to your side table decor or using it as a tray for breakfast in bed. It’s simply chic and recycles the odd item in a very cool way.

Clean the microwave quickly by microwaving a bowl of water with one tablespoon of vinegar and then wiping away the residue with a cloth. The water will loosen up the residue and the vinegar will sanitize the microwave.

Keep the drinks in your cooler cold and colorful with balloons. Freeze water balloons and then place them in the cooler to keep your beverages cool. It saves you from the pool of water that everyone hates reaching their hand in. And, as a bonus, kids have  some ammo for water balloon fights once they melt.

For those very-difficult-to-reach areas during spring cleaning, fix an old sock to the end of a yard stick and secure it with a rubber band. This cleaning device is perfect for reaching behind the fridge.

via Real Simple

To collect all of crumbs off of your keyboard from your winter hibernation, use the sticky side of a sticky note to clean the spaces in between the keys of your keyboard. For a thorough cleaning, run a q-tip along the ridges as well.

For your deep bathroom cleaning, rid your showers and sinks of lime buildup with this simple homemade paste. Mix together one teaspoon of vinegar and two teaspoons of salt and rub the mixture on the surface for a quick natural clean.

Keep floorboards quiet by sprinkling talcum powder over them. Just sweep up the mess, of course :) The powder in the cracks will silence the boards. To keep your floors from getting scratched when moving furniture, cover the furniture legs with old socks.

Shine up your leather goods and minimalize scratches by rubbing distilled white vinegar on them. It may be the cheapest and most natural leather shine you will find.

via Real Simple

Pack up valuable glass vases and figurines when moving or just storing with cardboard milk cartons. Their cushioning will keep your valuables much safer than newspaper can. Just make sure you wash them out thoroughly first, because there’s nothing quite like grandma’s vase smelling like old milk.

Shine up your best leather shoes with vegetable oil. Only one or two drops are needed to polish each shoe thoroughly. The shine is as good as store-bought items and is natural as well.

Add two tablespoons of vinegar to eggs boiling in a pot for two benefits. It prevents eggs from cracking while boiling, and makes the shells come off easier when done boiling.

via Martha Stewart

Liven up your refreshments by adding flowers or berries to your ice cubes. Just make sure the flowers are edible (and hopefully tasty).

Clean germs and wax off of fruit and vegetables by rinsing it vinegar before eating. Vinegar will remove germs and residue much better and quicker than water.

Save yourself money and calories by whipping your store-bought icing before icing the cake. Store-bought icing can expand to twice its size, covering more cake with less icing.

via Sassy Styler Design

Kids can play Twisteroutdoors with just some spray paint on the grass. You can make it small enough for your kids only or big enough for all of the kids of your block. This Twister fit any size and last for as long as you wish. Depending on the length of your grass, you can can mow it away usually in a matter or days or a few weeks.

Turtle wax can shine up more than your car. Coat your dustpans in turtle wax for the dirt piles to fall right off when tossing them in the trash.

Keep your broom and mop handles from leaving marks on the wall by covering the tops of the handles with the finger cutoffs of cleaning gloves.

Hate how some ingredients stick to sides of measuring cups when cooking? Get the ingredients out easily by first rinsing the cup in hot water. Don’t dry the cup, though. The little beads of water will get the sticky ingredients, such as peanut butter and sour cream to pour out much more smoothly.

Shave your legs with conditioner rather than shaving cream to save yourself a few dollars and while getting much smoother legs.

Hate how your shaving cream and other metal bottles to rust in the shower after awhile? Prevent that wear by applying a thin coat of clear nail polish to the bottom. It will last as long as you have the bottle.

Kill germs naturally in your bathroom and kitchen with full strength vinegar. Just spray on and wipe off to kill the germs and remove residue.

via Martha Stewart

For the little ones still learning to use glass cups, wrap the glasses with a few rubber bands. This will keep the glass from slipping from those little hands when too hot, too cold or slippery from condensation.

If you run out of toilet tablets, just toss in a few antacid tablets. They’ll work to get to rid of stains in just 20 minutes, so you can easily scrub them away with minimal effort.

Burnt your forehead with a curling iron? Dull the pain and reduce the redness quickly with yogurt. It’s a perfect healing method and breakfast all in one.

via Real Simple

Put those plastic Easter eggs to use after Easter Sunday by using them as snack containers. They are not only reusable, they are also an easy way to help with portion control.

For those difficult coffee stains, cover the spot with salt and watch as the tiny crystals soak up the brown spot. After significant soakage, throw the salt away and wash the clothing as normal and the stain will removed.

Bring a fake spring smell indoors with your own fake Febreeze. Mix together two cups of water, a quarter cup of your favorite fabric softener and one teaspoon of baking soda. Pour into a spray bottle for all the fake fresh smell you can handle.

 

There you have it! Have a great spring enjoying your newly clean house and newly bloomed flowers. Be sure to check out our uncommon uses for common things summer tips, autumn tips, and tips on how to not lose things as well!

 


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Claire - March 5, 2012 - 6:44 pm

@marci no problem! i’m glad you found some helpful ideas here.

Marci - March 2, 2012 - 9:06 am

I love the tip about green onions in a jar of water and can’t believe I’ve never thought of it! I keep all my store bought herbs in little jars and vases of water throughout my kitchen and they last forever that way. Plus they’re quite cheery in the winter when I don’t have flowers to cut!

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