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natural cleaning

Home, Home and Garden

Unexpected Uses for Soap

uses for soap

Have you ever looked at a bar of soap and wondered if there are ways to use it beyond washing your hands?  No, me neither!  Thankfully, some other clever people have come up with 11 unexpected uses for soap, so we don’t have to ponder!

Because of coronavirus, we all know soap has cleaning and germ-busting superpowers.  And here’s my guide to my favourite sustainable soaps. But illustrator Yumi Sakugawa’s series of illustrations for the website WonderHowTo takes soap to the next level.

This illustration on 11 unexpected uses for a bar of soap is particularly brilliant, and I had to share it.  There are so many uses for soap that I wasn’t aware of.  From stopping squeaky floorboards to avoid getting dirt under your fingernails whilst gardening!  And ones like using soap to help your saw cut straight and to make your screw go in straight, are just pure witchcraft!

Clever Household Uses for Soap

uses for soap

To make this guide accessible to all I’ve transcribed it below.

Pincushion

Wrap a bar of soap in a cloth and stick pins on top.  The soap will lubricate the pins for easier insertion.

Marking A Hemline on Cloth

You can mark a hemline on cloth with a sliver of soap.  It’s easier to wash off than chalk.

Stop Your Glasses From Fogging Up

During cold weather you can stop your glasses from fogging up by rubbing soapy water over them, and then wiping it off.  This technique can also stop your glasses steaming up when you wear a face mask.

Check For Gas Leaks

Smear wet soap on your gas pipes if you suspect a gas leak.  If soap bubbles appear, then you have a leak.  Obviously, call a gas engineer if in any doubt.

Always Cut Straight When Sawing

Rubbing a little soap on your saw’s blade will help ensure your hand saw cuts straight.

Dirt Barrier

Put a little soap under your fingernails before gardening to avoid getting dirt under them.

Natural Deer Repellent

Hang slivers of soap inside some old tights, and hang from trees to act as a natural deer repeller.

Efficient Screwing

Rub your nail or screw with soap before hammering or screwing for more efficiency.

Natural Lubricant

Use soap to unstick zips, lubricate squeaky door hinges and unstick drawers.

Tackling Squeaky Floorboards

Put a little soapy water inbetween floorboards to get rid of floorboard squeak.

Shaving Cream Substitute

Use soap as a shaving cream or shampoo substitute in a pinch, or if you’ve been caught out whilst travelling.

What wild uses for soap!  Did you learn anything new?!

I’ve shared some of Yumi’s great illustrations before – here are 21 amazing uses for coconut oil and 13 unexpected uses for vinegar.

Home, Home and Garden

Uses for Vinegar Around the Home You Wouldn’t Expect

white vinegar uses
white vinegar uses

Think vinegar is only for chips? Wrong! Here are 13 unexpected uses for vinegar around the home.

A few months ago I shared some surprising uses for coconut oil by Californian artist Yumi Sakugawa, which you guys really loved.  Well, today I’m sharing another one of her fabulous illustrations for WonderHowTo on 13 unexpected uses for vinegar.  This is just as good and surprising as the coconut oil illustration!

Testing the alkalinity of soil with vinegar?  Stopping pets from scratching their ears? De-wrinkling clothes?  All with vinegar?  Alchemy.  Pure alchemy!

Please note, these uses for vinegar are for white distilled vinegar, rather than malt or apple cider vinegar. THere’s where I buy my white vinegar in bulk.

13 Surprising Uses For Vinegar

uses for vinegar

In case you are using a text reader, then here is what the infographic says:

Cure Hiccups

Simply swallow one teaspoon of vinegar to make hiccups go away.

Stop Pets Scratching Their Ears

Another use for vinegar is to wash your pet’s ears and then wipe their ears down with vinegar to make them less itchy.

Increase Grease-Fighting Potency of Dishwashing Liquid

Add 3 to 4 tablespoons to a bottle of dishwashing liquid and give it a few shakes to boost its cleaning power.

De-Wrinkle Clothing Without Using An Ironing Board

After removing your clothing from the dryer, mist it with a 1 parts vinegar to 3 parts water solution. Then hang up your clothing and let it dry. Genius!

Eliminate Ants From Your Home

In a more unexpected use of vinegar, you can help eliminate ants. Simply spray your kitchen counter and other surfaces with vinegar, and wipe dry. This will deter ants from coming back. Please note, you shouldn’t spray vinegar on natural stone, granite, quartz, or marble countertops as it may etch them.

Remove Stickiness & Grime From Scissors

Simply wipe down the scissor blades with a paper towel or cloth soaked in vinegar.

Make Your Brick Floor Look Amazing

Wipe the surface with a damp mop dipped in a solution of one cup of vinegar and one gallon of warm water.

Minimise Scratches on Wood Furniture

This is such a handy use for vinegar! To make a scratch less noticeable, simply mix vinegar and iodine in a small glass jar, and then painting over the scratch with the solution using a small artist’s paintbrush.

Test the Alkalinity of Your Soil

Place a handful of soil into a container and pour in half a cup of vinegar. If the soil fizzes, it is more alkaline. If it does not, it is more acidic.

Poach Eggs Like A Pro

Adding a few teaspoons of vinegar to water whilst poaching an egg will make the egg whites congeal more easily.

Make it Easier to Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Add two tablespoons of vinegar to every litre of water to make eggs easier to shell.

Relieve Jellyfish Stings

Adding vinegar to the skin will help neutralise the stinging created from the tentacles left in the skin.

Neutralise the Spiciness In Foods

Finally, in our last of the uses for vinegar, have you added too many spicy spices whilst cooking? Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to your food to help neutralise the spiciness. You can add more if needed, just keep tasting to check your food.

And there you have it!  13 very unexpected uses of vinegar! Were there any surprises here for you? Did you learn anything new? And have you got any more questions about vinegar? Here’s everything you need to know about white vinegar for cleaning.

ps: you might like this post on natural cleaning products that you can make with vinegar, and also this post on why you should wash berries in vinegar!