2-for-1 Uses for Everyday Household Items

Woman taking shirt out of the dryer
Ball up aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer with wet clothes as a method for removing static. Guido Mieth/Moment/Getty Images

Whether you have a rodent problem, dirty keyboard, or stinky shoes, there's no reason to run out to the store for a solution-- many of the household items right in your apartment are two-for-one supplies that can take on new uses in a pinch.

Olive Oil for Shining Stainless Steel

You may already be familiar with one of the many new uses for olive oil, from moisturizing your skin to reconditioning worn leather. This household item can also be used to shine dingy stainless steel surfaces. While ammonia and other common cleaners can corrode stainless steel, olive oil effectively polishes without degrading.

Begin by cleaning the surface with water and dish soap, then apply a small amount of oil using a soft cloth. Use some elbow grease to get the oil into the grooves of the metal.

Mint for Deterring Mice

People have developed countless ways to keep rodents and other vermin out of their homes. But few know about this simple life hack: Spread the smell of mint throughout your home to keep mice away.

Humans may love mint in their chewing gum, mojitos, and other tasty treats, but mice are allergic. As such, it provides a non-toxic and pleasant-smelling alternative to rat killers. You can place potted mint plants around your apartment, and make a more potent mouse deterrent by adding peppermint oil to your household cleaner.

Antacids as Toilet Cleaners

If your toilet is in need of a washing but you find yourself without the proper bathroom cleaner, keep in mind that effervescent antacids serve as two-for-one tools: The bubbling action is useful not only for easing an upset stomach, but also for removing the grime from your toilet bowl.

Drop two or three tablets into the bowl and let them fizz for about 10 minutes. Then, wipe the bowl or go at it with a toilet brush.

Sticky Notes for Cleaning Keyboards

Everybody knows sticky notes are good for jotting down memos, phone numbers and to-do lists, but one of the new uses you may find especially helpful in your apartment is as a keyboard cleaner.

When you're sitting at your computer and notice all those pesky little crumbs between your keys, peel off a note, fold the sticky portion in half and then slide it between the rows of your keyboard to catch any dust, dirt and loose bits.

Aluminum Foil as a Dryer Sheet

Dryer sheets are one of those commonly forgotten items when perusing the aisles at the market. When you find yourself without a dryer sheet, turn to one of the household items in your kitchen cabinet: foil.

Ball up aluminum foil and toss it in the dryer with wet clothes as a method for removing static. Some people even use aluminum as a regular alternative for dryer sheets, as the ball doesn't need to be replaced every day (it can last up to six months) and may therefore be cheaper in the long run.

Dryer Sheets as Odor Eaters

Speaking of dryer sheets, another life hack involves using these delightful-smelling products to get rid of the nasty stink in your shoes. They're made to absorb odor, so you can use them to eliminate smells from your footwear when you're in a pinch.

Rather than heading out to purchase odor eaters, simply place a few sheets in your shoes and let them sit overnight to eat up moisture and leave their lovely scent behind.