Multipurpose Products and Neat Tricks for Around the House

It’s time for a new kind of Friday FabOoolousness post… my Friday Favorites.

My Friday Favorites will include any products that make me say Ooo, ranging from multipurpose household products (like today), to kitchen gadgets, to my favorite candles, etc,  and the reasons why I love them.  I hope you enjoy!

For years, I have received interesting emails and seen numerous informative sites that list inexpensive, everyday products that can be used for more than what we originally purchased them for in the first place.  I have been using some of these tips since college, and I wish I had saved the original sources for referencing today.  Unfortunately, I did not.

So we’re clear, I’m in no way implying that these brilliant ideas were my own—I’m no Martha Stewart.  However, with all of the neat tricks for around the house floating around Pinterest, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites here at The Ooo Factor.  Because let’s face it, these multipurpose products make me say Ooo.

Favorite Multipurpose Household Products


  • Bathing in vinegar helps remove the heat/sting from sunburns.  It may stink; it may even be an old wives’ tale, but it has worked for me in the past.  Maybe it’s psychological?
  • Using vinegar in the rinse cycle of the wash helps keep the whites white, the colors bright, and the fabrics soft.  And no, the clothes do not come out smelling like vinegar.
  • Using vinegar in the rinse cycle of the dish washer helps remove water stains from the dishes and glasses.
  • When mixed with water, vinegar cleans your fruits and vegetables.  And with the cyclospora scare in multiple states right now, we need to be washing our fruits and vegetables.
  • When mixed with water, vinegar acts as a conditioner for your hair.  I still need to try this one and plan to soon.  I’ll report back as soon as I do.
  • Vinegar also shines silver; I learned this trick while working in the food and beverage industry.
  • AND last but not least, vinegar tastes good in deviled eggs and potato salad.

Apple Cider Vinegar

While many uses of apple cider vinegar mirror that of regular vinegar, it also has many health benefits.  Simply mix with water and/or tea, and apple cider vinegar can aid with stomach issues, sore throats, weight loss, heartburn (which sounds crazy, since it’s acidic, but it does work when diluted), and even teeth whitening (I still need to try this one).

Dryer Sheets

  • Fresh and crisp (unused) dryer sheets repel mosquitoes and other bugs.
  • Lightly used dryer sheets eliminate dust and static electricity from televisions and computer screens AND are safe to use on these surfaces.
  • Lightly used dryer sheets are also perfect to use as a dust rag around the house.
  • And since air fresheners are so expensive, try laying dryer sheets around the house for that fresh smell, replacing every so often.  This works when traveling, too… to keep suitcases smelling like a warm batch of clean clothes.

Pillow Cases

Besides the obvious… pillow cases, particularly the king sized ones, can be used to cleanse delicates in the normal wash cycle in lieu of hand washing.  Hand washing instructions can’t be avoided on some clothing, particular women’s clothing.  If you’re anything like me, you look at the wash care instructions before buying clothes.  But sometimes, we can’t resist the urge to buy it anyway, even if we hate using our sinks for clothes.  Simply throw the hand-wash item in the pillow case, tie the open end in a knot, and throw in with the rest of the load.  This may be one of my favorite tricks ever.

Your turn…

What multipurpose products do you love to have around the house?  Have any neat tricks you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear from you!


16 Replies to “Multipurpose Products and Neat Tricks for Around the House”

  1. I believe vinegar works for sunburn because it works for mild burns. I’ve burned my hand while cooking, soaked the wound in vinegar for an hour, and it never even blistered. I also use vinegar on my countertops. It repels ants. They don’t like the odor.

    As for the dryer sheet mosquito thing, I never could make it work. BUT, if I’m sitting on a deck or porch, a box fan set on high keeps the mosquitos off me.

    I make my own glass cleaner using 1/8 cup of ammonia plus 32 oz. tap water mixed in a spray bottle.

    Sick of your wall paper but don’t want to rent a steamer? Mix a strong solution of tap water and cheap dish liquid. Spray it directly on the wall paper. Usually, after about 15 minutes, the wall paper will peel off.

    This is one I have not tried. Instead of scraping the paint off vintage furniture, use spray oven cleaner (like EZ Off). Supposedly, the old paint or varnish will wipe right off.

    Great post. I love stuff like this.

    1. My guy is allergic to mosquitoes, so we tried the dryer sheet trick on him. It did seem to work, but he hated wearing it on his belt. LOL

      We will have to try the glass cleaner AND wall paper trick! We have one room left in our house with hideous wall paper left behind from the previous owners. And by “we,” I mean, “he.” Although, if this trick is as easy as you say it is, I won’t mind helping him this time… which should make my guy VERY happy. 🙂

      Thanks for the GREAT ideas, Catie!!

      1. You may have to reapply the wall paper solution a few times to get it going. Just try a heavy spray down the first round. Then, wait 15 minutes. If the wallpaper won’t peel away easily (I used an cheap windshield ice scraper from wally world), reapply and wait another 15 minutes. There were spots of my wall paper that came up easily. Then other spots that were more stubborn.

  2. Great uses for vinegar! Also, forget the cleaning products for a ceramic tile floor. All you really need to clean it is water and a bit of vinegar.

    Here’s my cool tip: Can’t get marker off a dry erase board? Use toothpaste or muscle rub cream (like Ben Gay). The grit in the paste/cream will rub away the stains. Then just rinse with water and voila! Good as new. I use this one a lot because I keep a massive dry erase calendar on my wall to track the family’s activities.

    1. This may sound gross, but I haven’t used anything but water on my tile floors since my parents gave me my Shark Steam Cleaner. I love it! Granted, it doesn’t smell like lemon fresh when I use it, but it does get my floors spotless…

      I don’t have a dry erase board in the house, but I will definitely remember this trick. Thanks for sharing, Julie!!

      1. Not gross at all. The tile company told us only water and sometimes a little vinegar. But now I must check out this Shark Steam Cleaner of which you speak…

    1. It really does work, Emma! I didn’t have one of those little delicate bags until my bachelorette party this summer… all I used previously for hand-washing was the pillow case trick. I hope you see the same kind of results I did!

  3. I love the pillow case idea! I’ve been using vinegar in my wash for years. It works better than Downey and doesn’t have all the chemicals that are harmful to us. I’ve never heard of the dryer sheet for mosquitoes thing, but I’m going to try it. Great tips, Tiffany! Oh, and I love my Shark Steamer, too. We have tile and hardwood and I used it on both, have been for years. It’s a godsend.

  4. Yep, love that vinegar! Because I have chemical sensitivities, vinegar is my friend. And baking soda is good for cleaning also. Funny how these old methods really do work and they are so much cheaper on the budget. Thanks for the great tips Tiffany! Natural, clean and healthy! Happy Friday to you! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

    1. I use baking soda on my carpet as a deodorizer… when you have three animals, you need deodorizer! I also have it to use for teeth whitening (which I still need to try). But you are right, Karen! Another great multipurpose product for around the house!!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love my Shark Steam Cleaner! If the tile is really dirty, I’ll spray a bit of vinegar on the tile and then use the steam cleaner.
    Thanks the great tips! I’ve used dryer sheets around the house, but I never thought to use them for dusting.

    1. Oh, and make sure you use a lightly used dryer sheet (after one cycle in the dryer with clothes) for the dusting around the house (and the TV/computer screens). Otherwise, it’s too coarse. 🙂

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