Thursday, 15 May 2014

Homemade May Series: Extra Ordinary Uses for Ordinary Things!

Welcome to my first post of the Homemade May Series, if you're unaware of what this is then it's basically a string of posts that are inspired by all things homely! For this first post I've taken a lot of influence from a book I discovered a couple of days ago at my parents house called "Extra Ordinary Uses for Ordinary Things" its a Reader's Digest book that's packed with useful ideas to help save money and a lot of time. I had a quick gander through the pages and found it really interesting so I thought I'd share some of my favourite tips and hacks with you today... 
The book details hundreds of  regular household items and describes several other uses for them the first item is,
Baby oil- 
  • Make your own bath oil- this little trick is something I've always done, especially during the winter months when my skin has been feeling dry and quite de-hydrated. I tend to add a few drops of baby oil into my bath and it leaves my skin feeling really soft and moisturised when I get out. A good tip is to add a few drops of your favourite perfume and mix it into the oil and add it to the bath to create your own beautifully smelling bath oil. 
  • Slip off a stuck ring!- baby oil may need a space along with your jewellery! If you are like me and have experienced the pure panic of having a ring stuck on your finger- (they always go on so easily) then lubricating the area with baby oil should help slide it off. 
  • Cleaning a bath/shower- baby oil is a great way to help break down the build up of dirt and soap scum around a bath or a shower, simply add a few drops to a cloth and wipe over the surface, once all removed wipe back over with a clean fresh cloth to remove any oil markings. 
  • Polish leather bags/shoes- add a few drops of oil to a cloth and wipe over the leather making sure to wipe off the oil after and your shoes will be looking tip-top!
  • Make a homemade face mask- bananas are great for the skin, they contain lots of vitamins including vitamin A which helps restore moisture and repair any dull and damaged skin cells. A face mask using bananas is a great way to take advantage of all the goodness that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. All you need to do is mash up a medium sized banana add 50g of plain yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of honey and there you have it, a tasty effective cheap face mask! 

  • Make frozen banana lollies- I personally haven't tried this one yet, but I can imagine them tasting great- simply un-peel as many bananas as you would want, place a wooden ice lolly stick through the bottom and cover with grease proof paper and place them in the freezer. After a few hours serve them to eat! I quite like the idea of dipping them in warm melted chocolate or coating them in melted butterscotch! Sounds like a yummy indulgent treat for summer! Plus kind of healthy?? 
  • Brighten up house plants- Why not go ahead a use up ALL of the banana, using the skin wipe down the leaves of dusty and dingy house plants to help re-store their shine. 

  • Remove stains from carpets- Mix a small amount of cornflour with some milk and create a paste, apply the paste over ink stains to remove from carpets! I love hearing tips like this- always worth knowing just in case of emergencies- especially if you are as clumsy as me! 
  • Remove grease splashes from walls- If you get a little too enthusiastic with cooking and tend to make a teeny bit of a mess, fear not, dab dry cornflour onto a cloth and rub until the grease spots disappear from your walls. 
  • Freshen the fridge & clean the microwave- I like to use lemons a lot when cleaning, not only because of the lovely scent they give off but because they work well as a natural detergent and work into the build up of grease and help remove it with its natural citric acids. I tend to add a few drops of lemon juice onto a cloth or cotton wool and dab it on to the surface of my microwave or inside of my fridge- it leave it smelling fresh and looking clean. 
  • Prevent potatoes going brown- when boiling potatoes add a few drops of lemon juice, this prevents them turning slightly brown. 
  • Whiten clothes- you can add straight or diluted lemon juice to your washing water to effectively whiten clothes that comes out the wash smelling lemon-fresh. 
  • Create blonde highlights- (this little trick I love, especially during summer time) Lemon juice is a natural bleach and if you have blonde hair that's in need of brightening up but cant afford the time or money to go to a salon then simply take 50ml lemon juice to 150ml water and rinse your hair with the mixture- letting your hair dry naturally in the sunshine helps boost the effects of brighter blonder hair. 
  • Cleanse your face- I read lots of beauty blogs and have come across countless posts about the benefits of cleansing your face with natural lemons. Lemons contain vitamin C and because of the citric acids they work nicely as a gentle exfoliator. Dab a cut lemon carefully across the face ( avoiding the eyes) this helps lighten any dark spots, draws out any black heads and improve the surface of the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. 

Car air-freshener (Magic Trees)  
I've started using Magic Tree air-freshers not only to keep my car smelling pleasant but to use around the house as well. The other day I gave my wardrobe a well needed clear out and hung a Magic Tree on the rail to keep the clothes smelling nice. Another place to cheekily slide one of these is in the Vacuum Cleaner where the bag is kept. This gives off a lovely scent as I hoover throughout the house! 

So those were a few of my favourite household items with extra ordinary uses!
I hope you found this as handy as I did and hopefully remember a few of these next time your in need for a cheaper alternative.
If you have any home hacks like this then let me know as I'm always on the look out for some new ideas!
Thanks for reading-xx

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