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100 Smart & Surprising Uses for Simple Drug Store Items
January 11th, 2011
In nursing school, you probably have access to lots of advanced medical care items. But did you know that there are many different uses for even the simplest of drug store items? Rubbing alcohol, q tips, nail polish remover, and other simple drug store items have lots of different applications, around the house and beyond.
Keep your home clean and fresh with these drug store products.
- Keep your windows frost free: Make a solution with 1/2 a cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 liter of water, then wash your windows with it to keep frost away.
- Deodorize your refrigerator with vanilla extract: Soak a cotton ball with vanilla extract and place it in your fridge.
- Get rid of fruit flies: Kill fruit flies by misting them with rubbing alcohol.
- Clean counters and tabletops with hydrogen peroxide: Spray hydrogen peroxide on your tables and counter tops, or just add it to your dishrag.
- Apply polish to small crevices using q tips: Polish your silver with a q tip.
- Fight mildew: Soak cotton balls in bleach, place them in hard to clean spots, and leave them there to zap the stains.
- Add hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher: Prevent spreading colds and other diseases by adding 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide to your dishwasher.
- Spruce up china: Clean spots off of your china with nail polish remover-but test a small inconspicuous spot first.
- Fade tea stains: Apply diluted lemon juice to cloth with a q tip.
- Clean bathroom tiles: Mix epsom salt and dish detergent to mix bathroom tiles.
- Rinse your wooden cutting board in hydrogen peroxide: Kill salmonella and other bacteria with hydrogen peroxide.
- Dissolve melted plastic: Get melted plastic off of appliances by using nail polish remover.
- Remove price stickers: Get price stickers off with the help of rubbing alcohol.
- Clean your toilet with antacid: Drop antacid tablets in your toilet bowl and dissolve them for 20 minutes before cleaning.
- Remove yellowing from lace: Keep your lace curtains and tablecloths bright by soaking them in a sink with cold water and 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide for about an hour.
- Sanitize your cell phone: Wipe down your cell phone with rubbing alcohol.
- Remove dust: Get dust off of old frames, statues, and more with q tips.
- Get stains out of vases: Clean stains out of vases by dropping an antacid tablet in the water, then wiping.
- Clean CDs and DVDs with rubbing alcohol: Wipe discs down with a small amount of rubbing alcohol.
- Whiten whites with hydrogen peroxide: Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry to get whiter whites, and pour directly on soiled spots.
- Clean electronic devices: Use a q tip in rubbing alcohol to clean electronic devices.
- Disinfect your bathroom: Mix 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide to disinfect your bathroom without harming your septic system.
- Remove scorch marks: Use nail polish remover on marks left from overcooked bagged popcorn.
- Remove ink stains: Soak ink stains in rubbing alcohol before washing.
- Get stickers off of glass: Nail polish remover is good for getting stickers off of glass.
- Shine up bathroom fixtures: Pour rubbing alcohol onto bathroom fixtures to make them sparkle and kill germs.
- Clean your computer mouse: Get dirt and grime off of your computer mouse's ball using rubbing alcohol.
- Clean jewelry with q tips: Using q tips and jewelry cleaner, you can get into small spaces.
- Get ink stains off: Nail polish can remove ink stains from skin, walls, and more.
- Erase permanent markers: Rubbing alcohol can remove permanent markers from most surfaces.
- Kill bacteria on fruits and vegetables: Rinse fruits and vegetables with hydrogen peroxide and cold water to kill e. coli and more.
- Clean your CD player lens: Clean the lens of your CD player using rubbing alcohol on a q tip.
- Remove paint from windows: Nail polish remover can get paint off of windows.
Put epsom salt and rubbing alcohol to use in your car.
- Dissolve windshield frost: Spray rubbing alcohol on your windshield to dissolve frost.
- Regenerate your car battery: Give life to your car battery with epsom salt.
Health & Beauty
You can improve your eyelashes, remove hairspray from mirrors, and more using simple items from the drug store.
- Clean up self tanner: A q tip can clean up self tanner from your cuticles, elbows, and backs of your knees.
- Control blemishes: Use witch hazel to reduce inflammation on pimples.
- Grow your eyelashes: Put Vaseline on your eyelashes before bed to grow them longer and thicker over time.
- Get hair spray off of mirrors: Wipe down your mirror with rubbing alcohol to get residue off.
- De-oil your hair: Soak up excess oil from your hair with epsom salt.
- Remove foot odor: Soak your feet in epsom salt to get rid of foot odor.
- Protect rubber gloves: Put cotton balls under your nails to protect them and your rubber gloves from puncture.
- Soften hard skin: Coat feet, elbows, and cuticles with Vaseline to soften them.
- Get hairspray out: Remove hairspray from your hair using a hairspray solution.
- Get odors off your hands: With rubbing alcohol, you can remove harsh odors from your hands.
- Remove excess nail polish: Dab a q tip in nail polish remover to remove excess nail polish.
- Massage with rubbing alcohol: Use rubbing alcohol instead of massage oil-it is cooling, but warms up quickly.
- Volumize your hair: A deep conditioner and epsom salt can volumize your hair.
- Zap zits: Clear up your acne by dabbing hydrogen peroxide onto your zits a few times a day.
- Keep emergency perfume on q tips: Spray perfume on q tips and store them in a plastic bag, then apply them to pressure points when you need them.
- Stop facial redness: Hemorrhoid cream can be used to clear up facial redness.
- Bring out your highlights: Spraying 50/50 hydrogen peroxide and water in your hair after a shower can bring out your natural light highlights.
- Treat a cold sore: Hemorrhoid cream can help treat cold sores, just be careful not to put it where you'll lick your lips.
- Fix makeup smudges: Dip a q tip in makeup remover or moisturizer to remove smudges.
- Get gum out of your hair: Work gum out of your hair with Vaseline.
- Shrink under-eye bags: Witch hazel can tighten up skin and reduce bagginess.
- Treat cellulite: Tighten and shrink tissue using hemorrhoid cream.
- Remove ear wax buildup: Flush out your waxy buildup using hydrogen peroxide.
- Heal bruises: Dab on witch hazel a few times a day to fade bruises.
- Conceal hair roots: Run a q tip with matching eyeshadow over your roots.
- Prevent hair dye stains: Keep hair dye from staining your skin by putting Vaseline along your hairline.
- Soothe and prevent razor burn: Apply witch hazel to help irritated hair follicles.
- Soak your toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide: Kill germs on your toothbrush by soaking them in hydrogen peroxide.
- Whiten your nails: Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, and swab it over fingernails with a q tip.
- Kill foot fungus: Mix 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide on your feet every night and let them dry to kill foot fungus.
- Control unruly brows: Cover a q tip in Vaseline and run it over your eyebrow hairs.
Put hydrogen peroxide and more to work in your garden.
- Control mold and mildew in the greenhouse: Spray hydrogen peroxide in your greenhouse to control mold and mildew.
- Fertilize with epsom salt: Epsom salt can be used as a houseplant fertilizer.
- Keep rabbits at bay: Soak cotton balls in white distilled vinegar, place them in a 35mm film container, poke a hole in the top, and place it in the garden.
- Add hydrogen peroxide to plant water: Give your plants extra oxygen by adding hydrogen peroxide.
- Use hydrogen peroxide as a fertilizer: Spray hydrogen peroxide on foliage or add it to plant water.
- Help sick plants with hydrogen peroxide: Nurse sick plants back to health by adding hydrogen peroxide to their water and spraying it on their leaves.
- Prevent slugs: Keep slugs from entering by sprinkling epsom salts.
- Prevent tree infection: Spray hydrogen peroxide on tree cuts to prevent infection.
Home Improvement & Decor
These are some useful tips for putting drug store items to work in your home.
- Touch up with q tips: Apply touch up paint to walls and cabinets with q tips.
- Unclog a drain: Use antacid to unclog drains.
- Strip finish details with q tips: Get to details, cracks, and crevices when stripping furniture by using q tips.
- Light candle wicks: Light hard to reach candle wicks by dipping one end of a q tip in rubbing alcohol and lighting it.
- Scent a room with a cotton ball in your vacuum: Saturate a cotton ball with a fragrance, put it in your vacuum cleaner bag, and it will release the scent as you vacuum.
Clean and fix your clothes with these drug store solutions.
- Lubricate sticky zippers: Dip q tips in olive oil and run them along zippers for lubrication.
- Get scuff marks off: Nail polish remover can get scuff marks off of patent leather shoes.
- Wipe down leather shoes: Prevent your leather shoes from pinching by rubbing them down with alcohol.
Baby & Kids
Use these drug store items for your baby and children.
- Clean little baby parts: Warm water and q tips can be used to clean your baby's ear, between toes, and more.
- Soothe diaper rash: Apply witch hazel to heal your baby's diaper rash.
- Stop diaper rash: Create a barrier and heal diaper rash with Vaseline.
- Sling shot with cotton balls: Play indoors sling shots with cotton balls.
- Clean your newborn's umbilical cord: Until your newborn's cord stump falls off, clean it with rubbing alcohol on a q tip.
Arts & Crafts
Have fun with these drug store art projects.
- Q tips make great small paintbrushes: Give your children kid sized paintbrushes by using q tips, and enjoy easy cleanup.
- Remove dried glue: Get dried hot glue off with rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs.
- Apply glue with q tips: Apply glue to models with a q tip, and use the clean size to remove excess.
- Remove sticky substances: You can get sticky substances off of your hands with rubbing alcohol.
- Apply face paint: Use a q tip to apply face paint when playing dress up.
- Carve designs with q tips: Add finishing touches to sculptures with q tips.
Clean and protect your jewelry with these smart ideas.
- Remove scratches from watches: Rub nail polish remover on the face of your watch to get scratches out.
- Protect jewelry: Cushion breakable jewelry by spreading out cotton balls.
- Soak in antacid: Soak your jewelry in water and antacid tablets for a great shine.
- Remove stuck rings: Vaseline can be used to remove stuck rings.
These are even more bright ideas from the drugstore.
- Dilute correction fluid: Get the goop out of correction fluid by using nail polish remover.
- Remove dog ticks: Apply rubbing alcohol to ticks before pulling out to make it loosen its grip.
- Stop superglue: Unstick superglue with the help of nail polish remover.