5 Ways with... Cotton Balls


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  21 comments   :  14,878 Views

By Woman's Day

Learn how to make the most of common household items, like hair dryers, dryer sheets and toothpicks, when you watch our 5 Ways video series! Each week, we feature a different item that you likely have lying around the house, and show you five new uses for it—surprising even the savviest of homemakers. For instance, did you know the absorbent powders in sidewalk chalk can soak up stains on clothing? Or that dryer sheets can calm frizzy-hair flyaways? Today, tune in to our latest installment, in which WomansDay.com Assistant Editor Brynn Mannino demonstrates five new ways to put cotton balls to use around the house and yard.

1. Help flowers bloom. Buds with hollow stems, like daffodils and delphiniums, stay most hydrated when their stems remain filled with water. The trick? Cut the bottom of each stem at a 45-degree angle, fill it up with tepid tap water and plug the hole with a piece of cotton. Then place the flowers in a vase of water as usual.

2. Freshen the air. The next time you tend to the rugs, let the vacuum cleaner double as an air freshener by dropping a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract in the bag. The delicious scent will permeate the entire house!

3. Use as a soda can stopper. When you crack open a can of soda and want to save the rest, wedge a cotton ball in the top to seal it. The pliable nature of the material will plug any air leaks, working to keep your beverage fresh and carbonated until you’re ready for another sip. (Be careful not to push it in too far!)

4. Prevent holes in the tips of your gloves. Long nails are prone to punching holes in the tips of gardening or dishwashing gloves. To preserve your gloves, push a cotton ball into each of the fingers to protect the tips from tearing.

5. Clean bathroom mildew. Soak a few cotton balls in bleach and place them in those gritty, hard to scrub spots in the cracks of faucets and fixtures. Leave them for a few hours, then remove and rinse with warm water for a sparkly finish.

Watch the video now at Woman's Day!

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What is your favorite use for cotton balls?

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    great Ideas! - 5/24/2011   5:45:53 PM
  • 20
    extending the life of the flowers is one I hope to remember....but the coolest one is the cotton ball in the vacuum.

    I wonder if putting a little catnip in there would help my cat feel less averse to the vacuum - 5/20/2011   11:53:40 PM
  • 19
    These are great ideas! I could have used the ones in the tip of my gardening gloves today. I'll try the vanilla in the vac tomorrow when I do my cleaning too. Thanks! - 5/10/2011   10:49:16 PM
  • 18
    love these! great ideas. - 5/10/2011   8:37:15 PM
  • 17
    Love the idea about putting cotton balls in the tips of your gloves! I wear gloves at work and am always poking my finger through them. I'm going to give this one a try :) - 5/10/2011   3:25:05 PM
  • 16
    thanks for the great blog, love the idea of using cotton balls to help flowers bloom. - 5/10/2011   10:40:10 AM
  • 15
    I am getting goosebumps just thinking about touching a cotton ball. For some reason the sound and feeling of them makes chills run up my arms and spine. - 5/10/2011   10:01:36 AM
  • 14
    I use cotton balls as air fresheners. Put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton balls and hide them throughout the house (back of shelves, drawers) and car. I placed a cotton ball with Peppermint Oil on it under the driver's seat to promote alertness. - 5/10/2011   9:39:40 AM
  • 13
    these are great ideas - 5/10/2011   5:53:41 AM
    I'd never thought of any of these things. Great tips! My favourites are #1 and #2 - I'm going to try them today. Thank you :) - 5/10/2011   3:47:17 AM
  • 11
    Great Ideas, like the vanilla in the vacuum cleaner and bathroom mildew. Have to give it a try! - 5/10/2011   1:38:56 AM
  • 10
    great tips - 5/9/2011   9:34:53 PM
    great blog, thank you! - 5/9/2011   9:13:52 PM
    A cotton ball dipped in vinegar work well as deodorizers. I stick a few in my fridge when I'm out of baking soda.

    Also, when I lost weight, I used 'em in my shoe to make my old shoes still fit. I never thought I would lose weight in my feet! (Went down half a size.) - 5/5/2011   2:21:47 PM
  • 7
    These tips are very useful. I will be using them often. - 5/3/2011   6:59:44 PM
  • 6
    Very helpful blog. I just use cotton balls to take nail polish off, but will try these new suggestions. - 5/3/2011   11:48:52 AM
    This is a great blog. I especially like the tip on removing mildew. I can't wait to try this. - 5/3/2011   11:30:25 AM
    Quite helpful blog! - 5/3/2011   3:10:08 AM
  • 3
    Thank you so much for posting this! I'm going to make use of all of these suggestions! - 5/2/2011   6:32:12 PM
    This is an amazing blog, thank you!! - 5/2/2011   5:47:59 PM
    when you are camping and you need a firestarter a cotton ball or two covered with vaseline works well, especially if your kindling is damp. - 5/2/2011   4:22:10 PM

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