5 Ways with... Cotton Balls

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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!

Woman's Day Stories You Might Like:

What is your favorite use for cotton balls?

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
See more: woman's day


great Ideas! Report
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 Report
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! Report
love these! great ideas. Report
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 :) Report
thanks for the great blog, love the idea of using cotton balls to help flowers bloom. Report
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. Report
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. Report
these are great ideas Report
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 :) Report
Great Ideas, like the vanilla in the vacuum cleaner and bathroom mildew. Have to give it a try! Report
great tips Report
great blog, thank you! Report
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.) Report
These tips are very useful. I will be using them often. Report
Very helpful blog. I just use cotton balls to take nail polish off, but will try these new suggestions. Report
This is a great blog. I especially like the tip on removing mildew. I can't wait to try this. Report
Quite helpful blog! Report
Thank you so much for posting this! I'm going to make use of all of these suggestions! Report
This is an amazing blog, thank you!! Report
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. Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.