5 Surprising Uses for Common Kitchen Items

While it may seem like there may be nothing to eat in the house, that doesnít mean the contents of your kitchen pantry (or fridge) is totally without use. There exist a great number of little known uses for common kitchen items that are just not exploited enough. Here is a brief sampling of a few, some you may know, but there are some bound to surprise:

Baking Soda

Baking soda and baking powder are both used as leavening agents in baking (baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate while baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate together with acidifying and drying agents) and most people know at this point that baking soda is great for absorbing unwanted smells in your carpet or fridge. However, baking soda is also good for keeping your green vegetables a desirable shade of green. If you add a bit of baking soda to boiling water before you cook vegetables like asparagus and broccoli it will prevent your vegetables from turning dull. But be careful, adding too much will turn your veggies bitter. Half a teaspoon is probably enough in a large 4-quart pot, but you might want to experiment a bit to find the right balance.

Related: 51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda

Olive Oil

Out of shaving cream and needing to get some of that stubble removed from your face (or legs)? Donít resort to soap, which can be drying and irritating. Grab the olive oil from the pantry and get to work. Use warm to hot water to get your face (or legs) ready and then massage a bit of olive oil onto the area primed to be shaved. Then go to town. Works just as good, if not better, than conventional shaving cream/lotion.

Related: 10 Unusual Uses for Olive Oil


Most people know about the cleaning properties of vinegar when it comes to household chores, but few would think to pour vinegar over their head. But it is true. Vinegar works wonders in removing conditioner and hair product build up in your hair. Just work about a cup, or less, of white vinegar through your hair and then rinse clean. While you may smell a bit pungent for an hour or two, your hair will be reborn.

Related: 23 Uses for White Vinegar & 10 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar


One of the most satisfying and nourishing breakfast foods, oatmeal is also great on the outside of your body. Long considered a bit of a folk remedy, a cup of oatmeal (well broken down into a powder using a food processor) and then added to a hot bath will help greatly with rashes, poison ivy, eczema, and general skin dryness. Donít bother spending $8 on the colloidal oatmeal bath packets sold in store Ė this option is far cheaper and just as good.

Related: 15 Problems You Can Solve with Oatmeal


Milk is an exceptionally versatile ingredient; this stands without argument. However if you have more milk than you can drink you could always use it as a fungicide or fertilizer in the garden. Many farmers and gardeners swear by the use of diluted milk solutions on their crops and gardens to fortify the soil. Some grape growers apply a diluted milk solution to stave off mildew.

200 Ways to Reuse 10 Items


rene davis
irene davis6 years ago


Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla6 years ago

Great! Sharing this

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Thank you for the information

Sue H.
.6 years ago

good to know

Dale Overall

Here I am again-interesting about milk. Use baking soda mixed with water for an upset stomach-tastes absolutely horrible but sometimes only that will work. It is advised to add a few drops of lemon juice since technically it could damage the stomach, but have used it without for decades and haven't imploded my stomach yet.

Have returned to this topic because the other offering for Daily Action was doable only if one could provide an American zip code in the signing of the petition. Nice, but some of us live elsewhere on this far flung planet and use postal codes instead or in the event one is a Hobbit, a toe print on the envelope suffices.

Dale Overall

Fabulous, knew most of the tips but there are always new ones to use.
Would be nice to read these articles without ads that point flashing arrows and other moving effects that are annoying.

Siti R.
Siti R6 years ago

olive oil for shaving mmmm..interesting!

Carole K.
Carole K6 years ago

Things my Mama taught me long ago...... except she did not know about the olive oil & that was an item we never had @ our house bc it was too expensive. Thanks for the reminders!

Joe R.
Joe R6 years ago


Joan Mcallister
6 years ago

Good tips. Thanks for sharing