These are common household products that can be used for other things, like Stop Mice With Steel Wool, or temporarily patch cracks and small holes.

We shared this fun list with our customers several years ago, and the other day a long time customer called us and ask if we still had it available.  She had hers on her frig for many years but it mysteriously disappeared….

So here it is again.  MacGyver would be proud.

This is the essential ALL-Purpose Hardware Store, where everything you need is under one roof:


  1. Mask paint. Cover hardware or window panes with a thin film of jelly when painting. If you over brush, you can wipe the paint off easily.
  2. Prevent rust. Coat fishing rods, cooking utensils, skates, skis and exterior trim.
  3. Lubricate parts under water. Useful in a toilet tank.
  4. Make fake bait. Coat small pieces of sponge to simulate fish egg bait.


  1. Waterproof your matches.
  2. Make string stronger easier to thread.
  3. Reseal an envelope.
  4. Make zippers work smoothly.
  5. Replace a lost filling.
  6. Lubricate your snow shovel.
  7. Help drawers slide more easily.


  1. Close a wound.
  2. Repair clothing.
  3. Bundle up small items.
  4. Prevent blisters on long hikes. Stick it on your foot.


  1. Unclog shower head, aerosol nozzle or salt shaker.
  2. Set a digital watch.
  3. Replace a stay in your shirt collar.


  1. Remove carpet stains.
  2. Fog-proof your lenses (furniture polish, a raw potato, or spit, in a pinch, also work).


  1. Removes scratches from the crystal of a watch.
  2. Use as emergency filler for nail holes in the wall.
  3. Wipe out food-color stains.


  1. Remove dandruff. Shake 1 tablespoon into dry hair, massage and shampoo.
  2. Kill unwanted grass. Sprinkle between bricks and crevices.
  3. Prevent colors from fading. Ad 1 cup to detergent when washing.
  4. Drip-proof candles. Soak each candle in a mixture of water (just enough to cover the candle) and 2 tablespoons of salt.


  1. Tighten screws. Wind strands around the threads of a screw before inserting it into the old hole.
  2. Shut out pests. Plug cracks and holes. Good temporary fix.  For other steps to keep unwanted pests out of your home or business, check out  HOW TO GET RID OF MICE and HOW TO GET RID OF RATS.


  1. Remove stains left by deodorants and antiperspirants. Rub the spots thoroughly with the stuff before laundering.
  2. Remove wallpaper. Mix with hot water, dip a paint roller into the solution., then wet the paper thoroughly. After a few minutes, most paper will peel off in sheets.


  1. Douse grease or electrical fire.
  2. Remove wine or grease stains from carpeting.
  3. Treat ring-around-the-collar stains.
  4. Alleviate pain. Make a paste and pat it on bites, stings, and burns.
  5. Clean paint thinner from paint brushes. Soak everything in warm water and baking soda.
  6. Clean bug stains on your car. Apply a light baking soda paste with a damp cloth.
  7. Clean chrome trim, bumpers, and hubcaps.
  8. Wash camp laundry.


  1. Dry your shoes and boots. Stuff a piece of crumpled newspaper in them overnight.
  2. Deter moths. They hate newsprint in out of season clothing.
  3. Clean windows and mirrors.


  1. Hold a nail in place when hammering.