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20 Crazy-genius life hacks using what’s in your kitchen pantry

The simple solution to many of your daily household difficulties may be lurking in the most unexpected place… your kitchen.

Many of the things you consider simple ingredients can do double-duty in the rest of the house too. Don’t buy it? Try one of these crazy-genius life hacks, and post a note in the comments section about how it works for you.

1. Spaghetti stick long-reach lighter

Easily light hard-to-reach wicks in those deep jar candles, your fireplace starter or even your propane grill with a piece of uncooked dried spaghetti.

2. Coconut oil frizz control and deep conditioner

Spritz coconut oil lightly on your hair to tame frizz. Or use it twice a month as a deep-conditioning treatment. Just run it through your hair, wrap your hair securely in a towel, and hit the sack. Wash it out the next morning, and style as usual.

3. Pantry pain-reliever for earaches

diy ear infection remedy

Photo credit: The Elliott Homestead

According to, garlic-infused coconut oil is an effective remedy for ear infections, both viral and fungal. Coconut oil is antimicrobial and antiviral, and garlic is antibacterial. Always check with your doctor first, but you can get the recipe for this homemade earache miracle at The Elliott Homestead.

4. DIY cheese pill pockets

homemade dog pills

Photo credit: Glen Salmon

Need to give your pesky pooch meds? Glen Salmon at uses regular old string cheese to replace those pricy pill pockets you buy at pet stores.

5. DIY color enhancement

No matter what color your hair, the folks over at Whole Living have a homemade color enhancer you can make using ingredients from your kitchen.

6. Natural fabric dye

organic fabric dye

Photo credit: Sugar and Charm

These naturally dyed linens make a beautiful tablescape any time of year. Try the plum-blackberry dye for a bright lavender or turmeric-basil for a sunny yellow.

7. Homemade bronzer

homemade organic bronzer

Photo credit: Hello Natural

With a little lotion, some cinnamon, cocoa powder and cornstarch, Hello Natural shows us how to make a DIY bronzer.

8. Homemade hardwood floor cleaner

homemade hardwood floor cleaner

Photo credit: Clean Mama

Vinegar, water and a few drops of essential oils are all you need to give your hardwood floors a fantastic natural sheen for way less than you’d pay at the store.

9. Homemade lip plumper/scrub and lip gloss

homemade lip balm lip plumper lip scrub

Photo credit: Poppy Juice

Exfoliate your lips with a homemade plumping lip scrub made with olive oil and cinnamon, or use that paste food coloring that’s been sitting in your pantry, collecting dust, with some petroleum jelly to make a homemade tinted lip balm.

10. DIY all-natural shaving cream

homemade shaving cream

Photo credit: Everyday Roots

With a little olive oil, baking soda, coconut oil and some other natural ingredients you probably already use to take care of your skin, you can make your own preservative- and chemical-free shaving cream.

11. DIY rosemary wreath

diy rosemary wreath

Photo credit: Sugar and Charm

This homemade rosemary wreath is as easy to make as it is fragrant. Make it plain with a “garnish” of fresh lavender for everyday use, or dress it up for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and more.

12. Homemade mattress cleaner

homemade mattress cleaner

Photo credit: Hello Natural

Stephanie at Hello Natural has the best tip for making your own homemade mattress cleaner using baking soda and essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or wintergreen to remove dust mites.

13. DIY windshield washer

Refill your windshield reservoir with a mixture of 4 parts water and just a little liquid dishwashing detergent that’s been shaken vigorously.

14. Egg-cellent plant food

We all use a lot of eggs. During the winter, wash out your shells to remove egg residue, dry them, and save them in a baggie. During planting season, pop all those shells in your blender, don a mask so you don’t breathe in loads of the dust, and grind them into a powder before mixing them into your potting mix.

15. DIY facials

DIY pina colada facial scrub

There are tons of homemade facial scrubs you can make, so research and choose the right one for you. My faves on SheKnows are the margarita facial scrub and the piña colada face scrub.

16. DIY thermal therapy

rice heating pad

Photo credit: The Green Wife

If you have an injury that needs a heating pad or cold compress, you can toss some rice into a sock and tie it up in a knot. Microwave it for up to 2 minutes for a heating pad (careful!), or pop it in the freezer for a few hours. Better yet, make the adorable rice heating or cooling pad pictured above.

17. Guard against paint spills

Who has time to take off all the hardware on doors and cabinets before painting when the kids are coming home at 2:30? Cover the hardware with aluminum foil before you drop them off, and then you can get right to work when you get home. The paint has time to dry before it’s time to pick them up.

18. Homemade pest control

homemade plant pest control

Photo credit: Weed ‘Em and Reap

Pests causing a problem in your garden? Weed ‘Em and Reap (how clever is that blog name?) shows how to make your own bug-be-gone spray using onions, garlic, cayenne pepper and soap.

19. Clean that grill

You don’t need special supplies to clean your grill. Just wad up some aluminum foil, and use tongs while it’s still warm to scrub off all that gunk.

20. All-purpose cleaners

diy natural all-purpose cleaners with essential oils

Photo credit: The Yummy Life

Vinegar and essential oils, herbs, spices or extracts can make wonderful DIY all-purpose cleaners that don’t have as much of the unnatural chemical-laden smell (and none of the unnatural chemicals).

More life hacks

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