You probably have a stash of these bathroom staples under your sink, idly awaiting manicure day. But they’re useful for so much more than removing chipped polish or fixing a smudge. Here’s how you can use cotton balls all over the house.
1. Remove pesky water spots.
When chrome faucets, knobs, or other fixtures start to look a little polka-dotty,soak cotton balls in a solution of vinegar and water, and place them on the offending spots for a few minutes to dissolve mineral deposits.
2. Make your bathroom smell better.
Place a few drops of a sweet essential oil, like cinnamon or orange, on some cotton balls. Pile them into a small bowl, and set on a shelf where they’ll emit a subtle scent.
3. Soothe a stinging sunburn.
A cotton ball dipped in vinegar or a baking soda and water solution can offer some relief.
4. Remove permanent marker from your skin.
If your kids get a little overzealous during drawing time, try this homespun tip: Dip a cotton ball into some milk to help whisk dark marks away.
5. Disinfect sensitive spots.
Hard to reach nooks and crannies, or items that shouldn’t be saturated, like remote controls or light switches, are tricky to de-grime. A cotton ball saturated with rubbing alcohol (and squeezed to remove excess), can gently remove dirt and kill germs.
6. Ban bugs from a patio party.
To keep ants from crashing your picnic, try this trick we spotted on Hometalk. Saturate a cotton ball with some water, borax, and sugar, and place on a small dish. The mixture will attract and kill bugs (just be sure to keep pets away from the trap).
7. Protect your prized garden from rabbits.
Dipped in vinegar, a few cotton balls can keep these adorable scavengers from making lunch of your flowers or veggies.
8. Lift ink stains from clothes.
Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab onto stubborn pen marks to save a favorite blouse.
9. Make fresh-cut flowers last longer.
The pros at Teleflora recommend using cotton balls to plug the stems of amaryllis blooms when you change the water in the vase. They need hydration at all times, and the cotton balls will keep water in the stem.