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10 Things You Can Get at Most Hardware Stores But Not at Most Home Centers

Beyond the hand and power tools, your local hardware store is a one-stop-shop for many of your must-have items. Here are 10 things you can likely find at your neighborhood hardware store but not at a big-box home center.

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Soaps and Cleaning Products

While many big home improvement stores carry cleaning products, your local hardware will likely carry soaps and cleaning products you remember from your childhood, such as lye and products from small, environmentally friendly companies. These are the best household cleaning supplies and products.

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Cooking Equipment

If you’re into cooking, check out your hardware store for items such as canning supplies and deals on small appliances. You can also find some specialty hand gadgets and utensils. Here are 12 clever kitchen storage hacks you’ve never thought of before.

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Dish Sets

When it comes time to replace your current dish set, see what your neighborhood hardware store offers. Many carry sets of plates, bowls and other accessories in fun colors and patterns. These are the seven dishwashing mistakes you’re making.

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KindnessGateway Lane

Flags

Beyond the American flag, the hardware store often sells decorative flags for every occasion. Try hanging ones to celebrate holidays, your favorite sports team or just encouraging messages. Brush up on your American flag facts.

Photo: Courtesy of Gateway Lane

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Garden Art

Those with green thumbs may find great additions to their garden at the local hardware store. You can find unique pieces of garden art, along with bird feeders and bird houses—some of which may be made by local artists. Check out these 26 incredible gift ideas for gardeners.

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Radiator Keys

If your home has an old radiator, your local hardware store will likely sell some radiator keys. These keys, which come in various sizes, are used to release trapped air and let hot water into the radiator’s cold fins. Learn how to bleed a hot water radiator and clear a steam radiator vent.

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store Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

Pet Supplies

Hardware stores often sell pet supplies, including bones, chew toys and pet food. The hardware store is also a great place to stock up on specialty bird seed. Here are 15 clever pet products you can make at home.

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Outdoor Gear

Outdoor enthusiasts can head to the hardware store to find items such as coolers, some camping equipment and even hammocks and backpacks and water bottles. The hardware store may carry more specialized outdoor items than those found at big home improvement centers. Here are 11 camping safety tips for every outdoor enthusiast.

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candy Jane Rix/Shutterstock

Old-Fashioned Sodas and Candy

Whether it’s black licorice, your favorite root beer or a type of candy bar you haven’t seen in years, the hardware store often sells hard-to-find candy. Grab some of your favorites next time you visit.

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Free Popcorn

Many old hardware stores still offer free popcorn to customers. Grab a small bag while you browse the aisles. Plus: You need to learn these 13 secrets Home Depot employees won’t tell you.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.