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8 Products That Solve Countless Household Problems

These everyday items have many uses around the home.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

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Vinegar and cleaning sponges on wooden surfaceTaste of Home


Vinegar is a powerhouse in and out of the kitchen. Sure, you might use it most often in dressings and potato salad, but it’s handy in the garden, laundry room and cleaning caddy too.

You can make a simple DIY cleaner with vinegar, baking soda and essential oils. Vinegar is also great for gnat traps or making soil more acidic. And you can even use vinegar in your laundry or to clean your dishwasher.

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Zip Ties Handy Hints 060418 014Family Handyman

Zip Ties

Zip ties are terrific for all kinds of household tasks. They’re one of the easiest and most inexpensive cable management products. And zip ties clean drains in a snap.

They also come in handy for odd jobs. I’ve used them to patch the silverware basket in a dishwasher and to fix the step-open lid on a trash can.

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Close-Up of Lemon Against Green BackgroundAerialPerspective Images/Getty Images


Toothpicks do more than clean your teeth after a meal. They’re a household superstar. From touching up paint to gluing together a woodworking project, these little pieces of wood come in handy. Use them to clean the gap around the edge of a sink or the buttons of a TV remote, or even to label your garden. They’re great for checking when a cake is done, too.

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Fh Nho Listicle Web V1Family Handyman

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Young carpenter working in his workshopdanchooalex/Getty Images


Drilling holes and driving screws are among the most common of household jobs. However, a drill can do more than that. With a wire brush attachment, it can remove rust before painting. With a paddle attachment, it can mix paint. You can even add a cleaning brush to your drill to make quick work of everyday chores.

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Newspaper In Garbage CanFamily Handyman


Yesterday’s news can make your garbage cleaner. Stick some newspapers in the bottom of the trash can before adding a bag, and they’ll absorb any liquid that seeps out. Newspapers are also great for wrapping broken glass to prevent it from slicing through the bag. Newspaper can dry out a compost pile, clean glass and deodorize a refrigerator, too.

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Ripping a paper towel off the roll Mehmet Onur Bozkurt/Getty Images

Paper Towels

They’re not just for spills. Wrap greens and herbs in a paper towel to keep them fresh longer. Or line your crisper drawer with paper towels.

When the roll is empty and you’re left with a cardboard tube, that has household uses, too. Stick a tube in tall boots to hold them upright. Stuff them with plastic grocery bags to save space in the cupboard. They can organize extension cords and hosiery. You can even use paper towel rolls to make DIY cat toys.

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5 Gallon Bucket Family Handyman

Five-Gallon Bucket

A five-gallon bucket is one of those tools that’s easy to take for granted, even though it does so much around the house. Use it to carry tools and supplies from the workshop to the worksite, then flip it over and sit on it while you work.

A five-gallon bucket helps with painting, cleaning and gardening. Drill a few holes in the bottom and turn it into a large planter. It might not be the best-looking planter, but it’s inexpensive and you probably already have some lying around. Plus they’re easier to store over the winter.

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Blue toothbrush in pink toothbrush holderDarren Robb/Getty Images


A toothbrush works well for cleaning dirty grout. It cleans anything small, like the groove around a sink or the hard-to-reach spots in a reusable water bottle. Toothbrushes are also a good way to strip intricate details when refinishing furniture. Fortunately, these versatile household products are inexpensive and usually come in multi-packs.

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Mikayla Borchert
Mikayla is an assistant editor for Family Handyman, specializing in indoor and outdoor gardening, organization and décor. She has one cat and holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. Outside of work, she likes running, skiing, hiking and tending her balcony garden.