10 Surprising Ways to Use Sandpaper

Updated: Apr. 03, 2023

Discover new and unexpected uses for sandpaper.

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Shutterstock/ Victor Lauer

Sharpen Your Scissors

Are your scissor cuts less than crisp? Try sharpening scissors by cutting through a sheet of fine-grit sandpaper to finish off the edge and keep your cuts clean.

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Shutterstock/ Teresa Tovar Romero

Sharpen Sewing Needles

Think twice before throwing out a used piece of fine-grit sandpaper; the unused edges or corners are perfect for tucking into your sewing box. Poking your sewing needles through sandpaper a few times, or twisting them inside a folded piece of sandpaper, will make them sharper than ever.

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Remove Fuzzy Pills on Sweaters

If you’re fighting a losing battle with the fuzz balls on your sweaters, a little sandpaper will handle them. Use any grit, and rub lightly in one direction.

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Remove Ink Stains and Scuff Marks from Suede

A little fine-grit sandpaper and a gentle touch is great for removing or at least minimizing an ink stain or small scuff mark on suede clothing or shoes. Afterward, bring up the nap with a toothbrush or nailbrush. You might avoid an expensive trip to the dry cleaner!

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shutterstock_219109198 folded sweaters

Remove Scorches on Wool

Take some medium-grit sandpaper to any small scorch spots on your woolen clothing. The mark left by a careless spark will be less notice-able with some light sanding around the edges.

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Shutterstock/ ShaunWilkinson

Roughen Slippery Leather Soles

New shoes with slippery soles can send you flying, so take a little sandpaper and a little time to sand across the width of the soles and roughen up the slick surface. It’s thriftier and easier than taking your new shoes to a repair shop to have new rubber soles put on.

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Remove Stubborn Grout Stains

Sometimes your bathroom abrasive cleaner is just not abrasive enough. Get tough on grout stains with fine-grit sandpaper. Fold the sandpaper and use the folded edge to sand in the grout seam. Be careful not to sand the tile and scratch the finish.

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Open a Stuck Jar

Having a tough time opening a jar? Grab a piece of sandpaper and place it grit side down on the lid. The sandpaper should improve your grip enough to do the job.

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Shutterstock/ April Cat

Make an Emery Board

If you don’t have an emery board handy the next time you need to smooth your nails, just raid the sandpaper stash in the garage workshop. Look for a piece marked 120 grit or 150 grit on the back.

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Shutterstock/ Yuganov Konstantin

Use to Deter Slugs

Slugs are truly the unwelcome guests that will never leave, but you can stop them from getting into your potted plants in the first place. Put those used sanding disks to work under the bases of your pots, making sure the sandpaper is wider than the pot base.