Look around the house and you’ll find many items that are wearing out faster than you want. Ever wish you could make them last longer? With a little bit of care, you can stretch out the life of many household items.
How to Make Household Items Last Longer
- Printer Ink Cartridges: Start by using an eco-friendly font called the Ecofont, which uses less ink with the same print results. You can download it for free here. When your cartridge is near the end of its life, take it out of your printer and use your hairdryer to ‘melt’ clunked ink and make it usable. I did this, and my ink cartridge lasted another three months! It also helps to buy your ink cartridges from discount ink printers like 123 Inkjets.
- Bras: Bras can be very expensive! I have had success with keeping mine for 6+ years by keeping a pair of plyers in case I need to bend the clasps back into place, and hanging them to dry instead of putting them into the dryer, which will increase the wear and tear. You may want to use a cheap mesh laundry bag to put them into before putting them in the washer in order to decrease the distress. Also, I have found that if the wiring bends, you can simply pull it out of the bra, and the rest of the material is still usable for several more years!
- Sink Sponges: If your sponge starts to look gross, simply wet it and put it in the microwave for one-two minutes to sterilize it and give it a new life. Once it has reached its end in your kitchen, make this sponge your new bathroom cleaning sponge to stretch its life even further.
- Vacuum Cleaner: The key to stretching the life of your vacuum is maintenance. Periodically check the beater bar (the rotating part with the brushes) and cut off any hair/carpet fibers/etc. straining the motor. If your vacuum is not working as efficiently as before, you may just need to change the belt. You can do this yourself (refer to manufacturer’s instructions), or take it to a vacuum repair shop and it should cost you less than $15. If your vacuum has a filter, clean it periodically by filling a bucket with warm water and mild soap and let it soak. Rinse the filter in cool water and let it dry air.
- Mattress: Using the brush tool on your vacuum cleaner, vacuum the top and sides of your mattress several times a year to remove dust mites and bacteria. If you feel a lag in the mattress, flip it over for a firmer and newer feel. If the mattress is still sapping too much, purchase a few 2 X 4’s and cut them to fit into the metal bars of your bed for extra mattress support.
- Sneakers: To keep your sneakers clean, take the shoe laces out and simply throw them into your washer and dryer. Also, when the interior begins to breakdown, purchase inserts for less than $20 to stretch the life of your sneakers by six months or more, depending upon how you use them.
- Couch Cushions: The trick here is to rotate the couch cushions. Once a month, move the cushion from the left and put it on the right. Then once every few months, rotate couch cushions from different chairs (if you are able to). That way, the cushions that get the most use (we all like our spots!) will not become completely deflated while the other cushions stay plump.
- Razor Blades: Drying your razor blades after use can dramatically extend their life.
- Laptop Battery: Decrease the number of programs that you have running in the background while doing other work. Dim the light on your monitor to a level you are comfortable with. Hibernate your laptop while not in use instead of using standby. Turn the volume down, or mute it when not in use. Also, periodically defrag your hard drive.
With just a few quick tricks you’ll be able to stretch the life of many household items.
What tips do you use to make things last longer?