Photo: Red Confidential (Shutterstock)
Once considered a nonnegotiable household staple, the humble bar of soap has had a rough couple of decades. Now, it’s not a given that you’ll find bars of soap next to every sink and inside every tub in the house, as many people prefer the liquid varieties. (One reason for that, according to a 2016 survey, is that 48 percent of American consumers believe bars of soap are covered in germs after they’re used.)
But regardless of your personal soap preferences, you may want to consider buying a bar of soap solely to use for various household tasks—many of which do not involve any type of cleaning. Here are some of the clever ways you should be using a bar of soap around your house.
Make drawers easier to open and close
If any of the drawers around your house (in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, office, etc) stick a bit when you open and close them, rub a (dry) bar of soap on their sides and bottom tracks. This works especially well with wooden drawers and furniture.
Use it as a pincushion
When sewing something by hand, use a bar of soap as a pincushion. Not only will the needles and pins always be handy, but they’ll glide through the fabric when you’re ready to use them.
Keep pets from chewing furniture
As it turns out, pets who chew or gnaw (like puppies or rabbits) don’t like the taste of soap. So to prevent them from chewing up the bottom of your new couch, rub the edges and legs with dry bar soap. They’ll get annoyed and move on to something else.
Fix a stiff lock
For locks that are stiff or tend to stick, rub your key on a bar of dry soap, and then unlock/relock it a few times until it’s opening smoothly.
Stop a squeaky hinge
Moisten a bar of soap, wedge it between the doorframe and squeaky hinge, and move the door back and forth. You can also rub dry soap directly onto the hinge.
Stop squeaky floorboards
Use the same tactic described above, except this time, work the moistened bar of soap into the cracks between the squeaky floorboards.
Get a ring off a finger
To remove a ring that’s stuck on someone’s finger, rub as much of the ring (and the skin around it) with a dry bar of soap, and then have them wash their hands.