Top 20 Ways to Reuse Household Items

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20 Uses for Household Items

Ok Danger Rangers, in this guide we are going to go over 20 ways to reuse household items after the SHTF.  Here’s the reality guys, if you’re anything like me you’ve got a couple years worth of water, food, medical supplies, and household items stored up but eventually you’re going to start running out of stuff forcing you to come up with creative ways to get things done.  This got me thinking of what household items can be used in an unconventional manner to treat a wound, brush your teeth, or anything else that would be hard to do in a post-apocalyptic situation without a stocked store within a hundred mile radius.  

Re-purposing items, and having the imagination to envision an item’s alternate use will be a relatively valuable skill to have after doomsday.  Even today throughout the country homesteaders are already way ahead of the curve, spending their weekends rummaging through local dumps finding discarded items that they can repurpose, turning junk into an invaluable part of their homestead.  In this guide we are going to start off with simple household items to demonstrate the duality of these items, but I strongly urge you all to start thinking and using your heads now.  Being mentally prepared and understanding the basics will come in handy down the road.

Hygiene and First Aid

Here I’ve listed some of the most common items you can find in your house that can be used as hygiene or first aid.  I cringe at the thought of when I eventually start running out of basic hygiene products, sue me I’m an apex clean freak.  So let’s staith off the funk the best we can before anyone gets crotch rot…

Honey Home Remedy

  • Body Odor  –  Out of deodorant?  You can mix cinnamon and baking soda together with a ration of 1C:3BS to make your own.
  • Itchy Bug Bites  –  Ground up Aspirin and add a little water to make a paste, then rub over the affected area to keep you from scratching your flesh off.  
  • Dental Care  –  Once again, baking soda is to the rescue.  Mix mint, water, and baking soda to create your own toothpaste.
  • Germicide –  One of the most diverse foods readily available before and after doomsday is honey (unless it’s a nuclear apocalypse).  It lasts forever while being an excellent germicide.  Additional uses include; ulcer, wound, burn, and skin infection treatment.
  • Painkillers and Cold Treatment –  While it’s definitely not as strong as percocet, cinnamon is nature’s cure all, and almost every household has it.  You can even use it to treat colds and flus.  Another cure all that can be used for a painkiller is ginger.  Ginger can also be used as an inflammatory, antispasmodic, antifungal, and antiseptic first aid.
  • Air Purifier  –  Get some charcoal and finely ground it up, add in common herbs like lilac that can be found pretty much anywhere, and pour it into a burlap sack or other porous material that’ll allow air circulation without charcoal falling out.
  • Biohazards –  One of the things I have a rock solid supply of is bleach, because I honestly fear an airborne virus more than I fear an EMP, or nuclear bomb.  This stuff is one of the best sanitizers around.
  • Antibiotic –  Luckily I have a pretty good stock of antibiotics, but under the right circumstances I could run out quickly, leaving me at a loss if I ever needed them again.  After doing a little research I found out garlic is one of the most effective natural antibiotics there are.  Not only is it an antibiotic, but it can also be used to treat chronic bronchitis, sore throats, sinus pressure, asthma, ear infections, indigestion, and stomach aches.  Another alternative for a natural antibiotic is raw onions that function as an antimicrobial and antiinflammatory.

Household Maintenance

While we may have bigger fish to fry it’s always good to remember good home upkeep.  Letting your house go to shit after all hell breaks loose might not be the best soup for the soul.  Reality is what you make it, so even after you run out of Windex you can use these tricks to keep everything pretty…

Duct Tape

  • Fabric Softener –  Honestly, when I heard about this trick I didn’t think it would work, but then again I rarely go near the dryer without my wife going into spastic seizures.  Believe it or not you can take a 20in x 20in piece of aluminum foil and ball it up, throw it in with your wet clothes and it’ll get rid of all the static and the need for dryer sheets.
  • All Purpose Cleaner –  Bleach, bleach, bleach, and in some weird alternate universe where you run out of bleach, or whatever your favorite household cleaner is, you can use diluted toothpaste as an all purpose cleaner.
  • Insect Repellant –  I could never adequately profess my love for the many uses of WD40, but should your house become overrun with insects looking to escape the barren wasteland spray the perimeter of your home with WD40 to prevent any further incursions.  That includes wasps, roaches, and even ants!
  • Leaks –  Another one of my man crush goods includes duct tape.  Duct tape can be used for hundreds of different application that includes but is not limited to; fixing leaky roofs and boats, ducts with holes, radiator hoses, and etc..

Weapons & Defense

In the off chance you’re not an avid reader, and haven’t adequately stocked your arsenal up for the apocalypse, you can use some of these methods to protect you and your home.  Hell, you could even have guns and ammo, and simply run out leaving you to think creatively which is going to force you to think like a convict…

Homemade Weapons

  • Body Armor There are several methods of making body armor that can slow, or even stop a bullet, while making you a little less agile.  The simplest and oldest method is taking a phone book (or any book that is two inches thick, ten inches wide, and ten inches high), and duct taping a cookie sheet to it, then tear up some old shirts, or paracord to make a sling for it to position over your heart.
  • Homemade Gas Mask Hey, you never know when you’re going to need one, and if you’re not prepared you can try making one out of a hockey mask, large bottle, silicone, and an automotive filter.  Pretty simply concept you make on the fly by cutting the filter to the shape of the bottle to where it will fit inside, cutting the top of the bottle off and puncturing tiny holes on the bottom.  Insert the filter and seal the filter to the walls of the bottle.  Then use hot glue, or silicon to mount the bottle over the mouthpiece of the hockey mask.  Allow to dry, then create a drape by attaching fabric with hot glue around the edge of the mask to cover your entire head.  Now there’s several variations of this method so feel free to experiment.
  • Improvised Weapons Sounds a little crazy but you gotta do what you got to do, and if you have to make a shiv to survive then you better get to grinding down that toothbrush on the floor.  If you’re lucky enough to have some sharp knives and a broom handle, bust out the duct tape and mount the knives to one end with enough duct tape that’ll keep the blades from snapping off when you make contact with whoever’s entering your house.  It kind of reminds me of Fallout where a baseball bat with nails can do a hell of a lot of damage.  Moral of the story, any force multiplier you can make to survive is necessary.


There’s an unending list of reasons why you would need to make an explosive after SHTF for peaceful purposes like clearing a damn, or not so peaceful purposes like making a bomb that’ll take out a pack of people trying to kill you and your family.  Point being, don’t be a liberal about it and make your pansy comments…

Top five items to stock up on…

After reading this article, or writing it for that matter, there are five things I believe we should all stock up on.  Surely most of us have probably overlooked these items as being ‘critical to survival’ but after seeing how many times they were referenced herein it’s an unavoidable fact.  After a few moments I did a little price comparing and found some pretty good deals…

  1. WD40 Heavy Duty – 1 Gallon – $23.00 + Free Shipping
  2. Duct Tape 3M – Contractor’s Grade – 4 Pack – $25.00 + Free Shipping
  3. Clorox Bleach – 64 oz – $11.00 + Free Shipping
  4. Baking Soda – 50 lb Bag – $19.00
  5. Charcoal Powder – 1 lb Activated – $18.00 + Free Shipping

WD-403M Duct TapeClorox BleachBaking SodaCharcoal Powder

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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

8 thoughts on “Top 20 Ways to Reuse Household Items

  1. Great article, thanks. However the one recycle for fabric softener gave me a bit of a chuckle. If there is nothing on store shelves for a 100 mi. I kinda doubt electricity will abundant. I have a design for a solar dryer the makes your clothes smell as clean as sunshine 😉

  2. forget stocking bleach. like you said it goes bad in a few months. buy calcium hypochlorite also known as pool shock. It is what bleach is made from and it keeps much longer as long as it’s dry. It will treat a swimming pool full of water.

  3. I have never had good luck with duct tape stopping leaks. My best guess is, the tape applied to the outside is overcome by pressure and water. If the tape could be applied inside the hose, it might work. Duct tape will certainly slow the leak, but, not stop it.

    Weapons and defense; bamboo is tough, flexible and can be sharpened. Re-bar in (1/2) or (5/8) at 18″ to 36″ should be on the list. Bamboo is the duct tape of plant world. Lots and lots of uses.

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