If you spend any time on Pinterest or looking through the pages of home decorating magazines you will no doubt know that chalk and chalkboards have made their way out of the classroom and into the living room (and dining room, and kitchen, and office, etc) as of late. If you have kids, you mostly likely have had your driveway and sidewalks decorated with chalk masterpieces at some point this summer. But these sticks of soft white limestone are much more than just a means of beautifying your home, they have all kinds of other useful applications!
Here are 20 smart uses for chalk curated from across the world wide web:
Remove Grease Stains
Rub chalk on the stained area and let it sit for 10 minutes. This helps absorb the grease. Before throwing it in the washing machine, wipe off the excess dust.
Rub the stain heavily with white chalk. The chalk will absorb the oil that holds in the dirt. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, then wash as usual.
Remove Grease Stains from Suede
Crush the chalk and sprinkle it on the grease stain. Let sit overnight. Then brush off in the morning. The chalk dust absorbs the grease from the suede.
Prevent Mildew and Odors in the Laundry Hamper
Place several pieces of sidewalk chalk in a resealable plastic bag, and place the open bag in the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper. The chalk will absorb the moisture from the damp clothes, preventing the growth of odor causing mildew. Replace once a month.
Stop Silver from Losing its Luster
Keep some chalk in the same place that you store your silver. It’ll absorb the moisture and prevent the silver from tarnishing.
Prevent Tarnished Jewelry
A piece of chalk in your jewelry box will prevent costume and silver jewelry from tarnishing. The chalk will absorb the sulfur compounds inside the jewelry box before they can turn the jewelry black.
Make a paste with a ground-up piece of chalk and vodka. Rub on pewter, rinse it off, and polish.
Prevent Musty Closets
A bundle of chalk in a closet will go a long way in preventing the mustiness that often occurs.
Chalk is a great temporary way to mark out a new design on the floor when you’re redecorating. You can stand back and see if it will work before you start moving things around.
Sand a Surface Evenly
Rub chalk on the surface you are sanding. Continue to sand until it’s all gone, and you’ll end up with a perfectly even surface!
Keep Your Toolbox Rust-Free
Since chalk absorbs moisture, a handful of chalk pieces in your toolbox will help prevent your tools from rusting.
Prevent Screwdrivers from Slipping
Rub some chalk on the head of a flathead to prevent your screwdriver from slipping when you’re turning a screw.
Instant Wall Repairs
For a quick fix of little nicks and scrapes on your walls, find a piece of chalk that matches the paint color and just draw it in.
Stop Ants In Their Tracks
For some reason, ants don’t like to cross chalk lines. Draw some on around your doorways, windowsills and wherever else the ants are coming in from to stop them in their tracks. Here are some more ways to deter and get rid of ants naturally.
Instant Fingernail Brightener
Rub a nail brush over white chalk, then rub the brush under the tips of fingernails, re-loading the brush with chalk as needed. The brush bristles dislodge and remove dirt from under nails while the white chalk leaves behind a fresh, clean manicured look.
Shine Metal or Marble
In a small bowl, crush a few pieces of sidewalk chalk (color doesn’t matter) into a fine powder. Dampen a soft cloth and dip the tip of it into the crushed chalk and use it to wipe the dull metal or marble. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry. The chalk granules are just abrasive enough to remove the cloudy residue without damaging the finish.
Got a door key that keeps sticking in the lock? Rub a piece of chalk along the teeth and tip of the key, then slide the key in and out of the lock a few times. The chalk coats the dirt particles inside the lock and absorbs any moisture.
Installing Door Hardware
To get an exact fit for door hardware, coat the underside of the hardware on the door, then shut the door. The chalk will mark the exact location for latches, locks, etc.
Hide Ceiling Marks
Temporarily cover up water or scuff marks on the ceiling until you have time to paint or make a permanent repair. Rub a stick of white chalk over the mark until it lightens or disappears.
Create Patterned Paper
Shave some colored chalk slivers into a bowl of water then dip a piece of paper into the water. Let air dry and then set the design with hairspray.
And finally….you can take leftover pieces of chalk that aren’t usable anymore and make MORE CHALK!
Just crush it, mix with water, pour into some kind of mold and let dry. If it is too chunky to use for writing, the kids can use it as sidewalk chalk. Add a bit of tempura paint powder to make colored chalk.
Bet you won’t look at a box of chalk the same way again! I know I won’t!