9 Ways That Chalk Is Seriously Useful Around The House

uses for chalk

With as ubiquitous as chalkboard paint was throughout the 2010s, it’s easy to imagine there might be a few old sticks of chalk floating around in a drawer somewhere in your house. (I would say the chalk is “gathering dust,” but that seems a bit redundant!)

If you do happen to have chalk stashed away somewhere, you’re in luck, because this post is brimming with clever ways to put it to good use. Check out the most practical uses for chalk around the house (plus a just-for-fun bonus idea) below — and be sure to share any other ways you use chalk in the comments section!

9 Of The Best Household Uses For Chalk

uses for chalk

1. Remove Grease Stains

To remove a greasy or oily stain, start by rubbing chalk on the stained area. Let it sit for 10 minutes to give it time to absorb the grease, then wipe off any loose chalk dust before tossing it in your washing machine. It’ll come out good as new!

uses for chalk

2. Prevent Silver From Tarnishing

Keep a few pieces of chalk in the same place you store your silver items. The chalk will help absorb moisture in the area and help prevent the silver from tarnishing. You can also put a piece of chalk in your jewelry box to help prevent your silver jewelry from tarnishing, too.

uses for chalk

3. Keep Closets Fresh

Hang a small bag of chalk from one of the hangers in your closet. The chalk will keep moisture in check, which in turn will help prevent that musty smell that often goes hand-in-hand with moisture issues.

uses for chalk

4. Stop Screwdrivers From Slipping

If your screwdriver keeps slipping while you’re trying to turn a screw, rub some chalk on the head. The chalk should provide enough added friction to prevent it from slipping.

uses for chalk

5. Keep Your Tools Rust-Free

If your garage is pretty humid, all that moisture can cause your tools and toolbox to develop rust over time. Help keep your toolbox and the tools inside it free of rust by tossing a handful of chalk pieces in there.

uses for chalk

6. Make Minor Wall Repairs

If those little nicks, scrapes, and dings on your walls and door frames are driving you crazy, chalk makes a quick fix. Just find a piece of chalk that matches the paint color and draw over the imperfection. It’ll disguise the mark enough that it won’t draw your attention as much.

uses for chalk

7. Stop Ants In Their Tracks

If you see a line of ants somewhere in your house, you can sprinkle chalk across their scent path to stop them in their tracks. Sprinkle chalk around your doorways, windowsills and wherever else the ants seem to be coming in from.

uses for chalk

8. Fix Sticky Keys And Locks

Have 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 will help absorb dirt and moisture inside the lock and help the mechanisms slide more smoothly.

uses for chalk

9. Hang A Frame

You can use chalk to hang a frame exactly where you want it to go. First, apply some chalk to the hanger on the back of your frame, then press the frame against the wall where you want it to go. The chalk will leave a mark on the wall, and you’ll know exactly where to put your nail or screw.

Do have any other favorite uses for chalk around the house?

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • while wood cutting, after tree is cut down and de lambing the tree, mark tree with chalk, in measurements to fit in to your wood stove. work better then other products and instead of using paint can.

  • Does anyone else get a commercial ad every time they are on this homepage? I can’t close it until it plays the 10 sec ad. Is this new or is something wrong with my device?

  • I tried the chalk/ant “trick” last night and it did not work. I made a really thick line, a thin line, and the ants just crawled right over the line. I have tried this with regular chalk and sidewalk chalk.

    • Can’t imagine why it isn’t working for you-I’ve used it in front of all the doors and windows at the farm and only reapply it after a heavy rain. Maybe you have magic chalk.

  • Chalk is basically diatomaceous earth, of which the FOOD GRADE one can be used in your home for bugs as well as a desiccant (absorbs moisture) in closets, drawers, etc. when handled correctly, as well as in the garden to deter pests. I am currently reading a book on this product ‘GOING GREEN WITH DIATOMACEOUS EARTH HOW-TO TIPS’ by Tui Rose – got it on Amazon.com. Has some really GREAT info in it on all kinds of uses of this product. She says when using it in the garden, to be careful about how close you get to bushes that bees and butterflies frequent, or it may kill them. It works by getting on the bug, and causing the bug to basically lose moisture and die. Also, be careful about what KIND of this earth you are buying, as the NON-FOOD GRADE is used for swimming pool filters and other industrial uses and is not good for humans nor animals. The FOOD-GRADE one is safe for humans and animals, but just be careful about inhaling the dust or getting it in your eyes (use eye and inhalation protection when using/dispersing), as since it is a drying agent, it can also cause issues to your eyes, and internal breathing areas; as well as your skin if you don’t wash off the dust immediately after using. I am only 1/4 of the way through this great book, and am so glad I ordered it! Learning a lot about this great natural product from the earth to treat the earth and other areas of habitation as well. Got my FOOD-GRADE diatomaceous earth on Amazon.com too. No one around close to me carried it. =D

  • Some newer chalk has a “coating” on the outside that will prevent it from absorbing! So use a textured surface to get that coating off before you try to use these hints.

    Sidewalk chalk does not seem to have that coating so it might be a better one to use.

    For the ants in the garden—get a bag of LIME from your hardware of feed store–this is MUCH less spendy than chalk and is the SAME thing inside! I think it is the size and texture of the lime chalk etc they don;t like—I think I have read it does something to their systems they don’t like.

    For the popular “chalk paint”—dissolve some plaster of paris or UNSANDED grout in a small amount of WATER and then mix well with LATEX paint. This is NOT chalkboard paint–the proportions are different—but this will cover ANYTHING and does not need primer etc. This avoids that gritty feeling and can be sealed with poly or wax or even wax shoe polish! The pre-mixed chalk paint costs the earth but you can use pretty much anything you have on hand for this DIY.

  • I had NO CLUE there were so many amazing chalk uses out there. Thanks for sharing this… I’m about to go buy a pack of white chalk right now! Ha.

  • Thanks for all the great ideas, Jillee! I’m wondering now if chalk wouldn’t absorb odors in the freezer like baking soda. I have a whole box of the little sticks, I think I’m going to go throw a couple in and find out. If I remember, I’ll check back and let you know the results of my little experiment :)

    Have a great day!

  • is there a difference between the small sticks of chalk and “sidewalk chalk”? i noticed sometimes you designate the use of “sidewalk chalk” and other times just “chalk”…

  • Will the chalk clean a granite surface as well as the metal and marble? I have a sink that needs cleaning and this sounded like a good way to clean it if it won’t harm the granite.

  • >