15 Unexpected Uses For Things You Already Have At Home


If you’re familiar with Alton Brown of the Food Network, you probably know about his stance on single-use kitchen tools and appliances. He argues that the “unitaskers” you have in your kitchen clog up your drawers and cupboards with junk you’ll rarely use, and he has a good point!

Many of the handy tools and home appliances you see in stores today perform simplistic tasks that can usually be done just as easily with more basic tools. But on the other hand, there are more ways to use some supposed single-use tools and appliances than you might think.

I scoured the web for interesting and surprising uses for the tools and appliances you already have at home, and found 15 to share that will make your life easier. If you have a novel use for a tool or appliance that isn’t listed here, I’d love to hear about it—share your brilliant ideas with us in the comments below.

15 Unexpected Uses For Your Home Appliances


1. Use A Pizza Cutter To Chop Herbs

Use your pizza cutter to quickly chop or mince fresh herbs. This is a great option for people who don’t have a spice grinder or something similar.


2. Use A Microwave Before Juicing Citrus

To make sure you get the most juice possible out of your fresh citrus, pop your lime, lemon, or orange into your microwave for about 10 seconds before cutting into it. This will soften the pith and makes it much easier to get all the juice out of it.


3. Use A Coffee Grinder To Make Toppings

Your coffee grinder is the perfect tool for making powdered or crushed toppings. Put a handful of nuts, crackers, or cookies into your coffee grinder and pulse it a few times to achieve the perfect crumbly consistency.

Use it for breaking down graham crackers for pie crusts, to break up crackers for topping casseroles, or just to make chopped nuts for an ice cream sundae.


4. Use A Rice Cooker To Warm Towels

When you’re having a spa day at home, there’s a way to keep warm, steamed towels at the ready—just like at your favorite spa! Saturate a few hand towels with warm water, roll them up, and place them in your rice cooker. Turn the rice cooker on, and in a few minutes your towels will be perfectly warm and steamy. Ahhh…


5. Use A French Press To Rinse Grains

You can easily rinse all sorts of grains using your french press coffee maker. Just place your quinoa, rice, or other grain inside and pour in enough warm water to cover it, then press the plunger down as far as it will go and pour out the water.

Remove the plunger and use a spoon or spatula to scoop the rinsed grains out. It’s easier and cleaner than using a sieve or colander!


6 Use A Microwave To Disinfect Sponges

Sponges are useful tools, but they’re also a magnet for bacteria. Disinfect your sponges regularly by microwaving them! Just get the sponge wet (but not dripping) and microwave it for 1-2 minutes—simple as that.


7. Use A Stand Mixer To Shred Meat

Shredding meat can be a time consuming task, but it’s a lot faster when you do it in a stand mixer. After cooking your meat (and while it’s still warm), drop it into the bowl of your stand mixer and use the paddle attachment on a low or medium speed. The meat will fall apart before your eyes! Use this tip for shredding brisket, pork, and chicken.

Read More: The Secret To Perfectly Shredded Chicken In Seconds!


8. Use A Dishwasher To Cook Food

Did you know your dishwasher can clean your dishes and cook food at the same time? Vacuum seal some fish or vegetables and toss the bag in the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the dishwasher on the hottest cycle, and then a delicious, steamy meal will be ready for you.

Read More: 10 Things Everyone With A Dishwasher Should Know


9. Use A Hair Dryer To Remove Stickers

The easiest way (by far!) to remove stubborn stickers is to heat it up with a hair dryer first. It may sound strange, but the heat from the hair dryer makes the adhesive warm and pliable, so the sticker is more likely to peel away easily without leaving sticker residue behind.


10. Use A Waffle Maker To Cook (Almost) Anything

You can cook just about anything in your waffle maker, including brownies, grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, cinnamon rolls, quesadillas, cornbread, and even pizza. Everything cooks quickly, and it’s easy to clean up after yourself afterward.

Read More: Things You Can (And Can’t) Make In A Waffle Iron!


11. Use Molds To Freeze Single Servings

Freeze foods in handy single-serving portions by freezing them in ice cube trays or silicone molds. Make frozen cubes of pesto, fresh herbs, or even baby food, and once the cubes are frozen, you can remove them from the tray or mold and store them in a freezer bag. (I love being able to grab a cube or two of frozen pesto to add flavor to sauces and soups!)

Read More: 13 Super Smart Frugal Food Tips


12. Use An Egg Slicer To Slice Soft Foods

You know that slicing tool you use to slice hardboiled eggs? You can use it with a variety of other soft foods too, like mushrooms, soft cheeses, strawberries, and avocados, to get perfect slices in seconds.

Read More: “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part One


13. Use A Steam Mop To Steam Clean Everything

Your steam cleaner can do more than just clean your hardwood floors. Use it to clean your windows, curtains, upholstery, shower doors, grills, and more.

Read More: 30 Creative Uses For Your Steam Cleaner


14. Use A Blender To Make Paper

Making your own beautiful handmade paper is easy using your blender and a dehydrator. Make a fibrous pulp by blending junk mail and spare papers, then dry it out in flat sheets in a dehydrator.

Read More: How To Make Beautiful Handmade Paper


15. Use A Crockpot To Make Your Home Smell Great

Your crockpot can double as a potpourri warmer. Fill it with fruits, flowers, herbs, or spices to fill your home with the scents of the season! You can also use a mini crockpot so it takes up less counter space.

Read More: 10 Unusual Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make In Your Crockpot

Do you use any of your kitchen items in untraditional ways?

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

  • Hi !! I bought two dough whisk for each of my four children . One for dry ingredients and one for moist ingredients. We all absolutely love them !!
    Thank you , Jillee. My fav blog !!

  • not gonna lie, I don’t think cooking food in your dishwasher is food safe. I do like that juicing hack though, where did you get that mason jar attachment for juicing?

  • Just used my Kitchenmaid to shred up some chicken for my chicken tetrazzini, it worked like a charm. Wish I had known about this sooner. Thanks for all your great tips.

  • I used a hair drying once to remove the dealership sticker from the back of my car. I didn’t like where it was placed so just decided to remove it. Worked great!

  • Love the hair dryer hack. Will try that next time. I’m sorry this post wasn’t out last week, really could have use it then. Two alternatives uses: I use my pizza cutter for brownies. Take them out of the tray and use the pizza cutter. Find it works better then a knife. Doesn’t “rip” the brownie pieces. Second hack is for my Danish dough whisk. This is usually used when making (DUH) bread dough. I also use it to mix my meatloaf. I have sensitive skin. Sometimes the enzymes in the meat will cause a rash. I use the Danish Dough Whisk because it mixes it all together without over mixing and making my meatloaf “tough”. I always think of Alton Brown when I want to buy a new kitchen gadget. If it’s a unitasker, it’s a no go. (Usually….but sometimes I can’t resist…teehee)

  • This is great. I remember using the hairdryer in college when we had cleaning checks for apartments. Anyway. It made it much faster to melt the ice for defrosting the freezer.
    I love the waffle iron hacks. We actually tried Jillees breakfast Quesadillas in the waffle iron. They were delicious.

  • Being a guy, I doubted I would ever find things useful for me on Jillee’s website. However, having a desire to learn how to use more things and adapt what I know to different projects, I can honestly say I have been making her website a favorite stop!!! Keep up the good work…

  • This may sound gross , but I have a hard time wringing out my delicates, I never put them in a washer , so I found an old salad spinner at the thrift store and can soak,wash, and rinse , all I have to do is tip out the water and an extra spin when there is no water gets them dry enough to hang without dripping .
    I have done small hand knitted or crocheted items too.
    Get the largest size spinner you can , some are quite big and it is surprising how you can quickly get an item washed without waiting for laundry day !

  • Use a pizza cutter to cut pancakes, waffles, cheese, lunch meats, quesadillas, toast, sandwiches, cooked vegetables, etc., into bite size pieces for toddlers. Also works great for cutting rolled out dough when making homemade noodles, pizza or breakfast pockets, breadsticks, etc.

  • – Your hairdryer can be used to defrost your freezer – much faster and less messy than stacking pots of boiling water inside and waiting for the ice to melt. When you use the hairdyer, big chunks of ice just slide away!
    – To fry bacon slices, spread them on several layers of kitchen paper on a plate, and heat in the microwave for 1 minute on high. Then you go on frying by 30 second increments until it is to your liking 8shouldn’t take more than 3 minutes all in all)

    • Fantastic! I’ll use so many of these. Thank you very much! I also use a pizza cutter to cut my homemade noodles because it’s so much faster than using a knife, and I don’t have to worry about cutting the table or whatever is under the noodles.

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