DIY Repurposing

10 Astonishing Feats You Can Accomplish with Kitty Litter

The cat's out of the bag! Even households without furry feline friends should add kitty litter to the weekly shopping list. This inexpensive and readily available product is perfect for everything from deodorizing to traction control. Read on to discover how you can use this multifunctional marvel to improve your own home.
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Stop the Stink

Smelly gym shoes and stinky boots can be a thing of the past with reusable DIY kitty litter inserts. Put about a cup of litter into a pair of old nylon knee-highs or the cut-off feet of old pantyhose, tie a knot in the top, and leave one in each shoe overnight to absorb moisture and remove offensive foot funk.

Related: Clear the Air—10 Natural Ways to Cure Household Odors

Dispose of Paint Properly

You should never pour leftover paint down the drain, and many municipalities won’t accept cans with paint remnants for disposal. Transform unused paint into solid waste by mixing a few inches of kitty litter into the can. Let the can sit uncovered until the kitty litter absorbs all the liquid and the paint is completely hardened. Then, follow your local guidelines for disposal by placing the can in either the recycling bin or regular trash can.

Related: The 8 Common Painting Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Rid the House of Rodents

Mice, moles, and other small critters dislike both the smell and texture of kitty litter. Pour a generous amount of litter down mole tunnels, into mouse holes, and along basement walls to deter these common pests from taking up permanent residence in your abode. Kitty litter can also help alleviate the odor of small rodents that may have gotten into—or worse, died—inside your walls.

Related: Pests, Be Gone! 10 Natural Ways to Make Your Home Critter-Free


Freshen diaper pails or trash cans by regularly sprinkling a few tablespoons of kitty litter in the bottom to keep odors at bay. You can also banish refrigerator odors by placing a cup of kitty litter toward the back of the fridge, or try setting a shoebox filled with litter in the basement, attic, or closet for a fresher-smelling space.

Related: 7 Surprising Pantry Items Naturally Clean and Freshen Your Home

Soak Up Spills

Soak up grease, oil, and other garage spills with kitty litter—a 10-pound sack can absorb as much as a gallon of liquid! For fresh spills, sprinkle a generous amount of litter, wait a few hours, and then sweep up the mess. For older spills, use a brick or an old shoe to grind litter into the stain until it lightens in color, then sweep it up.

Related: 21 Ways to Spring Clean Your Whole House—Naturally

Salvage Your Cellphone

Don’t despair if you drop your phone in the water—kitty litter can work even better than rice to dehydrate phones and other small electronics. Simply slide your phone into an old sock and tie the top to prevent litter from getting into the device. Place the sock into a bag of litter, and leave it there for a few days or until there is no sign of moisture on the display screen.

Related: New & Notable—10 Digital Tools to Help You DIY Your Dream Home

Prevent Seasonal Stuffiness

Use kitty litter “sachets” to keep rarely used items from smelling musty. Place a cup of kitty litter in an old sock, tie the top, and pack it away with camping tents, sleeping bags, coolers, suitcases, ski equipment, jackets, snow pants, boots, or any other seasonally stored goods to ensure they stay fresh.

Related: 8 Notorious Closet Problems, Solved

Grill Safely

If you’re a frequent backyard barbecuer, this trick is for you: Prevent grease fires by lining the bottom of the grill with a layer of kitty litter to absorb the grease released by your favorite meats as they broil. Just remember to replace the kitty litter whenever it becomes too soaked. 

Related: 10 Morsels of Grilling Wisdom from the Pros

Maximize Traction

If you live in an area with snowy winters, kitty litter can be a lifesaver. Keep a bag in the back of your car for added weight; if you get stuck in the snow, try liberally sprinkling kitty litter under and around the wheels to gain some traction. You can also use kitty litter on walkways and driveways as a nonslip solution.

Related: The Gear You Need to Fight the Worst of Winter

Freshen Up Old Items

Planning a garage sale this summer? Banish the musty smells and lingering odors from your vintage clothes, shoes, stuffed animals, toys, and books with kitty litter. Fill the bottom of a large, lidded plastic storage bin with kitty litter, and place the items in a single layer on top. Seal the bin and keep it covered for about a day. When you take everything back out, it will all smell as good as new!

Related: 10 Tips for a Money-Making, Hassle-Free Yard Sale

Here's the Scoop

Even if you don’t have a cat, you might want to consider keeping a bag of kitty litter stocked at home.