Wash Throw Pillows in the Dishwasher
Tossing throw pillows into the washing machine leads to mangled stuffing and damaged fabric. Instead, load the pillows (without their cases) into the top rack of the dishwasher. Run them through a cycle—use borax instead of dishwasher detergent to avoid suds—and skip the heated dry option. Hang them up to dry afterwards.
Related: Over a Dozen Things You Didn't Know You Could Clean in the Dishwasher
Warm Plates in the Toaster Oven
When you put hot food on a cold plate, your meal's temperature dips a notch. Nobody likes tepid dinners, so warm your plates on the lowest setting of your toaster oven for five minutes before loading them up.
Related: How To: Clean Any Appliance
Clean Hardware in the Crock-Pot
After years of use, hardware becomes covered in caked-on paint and grime. Eliminate the mess with none other than your trusty Crock-Pot. Simply place the pieces of hardware in the appliance, cover them with water, and set your slow cooker to “low” overnight. When you open up the Crock-Pot in the morning, the paint will slide right off your hardware—score!
Related: 11 Totally Unexpected Uses for a Crock-Pot
Dehydrate Food in the Oven
Dried fruits and meats taste incredible, but commercial food dehydrators can cost a pretty penny. As a budget-friendly alternative, make your own dehydrator by stacking several cooling racks on top of each other, separated by balls of aluminum foil in each corner. Place the stacked racks in the bottom of your oven (you'll probably need to remove the oven racks) and set the temperature to 200 degrees. In four to six hours, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly dried fruit, vegetables, and jerky!
Related: 10 Weirdly Awesome New Uses for Old Appliances
Roast Coffee Beans in the Air Popper
Attention coffee lovers! You can roast your own beans in an ordinary air popper (preferably an older model, which will reach a higher temperature). You’ll need to set up a container to catch the chaff as the beans crack, and a strainer or colander for cooling the finished product. Enjoying custom-roasted coffee at home has never been easier!
Related: 9 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances
Instructables via BradMartinson
Cook a Meal with a Keurig
Any processed food that requires boiling water can be made with a Keurig, whether you’re whipping up instant oatmeal or a cup of noodle soup. Just run a cycle without a K-Cup and let the water flow directly into the food. It's much faster than boiling water, and it’s a lifesaver for homeowners without microwaves.
Related: 10 Things You Didn't Know Your Microwave Can Do
Instructables via Tom Hargrave
Freeze Gum Off Your Shoe
Stepped in gum? Try sticking your shoe in the freezer for a couple of hours. When you remove it, the gum will chip off the sole much more easily.
Related: 10 Unexpected Things to Put in Your Freezer—And Why
Shred Meat in Your Stand Mixer
Homeowners can quickly shred chicken, pork, or beef in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. The mixer makes quick work of a job you may always have done with two forks!
Related: 11 Home Hacks You Can Do with a Bag of Groceries
Craft with Your Electric Knife
Your electric knife can do more than carve the Thanksgiving turkey. Rely on the appliance to cut floral foam for flower arrangements, or use it to shape polyurethane foam for dining chairs you’re reupholstering.
Related: 12 Kitchen Gadgets People Always Regret Buying
Think Outside the Box
Don't let anything be a uni-tasker in your home—not even your appliances!
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!