Bar soap makes a great lubricant for screws, nails, and saw blades. Stick nails or screws into a bar of soap before using. The soap will make them slide in easier and be less likely to split the wood, which is great for DIY projects that use thin pieces of wood. You can also rub a bar of soap over a saw blade to help it slice through wood more easily—this also has the side benefit of helping you cut straighter.
Keep your stored linens, towels, and clothing smelling fresh and clean by placing them in large plastic bags with a bar of soap. Leave the soap in the box or wrapper, open one end, and place it in the bottom of the bag. Similarly, this trick works for suitcases, closets, drawers, and other areas where you want to prevent musty odors. You can reuse the same bar of soap for several seasons before the scent fades.
Bar soap makes a great multifunctional sewing aid: Use soap instead of chalk to mark a hemline or a seam; set it next to your craft station to serve as a convenient pincushion; or stick a needle into a bar of soap before sewing to help the tool slide through multiple layers of fabric with ease.
Hate having ground-in dirt under your fingernails after gardening? Take a proactive approach—scrape your fingernails over a bar of soap before you start working outdoors to prevent dirt from caking up in your nails. You can also try this method to help a friend or family member kick a bad fingernail-biting habit.
Related: 10 "Zero Dollar" Garden Hacks
Sounds of Silence
If your floorboards or stairs have developed odd creaks and squeaks over the years, use some bar soap to lubricate the joints and any cracks in the wood. Rub the soap over the crack, and then use a damp mop or sponge to work the soap thoroughly into the area. You'll never disturb your sleeping family again!
Itchy bug bites can make even the most self-controlled person scratch like mad. The next time you feel the itch, use this bath-time essential to help soothe your spots. Rub a dampened bar of soap over the affected area to relieve the pain and itch of the bites. This will also keep the area clean so the bites don’t get infected.
Use bar soap to loosen and lubricate stuck or rusty zippers on coats, tents, or sleeping bags. Simply rub the soap on both sides of the zipper, then open and close it a few times to work the slippery substance into the teeth. The soap will also coat the teeth to help prevent rust in the future.
Strong-smelling bar soap—like Irish Spring, Zest, and Ivory, for instance—makes for a great nontoxic rabbit and deer repellent. Simply open one end of the box or wrapper, and place the entire bar at the base of the tree or shrub that you want to protect. Alternatively, cut the soap into pieces, place them in old nylon stockings, and hang the bundles from branches or fence posts to ward off unwanted guests.
Fresh, Not Funky, Shoes
Eradicate odors from smelly sneakers, boots, or shoes by placing a wrapped bar of soap as far into the shoe as possible. Leave the soap in overnight, then reveal a fresh place for your feet to land in the morning.
Open Door Policy
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