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It is common knowledge in the DIY universe that everything has several uses—uses that it might not be originally advertised for. Vinegar can be used to clean and deodorize, toothpaste to clean grout, baking soda to whiten tiles, and so on. This is the basic principle of DIY-ing—a product can be used for various purposes and will give excellent results.
This article deals with baby powder and its varied uses around the house. Talcum powder is no longer just for bodily application or for getting rid of summer woes—it can be used for many things, some of which that may even sound completely cuckoo. But of course, they are not. It is generally used for reducing friction, absorbing moisture, and preventing rashes.
Baby powder takes it a step further—the formula is meant for sensitive skin and is comprised of ingredients that soothe and nourish the skin- aloe, Vitamin E and sometimes, citrus extracts. The consistency is smoother, silkier, and is the perfect compound for odd jobs around the home!
1. Shoe Freshener
Baby powder can be used to dry and deodorize shoes. Shoes, especially closed shoes like sneakers and boots, can become easy victims to odour and uncomfortable dampness if not aired out properly.
However, it might not always be an option to allow the shoes to completely air dry. This is where the baby powder comes to your rescue.
Sprinkle a generous amount of talcum powder inside the shoes, taking care to reach every area. The powder absorbs moisture, covers up offending odours and renders your shoes clean and fresh.
2. Dry Shampoo
It is a myth that dry shampoo is only effective when store-bought. Homemade dry shampoos can be equally effective if concocted properly.
Take a quarter cup of baby powder and mix with an equal amount of baking soda (store some in a jar for later use). Apply the mixture to your hair, brushing through tangles and ensuring that any excess is shrugged off. The powder needs to sit for a while before it can take effect.
After a few minutes though, it does its job—it soaks up oil and grease while adding volume to the hair. You can also add a few drops of any essential oil to this DIY dry shampoo so that it will have a pleasant smell.
3. Stave Off Rot
Sprinkling baby powder on bulbs, roots and young cuttings before you plant them helps prevent eventual rotting. This is an unusual and unique trick that does actually work. There is also something about the composition of this powder that deters pests.
4. Fix Squeaky Floors
Powder is known to reduce friction and all that comes with it. The same principle is applied when applying baby powder to squeaky floors. It soaks up latent moisture and grease and smoothens the surface so that when we walk on the floor, the movement is natural and undeterred, and any noisy interference is cancelled.
This method can be used on most types of surfaces—wood, marble or linoleum. Take care to not apply too much baby powder either, as excess amounts can cause the floor to become slippery and lead to accidents.
5. Make Latex Gloves Easier To Slip On
Latex is sticky and quickly adheres to moist skin, making the process of securing them quite difficult. Powdering your hands or the insides of latex gloves before you wear them greatly eases the process of slipping them on. This is a hack regularly used by doctors.
Baby powder forms a barrier between skin and glove.
6. Get Rid Of Grease Stains
Grease stains can prove quite difficult to remove, a job at which sometimes even the best detergents fail. An easy and convenient solution to allay this problem is baby powder, which is known to be adept at soaking up grease and oil.
Sprinkle the powder onto the affected area, and let it sit for a while. Dust the powder off after an appropriate interval, and wash it off with your normal laundry detergent.
7. Ant Repellent
Ant infestations occur in sticky, damp or moist parts of the home. Baby powder, being a cleaning tool and pest repellent in one, deters ants from forming colonies.
This is a simple but effective method that has been proven successful many a time.
8. Easy Removal of Sand
If you live in a coastal city or are a frequent visitor to the ocean, you will already be well acquainted with the struggles of getting rid of sand. Sand, even though dry, has a unique and annoying ability to appear everywhere and be very hard to remove.
Baby powder, our hero, can make this job much easier. It loosens the sand particles and causes them to be brushed off easily.
9. Freshen Bedsheets
Summer, in most places, is a season of high humidity and scorching heat. Even the crispest sheets are liable to get greasy and wilted, soaked in sweat and sticky as you clamber into them. An easy and convenient way to prevent this is by liberally sprinkling baby powder onto and between the layers of fabric.
This is a remedy that can be used as and when one pleases and one that always generates satisfactory results.
10. Dehumidify Your Closet
Closets being dark and enclosed, always prone to fall prey to damp and mildew and mould—this is a problem especially rampant in the rainy season. And while airing out the closet is always the best possible option, it is also a time-consuming process.
Baby powder, however, can do the trick. All you need to do is put some in a bowl or a jar (lidless) and keep it in a prominent position in the closet. You will notice a slow change with time elapse. The air inside the closet will smell fresher, and the clothes shall get noticeably drier.
11. Dry Pet Shampoo
Baby powder is also an excellent dry pet shampoo if you have a really hairy dog. The functions are what one would expect from a regular shampoo and the added pros are a smoothness only powder can provide and a scent unlike any other. Just rub it into your pet’s coat and comb it out after a while.
This can be used between baths and on hot days when your pet is extra smelly.
12. Drying Damp Books
Baby powder is an excellent fix for damp paper. Let the affected pages dry naturally for some time before you sprinkle on baby powder liberally. The powder soaks up excess moisture and also gets rid of the musty odour that damp books acquire.
Every bibliophile should have this trick up their sleeve!
13. Use as Aftershave
Aftershave is essentially a compound intended to keep away the irritation or skin irregularities after shaving. Baby powder acts as an adequate alternative to the aftershave we get from stores. It is equipped with the cooling properties that soothe and replenish skin, prevents and reduces razor burn and enables the skin to acquire a general appearance of smoothness.
14. Get Rid Of Friction On Carrom Boards
Carrom is a game that relies almost entirely on frictionless surfaces, but carrom boards fall frequent prey to friction, abrasion, grease and moisture. All of the mentioned things act as deterrents that prevent the players from scoring.
Sprinkling baby powder thoroughly on the board before the start of the game ensures a fruitful and obstacle-free session. Remember to rub in the powder, so that any latent films are absorbed and rendered insignificant.
15. DIY deodorant
Baby powder does the exact same job as a deodorant and can be a quick fix when you desperately need one. It absorbs sweat, imparts a fresh odour and eliminates the smell.
Added bonus? It is a far more a natural compound than most deodorants and can help soothe, nourish and replenish damaged skin. What’s more, there is absolutely no possibility of a chemical burn.
16. Make Footwear Comfortable
High heels are always uncomfortable, no matter the material, the price or the brand. Blisters come up eventually, ankles are often cut, and there is a general sense of discomfort.
Remedy this by brushing the insides of your heels with baby powder—it facilitates easier movements, allows more breathing space for the feet and keeps away swelling and blisters.
This, of course, might not be a long-term solution. However, it has been proven as adequately successful for short spans of time.
17. Get Rid Of Sweat Stains
Baby powder is great for getting rid of sweat stains. It soaks up sweat and grease and leaves behind no discernible staining. Direct application would also entail leaving on the powder for a while before one brushes it off.
Another more efficient alternative is to iron the affected garment after the powder has been applied, so as to ensure that the powder does not budge.
18. Deodorizing Kitty Litter Boxes
Kitty litter boxes are infamous for the strong, slightly rancid odour they develop if left unattended for too long. And while there are many store-bought products that do get rid of the stink, there is none more convenient than a generous sprinkling of baby powder.
Use it every time you clean out the box.
19. DIY Room Freshener
Baby powder works as a great room freshener, especially when mixed with a few drops of your favourite essential oil.
You can put the mixture in a perforated pouch, an open-lidded jar or small boxes that you can place in strategic locations all over the house. Pay special attention to closed spaces like closets, drawers and cabinets.
20. Make Lipstick Last Longer
This one is a makeup hack guarded zealously by makeup artists for many years—baby powder can actually make lipstick last longer. It helps set the compound on one’s lips, prevents smudging and deepens the colour against the skin of the lip.
21. Loosen Knots
Baby powder is great for loosening knots. Untangling knots, especially those in fabric or rope can make steam come out of anyone’s ears. What baby powder does is that it gets rid of grease—a major problem that leads to difficulty in untying jangled knots.
This hack works well for most materials, but especially so for thicker ones like rope, tweed or jute.
Baby powder can also be used to untangle jewellery or loosen shoelaces.
22. Keep The Trackpad Of Your Laptop Smooth
Sticky fingers or moisture is the bane of laptop trackpads. But this can be easily remedied by something as simple as sprinkling some baby powder onto the pad. This will absorb moisture, reduce friction and ensure the ability to glide.
Baby powder delivers more than it promises or is generally intended for. You might already know some of these hacks, while some others might come as complete surprises. All of them, however, are useful, unusual and entirely efficient.