Some tools and appliances are doomed to be one-hit wonders in the kitchen.
The turkey baster gets pulled out every Thanksgiving to baste the bird. The colander drains. The pasta maker…makes pasta, right?
Think bigger, though, and there can be a world of possibilities.
We asked bloggers and DIY experts for their take on non-kitchen, non-food uses for typical kitchen items.
Here are 14 one-hit wonder kitchen gadgets and appliances to rethink:
If it’s an old one, consider using it to make homemade laundry powder and other cleaners. (Just know it might not be fit for food afterward.)
Use it to scoop toys out of the bathtub, or as a substitute for an ice bucket, suggests Real Simple.
You can also use it as a tool when hand-washing laundry. Fans of this method say placing garments in a colander can help protect them from any lingering dish detergent or other chemicals in the sink.
“Spray the cookie sheet with a strong adhesive and cover with fabric to make a decorative serving tray that looks great in a living room or bedroom,” says a spokeswoman for home goods retailer WayFair.com.
Other options: Add a coat of chalkboard or magnetic paint to create a display board.
Go beyond washing dishes to all-purpose cleaning and sanitizing. A dishwasher can safely wash a number of household items, including dog leashes, sports gear, vacuum attachments and toothbrushes.
“Think jewelry storage — as a ring holder for while you’re cleaning up in the bathroom, or a decorative holder on a vanity or dresser,” says the WayFair.com spokeswoman.
Pop in batteries to prolong their life. If your computer’s hard drive crashes, freezing it for three to five hours may revive it long enough to help you retrieve vital data, according to WonderHowTo.com.
“Try them as organizers for small objects like beads or jewelry,” says Robyn L. Coburn of Etsy.com shop “IggyJingles.” For kids’ crafts, they also make nice paint palettes.
“Cook” damp towels in a storage bag for a heated towel after your shower, advises Yahoo! Shine.
This appliance can also sterilize soil in roughly 90 seconds, removing bacteria that can keep seeds from growing well.
Use it to organize bills, suggests Real Simple. Arrange them in order of payment date.
“I use a pasta roller for polymer clay and paper clay work,” says Coburn.
Use it for beauty products. According to Allure, eye cream can be more effective at de-puffing when it’s cold, and acne and anti-aging products may stay potent for longer periods of time.
Fragrances can also have longer shelf lives when refrigerated.
Use them in bathrooms, offices and bedrooms as all-purpose drawer organizers, says Real Simple.
“Use it to water plants,” says Jackie Keller, the founding director and executive chef of Nutrifit. Or use it to switch out old water in a vase of flowers.
“In a pinch, forks and spoons make great gardening tools,” Keller says.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.