Sandpaper can be found in most of our garages and workshops, but aside from sanding wood, what's it actually good for? You might be surprised to find out that it can be used for lots of little jobs!
Don't let yours go to waste. Try some of these brilliant uses for sandpaper around the home now.
1. Sharpen scissors
Are your scissors struggling? Blunt scissors can easily be brought back to life with the help of sandpaper. Simply cut into a sheet of fine grain sandpaper a few times to bring them back to life.
2. Remove rust
Rusty tools can be made shiny again in seconds. Just sound down any parts that show signs of rust. You might want to take care because coarser grains can scratch the metal's finish.
3. Slippy shoes
Smart shoes can be treacherous on slippery floors. If yours could do with a little more grip, take a piece of coarse sandpaper and rub them on the bottom of the shoe to roughen up the surface.
4. Open jars
Some jars can get the better of us, but not when you've got some sandpaper lying around. You might have tried to open stuck lids with a tea towel, but sandpaper will give you a much better grip. Place the sandpaper over the lid and twist it off as normal.
5. Safer steps
Outdoor steps can get pretty dangerous in wet or icy conditions. Use some sandpaper to create a grip at the end of each step. It'll also help the edge of the step to be much more visible.
6. Flowers in a flash
If you want to see faster results in your garden, rub down your seeds with sandpaper before planting. If you thin out the tough seed casing, the plant will be able to break through a lot faster.
7. Remove bobbles on clothing
You might have heard about using a razor to remove bobbles from clothes, but did you know that sandpaper works just as well? Use a fine-grit paper and carefully rub it over bobbles in a circular motion.
8. Stop cats from scratching your furniture
If your cat is scratching up the furniture, leave some sandpaper in those spots. They will hate the feel of the paper on their paws and they should learn not to dig their claws into those areas.
9. Clean up your grout
It doesn't take much for grout to look a little bit on the dingy side. Stains from shampoos, dyes, and mould can get stuck to the surface. No amount of scrubbing and cleaning products will ever get it looking like new, but sandpaper might!
Fold a piece over so that you have a thin edge to work with. Rub the edge into the grout, being careful not to scratch the tiles in the process. The stains should dissolve away in no time.
10. Replacement emery board
No DIY manicure is complete without perfectly filing your nails first! If you don't have a nail file, use fine grit sandpaper to achieve the same results.
TOP TIP: You can also use sandpaper to file down your dog's nails!
11. Sharpen needles
Sewing is much harder with a blunt needle. Poke your needles through a piece of sandpaper a few times until they're good as new.
12. Freshen up suede
Have your favourite suede shoes got a few scuffs? There's no need to go out and buy a new pair! Take a piece of fine sandpaper and gently buff away the scuffs. To bring the texture back, use an old (clean!) toothbrush or a nailbrush and rub over the spot in a circular motion.
13. Clean your headlights
Car cleaning isn't easy at the best of times, but with this trick, it can be! If your headlights are looking dingy, take some fine grit sandpaper and gently buff them. Be sure to clean them thoroughly first for best results.
14. Remove burnt on food
For those times when burnt on food just won't budge, take a piece of sandpaper and rub until it is removed. Sandpaper may scratch some materials, so don't try this on precious glassware or fine china!
15. Keep chopping boards cleaner
How many germs are lurking in the cracks and crevices on your chopping board? Get your chopping boards thoroughly clean by sanding it down before washing. You can also sand down your wooden spoons and utensils if you wish.
16. Dead skin
This may sound a little bit unusual, but sandpaper is effective for removing dry skin from your feet. Take fine grit sandpaper and gently rub areas that require treatment. The tough skin will be gone in no time.
17. Deter slugs
There's nothing worse than finding an army of slugs trying to attack your garden plants, but did you know that sandpaper makes a great deterrent? Cut rings larger than your plant pots and place at the base. You can also protect individual plants with miniature rings placed around the stems.
18. Remove pen marks from furniture
If your kids have got a bit too carried away drawing on wooden furniture, sandpaper will take any marks right off. Don't try this on veneer or polished wood, as it will remove the finish.
19. Make a sensory board or book
Develop your child's awareness of the senses by making your own sensory board. All you need is some kind of a board or a book and materials in a variety of different textures like cotton wool, velcro, and faux fur. Fine grit sandpaper is a great addition, giving a rough texture. Cut the materials into fun shapes, stick them to the board, and have your child feel each one.
20. Gingerbread craft
When the Christmas season rolls around, sandpaper makes a great craft material for kids. Make wonderful gingerbread ornaments by cutting little men out of the paper. Glue on buttons, string and all manner of crafty bits and bobs for an easy afternoon project.
Can you think of any more ways to use sandpaper? Let us know in the comments below!