20 UNBELIEVABLE Uses For Sandpaper (That Really Work!)

20 UNBELIEVABLE Uses For Sandpaper (That Really Work!)

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

sharpening scissors
No more blunt 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

Want to know how to remove rust? Rusty tools can be made shiny again in seconds. Just sand 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

Now, this is a great little wardrobe hack! 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

opening a jar
Jars are no match for sandpaper!

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

It's easy! 

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

emery board
Give yourself the perfect manicure.

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

The difference is unreal!

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 specialist fine-grit sandpaper and get to work with help from the video above. 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 

slug ring
They hate sandpaper!

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

gingerbread man
It doesn't have to be perfect!

Everyone loves a Christmas craft! When the 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. We're sure this would make a lovely DIY gift for grandparents too. 

Can you think of any more ways to use sandpaper? Let us know in the comments below! 

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author Susan Bowden on January 14, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Rubber gloves are MUCH better for removing screw on caps. They work for nail varnish bottles, too.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 15, 2019 at 9:21 am

      That's a wonderful tip, Susan! Not to mention, people are more likely to have rubber gloves to hand.

  2. Author Judith Evans on January 16, 2019 at 10:25 am

    #9 amuses me given the full article a couple of weeks about cleaning grout. All the methods quoted were so wonderfully efficient.... but no mention of sandpaper!

    1. Author Joanne A on January 16, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Judith! We're pleased to hear that you read our article about cleaning grout. If you're super serious about cleaning your grout, we'd stick to those methods. This is just a fun, alternative use for sandpaper that you might not have thought about.

  3. Author Patricia Farr on January 17, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Rubber band round a screw on cap works as well if you don't have rubber gloves.

  4. Author Dee Lindsey on January 18, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    As keen gardener I love the seed tip as it can be frustrating waiting for your plants to start sprouting up and slugs beware from now on! However, I would be wary of opening jars with sandpaper for fear that the grains of sand might get into the jar contents...(or maybe it's just me!?)

    1. Author Joanne A on January 21, 2019 at 9:19 am

      Hi Dee! We're glad you loved the seed and slug tips. If you're worried about grains of sand going into the jar, use the sandpaper to just loosen the lid first, and then undo the rest by hand. You can even wipe off the lid if any sand remains.

  5. Author Rita on December 8, 2019 at 12:12 am

    To deter cats? Are you not aware that a cat will have to try and scratch that spot before it realizes that this texture is better to be avoided? And if a cat scratches it, the sand paper will hurt its paw pads. People should think before reposting stuff they find online.

    1. Author Joanne A on December 9, 2019 at 11:38 am

      Hi Rita! Sandpaper shouldn't do any damage to their paws beyond feeling a little uncomfortable, but I understand your concerns. If you prefer, you could try something like aluminium foil.

  6. Author Melissa Hegarty on October 19, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I dropped my hot iron on my carpet and burnt it. I left it for 24 hours then rubbed it with some sandpaper, hoovered it and it’s like new. Saved me a fortune.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 11:59 am

      That's amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Author Antonymous on February 21, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Wow, thanks for the tips, does that work on ehm calluses as well, sorry if it was a silly question. Btw is it true that jeans can sharpen razor blade? If so is this mild sandpaper indicated as well or it can just blunt them?

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 12:23 pm

      I've never heard of that before - sounds interesting!


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