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Here’s What to Do If You Run Out of These Common Household Items

When household goods are in short supply, what can you turn to instead? Here are some substitutes for common items.

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If You Run Out of Laundry Detergent:

If you’ve got hampers full of clothes to wash and no laundry detergent to wash them with, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean you have to walk around in dirty clothes until you get more. In a pinch, add a cup of baking soda or borax to a load of laundry in place of detergent. Your clothes might not come out of the wash as freshly scented as you’re used to, but they will be clean. By the way, are you making any of these laundry mistakes?

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If You Run Out of Dish Soap:

Say you’re all set to tear into a sink full of dirty dishes only to find that someone used the last drops of dish soap. Your first inclination might be to reach for any nearby soap as a substitute. Be careful, though…just because it’s “soap” doesn’t mean you should use it to wash your dishes. Hand soaps and detergents are often made with additives and chemicals that you really don’t want anywhere near your eating utensils. Instead, make a paste out of baking soda and water and wash your dishes with that, rinsing them clean after you’ve scrubbed the grime away. Baking soda is a fantastic cleaner…most of the time. Here are some things you should never clean with baking soda.

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If You Run Out of Coffee Filters:

Jonesing for a strong cup of coffee but just used your last coffee filter? Rip off a couple of sections from a row of paper towels and position them in the coffee machine just like you would a coffee filter. The strong but still porous paper towel will act as a makeshift filter so you can brew your coffee and get on with your day without making a run to the store.

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If You Run Out of Baking Soda:

Baking soda is an alternative for two of the items on this list, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the many ways it can be used. But what happens if you’re baking and you run out of the versatile substance itself? As it turns out, you can simply sub in baking powder. Just be sure to use about three times as much baking powder as you would baking soda.

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If You Run Out of Toilet Paper:

Few situations are as dire as those when you realize you need toilet paper and don’t have any. Unfortunately, many of the things you would think to use in place of toilet paper might work for wiping, but could do serious damage to your pipes if you try to flush them. If you’re in an absolute emergency, it’s best to use thin materials like tissues or toilet seat liners to clean up. They still shouldn’t be flushed—throw them in the trash instead.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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