10 Amazing Uses for Old Newspapers

Before you throw those old newspapers away, or consign them to the recycling bin, consider these uses for them.

  1. Push small balls of crumpled newspaper into a stale smelling Thermos flask and replace the stopper. Leave overnight, remove the paper and rinse in warm soapy water. It will smell fresh again. The newspaper absorbs the smell. This works on plastic boxes too.
  2. To ripen green tomatoes wrap them in newspaper to keep them warm and they will ripen in a couple of days. (If you leave them on a window sill and there’s not much sun or heat, they will not ripen.)
  3. Crumpled newspaper makes very good packing material for fragile and delicate items. Use a lot of layers, each one crumpled up, to give protection. Also good for insulation and protecting frozen food.
  4. Screw up some newspaper and moisten it very slightly. Apply a drop of dish washing detergent and use to clean and polish glass. It will gleam.
  5. If shoes get wet, stuff them with newspaper and place in a warm cupboard. They will dry quickly and keep their shape. Use this method for leather handbags and gloves too.
  6. During winter and very wet weather leave a stack of newspapers by the door. They will absorb water and wet mud and protect your floor from wet boots.. It’s much easier to clean up too.
  7. Line the bottom of your refrigerator drawer with newspaper. It absorbs water and smells.
  8. If you have a garden compost bin, newspapers make good “dry” compost. Just tear them up and add to your bin.
  9. Use shredded newspaper to improve sticky, wet soil in your garden. Just dig it in (mulch) and let it do it’s job.
  10. Newspaper make a useful alternative for pet bedding. They absorb moisture, and provide insulation. This is a great idea for small animals in cages and runs.
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Published in: Homemaking


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  1. Very useful tips, Lizzie.

  2. I didn’t know newspaper absorbed odors. Great tips to remember.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sheet mulching is a wonderful way to recycle our newspaper… it keeps down weeds and while it decomposes is a natural compost to enrich your soil… and is great for retaining moisture… during drought.

    Example: layers of newpaper… on bottom… overlapping/thick
    and mulch on top… for veggie gardens, use straw not hay. Hay has seeds…

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