Newspaper is cheap and abundant and, as it turns out, quite absorbent of both moisture and odors.
Here is a list of some of my favorite uses for your old newspaper:
1. Packing for Storage or a Move– Wrap dishes and delicate knick-knacks with several pieces of newspaper. Wad up some extra pieces to fill and pad any extra space in the box. For extra strength, wet the newspaper before wrapping and let dry thoroughly before packing to create a protective cast!
2. Line a birdcage– Lay a few layers at the bottom of the cage for easy cleanup.
3. Clean Windows and Mirrors– Use newspaper with cleaning fluid or a mixture of water and vinegar to leave a streak-free shine.
4. Dry Shoes– Stuff paper in them overnight to help absorb the water. Help absorb odors, too!
5. Landing Area for Wet Shoes– Avoid those rainy day puddles! Keep a “mat” of newspaper near your entryway and toss wet shoes and boots onto it. Change the paper as needed.
6. Line your trash cans– Put a few layers of newspapers at the bottom of your trash can to soak up the nasty odors caused by rotting foods and help keep the can clean.
7. Deodorize Containers– Can’t quite get the garlic smell out of that plastic bowl? Stuff a wadded-up piece of newspaper into it (or your lunch box or thermos) and close it up overnight. You can also use this technique for suitcases and trunks; just use more newspaper and leave it closed for a few days.
8. Keep fruits and Veggies Fresh– Line the bottom of your fruit and veggie drawers in the fridge with a few sheets of newspaper to absorb excess moisture and any odors.
9. Ripen Fruit– Wrap pieces of fruit individually and leave them out at room temperature. Check them daily. This works for tomatoes and avocados as well.
10. Gift Wrap– The comics section makes a fun (and colorful if you use the Sunday paper) gift wrap for kids gifts, or use the wedding announcements for an engagement gift, the sports section for your sports fan, or the food section for the food lover!
11. Store Winter Woolens– Wrap each in a few sheets of newspaper and tape the edges and corners closed. Keeps your garments safe from moths and dust, and helps absorb any moisture.
12. Make a travel ironing board– If you take along a travel iron; to make your own on-the-road ironing board, simply fill a pillowcase with a short stack of newspapers, keeping it as level as possible. Then place it on a countertop or the floor and iron away.
13. Protect Windows when Painting– Don’t bother buying thick masking or carpenter tape when painting around those windows. Simply wet several long strips of newspaper and place them on the glass alongside the wood you’re painting and let dry. The newspaper sticks to the surface and keep the paint off the glass, and it is much easier to remove than tape.
14. Traction for your Tires– Unless your vehicle has four-wheel drive, keep a small stack of newspapers in the trunk of your car. By placing a dozen or two sheets of newspaper under each rear wheel, you can provide just the traction you need to get your car back out of that unexpected patch of mud.
15. Prep your garden– This one is my favorite! In the fall, designate a patch of lawn to use for a bed for flowers or veggies. Cover it with a few layers of newspaper, then a four-inch layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch and hose it down till it’s saturated. In the spring, your compost blanket will have killed the grass, roots and all, and the bed will be ready for planting.
Do you have any other uses for old newspaper? Please share in a comment!