As I’ve been spring cleaning and organizing, I came across some pencils. A lot of pencils that have never been used. Now here’s the thing; my son is 23 and I probably haven’t bought pencils since he was 13, last year I donated probably 50 pencils to “Stuff The Bus”, and we’ve given bags of pencils to our granddaughter…so how the heck do I still have this many pencils? Since I use a pencil and or eraser, maybe once a year, I thought, “Is there anything else I can do with all of these?”
Uses For Erasers
- Remove Price-Tag Residue
You buy something new, peel the price tag off, and there’s that bit of residue still left. Instead of ruining your manicure, grab a pencil eraser and glide it back and forth over the remnants. The rubber will absorb the adhesive so you can simple rinse it off with warm water.
- Plant Seeds Easily
I tried this and it really did make my seed planting easier while getting them in the ground deep enough so hopefully the squirrels and birds didn’t come along behind me and eat them. Insert a pencil, eraser side down, into the soil until the metal part is no longer visible. Then drop a seed into the depression. The hole is the perfect size and depth for your seeds and you don’t get your hands dirty. Bonus-some areas of our yard are pretty rocky and hard. For those areas, I used the pencil point to get a better hole made and it saved my fingers! Love this!
- Clean Canvas Covered Items
To clean off minor marks from canvas covered items, without having to wash them, try rubbing them with a clean pencil eraser.
- Patent Shoe Shine
Most scuff marks can be removed from patent leather (shoes or purses) with an ordinary eraser.
- Clean A Computer Keyboard
You may notice dark grime building up on the curved face of you computer keys but it’s risky to use water or cleaning products on them. For a quick and cheap way to clean them, rub the dirt gently away with an eraser, blowing to clear any eraser dust.
- Clean Spots Off Suede
Rub suede items gently with an eraser to remove minor stains and marks…it will also help fluff up the suede fibers.
- Make A Pin Cushion
If you have an eraser (the pink rectangular ones), you can easily turn it into a pin cushion. Simply stick those straight pins or needles in a pencil eraser and they’ll stay till you need them. Too bad I don’t sew!
- Polish Jewelry
For metal jewelry that’s a bid dull, you can rub a pencil eraser over the dull spots for a quick shine and polish. The eraser’s rubber particles will absorb any oil and grime easily. My picture isn’t that great but you can see a strip that’s cleaner than the other part, which is what I rubbed with the eraser.
- Prevent Pet Mealtime Mess
Our cats like to slide their water and food bowls across the floor, which makes a huge mess. Especially the water! Here’s an easy solution…Pull the erasers off three pencils and glue them to the bottom of the food/water dish, forming a large triangle. The rubber grips the floor, making it harder to budge. I tried this with plain old Elmer’s Glue and it worked great after the glue dried.
- Keep Frames From Scratching Walls
Have frames that slip and slide, making them look crooked on the wall? Take the erasers off a couple of pencils and glue them to the bottom corners on the back of each frame. The soft rubber provides traction that will keep the frame from sliding and it helps protect the wall from scratches (from the frame). Same concept as the pet bowls.
- Erase Scuff Marks
For a super quick (and easy on the elbow) way to remove scuff marks on your floor, rub the mark with a pencil eraser then wipe clean with a damp cloth. They are instantly erased! The rubber contains pumice which gently loosens the residue and it won’t scratch the floor.
Here’s a couple of alternative uses for pencils…
- Know When To Water Your Plants
Sometimes I over water my plants and a lot of times I underwater them. To test the soil of your houseplant, push a pencil firmly into the soil and let it sit for half an hour. Pull it out and inspect the tip; If it’s dry, you need to thoroughly water your plant. If the pencil comes up with dirt on the tip, the soil is moist enough. I did this on a couple of plants I thought I had watered enough and it came out totally dry, so I obviously gave it a bit more.
- Soothe A Foot Ache
If you’ve walked a bit too much, worn tight shoes, or like me, squatted while gardening and put a lot of pressure on your feet, you can stop a foot ache by doing a simple foot exercise. Place a few pencils on the floor and pick them up one by one with your toes. It stretches your feet and helps soothe aches and pains. I tried this and it helped…don’t know if it was just a placebo effect but my feet did feel better. (It did take me a few minutes to get my toes coordinated!)
- Make A School Picture Frame
I had totally forgot about this but when my son was younger, we did make this for a teacher gift. Glue two sharpened pencils to the long sides of a frame and two shorter pencils (sharpen them down to size) to the shorter sides of the frame. And if you pick up a frame from your local thrift store or dollar store, this is a really inexpensive but cute idea.
- Lubricate Your Locks-
I got this idea from “99 Cents Solutions” by Reader’s Digest and I have to admit, I was a bit confused at first with this one! I must have reread the first sentence at least three times which says, “Use pencil lead to ‘grease’ your locks, rather than an oil-based lubricant, which may draw in dust and grime.” I thought the “locks” they were talking about was hair locks! Couldn’t figure out why you would want to grease your hair. So, for door locks, scrape the lead of a pencil onto a piece of wax paper with a knife, then rub the lead onto a key. Use the key to turn the lock a few times, and you’re done. If you’re pressed for time, just rub the point of the pencil against the key, then insert the key into the lock. Do this once or twice a year to keep your locks in tip-top shape.
- Unzip A Stuck Zipper
I tried this on a hoody that I’ve been having to put on over my head because of a stuck zipper. Simply lubricate the teeth by rubbing them on both sides with a lead pencil and that stuck zipper will easily start working again.
- Make A Bun
Ok, I think most of us have tried this trick, especially at work. Stick two pencils into your bun so that they form an X. The pencils will keep your bun in place.
- Remove Plants From Pots
I love this and it totally worked for me! If you want to replant a plant without harming the roots, put the eraser end of a pencil into the drainage hole through the bottom of the pot, and slowly push the plant out through the top. The root ball should come out in one piece. This works best on plants that you let the soil dry out a bit first. I had some plants I bought where the roots were all tangled and this worked great and it was less messy.
I figure I can do all of the above and still have plenty of pencils to donate again this year!