How to make everyday items last longer

Unexpected hacks to make common household items go further

6 Life Hacks to Make Everyday Items Last Longer
Bouquet of roses Image by:  Marnie Burkhart/Corbis
It has become the norm to go bargain hunting now, and be proud of our ability to get more for less at the supermarket. However, as soon as we get those items home, we seem to forget all our canny shopping credentials, and use and dispose of items in no time.

One expert has shared her unusual tips for making some common household items last longer, including the shocking secret of what fresh flowers prefer to drink to make them last longer, and the bizarre reason your bananas go brown.

She also reveals easy alternatives to throwing dirty sponges away, the two great ways your freezer can help items last longer, tips for sharpening blunt razors, and a cunning way to stop your hairdryer motor running out.

These seven tips are a great start, and once you're hooked on getting more out of everyday items, there are plenty more life hacks that could save you a fortune by reducing waste.

1. Once you have opened a bag of salad, put it in a sealed container with a paper napkin - which will absorb the water that normally turns it brown.

2. Punch holes in a paper bag using a standard hole punch, then you can store onions and garlic in the bags in a dark cupboard for up to three months.

3. If you do a lot of printing, consider using a font called ecofont, which has tiny holes in it that will save you ink.

4. Wash clothes in cold water. Many man-made fibres hold up better in cold water - and it'll save on energy bills too.

5. Zip up things like hoodies before you put them in the wash - otherwise the zips tend to cut holes in the other clothes.

6. Store herbs in a vase of water to stop them drying out.

7. If you're struggling to get your shower curtain clean, put it in the washing machine with some vinegar and a couple of towels - the towels will help scrub it clean

8. Put an elastic band around the base of the pump on your soap dispenser, so it can't go down all the way, and it dispenses less soap.

9. Move your furniture around. The carpet will be worn in specific places - like in front of the sofa - so keep it moving and ensure less wear in specific spots.

10. Store your flour in the freezer. It'll last longer and you'll reduce the risk of flour mites.

Do you have any great tips to making everyday items last? Let us know in the comments.

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