Recently, in my seemingly never-ending quest to organize my home, I came across the half-full case of baby wipes I'd purchased more than three years ago when our younger grandson was born.
My first thought was that since Sam is potty trained now, I should find someone with a baby or take the wipes with me to church the following week and make a gift to the nursery — both good ideas provided those wipes were still good.
That's when my mind flooded with all of the tips, tricks and clever ideas I've gathered over the years for the alternate use of handy-dandy baby wipes. I did a quick search to discover even more of them. Here are a few of my favorites — plus a bonus.
MAKEUP REMOVER. Even if you have super sensitive skin, a baby wipe is ideal to remove makeup, especially stubborn black eyeliner.
HAIR DYE STAINS. It's nearly impossible to keep hair dye away from the forehead and neck areas when applying it yourself. But not to worry. A baby wipe can whisk away those stains quickly and easily.
CAR INTERIOR. I keep a package of baby wipes in the console of my car so that when I'm stuck at a red light, construction area or other kind of delay, I can pull one out to quickly clean the dashboard, steering wheel and just about every surface I can reach. Baby wipes are also great for wiping your hands after pumping gas and for mopping up small spills in the car. It leaves a nice fresh scent, too.
HEMORRHOID WIPES. Instead of paying more for specialty hemorrhoid wipes, pick up a container of baby wipes with aloe, and then pour your own witch hazel into the container for a fraction of the cost of Preparation H Medicated Wipes with Aloe and Witch Hazel.
CLEAN HOUSEPLANTS. A baby wipe is ideal to remove dust off and shine the leaves of your favorite houseplants. Caution: Clean only the top of the leaves, as the oil in the wipe could damage or plug the delicate undersides that allow them to breathe.
STAIN REMOVER. Baby wipes are remarkably effective at removing lipstick or other makeup stains from a blouse or garment. In fact, some people say a baby wipe works better than a stain remover pen. That being the case, it sure makes a lot of sense to keep a stack of baby wipes in your handbag or carry-on luggage when you're on the go.
BUGS AND BIRD DROPPINGS. Remember that pack of baby wipes in the car console? It will come in handy when your car gets abused by fowl or bugs. A baby wipe won't damage the paint, but it will easily remove stuff that could remain very long if left.
WHITE DEODORANT MARKS. Isn't it so annoying to get all ready to walk out the door only to notice streaky, white deodorant marks on your dark shirt, top or dress? Not to worry. Pull a baby wipe out of the package and rub it on the stain for a simple fix — quick and easy.
HAIRSPRAY OVERSPRAY. A baby wipe can effectively clean up hairspray that has landed on wood surfaces in the bathroom — floor, cabinet, door and doorframe. Do this regularly to prevent stubborn hairspray buildup.
SHINE SHOES. A baby wipe will clean and shine your leather shoes and just about anything else made of leather like furniture, handbags, belts, jackets and boots. Try it on your white leather sneakers. Seriously, you won't believe how a baby wipe will remove the dirt and leave no marks.
CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY STAINS. I have dozens of readers who swear by baby wipes to remove coffee stains and other stains from carpets and upholstery. The secret is to get to those stains as quickly as possible. Good news: It really works! To make sure the oil in the baby wipe doesn't sit there and attract more dirt in the future, rinse well with water and a clean white cloth.
For lots more ways to use baby wipes to makes your life easier, visit EverydayCheapskate.com/babywipes.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.