One of the most underrated cleaning tools is steel wool. Due to its robust and crunchy nature, it is used to remove all kinds of stubborn stains in the kitchen. In fact, it’s so abrasive that it can damage delicate surfaces when scrubbed. So you have to be careful where you use it. Similar to knowledge 7 things you should never clean with white vinegarthis tool has a time and a place.
However, steel wool is more versatile than you think. Thanks to its abrasive nature, it has unexpected uses around the home – from assisting with pest removal to storing your Drains free from clogs. If you want to learn how to get more out of your steel wool, here are seven unusual ways to use it. So in the future it will not only be reserved for your pots and pans.
Before we begin, it’s worth noting that there are different grades of steel wool ranging from 0000 to 4 and varying from fine to coarse. Make sure you are using the correct grade for your application.
1. Scrub stubborn stains
Of course, we should first cover the primary use of steel wool. Usually made from a mesh of fine steel wire, it’s most commonly used to remove debris your sponge just can’t handle – like oven grates and metal utensils.
But before you scrub your favorite cookware, be aware that steel wool can easily scratch delicate surfaces – meaning you could ruin an expensive pan cleaning it up. Steel wool should not be used on stainless steel or non-stick coated items – in either case it can damage the surface. It should also not be used in the best cast iron skillets as it can strip the spices and leave marks.
Use your best judgment in deciding what to scrub with steel wool. Where the application is safe, it can significantly speed up the work. If in doubt, stick to the sponge or use a microfiber cloth to be on the safe side. Here is how to clean a burnt pot if you want guidance. Use a bundle of steel wool suitable for kitchen use (not coarse) to avoid unnecessary damage.
2. Remove rust
When rust forms on metal tools like the best secateurs, steel wool can come to the rescue here. This is because it is actually abrasive enough to remove rust from the surface. That means you can use steel wool to breathe new life into your garden tools or restore a rusty bicycle chain. Simply work a buffing motion over the item to remove the rust. Grade 4 or extra coarse steel wool is best for removing rust.
However, keep in mind the abrasiveness of steel wool here as well. Make sure what you derust doesn’t leave a mark in the process. For example, rusty cutlery can scratch easily, as can cooking grates, depending on the material. Here’s our guide on how to do it How to restore rusty cutlery.
3. Drain screen
When you’re tired of plucking hair out of the shower drain and learning how to unclog a drain Whenever they sneak through, this might come in handy for you. Steel wool can actually serve as a makeshift drain strainer. Simply place it over your drain and the fine, intertwined wire wool will catch any unwanted hair while allowing the water to flow through.
However, since steel wool will rust over time, this is not a permanent solution. You can extend its life by rinsing out soap residue and keeping it dry between uses. You can also put steel wool in the freezer to prevent it from rusting too – warm water will quickly thaw it the next time you need it. Otherwise, it’s best to invest in a special drain strainer, such as the B. the Hair Catcher Shower Drain Durable Silicone Hair Stopper Shower Drain Cover ($7.99, Amazon).
4. Block rodents
We’re not the only ones who hate the feel of metal on our teeth — turns out rodents can’t stand it either. So if you are in the middle of learning how to get rid of miceIf you’ve noticed small holes around your house where they come in and out, steel wool can help fix that too.
Due to its spongy nature, medium grade steel wool can be used to plug these gaps, at least until you find a way to seal them permanently. Mice and rats won’t eat through it while it’s attached, so you’ll have an effective rodent repellent by the time the pros arrive. If your steel wool is too big to fit in the gaps, remember you can always trim it with scissors. This has more than one benefit, as we will discuss later.
Did you know there are such? 7 plants that deter mice and rats from entering your home? For example, they don’t like the smell of lavender.
5. Repair a scratched floor
Scratches are all too common on hardwood floors. Anything from a small rock worn on the bottom of your shoe to moving furniture can leave a mark. Before you know it, light scratches are showing everywhere. Fortunately, grade 0000 (superfine) steel wool can fix this problem.
Steel wool is just one of the possibilities Repair scratched wooden floors — Definitely minor scratches. After cleaning the scratch, gently rub the steel wool over the scratch in the direction of the wood grain. Think of it as a mix of markings. Be patient and don’t rub too hard or further damage may occur. You can then work the edges of the scratch with sandpaper and then give the finishing touches with a wax stick.
6. Install a screw
If your screw is simply too small for a hole or has become loose over time, steel wool can be a solution here too. Simply wrap the screw in a thin layer of steel wool before drilling or tightening. The steel wool provides grip on the wall so the screw will hold.
Of course, this is only recommended for shooting light objects. Anything heavy, fragile, or valuable should be properly fastened with an anchor and the correct size screw. Otherwise, steel wool can save you from needlessly stuffing and re-drilling the same wall surface.
7. Sharpen scissors
Finally, when your scissors aren’t cutting as well as they used to, give them new life by trimming with steel wool. As the blades cut the fine steel wires, they are sharpened. So if you plan to use smaller amounts of steel wool around your home, such as plugging rodent holes or installing screws, why not reap the benefits by trimming it down to size?
While not the same as having your scissors professionally sharpened, this technique will improve a dull blade and could save you from throwing away your trusty pair of scissors so quickly. For more tips see how to sharpen a knife And how to sharpen garden shears.