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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Easy Ways To Make Things Last Longer

Easy Ways To Make Things Last Longer

Looking to save a little money, up the ante on your conservation agenda, and amaze family and friends with these product life lengtheners?! Extending the lives of common household, beauty, and office products may not be as challenging as you think. These ideas and tips can show you how!

Razor blades can be expensive today, with some costing as much as $25 for a set of eight. Thoroughly cleaning and drying the blade after each use is the simplest way to preserve it and prevent oxidation, which breaks down the metal’s molecular content and effectiveness. In many cases this simple step doubles the blade’s lifespan from a couple of weeks to a whole month. Dousing with alcohol before toweling dry (which has a drying effect and can cut through residue) can help eliminate any remaining moisture too.

Bath and shower sponges and loofahs are little luxury products that help us to keep skin smooth, exfoliated, and consequently flake-free especially in cold, dry weather. Left in warm, moist places, however, they become petri dishes for bacteria. It’s best to remove them from a shower stall or soap dish. For optimal cleaning and extended lifespans, after every few uses (or once a week) be sure to soak them for at least two hours in a mixture of half a cup white vinegar to a quart of water. Allow to air dry thoroughly.

It’s a well-kept secret in the large appliance trade that laundry detergent manufacturers recommend using twice the amount of soap necessary for a spanking clean wash. Try using just half for the same results.

Who doesn’t love lipstick and mascara, and for most of us, it’s hard to go to work or out socially without them. For lipstick longevity, storing in a cool, dry, dark place — ideally the refrigerator — to prevent melting will allow you to use only as much as you need. When you get to the bottom of the tube, use a cotton swab to ferret out the last vestiges of lipstick, which may actually last another week. Mascara is the product beauty experts claim garners the most complaints as it tends to dry out quickly. As a measure of prevention, don’t pump the wand in and out of the tube repeatedly when applying. This introduces air into the formula which will lead to drying. Additionally, limiting yourself to one or two tubes at a time (perhaps a warmer, lighter color for day and something more dramatic for evening) will also preclude the tendency for it to dry out as you are using it up faster than if you had four or five tubes lying around.

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3 comments

1 Vickie Hyatte { 08.20.14 at 3:13 pm }

If you really want to extend the life of you razor blade put it in baby oil after each use. My husband get about ninety shave per blade which makes it worth buy the better blade.

2 Pete Geiger { 07.18.14 at 2:53 pm }

When buying bar soap, take it out of the box, expose to air and allow to harden. The soap lasts much longer.

3 Dave F { 07.16.14 at 5:02 pm }

The real way to save money on razor blades is to stop using those ridiculously overpriced cartridges and shave with an actual razor blade. You get a better shave, with less razor burn and less ingrown hairs, and you save a TON of money. A good razor blade runs 15 to 30 cents each, vs $4 to $6 for cartridges. People need to wake up to this scam.

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