20 Brilliant Paper Towel Hacks That We Wish We Knew About Years Ago

Whether you store them in the garage, under the sink, or in that weird cabinet that seems too oddly shaped for anything else, chances are you keep a few rolls of paper towels handy at all times. Sure, using them to wipe up messes seems pretty straightforward, but shouldn’t a product that prides itself on strength do a bit more heavy lifting around the house? Forget those constant trips to the grocery store — these hacks prove that a roll of paper towels is all you’ll ever need.

Need to chill drinks quickly for company or your daily commute? Simply wrap the bottles or cans in a damp paper towel and put them in the freezer for a quick chill. Science is cool!

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If you run out of Swiffer pads and need one in a hurry, look no further than your paper towel roll! Just wrap your Swiffer head in a damp paper towel and you’re ready to go!


Spending the day grilling for a holiday or special occasion? Use a mini flag stand as a makeshift paper towel holder. You’ll have easy access and the wind won’t blow the roll away!


Brown sugar has a pesky habit of hardening into clumps as the natural moisture inside evaporates. To get that sugar back out of shape, simply put a wet paper towel over the clumps and microwave for 25 seconds. Problem solved!

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Want to improve the scent of your kitchen? Get your paper towels working overtime by dropping some essential oils inside the cardboard tube. Your paper towel roll now doubles as an air freshener!

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Maximizing the shelf life of your fresh produce can go a long way toward eating healthy on a budget. To protect your veggies and extend their freshness, storing them in a damp paper towel is sure to do the trick!

Feeling some muscle pain and don’t have any ice packs or frozen peas? You can make your own makeshift ice pack by putting a damp paper towel into the freezer for a few minutes and then molding it to your body!


If you’re ever craving coffee but out of filters, have no fear! Simply toss a paper towel into your coffee maker in place of the filter and get to brewing!


Do you ever struggle with slippery cutting boards? Putting a wet paper towel underneath will help alleviate all that annoying sliding and wobbling — and maybe save you a few stitches, too.


Everyone loves fresh bacon, but this delicious treat can be very greasy. For a simple fix, toss those strips onto a few layers of paper towels and let them soak up that gross grease — your body will thank you.


Like fresh veggies, salads can be difficult to keep fresh once exposed to air. But with just a paper towel sealed inside the bag or container, your salads will stay green and delicious for up to a week!


You pour some olive oil from the bottle and a little drips down, making the glass all slimy — it happens to the best of us. To avoid slippery fingers, simply wrap the neck of the bottle in a paper towel and secure with a rubber band.


Pasta or rice keep reheating too dry and hard? Next time, put a damp paper towel on top of the food before microwaving it and your dish will come out as fresh as mama used to make.

Because of their electrical parts, most waffle irons and other plug-in griddles can’t be cleaned in the dish washer or submerged in water. To get the whole thing sparkling clean, a wet paper towel is your best bet.

Just like with pasta and rice, you can liven up veggies in the microwave with the help of a paper towel. All you have to do is wrap the veggies in a dry paper towel before microwaving to keep them crunchy and fresh!

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Are you attending a potluck with friends or family and need to bring your own cutlery? Save yourself a game of “I accidentally cut myself” by sheathing knives and other sharp utensils in a paper towel roll tube.

Ran out of stainless steel cleaner? Just put some WD-40 on a paper towel to get your stainless steel looking shiny and brand new in no time!


Cleaning the microwave can be a pain, but this simple hack makes it easy. Simply place a damp paper towel in the microwave for 3 minutes and the steam it releases will do all the work for you!


The year 2020 showed us that toilet paper can sometimes be in short supply, so if you ever find yourself free of TP, just cut a roll of paper towels in half. Be careful, though, because the paper towels won’t be as, well, pleasant as normal toilet paper!

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Transferring gravy from the stove to your gravy boat can get messy. Avoid the cleanup by placing a paper towel underneath the gravy boat before the transfer. This easy hack will save you time and effort on the back end!

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If a paper towel can’t relieve your homecare woes, you might want to give sponges a try. These days, people are using household objects as makeshift overnight rollers, and kitchen sponges are extra comfy for sleeping in. Just secure your wrapped hair with hair ties or bobby pins, and you’ll wake up a beachy-waved goddess.

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To avoid a sticky glue bottle catastrophe, create a designated glue sponge! Simply place a sponge in a tupperware container, generously cover it in glue, tightly secure the lid, and leave it overnight to absorb. The next day you can dab whatever needs gluing.

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Rather than fussing with acetone, cotton balls, and paper towels to remove your chipping nail varnish, create a cheap nail polish remover jar! Cut and fold a sponge to fit inside a tiny jar, pour nail polish remover in it, and voila! Branded “dip and twist” jars cost a fortune!

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Wishing you had some thyme and rosemary? Just make your own mini herb garden at home! Sprinkle herb seeds on a damp kitchen sponge and place it on a plate. Create a mini greenhouse by covering the sponge with a glass.

Getting ready for a big move? When packing all your good china and glassware, store the pieces in boxes with sponges. They won’t clink against each other and/or break when in motion.

Cut shapes into kitchen sponges to make fun paint stamps! Your kiddies will thank you… but you may not be thanking us when there’s paint all over your new white couch.

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Sending out a bunch of mail? Rather than licking each chemically, glue-coated envelope, keep a damp kitchen sponge nearby to do the work for you! You’ll get a perfect seal every time.

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So your kids want to have a water balloon fight. They’ll likely ask for you to tie each and every balloon, and then the aftermath always leaves your backyard peppered with tiny rubber fragments. Give them a giant bucket of water and some sponges instead.

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Needing ice packs for your kids’ school lunches? In a pinch, you can easily make some out of sponges. Just throw a sopping wet sponge in a Ziploc baggie and put it in the freezer. Once frozen solid, it’s a perfect makeshift ice pack.

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Got shoes that are a bit too big? Or perhaps your feet are two different sizes. To fill the gaps in too-big shoes, cut up a sponge to create comfortable inserts. No more clown feet!

Removing old wallpaper (perhaps in a hideous, grandma-esque floral print) is a nightmare and a half. To make this task just a bit easier, soak a sponge in a concoction of fabric softener and hot water, then start rubbing down the paper. This will help break down the paper and save you time.

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We all know a kitchen sponge is nearing the end of its life when it literally smells like death. Letting it sit while soaking wet will only breed more bacteria and make it smell awful. Prop it up on a binder clip to dry it out faster and extend its life!

So Fluffy’s white hair is all over the couch… and of course she doesn’t care. To remove stubborn pet hair that’s clinging to your upholstery, take the rough side of a damp sponge and swipe the fabric. It’ll pick it all up in no time.

Want to extend the life of your fruits and veggies? Line your crisper drawer with kitchen sponges before filling it with the gifts of your backyard vegetable garden. The sponges will absorb excess moisture, keeping your goodies fresher longer.

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Forget the Swiffer duster, just attach two fresh kitchen sponges to the ends of a pair of tongs to create a housekeeping tool that’ll give you the same effect. Press and slide to dust off double sides surfaces like blinds.

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Newsflash, plants get thirsty. And for the thirstiest of plants (like baby’s tears plants), put a sponge at the bottom of the pot before planting or repotting; it’ll act as a water reserve!

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If the feet of your table and/or chairs are scratching up your precious wood flooring, there’s no need to spend money on those little feet pads. Just cut some out of a sponge and glue the tiny pieces to the bottom of the furniture feet. Poof, no more scratches.

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If you’ve got dried gunk stuck to the inside of a bottle or vase, scrubbing it away is nearly impossible. Cut a slit into the side of a sponge, then stick a fork in it. Shove the sponge end into the small opening, using the fork as a handle, and start scrubbing!

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We’ve all accidentally left a carton of spoiled milk in the fridge for too long. And it stinks. To absorb odors and keep your refrigerator smelling fresh and clean, sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and stick it in the fridge. You smell that? We bet you don’t.

If you don’t have immediate access to an old rag (and you don’t feel like cutting up a T-shirt), apply shoe polish with a dry kitchen sponge! It’ll go on super smoothly. And while kitchen sponges have a plethora of alternative uses, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser also has some secret powers.

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Whether you’re looking to re-purpose a wine bottle for a DIY project or remove stickers from a middle school trapper keeper, sticky label residue can feel impossible to eliminate. Take it all off with ease using the Magic Eraser. That’s not all that it can remove.

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Don’t forget about your plasticware in the cabinets! Sometimes, storage containers are permanently marred by a three-year-old spaghetti sauce stain. Take the Magic Eraser to it, and you’ll have your Tupperware back.

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The Magic Eraser is great for cleaning glass, and it is also ideal for bringing your windowsill back to life. One less thing to worry about!


Clean up grease and stains off your oven to make the appliance look fresh from the factory floor. Before putting Mr. Clean away, be sure to hit the oven window, as well as other doors in the kitchen. Avoid using the eraser on stainless steel surfaces.

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Kitchen cabinet doors are often forgotten when planning the weekly chores, but they become dirty just like any other surface in the house. Take the Magic Eraser to the cabinets and clean away — even the Property Bros. do it!

Like with the oven, the Magic Eraser is also fantastic for cleaning the inside of a microwave. Say goodbye to messy splats of food left from yesterday’s meal — but avoid using this on stainless-steel casings.

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Take care of your iron with the Magic Eraser, removing brown stains from prior burning to potentially save your clothes. But then again, any issues with clothes can usually be handled by Mr. Clean, too!

Take the magic to your closet and remove nasty stains from clothing. The cleaning may take a bit more effort, but the results will be worth it. Complete your outfit with a pair of Mr. Clean-sponsored sparkling shoes.

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Rather than buying extra cleaning products to keep your shoes polished and dirt-free, just use your handy Magic Eraser! The soles of shoes are study enough to handle the abrasion; however, do be careful with leather.

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When you can’t find a reliable cleaner to send your leather bags, jackets, or shoes to, rely on Mr Clean, but with great care. Like stainless steel, leather can be damaged by the Magic Eraser if you’re careless.


Along with many other kitchen appliances, the Magic Eraser can be used on your fridge, including the door handles, a commonly neglected part of the kitchen. (Again, avoid stainless steel).

Mr. Clean can take care of your modern electronics, wiping away dirt from the casing and keyboards with ease. But be cautious with this trick, especially around any screens. The abrasive texture of the Magic Eraser could leave scratches.

Kitchen appliances aren’t alone in needing the Mr. Clean method: Messy counters also benefit from the Magic Eraser. Avoid using on any type of stone or rock material, which will become vulnerable to scratches, stains, and other permanent damage.

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Spilled some nibbles on the microfiber couch? Been staring at a car seat coffee stain that just won’t go anywhere? The Magic Eraser might be able to help you there.

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Using a dry-erase board to take notes or draw fun pictures? The Magic Eraser will take marker and anything else right off the surface for a clean shine.

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You can even bring the Magic Eraser into the bathroom by cleaning the counter, floor, and the tub itself. It’s perfect for clearing soap scum in one quick swipe.

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For any scuffs or difficult stains on the floor, Mr. Clean is here to save the day. It’s ideal for leaving your floors — especially carpets — pristine, fresh, and sparkling.

The Magic Erase rcan be used to clear your car’s headlights, and, for extra safety when driving, you can clean up your car’s windows, too. Whatever you do, do not use the eraser to clean your car’s exterior. Don’t mess up that sweet paint job!

Why not cover the whole house by going after your walls, too? Use Mr. Clean with care, and walls and their baseboards will be cleared of stains, markings, and scratches. Be careful not to chip the paint, unless you really want to start over.

Did your pool turn a murky green color? Some have had luck turning their water back to a healthy blue by simply tossing a Magic Eraser into the pool cleaner’s skimmer basket and waiting awhile.

Give your front and backyard a boost by cleaning up any vinyl gate and siding, or patio furniture. The Magic Eraser will quickly do away with dirt and grime, and leave you with the beautiful polished light color you had day one.

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