One of my biggest pet peeves is reading about brilliant household hacks that require items I don’t have just lying around my pantry. (Why is it that beauty hacks always require witch hazel?) But if you have an ice cube — just one! — you can make cleaning, plant care, and getting dressed in the morning a lot easier.
1. Get gum off of clothing and other fabrics.
What is it about gum that causes it to end up in the oddest spaces? Whether it’s on your carpet or your shirt, all you need is an ice cube and a butter knife to remove it with no sticky residue left behind. Lay one or two ice cubes on top of the gum and let it sit until the gum feels cold or frozen. Then, you can gently chip away at the gum with the butter knife and it will easily peel away!
2. Quick-iron your clothing.
This is a brilliant trick for those of us lucky enough to have an in-unit washer and dryer. Set your dryer to the warmest setting, and throw in the wrinkled item and a few ice cubes. Use no more than three if you’re de-wrinkling a few pieces, but one should work well if you’re just steaming one item. The ice cube creates steam in the dryer, leaving clothes smooth and ready-to-wear.
3. Remove dents from rugs.
If you’re having a feng shui moment with your furniture, you’ll likely find those annoying dents beneath chairs and couches once the piece has been moved. To refluff the carpet, leave an ice cube on the dent and let it melt. Then, brush up the fibers at the spot to make it look like-new. This works best on thicker carpets, but will definitely improve the look regardless.
4. Reheat rice without drying it out.
The best leftovers taste as good — if not better! — the second day around. To avoid dried-out rice, place an ice cube in the center of the dish, on top of the rice, before putting it in the microwave. The added water will steam the rice and give it a little extra moisture and ensure it reheats evenly.
5. Speed up your disposal.
Our garbage disposals tend to slow down when there’s significant grease build-up. If yours isn’t disposing properly, try throwing in a few ice cubes to help break up any grease or other residue. The grease will cling to the cubes — just remember to always have your faucet on when running the disposal, even just for a clean-up!
6. Water your plants.
Whether it’s a hard-to-reach hanging plant or a houseplant whose pot tends to overflow, throwing a few ice cubes on top of the soil will keep them hydrated. As the cubes slowly melt, the dirt will absorb the water without becoming over-saturated.
7. Smooth out sticky caulk.
Re-caulking your shower? To give the caulk a pro-like finish, use an ice cube to help smooth out the seam at the end. The ice cube is firm enough to smooth out the caulk and create an even finish, but it’s cold enough that the caulk won’t stick to it!
This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 7 Powerful Things You Can Do with Just an Ice Cube
Have one we missed? Let us know in the comments!