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The many uses of sandpaper.

Most of us probably have sandpaper at home, but use it only for some do-it-yourself projects involving wood and metal. It turns out sandpaper is more versatile than we think.

Online site BabaMail lists at least 18 uses for the cheap sandpaper, providing simple solutions to a number of everyday problems, from cleaning pots to removing rough skin from the feet.

Here is BabaMail's list of things that sandpaper can do:

1. Remove stains from suede. Notorious for picking up stains and scuffs, suede can look scruffy in quick time.

'To sort out this problem, take a very fine-grit sandpaper and rub it gently across affected areas. Use a toothbrush or something similar to buff up the area after you have done so and you will have revitalized your item.'

2. Clean pots and baking trays. Food and grease will cause caking on pots and baking trays. While sponges, scouring pads and steel wool may break apart when used for hard scrubbing, sandpaper can take the strain better. 'Use a strip with some strong soap to rediscover the actual color of your pots and trays beneath all that grease and grime.'

Use for traction

3. Make non-carpeted stairs safer. 'Take some paper from a belt sander, or cut large pieces from a piece of hard-grained sandpaper, and place them along the edges of the steps. The extra grip will make you much less likely to fall.'

4. Sharpen scissors. Cutting through sticky, dirty items leaves a residue along the scissors' blades over time. Use the scissors to make several cuts through some fine grain sandpaper and the sticky substances will be banished.

5. Remove rust. If tools are beginning to rust, sandpaper, particularly one with coarser grains, can help remove the vestiges of age. Just avoid scratching the tool. 'As it's flexible, sandpaper works really well on curved surfaces and can also do a great job on light spots of rust that form on carving knives. If the rust is particularly stubborn on larger tools, consider using a wire brush attached to an electric drill to attack the worst of it and then use sandpaper to finish up the job.'

Banish dry patches

6. Remove rough skin from the feet. Use fine grain sandpaper to remove gently cracked, dry skin and leave feet looking and feeling revitalized. 'Make sure you perform this trick only on dry skin.'

7. Open a stubborn jar lid. Place a small piece of sandpaper, grit side down, over the lid and twist.

8. Remove bobbles from upholstery and clothing. 'Wool and cotton fabrics often develop pills over time, leaving them looking old and worn-out before their time. Use as fine a grit as you can find ... and very lightly brush it back and forth across the affected area. If your fabric is delicate, test the method on a small, less visible area first to make sure you are using a fine enough grit. The same method can be used on your woolen sweaters, but make sure you rub only in one direction when treating them, rather than back and forth.'

9. Extra grip for shoes. Avoid slip-sliding on modern, shiny floors when wearing new leather-soled shoes by using sandpaper for some extra grip. 'Use fine-grain paper to scuff the bottom of the shoes and you will find you have more traction.'

10. Keep wooden kitchen utensils germ-free. Grooves and cracks in wooden chopping boards can become breeding grounds for germs.

'You can maintain their cleanliness much better by sanding them down with some fine-grit sandpaper once or twice a year. Apply some mineral oil after the job to help protect the wood. You can use the same trick on wooden spoons, spatulas and mashers.

11. Give the dog a pedicure. Trim a dog's nails without leaving rough edges. by smoothing out the nails with some fine grained sandpaper.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 26, 2017
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