Posts tagged "bathroom"

How can I reuse or recycle hair gel?

Hair gelWe’ve had an email from Katherine, asking:

My niece left about half a tube of hair spiking gel behind at my house; I’m not about to change my style and use it myself but it’s not worth the postage to post it back… Any ideas on what to do with hair spiking glue other than spike hair?

The brand, if this makes a difference, is Schwarzkopf ‘Got2b’. If I were a chemist I might be able to work out from the ingredients list whether it can be basically used like ordinary glue!

We’ve got a few half-tubes of gel in our bathroom cupboard too – donated from by a friend who no longer needed them when John was going through his faux-fro phase last year – so I’d like some ideas for this too. I guess we could repeat the donation but I don’t know anyone who would use it – like with the other half-used toiletries, it could go to a shelter I guess but I don’t know whether they’d prefer just practical things.

I suspect hair wax/oil type products could be reused for lubrication purposes in the same way as most greases but gels tend to dry sticky or crispy so couldn’t be used for that.

Any suggestions though? Or ideas about the glue thing? I wonder if like toothpaste it can be used as a temporary fix for, eg, sticking light posters to walls… anyone know or care to test it?

(Photo by asterisco)

How can I reuse or recycle … an old bathroom suite?

Bathroom suiteHad an email from Bill about a bathroom suite:

I have a perfectly good condition bathroom suite, bath, WC basin and pedestal that have been removed during an upgrade.

They are sitting in my garage and I have spent hours searching the ‘net looking for a home, but it looks like I have no option but put them in landfill.

Any ideas please?

I’ve already suggested Freecycle to him to see if anyone else could use it as a bathroom suite and I also think it could look pretty cool as alternative garden furniture – but any other suggestions for reusing bits of it or a whole?

(Photo by sbennumi)

How can I reuse or recycle old towels?

A towel and a pair of wet white feet on a tile bathroom floorFor some reason, all our towels have decided to go threadbare at exactly the same time. Well, when I say “ALL our towels”, I mean the top two bathsheets and hand towels that are in the endless use/wash/cupboard/use/wash… cycle – the ones underneath those in the stack are, presumably, fine since we’ve not used them for years (we’re not thoughtful enough to rotate stuff like that).

So anyway, we have a holey bathsheet and two holey handtowels – both gone in pretty much the centre and in patches elsewhere – so my initial idea of chopping them down into flannels/smaller towels has been somewhat eliminated.

Any suggestions about how they can be reborn? Any crafts/upcycling ideas?

Best Suggestions

  • Reduce Make your towels last longer by hanging them in a well ventilated place to dry between uses (so they don’t get damp & smelly as quickly) and after washing, line dry them rather than using a tumble dryer – like with clothes, the intensity of washing & machine drying damages the fabric over time. (Also avoid using too much fabric softener – the chemical deposits quickly build up and make towels hard and scratchy.)
  • Pass Them On: Animal shelters use a lot of towels – unless they’re completely falling apart, they’d probably welcome a donation.
  • Reuse: Reclaim as much fabric as you can and turn it into a bath mitt, a dog tug toy, or a rag rug bath mat. If there aren’t any big enough pieces for that type of thing, cut it into small pieces and use it for toy/cushion stuffing.
  • Recycle: Towels are usually 100% cotton and the fabric can often be reclaimed. Look for textile recycling bins in your area.

(Photo by jellofishy, c/o

How can I reuse or recycle mirror tiles?

mirrorThere were four 30cm by 50cm frameless mirror tiles on the bathroom wall when I moved in but given there was no storage, I quickly (read: three years) replaced them with a cabinet instead.

Since then, the tiles have been floating around the bathroom/bedroom/hallway storage locations, waiting for us to reaffix them somewhere or get rid of them (neither of which has happened). We have enough mirrors around the place for when you’re as fugly as us and they’re not in great condition (bits of the mirrored backing having come off in various spots, particularly near the edges) anyway so we haven’t got around to re-using them as mirrors.

But what else can their reflective properties be used for instead? They’re essentially sheets of glass with a mirrored backing by the look of it – reasonably sturdy but not invincible. Any suggestions?