Posts tagged "kitchen"

How can I reuse or recycle a rusty cheese grater?

(My! doesn’t that sound like a smutty euphemism? :) )

We’ve had an email from Alicia:

Because a leak caused damp, all the metal stuff in my kitchen cupboard went rusty while I was on holiday. Didn’t think that could happen but it has! There is a square grater, a colander and a seive. Can I do anything with them?

I’ve de-rusted a cast iron griddle pan and we regularly have to de-rust our less-than-perfectly-seasoned wok but I imagine it might be harder work to restore holey things like that – anyone got any advice on repairing them and protecting them so they don’t continue to rust?

I’ve seen all three used as fun light fittings (eg this Instructable uses a colander as a ceiling light shade). If you don’t want them rusty, you could sand them back to get rid of the flakiness and paint them to protect it from future rust and give it a new look.

Failing all that, they’re some sort of metal so can be recycled in the metal scrap bin at your local tip/waste collection site.

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle a garbage disposal?

We had a message from Michelle on the ‘Suggest an Item’ page. She wrote:

My garbage disposal has chewed its last meal. It’s rusty bottom leaks more water than the titanic, leaving the sink unusable. For the past few procrastinating months I ignored it with a removable catch bucket under the drips. I have been defeated, hubby says its time to say goodbye. What could I possibly do with the old disposal besides a chuck in the landfill?

Garbage disposals aren’t very common in the UK – in fact I’ve never seen one in the flesh – so I can’t really give any advice or suggestions — but I’m sure the wonderful Recycle This community will be able to come up with some suggestions … right?

Like Alice’s question about kettles on Wednesday, this one is also potentially ripe for repairing – any suggestions for how it could be fixed? Any links to how-tos?

How can I reuse or recycle (or repair) a stove top kettle?

We’ve had an email from long time Recycle This-er Alice in Blogland:

I just killed my stainless steel on-the-hob kettle! Left it on the hob too long – I forgot about it ‘cos the whistle broke ages ago.

They do burn through eventually but I’ve never seen it happen before. It’s started leaking at the seam around the bottom where the sides join the base, and I’m a bit stuck for either re-uses or how to recycle it. Anyone got any ideas?

I think kettles with removable lids look mighty cute as plant pots but with the leak, you might want to put the pot on a plastic saucer in the kettle to catch overspill water – or it might be easier to seal the leak if you know it doesn’t have to be heat-proof too (for example, some waterproof silicone sealant might do the job well enough to use it as a plant pot but would make your tea somewhat plasticky and poisonous…).

Any other ideas for reuses? What about kettle that you refill through the spout so have less reuse-as-a-pot potential?

Anyone got any repair advice or words of caution?

How can I reuse or recycle washing up brushes?

dish-brushEven though we use them in addition to sponge and cloths, we seem to go through washing up brushes pretty quickly, usually because the bristles all flatten out rendering them somewhat ineffectual at reaching hard to reach bottoms of glasses etc.

We keep a couple around for “dirty” cleaning jobs, such as de-muddifying trainers, where the flattened bristles do enough but what can we do with the others?

And is there a super-invincible kind of brush that lasts longer, thus reducing our constant need to replace them?

(Photo by laeste)

How can I reduce the amount of bin bags I use?

garbage-bagThere is a lot of chatter in the US and the UK at the moment about putting a “tax” on plastic carrier bags to stop shops giving them out willy-nilly.

There is already a charge in place in Ireland and I read something the other day that explained while the amount of carrier bags given out by shops has dropped dramatically, the number of bin liners and garbage bags sold has increased because so many people used to reuse the carriers in the bin. That makes it feel like less of a victory – and it’s not exactly a huge victory to start with.

The thought of buying something to use to aid throwing stuff away seems really counter-intuitive to my brain but without using bin liners or the like, we’re constantly having to scrub out our kitchen bin with pretty harsh chemicals – we’re not big wasters, we compost as much as we can and most packaging we get is recyclable, so usually the only things that end up in there are pretty yacky.

So is there a line between disposable plastic bags and endless bleachy scrubbing? I thought about newspapers – a sheet as a throwaway liner would probably be fine for all but the wettest stuff – but since we don’t buy them either, that’s not an option really – what is?