20 brilliant uses for steel wool
You probably know steel wool from the scouring pads with soap for cleaning pots and pans. What you may not know is that standard steel wool - the kind without soap - can be used for many other useful purposes in your home.
1. Sharpening scissors
It may seem strange, but using your scissors to cut steel wool makes the scissors sharp! A very blunt pair of scissors will not get you sharp, but a few cuts through the steel wool will make the cutting edges of your scissors sharper.
2. Keep garden tools in shape
At some point, every metal garden tool develops rust. Fortunately, steel wool excels at removing surface rust. Just take a piece of steel wool and start polishing your garden tools. They will look like new in no time! In combination with Autosol Metal Polish it goes even faster and you immediately apply a protective layer.
3. Age wood faster
If you want to age wood, use a mixture of steel wool 0000 and vinegar as stain. The brown-grey liquid gives a grey colour when applied to new wood. It's a much quicker way to create this much sought-after look than leaving your wood outside for a few years. Moreover, this method is non-toxic.
4. Clean pots, pans and metal cooking utensils
Steel wool is the solution for stubborn cooking stains on steel cookware. Soak pots and pans and then use a steel wool cooking sponge or scouring sponge to remove even the most caked stains.
5. Clean the oven
For burnt food stuck to the bottom of your oven, steel wool is a much better alternative than oven cleaners. After your oven's self-cleaning cycle, use a piece of steel wool to remove the burnt dirt and make your oven shine like new.
6. Light a fire
Light a fire, but no matches? Some steel wool and a 9-volt battery make fire. Touch the positive and negative poles of the battery to the steel wool and it will start to glow and melt. Add some kindling, blow a little and you have the start of a fire.
7. Fix a loose screw
This is an old carpenter's trick. If you have a screw hole that is too big, wrap a little steel wool around the screw before you screw it back in again. It gives just enough friction to hold the screw firmly in place and takes less time than filling the hole and redrilling.
8. Keeping mice & rats out
Do you suffer from mice in the house? Look where the mice or rats enter the house and close it with a wad of steel wool. It is cheap and mice and rats don't gnaw through it. Always use stainless steel wool because normal steel wool will rust and can cause unsightly rust stains.
9. A disposable drain sieve
Avoid a clogged drain! Before giving the dog his next bath, use a wad of steel wool to block the drain. There will be enough room to let water through, but the annoying hair and mire will get caught in the steel wool and won't go through the drain. Afterwards, simply throw the steel wool in the wastebasket.
10. Clean the car window
It sounds crazy, but with steel wool 0000 you get the car windows spotless again! Even very stubborn dirt and water stains are removed by the steel wool. Hardened car glass is harder than steel wool, so it will not scratch.
11. Prepare wood for painting or staining
Can't you wait to re-varnish the freshly sanded wood? Well, wait a minute! Use a piece of steel wool 0000 before applying the varnish. This will remove the sanding dust from the pores and smooth out the surface fibres.
When you have finished with this, grab a Swiffer cloth (for sale in the supermarket) and use it to wipe away any dust or steel wool stains. You now have a clean surface for a perfect result for turpentine-based lacquers (not water-based).
12. Clean your rusted tools
Old tools often have a rusted surface. Steel wool excels in removing surface rust. Take a wad of steel wool and start polishing your tools. They will look like new in no time! In combination with Autosol Metal Polish it goes even faster and you immediately apply a protective layer.
13. Brass polishing
Weathered brass can be made shiny again with steel wool. Always use a fine grade and never coarser than 00 to prevent scratches. We recommend steel wool 0000 in combination with Autosol Metal Polish. This ensures that the polishing is even faster and applies a protective layer.
14. Remove sanding marks on floors
Dark shoes on vinyl floors can lead to scouring marks. This is no problem if you scrub a few times with some steel wool. The scrapes will be gone in no time. So make sure you add some steel wool to your cleaning products.
15. Make tyres look like new
Have you washed the car, but do the tyres still look dirty? Apply WD-40 spray on some superfine steel wool 0000 and then scrub the tyre. It works on both black tyres and tyres with white flanks.
16. Make the air intake and exhaust pipes inaccessible to rodents.
If you are going to park your vehicle for the winter, it is a good idea to protect it from rodents. Mice, rats and stone martens prefer the exhaust and air intakes. Keep them outside by filling a plastic bag with steel wool and then pushing the bag into the air intake and exhaust pipes. The bag keeps the steel wool wires out of the engine. Use brightly coloured warning tape as a reminder to remove the steel wool in the spring.
17. Remove chalk from wallpaper
If your little Picasso was inspired to create a masterpiece on the wallpaper, don't despair. Then use a piece of moist steel wool and water to (very) carefully clean the wallpaper. Be sure to clean the surface carefully in one direction. Make sure that you first try it out in an inconspicuous place. Unfortunately this does not work with pens.
18. Let your bicycle shine again
Your bicycle will also get dirty and rust can form on steel and chrome parts. Steel wool excels in removing surface rust. Grab a wad of steel wool 000 or 0000 and start polishing the relevant part on the bicycle. In combination with Autosol Metal Polish it goes even faster and you immediately apply a protective layer.
19. Clean the barbecue
After a delicious BBQ, the most annoying job is cleaning the barbecue. Use a steel wool soap pad for powerful cleaning of caked-on dirt on grills, baking trays, grids and tongs.
20. Freshen up your sneakers
Clean the sides of your sneakers with a little bit of fine steel wool 00, a little water and some elbow grease. Let them dry and they will be like new again.
Steel wool is a versatile and inexpensive product, and you are likely to find even more uses for it in your home and garden. Do you know any other applications for steel wool? Send a message. We are very curious.
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