11 Handy Ways To Reuse Newspaper Around The House

So much of what we read nowadays is online but even though I don’t subscribe to a print newspaper, I still have lots of sales flyers and promotional mailings to deal with plus a weekly Community paper and real estate listings. I don’t subscribe to any of them, but week after week they still find their way to my mailbox. Some useful, some not.

What to do with all that paper? Surely we can make good use of it in some way instead of sending it off to the recycling depot.

Here are a few simple ideas…feel free to add your own in the Comments section below.

  1. It works great for washing your windows, glass table tops and mirrors. Just spray window cleaner on the glass as you normally would then wipe dry with the paper for a streak-free finish. I don’t know how it works but it does!
  2. They are super-useful in messy cleanup jobs like cleaning the oven, make crumpled up wads to pick up most of the gunk before wiping the surface down with a soapy wet sponge. I also like to shove them underneath the oven when I’m cleaning to catch any stray drips.
  3. Stuff them in damp or smelly luggage, stinky plastic containers or a smelly fridge to absorb odors. Great to do when packing away camping coolers for the winter, stuffing first helps prevent them smelling sour/stale in the Spring. Wash the coolers with hot soapy water before using again for the season.
  4. Roll them up tight and light them as firestarters.
  5. Separate the cartoon section and keep to wrap parcels and gifts for kiddos.
  6. Pack unripened fruit with them to help the pieces ripen quicker (works for tomatoes, peaches, pears, etc.). They also offer the fruit some protection from bumps and bruises.
  7. Painting jobs: Scatter them around the floor to catch paint splatters. Wet some pieces and stick neatly on windows when painting window trim, no more splatters on glass to wipe up…all you have to do is peel off the print and it takes the paint with it.
  8. Line trash cans, worm bins, the bottom of a cat litter tray before adding kitty litter, makes cleanup easier. Also line pet cages with them (for hamsters, guinea pigs, etc.).
  9. Lay them down in garden beds about 1/4″ inch thick before covering with wood chips, mulch or decorative rocks, this helps prevent weed growth. Make sure to thoroughly moisten the newspaper before covering with mulch so they stay in place (just spray them down with the garden hose). This is a great way to use up a lot if you have a big bundle on hand.
  10. Make seed starting pots for the garden, see this page for directions.
  11. Cook fish on a campfire (instructions are found at bottom of page).

More ideas from the comments below, thank you dear Readers!

  • Crumple and use to stuff shoes to hold their shape when in storage or when drying after being washed (ie. tennis shoes, boots).
  • Line the top of kitchen cupboards, they will collect all the grease and grime buildup. Spring/Fall cleaning is a breeze when you just have to lift up the dirty sheets, do a quick wash and replace with new ones.
  • Pack them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator to soak up moisture from produce.

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    • Beverly

    We shred our newspaper and use for the guinea pig’s cage, then put used stuff in the compost pile.
    Cheap and safe for our pet and excellent way to balance the kitchen “green” materials in the compost.

    • Dennise

    Use newspaper to stuff washed tennis shoes. It helps the shoe keep it’s original shape.

    • Pierrette Gosselin

    Spring Cleaning, once you’ve cleaned the top of your kitchen cabinets (open shelf facing ceiling) fold sheets of newpaper to the size of the shelf, and place all along the shelf. It collects dust and grease from frying. No more scrubbing.

    Next time you spring clean, it will be quick and easy. Just roll the dirty sheets of newspaper together, throw away, then give your shelf a fast wipe and replace with clean newspaper.

    • Kelly

    we had ferrets until recently and we saved all newspaper for their litter box. we ONLY used newspaper, several layers and changed it twice a day. NO MORE PAYING for $$expensive$$ ferret litter! It worked wonderfully!! We also used it for our hamster until he passed away. We put newspaper on the bottom of his cage and then put some shredded paper from our paper shredder for him to nest in. VERY ECONOMICAL and easy to clean. Just roll it up and throw away. We also used it when we were fostering guinea pigs, underneath the aspen shavings. We had MANY pets with LITTLE expense! If you cannot use it around the house with one of these great tips, PLEASE recycle your paper, most local recyle agencies take paper-ALL FORMS- milk cartons, juice cartons, junk mail, cracker boxes, cereal boxes, any and all paper goes into a paper bag to set out at the curb for the recycle truck every week. You will be amazed how much paper gets recycled in ONE week. And to think all of that once went in the trash!
    I love all of the recycle crafts and tips on this website. I love having it all in one place !! thank you!!

    • Tina

    I’ve always used newspapers for cleaning windows, it doesn’t leave linty stuff behind like paper towels do, and a spray bottle filled with a vinegar/water solution works great too. I put a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the veggie drawer in the fridge to soak up any watery stuff that leaks out of the veggies. Also, I put a layer of newspaper in the bottom of the trash bag in the waste basket to soak up any drips so you don’t drip all the way from the waste basket to the trash can outside and have something to clean up when you come back inside.

    • janet

    Stuff wet sneakers, boots, etc. with newspaper. It will abosrb all the moisture and shoes will dry much faster!

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