Why You Should Always Keep a Carpet Remnant in Your Trunk

Hint: it'll help you out in a (literal) jam in the snow and ice.

Carpet scraps rolled upAlex Poetmkin/Getty Images

If you’ve recently done a renovation project to increase your home’s value, you’re likely basking in the glow of your handiwork… but also probably have quite a bit of leftover carpet sitting around. Wondering what, exactly, to do with it? Rather than just toss those carpet remnants in the trash, there’s a surprising use for them. If you don’t have any, ask your local carpet store if it has any leftovers that you could nab.

It turns out carpet remnants are great items to have handy in the trunk of your car if the wheels get stuck on snow or ice and you need traction in bad weather. Here’s how to use one: First, cool it on the gas—you’re only digging yourself deeper. All you need to do is ram the carpet underneath the stuck wheels—just make sure they’re stopped and not in motion—before slowly accelerating on the gas.

Not only will the carpet remnants help get you out of a literal jam, but it’s an easy way to repurpose an item that would otherwise go in the garbage. Items like a rubber bathmat or old towel—or even a piece of cardboard—also work wonders, too, as does cat litter for additional traction. Simply sprinkle the litter (sand also works!) around the tires to give a bit of necessary extra traction. (Learn the safest and fastest way to remove snow from your car.)

And if you still have leftover carpet, why not donate it to a local animal shelter? They can use it for pet beds, cushioning for crates, cat scratching posts, and more!

Next, find out how to get rid of salt stains in your car.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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