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Genius Flour Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

If you're only using flour in the kitchen, you're tapping just a fraction of its potential.

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Uses for Flour: Polishing brassPhoto: Shutterstock

Smart household uses for flour

Polish brass and copper

No need to go out and buy expensive cleaner for your brass and silver. You can whip up your own at a fraction of the cost. Just combine equal parts of flour, salt and vinegar, and mix into a paste. Spread the paste onto the metal, let it dry, and buff it off with a clean, dry cloth.

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How to make flour-based plasticinePhoto: Shutterstock

Use flour to make modeling clay

Keep the kids busy on a rainy day with modeling clay—they can even help you make the stuff. Knead together 3 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup salt, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and 1 or 2 drops food colouring. If the mixture is sticky, add more flour; if it’s too stiff, add more water. When the “clay” is a workable consistency, store it until needed in a self-sealing plastic bag.

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Uses for Flour: Add lustre to a stainless steel sinkPhoto: Shutterstock

Restore lustre to your sink

To buff your stainless steel sink back to a warm glow, sprinkle flour over it and rub lightly with a soft, dry cloth. Then rinse the sink to restore its shine.

Here’s how to clean absolutely everything in your kitchen, according to Charles the Butler of CTV’s The Marilyn Denis Show.

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Uses for Flour: Craft PastePhoto: Shutterstock

A safe paste for kids’ crafts

Looking for an inexpensive, non-toxic paste that’s ideal for children’s paper craft projects, such as papier-mache and scrap-booking? It just so happens this is one of the best household uses for flour. To make the paste, add 3 cups cold water to a saucepan and blend in 1 cup all-purpose flour. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until smooth and thick. Cool and pour into a plastic squeeze bottle to use. This simple paste will keep for weeks in the refrigerator, and cleans up easily with soap and water.

Find out more money-saving tricks using everyday items.

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Use pepper and flour to deter antsPhoto: Snutterstock

Repel ants

Sprinkle a line of flour along the backs of pantry shelves and wherever you see ants entering the house. Repelled by the flour, ants won’t cross over the line.

Here are 10 of the most disgusting house bugs—and how to get rid of them.

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Uses for Flour: Freshen Playing CardsPhoto: Shutterstock

Freshen playing cards

After a few late night rounds of poker, cards can accumulate a patina of snack residue and hand oil, but you can restore them with some all-purpose flour in a paper bag. Drop the cards into the bag with enough flour to cover, shake vigorously, and remove the cards. The flour will absorb the oils, and it can be easily knocked off the cards by giving them a good shuffle.

Now that you’ve got these household uses for flour under your belt, check out our best-ever baking soda hacks.

Originally Published in Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things