How to Make Things Last Longer

Simple Tricks to Extend the Life of All Your Stuff

Tired of replacing razor blades, printer cartridges and other household essentials at every turn? Here's how to make those must-haves last longer:

Shampoo and Conditioner

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Store bottles upside down to prevent the shampoo or conditioner from getting stuck at the bottom of the bottle. When you can't get any more out, add a few capfuls of water, and shake.


Man squeezing toothpaste onto toothbrush
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Once you've squeezed out as much toothpaste as you can, cut the tube open with a pair of scissors, and you'll have enough for several more brushings.

Tip: Store the cut tube in a plastic bag between uses to prevent dry out.


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Dry the blades off after each use, and they'll stay sharp longer.

Shower Gel

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Apply your shower gel to a loofah, instead of to your skin, and a small squirt will produce endless lather.


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When you get to the bottom of a tube, use a lip brush or a Q-tip to get at the remaining lipstick.

Tip: Scoop your lipstick leftovers into an empty lip gloss pot for easy on-the-go use.

Bar Soap

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Unwrap your soap and allow it to dry out for a couple weeks before you use it. Why? Because dry soap doesn't dissolve as fast when it comes into contact with water.

Hand Soap

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Purchase a foaming hand soap dispenser, and turn your regular hand soap into foaming hand soap. You'll be amazed at how far you can stretch one bottle of soap.

Dish Soap

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Pick up a second foaming soap dispenser, and use the same recipe to turn your dish soap into foaming dish soap.

Laundry Detergent

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More detergent doesn't mean cleaner clothes, it just means more soap residue on your clothes. Try using half as much detergent as the manufacturer recommends, and you probably won't even notice the difference.

Spray Cleaners

Spray Cleaners

Set the spray nozzle to the lowest mist setting. Less coming out means less being used.


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A simple way to stretch the life of all your clothes? Skip the dryer. All that heat just isn't good for your clothes.


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Clean dirt and scuff marks off your shoes as soon as you notice them to avoid any permanent damage.


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Food spoilage is often the result of improper storage. Learn how to store the foods that you eat regularly:


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Stick candles in the freezer for a couple of hours before you use them. This will cause the wax to burn slower and more evenly.


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Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for flipping and rotating your mattress to prevent premature sagging.


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Vacuum the condenser coil every three months (once a month if you have pets).

Printer Ink

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The simplest way to extend the life of your printer ink is to only print what you need, but that's not the only thing you can do:


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Revive dried out markers by storing them vertically (tip down) for a day or two. If that doesn't work, try dipping the tips in alcohol for a few minutes.

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