When it comes to kitchen tools and other household items that are past their prime, people typically fall into one of two camps: Those who throw something away as soon as they notice some type of flaw, and replace it with something new; and those who continue to use the old item as long as possible, then buy a new one, but hang on to the old one “just in case.”
Of course, a lot depends on the condition of the kitchen tool—especially whether it’s still fit to be used to cook with—but unless an item is truly, completely broken, there’s a good chance you can repurpose it somewhere else in your home or garden. Here are a few examples.
New uses for old kitchen tools
Instead of throwing out kitchen tools that have seen better day, use your imagination to come up with ways you can reuse them in other parts of your home, garage, or yard. Some examples include:
The word “spatula” is used to describe a variety of different kitchen tools; in this case, we’re referring to a flat piece of silicone or rubber with at least one rounded edge that’s attached to a long, flat handle. In the kitchen, you may have used the spatula to scrape remnants of cake batter out of a mixing bowl, or sauce out of a pot.
If the spatula is now permanently orange-tinted after making tomato sauce, or has started to crack, you may decide not to use it for cooking anymore. Instead, you can use it to get last drops of paint, stain, or polyurethane out of a can.
Colanders and strainers
If your trusty metal colander or strainer has turned rusty, use some steel wool to remove as much of the rust as you can, then use it for gardening. Many houseplants need pots with drainage, and these former kitchen tools are perfect. You’ll need to find a larger outer pot or planter that fits the colander, but that shouldn’t be difficult.
Chipped or cracked teapots or pitchers
Thinking about retiring a chipped or cracked ceramic teapot or glass pitcher (or measuring cup)? If it can still hold and pour water, use it to water your plants. You can do the same with a mildly rusty metal kettle (after using steel wool to remove as much of the rust as possible).
Did you inherit a relative’s kitchen tools, but don’t actually use most of them? If there’s a bench scraper somewhere in that box, you can use it to clear small amounts of sawdust from drilling holes in wood, or any other minor messes on workbenches.
When you no longer use it to smash spuds, a potato masher is great for breaking up clumps in bags of soil or sand.