Getty Images
October 8, 2015 12:04 PM EDT

Leftover shopping bags aren’t just for lining the bathroom trash can or picking up dog poop. Check out these other clever recycling ideas, too.

1. Fill in Gaps

Stuff plastic bags into cavities around pipes, ducts, or other wall or floor penetrations to provide a substrate before filling voids with spray foam or caulk.

2. Protect Fruit

In late fall, tie plastic bags over nearly ripe fruit on a tree to keep out bugs and guard against frost damage.

3. Apply Waxes and Creams

Use a bag as a mitt to spread furniture wax or polish. Then buff to a shiny finish using a soft, dry cloth.

4. Transport Unpotted Plants

Divide overgrown perennials and place extras in bags to contain the soil and keep in moisture while you carry them to a friend.

5. Seal a Paint Can

When you’re done painting, slip a plastic bag over the paint can lid before replacing it so that dirt or flakes of dried paint on the lid’s underside won’t fall into the liquid.

6. Keep Your Jeans Clean

Cut holes in the bottom of two bags and wear the bags like kneepads to protect your pants while you’re gardening.

7. Make Sure Glue Won’t Stick to the Wrong Thing

Before clamping up a woodworking project that’s just been glued, slip a plastic bag between the piece you’ve worked on and the clamp blocks. Once the glue has dried, the blocks will slip off your piece easily.

8. Save Time After a Storm

Expecting snow or sleet? Tie plastic bags around your car’s side-view mirrors so that you don’t have to scrape ice off them; just yank the bags off and you’re on your way.

9. Keep Your Dog or Cat Comfy

Stuff an old pillowcase tightly with plastic bags, sew the open end closed, and let your pet lounge on it during nap time.

10. Corral Hardware

Line tool-belt pockets with a bag trimmed to size. No more stabbing yourself as you reach for nails deep in the seams.

This article originally appeared on This Old House

More from This Old House:

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

You May Also Like
EDIT POST