Just recently we were raiding our own kitchen for a small container to keep some bolts and nuts in when it occurred to us how many “garage-useful” kitchen items exist. Take it from Fort Dodge Ford, you can give some common household items a second chance in your garage.
Pots and Pans You No Longer Need
Retired pots and pans are excellent things to use for cleaning small parts. Suppose you’re working on an old lawnmower and it’s time to dunk the carburetor in carb cleaner. For a duty like this, you simply can’t beat an old pot. Not only will the metal resist any of the car cleaners’ effects, you have a nice handle by which you can move the pot around your shop.
As any handyperson will tell you, when you take just about anything apart, it is best to put the bolts, nuts and other parts into a container for safekeeping. This is definitely true if you are not going to need the item for a while. A snap-lock style container is a no-brainer for this purpose. These containers are bought (think: Tupperware containers) or occasionally given to you when you buy something (think: deli meat containers).
If you have to store a lot of something, use some of those big two-pound plastic or metal coffee containers. Those things are great. They have big openings and their covers are designed for frequent openings and closings. Face it, if you had to buy these containers only for storage, you might. They work that well!
Ziploc plastic bags
Another important item to have in the garage is a selection of Ziploc bags. These bags of various sizes can keep small parts clean and dry; while the smaller ones (“baggies”) are quite cheap, the larger ones with reusable Ziploc tops are usually more expensive. The solution of course, is to grab the large ones when they’re done with kitchen duty and put them to work in the garage.
Here is a brief list of other kitchen supplies and possible uses:
Steel wool— to clean virtually any surface
Tinfoil—excellent for masking parts for painting
Sponges and old wash cloths – to clean up spills
We know, not a kitchen item but a useful one. Hair dryers allow you to concentrate heat on objects so you can strip off paint, loosen adhesives, etc. You really should have one of these in the garage!
As has been implied, the great news is many of the objects that you might draft for garage duty actually do get retired from kitchen or other usage once in a while. With a bit of thought, we are sure you can come up with many other items that were originally made for household use but can serve their purposes in the garage. This sort of thing really represents recycling at its finest; finding encore performances for stuff that ordinarily would be tossed out.