I never imagined that there’s anything better to start a fire than char cloth. Well, times have changed, and so have I. At least about the fire-starting bit.
Ever heard about steel wool? Yes, I know it sounds rather contradictory, but this thing which, by the way, our grandparents used to scrub clean all those pots and pans, is everything a prepper may expect to find when reading our articles.
Apart from the fact that steel wool goes up in flame like its gasoline or something, it has tons of other uses around the house and, of course, in survival-type situations.
Fascinated by this – I don’t know how to call it – a byproduct of the metalworking industry, I spend a couple of hours searching for ways preppers utilize this stuff. What can I say, other than the fact that I struck gold? So, without further ado, here are 6 ways to use steel wool in a shit hits the fan situation, both in and out of the house.
Prevent drain clogging
I’ve always hated the idea of playing repairmen around the house (at least in rooms that have nothing to do with the bedroom). You want to know why? Because everything can be avoided if everyone around the house would exercise a quint little thing called common-sense. Recently, I had to unclog the bathtub’s drain two times because my wife has this thing about washing the dogs more often than necessary.
Anyway, I found out that a great way to prevent these mishaps would be to put some still wool around the drain before taking a bath. That thing sucks up every lock of hair like it were a sponge or something. You should also try using it in your kitchen’s sink, especially if you don’t have a garbage disposer.
No more loose screws
You probably know how frustrating it can be to try and drive a screw through a piece of wood when the hole’s too big. Well, you can try your luck finding a screw to fit the hole (pun intended), or you can use this simple prepper’s trick – wrap some steel wool around the screw and give it one more twist. If you don’t have any, take rip a small piece from a match, and stick it in the hole.
No more mice around the house
If you’re having critter trouble, snoop around a bit to see where they’re coming from. Once you find the mouse hole, cover it with a big piece of steel wool. Don’t worry about the mouse chewing through it – never going to happen!
Keep things sharp
If you ever run out of sharpening stones (true story here), you can use a wad of steel wool to keep your tools in working conditions. Works great on knives, but steel wool really works wonders on blunt scissors. Just take a big piece and snip it a couple of times with your scissors. You’ll get that thing sharpened in no time.
No more critters in the exhaust pipes
Winter comes, many people allow their cars and motorcycles to take a breather until spring. Nothing odd about this. However, what about them critters which tend to crawl into the exhaust pipes and air intakes? Apart from the fact that you end up gassing them to death once you start the engine, the stuff they bring along with them can clog the exhaust, resulting in engine damage and, possible, carbon monoxide poisoning.
Plugging the exhaust is the most obvious. Still, you don’t need to buy something very expensive to get the job done. Take a wad of steel cloth and shove it inside the air intake and the exhaust. You can wrap a bright-colored cloth or take around the pipes which you’ve stuffed with steel wool to serve you as a reminder to take them up before using the car.
Make rusty tools shine again
While searching for some stuff around the attic, I stumbled upon a small toolbox with several rusty tools inside. Asked my dad about them, and apparently, they belonged to my grandfather. Seeing the state they were in made my heart bleed, which meant I had to do something about it. Luckily, I had a pack of steel wool in my garage which made my job a lot easier. If you have rusty tools, try giving them a good scrub with a wad of steel wool. Works like a charm.
Now, if you really want to restore them to their former glory, you can try this trick – fill a tub with Coca-Cola and put every rusty tool inside. Let them soak overnight. Early in the morning, take them out and use a towel or cloth to remove the excess liquid. After drying them, scrub them with steel wool. You won’t find shinier tools anywhere. By the way, this method works on chrome surface as well.
Remove persistent wood stains
I’ve never seen true Hell until my wife put her coffee mug on the small living room table I just bought. You know those rings on the bottom of the mug that usually form when the coffee goes over the edges? They never go away. And, no matter how hard you scrub that wood surface, you won’t be able to remove it.
Well, least I thought before using steel wool. Encouraged by the kickass results I had with restoring grandpa’s rusty tool, I attempted to apply the same method on the wood table. Wouldn’t you know it? It worked! I had my share of doubts about using something as abrasive as steel wool on a fine surface, but, apparently, it didn’t leave any scratches. If you’re having the same issues, try a wad of steel wool.
Well, that’s about it for my uses of steel wool around the house. Sorry for not writing a word or two about its fire-starting abilities, but it seemed like self-implied. Anyway, hope you liked my article. As always, for comments, additions, rants or all three of them, hit the comments section.