Kitty Litter is Not Just for Cats

Since you're a cat lover and caretaker, you already have bags or boxes of kitty litter in your house (or trunk of your car, as I do).  With some creative thinking, you'll realize that you can use that kitty litter for much more than litter box filler.  Some ideas are below.

Note that for the majority of the following suggestions, traditional clay litter - not clumping - is recommended.
  • If you have a problem with dampness and mildew in the bottom of your trash cans, sprinkle a thin layer of fresh cat box filler; change the litter every week or whenever it is damp.
  • To lessen staining from fresh oil or grease spots on driveways, sprinkle on clean cat box filler, wait a few minutes, and sweep off. Dispose in the same manner you would dispose of used oil. You may have to apply a second sprinkling. Use a soft brick to grind the cat box filler into the oil. You don't have to bear down too hard, just maintain a steady circular motion to achieve the best results. When the filler is reduced to a fine powder and remains light in color, you will have removed all but the final residue that clings to the voids in the surface. This light-colored residue will lighten further the longer it is exposed to the sun. Be sure to dispose of oil-soaked cat box filler as local laws require for disposal of used oil.
  • Cat box filler may be used to absorb small amounts of water that leak into a basement after a heavy rain or to help remove musty odors.
  • Cat box filler may be used to get rid of spray paint (graffiti) on sidewalks. Sprinkle the cat box filler over the letters. Do not use any water - the drier the better. Put on a pair of old sneakers and grind the litter into the sidewalk. The paint should come out, and it is great aerobic exercise!
  • Put cat box filler into ashtrays to reduce odor.
  • Use cat box filler to anchor dried or silk flower stems.
  • To dry fresh flowers, cut them at their peak and set in tray filled with 1 inch of cat box filler. Cover flowers with more filler. Allow to dry in a dark, dry spot for 2-7 days.
  • Carry cat box filler in the trunk of your car and use it to aid tire traction on icy roads. It can also provide traction and improve safety on sidewalks, steps and driveways. Sprinkle a small amount on the ground before you get out of your car for foot traction in icy conditions.
  • Mix an equal part of soil and clean cat box filler, proceed to plant your flowers, shrubs or vegetables. Your soil will remain moist providing for better root development. The litter will retain the humidity at root level. It can be used safely on any type of plant.
  • Pour two inches of non-fragrant cat box filler in the bottom of your cooking grill. The filler will absorb drippings and keep the grill clean. It provides better draft for proper cooking, and it will direct heat upwards because of its insulating nature. Since cat box filler soaks up drippings, danger of flare-ups is virtually eliminated. Do not use water to extinguish fire. Cover charcoal with the cat box filler. When the cat box filler becomes saturated with drippings, simply empty and replace with fresh.
  • To make inexpensive shoe deodorizers, fill old socks with cat box filler and then stuff the socks into your shoes.
  • Use cat box filler to clean up pet accidents.
  • Cat box filler reduces musty, damp smells in the holds and cabins of boats.
  • Deodorize stinky shoes by placing a cup or two of cat litter in knee-high pantyhose, tie a knot and leave it in the shoe overnight.
  • To deodorize a stale-smelling refrigerator, pour unused cat litter in a shallow box and place in the center of the refrigerator. Unplug the refrigerator and leave the litter in for five days.
  • Use cat litter to clean up oil or paint spills. A 10-pound sack of litter will absorb more than a gallon of liquid.
  • An inexpensive clay mask can be made out of cat litter. Purchase an all-natural, 100-percent clay cat litter that is scent-free. Mix three tablespoons of cat litter with about three tablespoons of water, then mix with a mortar and pestle. It's perfect for detoxifying the skin.
  • Cat litter makes an effective odor remover as well. If, as one reader wrote, someone has stored fresh-cut onions in a cooler, you put some cat litter into a stocking and put it in the ice chest and close it, the next day the odor will be gone.
  • Many people use 100% silica gel kitty litter inside their humidors to keep their humidor functioning properly and their cigars within the safe zone (constant humidity level between 65 and 70% when in a closed environment).

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