This $5 Handy Item Fixes Just About Everything in Your Home

published Sep 15, 2018
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(Image credit: Winkie Visser)

We love a good multi-use product. Household putty (aka Sticky Tack, Blu Tack, mounting putty, museum putty) is one of those products that can solve a slew of household predicaments in a matter of seconds. From eradicating matted messes of electronics cables to stabilizing your new gypsy caravan, we’ve got 14 useful ideas to get you started on your lifelong love affair with putty.

1. Hide Unsightly Cords

As an interior photographer, cords are my mortal enemy. Nothing stands out in a beautiful interior photo like a tangle of cords. Even just one cord can make a magical space somehow feel like a big hot mess. Aesthetics aside, convenience can also be an issue if your electrical outlets are awkwardly placed. Enter: putty. With putty, floor-dwelling cables can be picked up and attached to walls or the back of furniture, making them easy to access and hidden out of sight.

2. A Measuring Buddy

Ever need to measure a long wall or piece of furniture, but don’t have a buddy? Simply stick the end of the tape measure to said piece with putty and you’ve got an instant buddy to hold it in place.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

3. Stop Your Rugs from Slipping

Non-slip rug pads are great, but a high quality one can set you back upwards of $100 (depending on the size of your rug). If your rug is on a hard surface like wood, tile, or vinyl (NOT carpet—putty on carpet is like gum in hair), try using a few balls of putty underneath your rug to keep it in place.

4. Wobble-Free Shim

Do you ever go out with friends and get stuck at a wobbly dining table? At first everyone may act like it’s no big deal, but all it takes is one knife sawing away at a rib eye to send everyone searching for a makeshift napkin shim. Next time you notice your own furniture feeling a little off kilter, stick a ball of putty under the offending leg to prevent it from wobbling. Or, carry putty around in your purse/wallet and be prepared to save the day at your next dinner outing.

(Image credit: Chelsea Francis )

5. Hang Art

This is pretty much household putty’s pièce de résistance. It’s sticky, it’s remarkably strong, and it’s removable. It’s like a command hook, but a little more versatile and pliable. Light canvases and anything unframed will stay put with putty.

6. Keep Art in Place

Similarly, if you’ve already hung your art, but it still has a tendency to shift, keep it level and in place with a couple dabs of putty on the back corners.

7. Hang Seasonal Decor

While we’ve already established putty works great for holding lightweight art, it’s not the strongest, most permanent solution on the market. Season decor that’s stored away and only comes out once a year is putty’s best friend. Affix Christmas cards or rubber spiders to the wall with putty. It’s way stronger than tape, totally removable, and won’t leave a hole in the wall.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

8. Repair Broken Ceramics

Superglue may work to repair most breakables, but it takes so long to dry that you may not be able to hold the item together long enough. Stick some putty on the inside of a cracked vase or fragile broken piece and watch it repair instantly.

9. Fill Holes

Spackle can be surprisingly difficult and messy to use. Next time you want to repair a small hole in your wall, reach for putty instead. Simply pack it in and paint over it. If you have white walls and white putty (or blu tack and “Blu Tack Blue” walls), you may not even need to paint.

10. Stabilize Cutting Boards

If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, chances are good you’ve experienced a sliding cutting board while rolling out dough or cutting through something heavy. If you’ve got some putty on hand (which you most likely will after reading this post), just stick a dab underneath your cutting board to keep it in place.

11. Stabilize Anything

Speaking of stabilizing things, it may go without saying, but putty can be used to stabilize pretty much any household item. If you’ve ever heard of museum putty, it’s basically the same thing. Any valuable breakables on a shelf could stand to have a dot of putty underneath them, especially in case of an earthquake, or even just an unfortunately clumsy moment. Putty is especially useful for you traveling gypsies who can take your home out on a bumpy road (i.e. motorhomes, airstreams, tiny homes, etc.).

(Image credit: Liz Calka)

12. Keyboard Cleaner

While putty made specifically for cleaning keyboards does exist, we opt for the multi-purpose version whenever possible (we’re pretty sure hoarding multiple products that do the same thing is how “junk drawers” came to be). Because household putty somehow magically sticks to whatever you want it to and not to whatever you don’t want it to (science), it adheres to the dirty smudges on your keys without taking them right off your keyboard. Still, be gentle.

(Image credit: Jessica Isaac)

13. Remove Pet Hair

Again, we’re fans of multi-use products, so while you’re ditching your specialty “keyboard cleaning putty,” feel free to toss out your lint rollers. This sticky putty will adhere to pet hair, lint, crumbs, and pretty much any loose item with clinging power.

14. Keep Your Dog Bowls Neat

Speaking of pets, if your furry friends are particularly sloppy when scarfing their kibble, keep their food and water bowls in place with a dab of putty. (If they’re really wild and likely to turn their bowl over regardless, maybe skip the putty. Accidental dog food is one of the many uses household putty is not recommended for.)

Don’t let us limit you—we’ve heard there are approximately 1,000 uses for this stuff. What do you use household putty for?