9 Under-Appreciated Ways to Use Aspirin Around the House

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Aspirin is a staple in just about everybody’s medicine cabinets. But beyond its medicinal purposes, aspirin comes in handy for many uses at home, with applications ranging from laundry aid to dandruff treatment.

Especially if your aspirin tends to expire before you see the bottom of the bottle, these household uses will allow your go-to pain reliever to do more than just that.

For each of the uses below, make sure you’re using uncoated aspirin—it’ll be easier to crush and mix for some applications, and you won’t be introducing any extra substances or ingredients into the fold.

Patch small holes in drywall

If you’re in a major pinch—and need to hide some damage fast—you can crush a few aspirin tablets and mix them with water to create a drywall-patching paste that will dry like an adhesive to fill the holes.

Soothe bug bites

Itchy bug bites? Dampen the skin and then rub a tablet over the affected area. Aspirin’s anti-inflammatory properties will help to reduce the redness, swelling, and pain at the surface.

Clean the bathroom and kitchen

If you run out of cleaner mid-routine, dissolve two aspirin tablets in water as a stopgap. You can use that mixture like you would any other cleaner to remove soap scum or other dirt around the house. It could be abrasive, so use caution on delicate surfaces.

Remove sweat stains

To treat sweat stains, you need a neutralizer to remove the discoloration your funk has left behind. There’s good news: Because aspirin is made from acetylsalicylic acid, you can crush some and make a paste with cold water and apply that to the stain. Let it sit for a while before rinsing and washing the garment as usual.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Water your plants with aspirin

A few crushed tablets of aspirin in your plant’s water can offer a whole host of benefits. The acid in aspirin stimulated your plant’s immune system, helping to ward off disease and pests and generally keep your plants in top shape.

Treat blemishes

When crushed, mixed with water, and applied as a paste to inflamed blemishes on your face and body, aspirin will go to work to reduce your skin’s reaction and help anything clogging your pores to work its way out.

Make a foot scrub

The acid in aspirin can act as a skin exfoliant, and many people (and estheticians) have tried and touted the results of turning aspirin and lemon juice into a foot scrub to soften calloused feet.

Help with dandruff

A few crushed tablets of aspirin in your shampoo can help to exfoliate your scalp, removing dead skin and flakes that create dandruff.

Make cut flowers last longer

Prolong the life of fresh flowers by tossing a crushed aspirin tablet in the vase water. It works because flowers tend to take up water better when it has a low pH—which the acidic aspirin takes care of for you.