For most of us, aspirin is something we think of when we have a headache or other aches and pains. We may even be aware that aspirin use is associated with reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
While the current form of aspirin has only been produced for a little over a century, its natural form, the salicylic acid found in plants such as willow and myrtle, has been used to reduce pain and fever since the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Available in over-the-counter tablet form in more than 80 countries, aspirin is regarded today as the most successful non-prescription medicine of all time. We consume somewhere between 50 billion and 100 billion aspirin tablets worldwide each year. However, that little bottle in your medicine cabinet can come in handy in many other ways in your household. Here are some uses for aspirin you may never have considered.
1. Stain remover. If you have perspiration stains on that favorite white shirt or blouse, try this remedy: Crush two aspirin tablets into a half cup of warm water. Then soak the stained garment in the solution for several hours before washing.
2. Toothache relief. Make a similar aspirin paste and apply to a hurting tooth or gum before you can see your dentist.
3. Hair color restorer. If you swim regularly in a chlorinated pool, you may have noticed the unpleasant effect it can have on your hair color. You can return your hair to its former shade with an aspirin solution. Dissolve six to eight aspirins in a glass of warm water. Work the solution through your hair, allowing it to set for about 15 minutes before rinsing.
4. Ingrown toenail relief. Try this simple remedy to help with the pain, itchiness and swelling of an ingrown toenail. Dissolve 20 aspirins in a tub full of warm water. Soak your foot in the solution for relief.
5. Blemish reduction. Crush an aspirin tablet and moisten it with a small amount of warm water. Then apply the paste to the pimple, allowing it to sit for a few minutes before washing off with soap and water. The aspirin will reduce redness and irritation.
6. Sunburn help. You also can soothe the pain of sunburn by applying an aspirin paste to the affected area.
7. Callus softener. Grind five or six aspirins into a powder and mix well with a half teaspoon each of lemon juice and water. Apply the paste to the callus, wrap your foot in a warm towel and then cover it with a plastic bag. Sit down and let the treatment work for at least 10 minutes before removing the bag and the towel and then filing down the softened callus with a pumice stone. Rinse the area well with warm water.
8. Dandruff control. Crush two aspirin tablets into a fine powder and then add it to the amount of shampoo you use to wash your hair. Leave the mixture on your hair for about two minutes before rinsing well and repeating the process with plain shampoo.
9. Insect bite aid. You can ease the pain of an insect bite or sting by wetting the skin and then rubbing an aspirin tablet over the affected spot.
10. Cut flower preserver. Help keep your cut flowers looking fresher longer by placing a crushed aspirin in the vase water before adding your stems. Change the vase water every few days for continued effect.
11. Skin stain remover. Clean stains on your skin from nicotine or from grass by applying an aspirin paste to the discolored area. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before wiping it away and then washing the area with warm water.
12. Rust spot remover. Wipe away small rust stains left behind by razors or shaving cream cans by applying a few crushed aspirin tablets onto a dampened surface and then letting the aspirin sit for about 10 minutes. Wipe clean.
Please note that about 10 percent of people with severe asthma are also allergic to aspirin and to all products containing salicylic acid. In addition, people who have ulcers and other bleeding conditions should not use aspirin.
Now here’s one last unexpected use for aspirin. If you have a dead car battery and no jumper cables in sight, you can revive the battery by opening the battery cells and dropping aspirin tablets right into the battery itself. (This method won’t work if the battery is sealed.) The salicylic acid in the tablets will combine with the battery’s sulfuric acid to create enough of a charge to start your engine. This method will negatively affect the life of the battery, however, so if your battery is new, you should only use this method in an emergency.
Do you know of other uses for aspirin? Share them in the section below: