Handy Ways To Repurpose Chopsticks Around The House

Those extra chopsticks in your kitchen junk drawer have so much wasted potential. Helping you slurp down takeout might be their intended purpose, but we're giving them new life outside the cupboard and all around the house. These wooden utensils are on-hand and inexpensive tools that can be used for controlling pests, gardening, renovating, cleaning, and organizing. Leaving them to collect dust or end up in a landfill is a disservice, as the thin, wooden utensils are so versatile.

Typical disposable chopsticks like the ones that come in your dinner order are sturdy, easy to grip, lightweight, and can withstand high temperatures. They are only meant for one use, but after eating your meal and cleaning the utensils, you may notice that they are still in good condition. While wooden chopsticks are compostable, if you do not have a compost bin, repurposing them around the house is a great way to be more eco-friendly. Or, if you're team fork, trying out some of these ideas is the ideal way to put the sticks to use.

Plant markers

Add cute plant markers to your garden with a few chopsticks. Write the foliage's name directly onto the stick or attach a labeled piece of paper to the wood. Ensure the paper label is laminated or wrapped in clear tape to protect it from water. The chopstick markers will help organize your crops and give the greenery some style.

Garden stakes

Sometimes seedlings need support, and chopsticks make the perfect garden stake for the baby plants to lean on. Use them to help thin stems carry heavy fruit, give vines something to crawl up, or keep propagated leaves in place until they root. If you're careful not to pierce the leaves, stem, or roots when adding the stick to the soil, it won't disrupt your plant's growth.

Aerate soil

Another way chopsticks lend a hand in the garden is as a DIY aerator. Use it to rake and poke holes in the soil to reduce the dirt's compaction. In turn, your plants can absorb nutrients better and develop deeper roots, while the soil will have increased drainage. Store a couple of chopsticks with your most essential gardening tools — you won't regret it.

Paint stirrer

Don't forget the chopsticks when you crack open a can of paint. The wooden utensil is the perfect stirrer to mix the lacquer and give it a consistent finish. You'll never have to rummage in the yard for a branch or dirty a screwdriver again. After you mix the pigment, you can leave the chopstick attached to the can and use it as a marker to remember the paint color.

Shoe cleaner

Pebbles, dirt, and even dog droppings get trapped in the soles of your shoes. Because of this, you don't want to use your fingers to get anything out of there and risk germs getting trapped under your fingernails. Instead, use a chopstick to wedge out all the trapped debris, as it can reach between the rubber threads for a thorough clean. Then, you can toss the chopstick and all the fallen gunk from your shoes into the trash.

Clean crevices

A tissue and a chopstick create a mini cleaning tool that's ideal for tackling dirty crevices. Wrap the tissue around one end of your chopstick, spray it with your favorite cleaner, and use it to clean the sink faucet, air vent grates, window blinds, baseboards, and every other nook. Plus, you can reuse the chopstick and simply replace the tissue. 

Stack items in the fridge

A pair of chopsticks turns a regular bowl into a stackable one. Simply place two or three chopsticks on top of your wrapped plate, bowl, or cup to create a shelf for another dish to rest on. The utensils should sit on opposite sides of the dishware for the rack to be stable. This hack helps to utilize more space in your fridge when you're short on Tupperware or lids.

DIY dish rack

When your dish rack is full or non-existent, chopsticks come to the rescue. Lay two chopsticks parallel to one another, creating an impromptu rack, and rest your wet plates on top. You can also place a towel underneath the wooden utensils to catch water drops. The elevation between your counter and the dish will help the bowl or cup dry faster.

Fill stripped screw holes

To refill a stripped screw hole, you'll need a chopstick, wood glue, and a knife. Apply the glue to one end of the chopstick and shimmy the utensil into the hole. Once the glue dries, cut the chopstick to size so it is flush with the wall. Now you can drill a new screw into the area, and the chopsticks will grip the nail's teeth, keeping it secure.

Repel flies

A jar, Pine-Sol, and chopsticks are all you need to make a DIY fly repellent. The chopsticks act as reed diffuser sticks, while the pine oil in the cleaner releases an odor that flies detest. Just fill the container with the Pine-Sol, add a few chopsticks, and place it wherever the critters are unwelcome. You can use an ornamental jar for an upscale decoration that keeps flies out of your house.