Engine clean

Kitchen ‘Tools’ and their use for your car

Any handyperson worth their salt excels at finding creative solutions to common household problems.  It’s the process of thinking outside the box.  Just recently we were recently raiding the our own kitchen for a small container to keep some nuts and bolts in when it dawned on us how many “garage-useful” kitchen items there are. The good news is many of the objects that you might grab for garage duty actually do get periodically retired from kitchen use, so take it from Thompson Dodge of Baltimore MD you can give them a second chance in the garage.

Pots and pans that are retired are great items to use for cleaning small parts.  Suppose you are working on a greasy old lawnmower and it’s time to dunk the carburetor in some carb cleaner.  For a job like this, you simply can’t beat an old pot.  Not only is the metal going to resist any of the effects of the carb cleaner, you have a nice handle by which you can move the pot around the shop.

Snap-lock style containers are a no-brainer.  These containers are sometimes bought (think: Tupperware containers) or sometimes given to you when you purchase something (think: deli meat containers).  As any handyman, or handywoman will earnestly tell you, when you take just about anything apart, it is best to put the nuts, bolts and other parts into a container for safekeeping.  This is especially true if you aren’t going to reassemble the item for a while.

If you need to store a lot of something, use some of those huge two-pound metal or plastic coffee canisters. Those things are great.  They have nice big openings and the covers on them are designed for frequent opening and closings.  Face it, if you had to buy these containers just for storage, you might.  That’s how well they work.

Another “can’t live without” item in the garage is a good selection of Ziploc bags.  While the smaller ones (“baggies”) are pretty cheap, the larger ones with reusable Ziploc tops can be more expensive.  The solution of course, is to grab the big ones when they are freed up from kitchen duty and put them to work in the garage.  Note, if of various sizes can keep small parts clean and dry. Even these old kitchen cabinets work well for storage in the garage.

Here’s a punch list of other kitchen supplies and possible uses:

Sponges and old wash cloths – to clean up spills
Toothpicks — for cleaning in tight areas on small parts
Tinfoil — excellent for masking parts for painting
Steel wool — to clean virtually any surface
Sponges and old wash cloths – to clean up spills
Toothpicks — for cleaning in tight areas on small parts

We a little thought, we are sure you can come up with many other items that were originally designed for household use but can do second duty in the garage.  The best part is that this sort of thing really represents recycling at its finest; finding encore performances for things that ordinarily would be thrown out.