Saturday, November 17, 2007

Adventures with kitty litter...

A friend, who was decorating for a large event, remarked that she was going to weight down some tall, lightweight, cylindrical vases with kitty litter. She was using the vases for silk flower arrangements.

I have to admit that though we have cats and kitty litter around, I never remember that you can use kitty litter to stabilize a flower vase for silk arrangements. But, it's actually a great idea. After all, the litter will not only keep tall vases from tipping over, it is a good medium for holding each stem in place as you desire. Or, you can weight the bottom with the litter and put florist's foam, picks, or a frog on top to hold the stems in place.

My friend's comment reminded me of two other uses I've heard for kitty litter: 1) sprinkling it on garage floors to soak up oil, paint, or other stains, then sweeping the litter and stain away and 2) carrying a bag with you to use to give your car extra weight when you need to get out of an icy spot. (I think I've also heard that you sprinkle some litter under tires, as well, in order to provide some traction).

As those of you know who read my blog, I'm a Southern gal. My approach to rare bouts of ice and snow is to stay home! However, there are times when you just have to go somewhere despite icy roads and times when you are already out and a sudden winter storm moves in. So, it wouldn't hurt me to keep a bag in my trunk for emergencies.

I don't know if this tip applies to mud as well. We have lots of mud in Tennessee, though I don't make a practice of driving into it. Has anyone ever used kitty litter for traction in order to get out of a muddy rut?

Upon pondering how useful kitty litter seems to be, I decided to research the subject. Here's a site from HGTV that describes more uses for this humble household item than I ever dreamed were possible.

According to this site, a 10 pound bag of kitty litter will absorb more than a gallon of liquid. So, they also advocate using it for garage spills.

I especially liked the tip about using it in the bottom of a garbage can to soak up spills and odors. However, baking soda does that, too, and I haven't done a cost comparison to see which is cheaper. I have an idea that the baking soda would come out ahead on that one.

The idea of putting the kitty litter into a leg cut off of old pantyhose and using that as a sachet to sweeten shoes seemed like a good idea, as well.

I draw the line, however, at the article's suggestion of using kitty litter as a facial mask. And, I'm not sure that I'd ever use it as a refrigerator deodorant either -- especially not when you can snap up a cheap box of good old Arm and Hammer's.

Of course, you don't need to let my personal squeamishness stop you . After all, kitty litter is clean when poured straight out of the sack. But, in our house, kitty litter does get used as...well..,kitty litter. So, the imagery would stick too closely in my mind for me to dream of putting it on my face . You, however, might be delighted with the results.

Here's another site that commends the virtues of kitty litter:

According to this article, you can -- among other things -- invite moles to leave your yard by pouring kitty litter down their holes. As moles are wreaking havoc in our lawn at this very moment and are the culprits, I suspect, in our great daffodil bulb theft, I may try this one, soon. I do hope this doesn't work by smothering the poor things, though.

Just like everything else in the stores, kitty litter is no longer quite as cheap as it once was. But, all things considered, it's still an inexpensive product. Obviously, if you are using it for purposes other than cats, you don't want to pay for premium kitty litter. Skip the kind with special features, such as the kind that clumps, and avoid the pricier brands. Just buy basic, generic litter -- the least expensive brand on the shelf.

Having said that, I will note that the cheapest is not always the best when you are using it in a litter box. Also, it creates a fine dust and can be hard to work with. But, for things such as removing stains, etc., the cheaper, the better.

Well...I can't believe that I have actually just written an entire post about adventures with kitty litter! But, I do hope you enjoy the tips.



Country Girl At Heart said...

Elizabeth I just read your comment regarding the "Blogger Book Club" and I would love to have you read along with us.

We have read chapters 1-3 last week and will read 4-5 this Monday through Friday.

What I will do is post the next weeks questions on the side bar by Thursday so that anyone reading along can either respond the posted question or simply leave a comment about thier reading.

The link to the book as well as previous responses can be found on my sidebar as well.

Thanks for stopping by.

Meredith said...

We don't have a cat, so maybe that's why kitty litter has never been part of my arsenal!

I would hesitate to use it as a stabilizer for fresh flowers, because I think the water would turn the chips back into clay.

I did just use a pot of sand to stabilize a centerpiece of branches and gourds, along the same principle--what do you have handy?