Aspirin is one of the many over-the-counter pain relievers that we rely on on a regular basis. Most people have a bottle stored at home, just waiting for their aches and pains to act up. But what you may not know is that the product contains chemicals which can do much more than provide a break from pesky headaches. Here are a few non-medicinal ways aspirin can make itself useful around the house.
1. Dandruff warrior
Aspirin contains salicylic acid, a chemical which is capable of a great many things. Among them, it has a strong moisturizing ability, and can help reduce the formation of dandruff in your hair. “Applying aspirin mixed with shampoo to your scalp may help reduce scalp inflammation that causes dandruff and help exfoliate flakes on the skin,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, cosmetic and clinical researcher in dermatology, tells Everyday Health. Crush two to three aspirins into your shampoo and massage your scalp with the mixture, then let sit a few minutes before rinsing off.
2. Skin saver
Not only can salicylic acid moisturize your skin, it also helps remove oil and dead cells, making it an incredible opponent to acne and psoriasis, as it can unclog pores and reduce swelling, skin lesions and redness, Everyday Health reports. Combine five crushed pills with a quarter cup of water and, optionally, a teaspoon of honey. Apply to your skin and leave on for 10 minutes, then wash off.
3. Sweat stain eraser
Sometimes, sweat stains can have such a powerful (read: nasty) effect on your clothes that they become nearly waterproof, and hard to wash off with regular laundry cycles. But aspirin can help! Create a paste like the one above and apply it to the stains on your clothing. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse and run through a regular wash cycle. Instructables suggests also using this for bloodstains, like nosebleed-related incidents, and egg yolk spills.
4. Car mechanic
This one is pretty surprising. When your car’s battery leaves you hanging in the middle of nowhere and you can’t afford to wait for a rescue, try this last-ditch resort: Instructables advises dropping crushed aspirin tablets directly into the battery, a couple for each cell, after popping it open. According to Reader’s Digest, the salicylic acid will interact with the sulfuric acid within the battery and hopefully help it get just enough of a boost for your car to drag itself to a station.
5. Pro gardener
Everyday Health reports that salicylic acid, besides being able to reinvigorate your plants just as well as it does your skin, is also capable of blocking both ethylene production and mold, two major causes of wilting in garden flowers and in cut flower arrangements. By adding a crushed tablet of aspirin to the water you pour on your flowers — or the water you place bouquets in — you’ll help your greens live longer.