If you've got a feline, chances are you've gone through a lot of different litters over the years. Fans of natural clay kitty litters have likely found they are good for a variety of purposes beyond just the cat box. There's actually all sorts of ingenious uses for clay kitty litters that most people have never even dreamed of. We decided to put together a list of 20 different things you never knew you could do with kitty litter, and see if you can add to it. There may be a few on our list you've heard of before or even tried, but there are several you may not know about at all.
Read on to see all the amazing and useful ways to use cat litter are and let us know in the comment section if we've missed any.
Did you know you can use equal parts of natural clay kitty litter and soil when planting flowers, shrubs and other plants for keeping the soil evenly moist? Well, you can. Low dust varieties are often used for creating specialist soils. Another use for cat litter in the garden is to pour a small ring of it around the base of plants you're trying to keep slugs and snails off of.
2. Preventing Grill Fires
Frequent bbq-ers will appreciate this tip for absorbing grease and preventing the fires that sometimes come with it. Line the bottom of your grill with about an inch or so of clay kitty litter to absorb the grease runoff that occurs while grilling. For this particular application unscented kitty litter is definitely the way to go -- unless you want your food to have a perfumey, fresh-scent taste. If you try this tip, it's important to remember to use clay litter and to replace it whenever it becomes overly saturated.
3. DIY Craft Projects
DIY-ers and crafters will enjoy this idea. Do it yourself draft stoppers and other craft projects that require some sort of filling like dried beans, gravel, plastic beads or sand can be made with good old-fashioned cat litter. It will give the project some weight and it won't break down or attract insects plus it's nontoxic, which is always a plus.
4. Eliminating Foot Odors
Make stinky shoes and boots a thing of the past with scented kitty litter inserts. All you'll need is a pair of old nylon footies, knee-high stockings or a pair of pantyhose and about a cup of litter. Pour half the littler in each sock, tie off the ends and viola! You've got yourself instant DIY odor eaters. Just pop one in each shoe and leave in overnight to absorb moisture and remove funky foot odors. For the kind of stench that singes the hair in your nose, use a full cup in each homemade "sachet."
5. Disposing of Paint & Other Liquids
Pouring leftover paint down the drain is a big no-no and unfortunately not all municipalities are set up to accept cans containing paint remnants for disposal. You can turn paint into a solid waste by mixing a few inches of cat litter into the can. Allow it to sit uncovered until the litter has absorbed all the liquid and the paint is hardened. Be sure and follow your district's local guidelines for proper disposal by then placing the can in either the recycle bin or your regular trash can.
Only use this method if there's no paint drop-off program in your area, because you're still basically discarding a blob of solid waste to a landfill now as opposed to contaminating the ground or water supply with liquid waste.
6. Gaining Traction
This one is an oldie but a goody! If you live in the north or anywhere mountainous, you probably already know about this, but kitty litter makes a great source of traction for stranded motorists with stuck cars. If you're traveling where there's snow, keep a few bags of kitty litter in your trunk for the added weight. If you get stuck, pour it evenly in front of and behind your tires to gain traction. It's said to work well in mud and other slimy situations as well.
7. Environmentally Friendly Product
You can also pour kitty litter on icy walkways, steps and porches to avoid slips and falls. It works great and, while it does not melt ice, it's not like using salt. Rock salt destroys shoes and boots and rusts automobiles and infrastructure. It's not environmentally friendly, either. It disrupts eco systems, damaging wildlife and vegetation, and ends up in our water supplies. Natural clay kitty litter is a much better alternative in this situation.
8. Pest Control
Bet you didn't know that critters like mice, moles and rats dislike the texture and scent of kitty litter. It's said that by pouring generous amounts of litter into mouse holes and even along the walls of your basement you can discourage these pesky pests from settling in permanently. As an added benefit, unlike using moth balls for keeping pests at bay, kitty litter emits no poisonous vapors nor is it harmful if ingested. Cat litter is also helpful for alleviating odors related to small rodents that may have already gotten into your walls and been living there or, worse yet, died in there. For moles, you can pour used or unused litter into their tunnels for deterring them.
9. Drying Fresh Cut Flowers
Here's another little-known use for ordinary cat littler: drying and preserving fresh cut flowers. Get an airtight container large enough to accommodate the flowers without compromising their size and length and pour in at least an inch of kitty litter. Place the flowers inside the container and cover them with a light layer of litter. Now seal it up. Keep the box in a dark, dry room and check on them in three to five days. It could take up to seven to 10 days, depending on the flowers.
10. Deodorize, Deodorize, Deodorize!
Freshen everything in your home from diaper pails to laundry carts to trash cans and musty bins by regularly adding a few tablespoons of kitty litter to the bottoms of them. A lot of folks also use it in place of baking soda for freshening fridges and freezers or smelly ice chests by placing a cup of kitty litter inside. You can try setting an empty milk carton or shoe box filled with it in an attic, garage, basement, gym locker, closet or camper for a better smelling space.
11. Absorbing Grease & Removing Stains
Almost everybody knows you can use kitty litter for absorbing oil and grease and other unsightly or hazardous spills. But did you know that for older spots that have turned into stains you can pour a small amount of paint thinner on top of them, cover them in cat litter, and wait 12 hours and they'll disappear? You may have to reapply more than once for really stubborn stains, but this technique generally works quite well. Some people claim that by grinding the litter in with a brick it helps lighten stains even more.
12. Saving Your Wet Cellphone
By now we've all heard of using rice for drawing moisture out of a damp cell phone, but kitty litter can work even better for drying it out. You can use this trick with other small electronic devices too. First, place your phone in an old sock and tie it off to prevent the litter from scratching the screen or somehow getting into the device. Then place the sock into a bag of litter. Leave it in there for a couple of days or until there is no longer any sign of moisture or cloudiness visible on the display screen.
12. Algae Eater
Remove pond scum with kitty litter. That's right. By adding just one pound of unscented cat litter for every 2000 gallons of circulating water you can keep algae at bay. How cool is that? This not only keeps the water a lot clearer, but it keeps fish happier and healthier too. Make sure that you're using basic bentonite litter and make note of the fact that the water might look cloudy or muddy for a day.
13. Filling Ashtrays
Rather than using sand or pea gravel for filling large outdoor ashtrays, try using kitty litter instead. It's good for reducing cigarette odors and empties easily with a scoop. This tip can be used indoors with smaller ashtrays for odor control too.
14. DIY Beauty Mask
Okay, so this may not be for everyone, but if you're open minded and into using natural products, this might be right up your alley. Simply mix together 3 Tbsp. of 100 percent clay cat litter (scent and additive free) and equal parts water and then grind into a smooth wet paste and apply to your skin. Allow it to sit 15 - 20 minutes, no more than a half hour, and then rinse off. This home spa treatment removes bacteria and doubles as an excellent detoxifier too. If you have one, a mortar and pestle work well for grinding the clay into dust.
15. Sooth Skin Irritations
Bentonite clay has long been used as a natural healing remedy for all sorts of physical ailments. It's said sufferers of the skin conditions eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis can benefit from it by applying a clay mask directly to the effected area and allowing it to dry. These same clay masks are said to sooth poison ivy as well.
16. Antibiotic Treatment
Natural bentonite clay is also known to have certain antibiotic properties for aiding in speeding healing times when applied as a spot treatment to the skin. While these topical masks are no substitute for conventional medical care and should never be used solely to treat a bacterial infection, they have been reported to help where prescription antibiotics were unable to completely solve the problem.
17. Storing Seasonals
Use kitty litter to keep stored seasonal items from smelling musty. Pour a cup of scented litter in an old sock, like you would for your DIY odor eaters, and then pack it away with camping equipment like tents or sleeping bags and you'll effectively eliminate odors and moisture in one fell swoop — or scoop, as it were. This trick can be used for suitcases and ski or hunting equipment such as jackets, snow pants or any other seasonally stored items to ensure they stay fresh and dry year round. Hunters would want to use an unscented cat litter for obvious reasons.
18. Freshening Up Sale Items
Whether you've turned into a bigwig on eBay or you're merely having a one-time garage sale, you can freshen up books and vintage clothing by sealing them in a box with cat litter. You'll need an airtight plastic storage container large enough to fit the items. Fill the bottom with a few inches of litter, place whatever stinks on top in a single layer and then seal it shut. Let it sit at least 24 hours before opening.
19. Removing Graffiti
For removal of minor tagging on sidewalks, try throwing a few handfuls of kitty litter over the painted areas and grind it in with the sole of your shoe. You really want to scuff it back and forth and work it in. It will take the paint up, but I wouldn't use this method if somebody's gone all Diego Rivera on your property.
20. Removing Toxins from Foods
If you're worried about pesticides, heavy metal toxins and even radiation in your food, there is a way to rid your produce of it. As it happens, calcium bentonite clay or basic kitty litter has been found to absorb all those nasty contaminants when activated with water. It basically works like a magnet capturing harmful substances by binding to them and essentially removing them. If this is something that interests you, mix 1 part calcium bentonite clay to 8 parts of purified water in a large non-metal bowl. Drop your produce in the clay water, ensuring that it's completely submersed, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Remove and rinse thoroughly with more purified water before eating.
How's that for some great ideas for using kitty litter?