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Unusual Uses for Chalk

Filed Under: Essential Skills, Know-How


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Think chalk is just for teachers and kids? Think again. This sidewalk staple gets high marks as a household helper.

Walking around the neighborhood in spring, I see all kinds of wonderful sidewalk chalk art. For many of us, chalk is a throwback to childhood. But did you know that white playground chalk can help with everything from stains to pest control? Let's take a closer look at this multitasking material.

Lifts Stains
Grease stains and ring around the collar can benefit from some chalk treatment! Rub a piece of white chalk into the stain and let it soak up the grease for a few minutes. Then, dust off any excess chalk and launder as usual. The chalk dust will get into the fibers and absorb the oils, making the stain easier to wash out.

Absorbs Moisture
Moisture and humidity can cause silver to tarnish. To slow the process, wrap a small bundle of chalk in cheesecloth, tie it off and store it with your silver absorb excess moisture and keep silver from tarnishing. This same method will work in your toolbox to keep your tools from rusting. (See also: How to Clean Silver)

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Stabilizes Screwdrivers
Rub some chalk on the business end of a screwdriver, and it's less likely to slip as you turn the screw.

Combats Mustiness
Hang a bundle of chalk in your closets and cabinets to keep them from getting damp and musty. The chalk will absorb excess moisture from the air -- humidity that otherwise leads to mustiness.

Perfects Patterns
The next time you need to trace a pattern for a craft project, use the item tailors have used for ages: chalk. The markings will be clear and easy to see, and when you want to erase them, simply dust away the lines.

Repels Ants
To keep ants out of your house, draw chalk lines around your doorways and windowsills. Ants won't cross a chalk line. Why? It's not entirely clear, but some say the ants don't like the particles sticking to their feet, while others say they're averse to the calcium carbonate in the chalk. Whatever the reason, this nontoxic solution will keep ants outside where they belong.




  • Catherine

    I like that!!!


  • TINA

    NOW THAT'S HILARIOUS WILL2DMAX


  • kate

    Actually, salt around the windows and doors will help keeps ants away.

    Reply
  • Matt

    Try it on warts... I used yellow chalk on an ingrown wart on my palm, (at my Doctor's suggestion) and it left permanently. Rub it in daily, don't quit till it's gone... took about a month as I recall...

    Reply
  • JT

    Forget chalk, I find that Claymore mines work best at keeping ants and spiders out of my house.

    Reply
  • Rachel

    Regarding ants & chalk, forget that. Use lots of powdered A-jax or powdered
    Cleanser along walls or in cracks. That ALWAYS works to get rid of
    ants. It irritates them, so they stay away from it.

    Reply
  • lisa

    tarot works great for those ant problems.

    Reply
  • Arggg

    No, the only thing I've found that works is ant stakes.

    Reply
  • Bob

    I went to the local home builder store and bought ant barrier spray. It works,

    Reply
  • Roger Ginter

    I had a guy tell me several years ago the Orientals had a chalk like stick that they used to mark around thier homes and it would keep cockroaches away. I asked him to get me some which he did. it was a big stick of chalk like stuff but it was an odd color of yellow. I used it at work on a military installation in a warehouse to no avail. Totally bunk. I even captured some cockroaches in a jar with the chalk and they just ate it. Go figure. Cockroaches will outlive us all unless we stomp them out. LOL

    Reply
  • Glo

    NOT SURE ABOUT ANTS, BUT I HAD PATIENTS WITH INFESTATIONS OF COCKROACHES AND CHALK LINES DRAWN ACROSS PATHS SUCH AS CABINETS AND FLOORS GOT RID OF EVERYONE OF THEM. EVEN I WAS SHOCKED.

    Reply
  • Jan

    you had patients with infesstation of cockroaches??? what is you line of work?


  • Cher

    I've used baby powder with some success in keeping ants outside, or at least restricted into a small area in the house. 90% of the time the ants do not want to walk over it.

    Reply
  • Robin

    cinnamon in the house keeps ants at bay if you need something nontoxic.

    Reply
  • Sparky

    You can find a chalk in chinese stores that does a great job with the ants. They walk close but never cross. I have heard they will not let them bring it into the country anymore but it still shows up in their stores.

    Reply
  • lifeisagift

    Bay Leaves will keep out ants.

    Reply
  • drew

    What's the point of drawing chalk lines in doorways and in window sills? Ants are not people, and are not restricted to windows and doorways to enter your house. Next, you'll be stating that termites will not enter your house unless you invite them.

    Reply
  • sharon  powell

    Windex is great/// just spray it on the base boards or wow sills..they drop like flys

    Reply
  • tokie

    I just tried the chalk for ants around my hummingbird feeders.on one of the poles I wet the chalk and there's not an ant one on that feeder. the other one I just went over the pole with dry chalk and the feeder is covered with ants. don't know if that helps anyone but it's worth a try.

    Reply
  • hotbabe

    I had an infestation of antelope one year and the chalk just worked wonders. But the next year I tried it on bears and it didn't work at all. They ate my honey. (It made her angry, owning her like that).

    Reply
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