Substitutions for Common Household Necessities You May Find Yourself Without

What do you do when you are in the mood for a nice steaming cup of coffee and you realize you don’t have any of those nifty little white filters? Or you need a funnel but pick the worst of all possible moments to realize you don’t actually own a funnel? You substitute what you have for what you don’t have. And here are some good ideas for substitutions for some of the most common household necessities you may discover you lack at the moment.

Coffee Filter

The lack of a coffee filter is absolutely no reason not to enjoy a nice cup of java. As long as you have a paper towel of average strength. Just fold the paper towel so that it fits into your coffee maker and you can enjoy your cup of joe as always.

Toilet Cleanser

Got company coming over and realize you haven’t cleaned the toilet in some time? So you go to the cabinet to find your toilet bowl cleaner and realize there is a reason why the bathroom smells so bad. Don’t despair. Go to the refrigerator and open a can of cola, preferably Coke, but pretty much any brand will do. Cola makes a surprisingly effective substitute for toilet cleaning products. Pour the cola into the toilet bowl and give it a proper scrubbing and in minutes it the bathroom will be fit for company.

Drain Plug

Did you lose the plug that stops up your sink? No prob, Bob. Soak a tea bag in water and stick it right down into the drain hole. If one does not do the job, put in another tea bag. Get more bang from your buck by first brewing some tea and then stopping water from draining out of your sink by stopping the flow of water with the used tea bags.


Run out of toothpaste and got a big date ahead of you? Baking soda is every bit as effective as most brands of toothpaste. True, baking soda won’t give your mouth that minty freshness you desire in advance of a big date, but as far as cleaning your teeth, you may as well use it as a long-term substitute for your more expensive toothpaste.


Need a funnel for pouring gasoline into your car or lawn mower? Or any other situation where a lot of liquid must fit into a small hole? If you can’t locate that funnel that you are one-hundred percent sure is stored somewhere around the house, you can make a more than serviceable substitute with just about any kind of plastic bottle with a small enough spout to fit into the opening into which you want the liquid to go. Just cut the plastic bottle in half so that you can safely pour liquid into it without spilling.


If you need rope for tying something down, but don’t seem to have rope handy, look around instead for a pair of pantyhose or stockings. Pantyhose and stockings are excellent substitutes for rope for tasks like tying down the back hatch of a van or trunk of a car when you are carrying something too bulky. Many situations that call for the inconvenience of having a handy supply of rope at the ready can be efficiently addressed with the utilization of pantyhose or even just a single stocking.

Long Matches

Have you picked the worst time to discover that you have run out of long matches? Whether you use long matches to light your fireplace or pilot light or reach a candle high on a shelf, you can still light a fire even if you find your box of long matches to be empty. As long as you keep a box of spaghetti in the pantry, that is. As long as you can light the end of a piece of hard, uncooked spaghetti, you can still ignite all those flames that are reached more safely using long matches.

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