If you're looking for simple and surprising suggestions for using common household items to perform magic, you need look no further than a book titled Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader's Digest. One of the most surprising things discussed in the book is, how many amazing uses there are for Alka-Seltzer. Once a common remedy for reversing the effects of overeating, now the fizzy white tablets can be used for a multitude of other things:
Clean a vase or pitcher. If you have vases with narrow necks or tall glasses with narrow bottoms, you may think it's impossible to clean out the stuck-on residue that accumulates with use. But don't worry, Alka-Seltzer can help! Simply fill the vase or glass halfway with water and drop in two tablets. After the fizzing stops, wait a few minutes and then rinse the vase or glass clean. You can use the same technique for cleaning glass thermoses, too.
Clean glass cookware and bakeware. Ovenproof glass cookware inevitably accumulates stubborn stains, that are impossible to get off with scouring pads. Just fill the cookware with water, add up to six Alka-Seltzer tablets, and just let the tablets do their fizzing. Let the cookware soak for at least an hour, and then the stains will be a breeze to scrub off, leaving your cookware clear and sparkling.
Clean your coffeemaker. No matter what type of coffeemaker you use, Alka-Seltzer can help keep it in tip-top shape. Just fill the water chamber of your drip coffeemaker with water and drop in four tablets. Wait for the tablets to dissolve, then start the coffeemaker and let it go through a brew cycle to clean out the tubes. Rinse the chamber out two or three times with freshwater, then run another brew cycle with plain water. Then you're ready to make some coffee in your good-as-new clean coffeemaker.
Clean jewelry. One of the oldest and most widely known non-traditional uses for Alka-Seltzer is to clean jewelry. All you have to do is get a couple of tablets fizzing away in a glass, drop your dull-looking jewelry in the water for a few minutes, then take it out and wipe it with a paper towel or soft cloth. It will sparkle and shine like it did, when it was new.
Clean your toilet. Alka-Seltzer makes a very effective toilet bowl cleaner. Simply drop a couple of tablets into the bowl, let them fizz up, and stay off the pot for about a half hour. Come back and run a toilet brush around the bowl for a moment, and the toilet will shine.
Unclog a drain. Well, if Alka-Seltzer will help unclog your stomach, what do you think it can do with a clogged drain? Just like the little white pills can give your tummy instant relief, they can also make your drains feel better immediately. Drop a couple of tables down the drain opening, then pour in a cup of vinegar. Wait a few minutes for the pills to do their thing, then turn on the hot water at full force, and the clog will flush away without a problem. Doing this now and then is a good idea anyway, even if you don't have a clog, to help eliminate kitchen drain odors.
Soothe insect bites. If you're visited by blood-hungry mosquitoes or other insects with a taste for biting you, don't let the itch get you down. Just drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a cup of water. After the fizzing stops, dip a cotton ball in the water and apply it to the bite. But NOTE: Don't do this if you're allergic to aspirin, because aspirin is one of its main ingredients.
Attract fish. Probably the most bizarre non-medicinal use for Alka-Seltzer will appeal to fishermen. Fish are naturally attracted to bubbles, so the fizzing of the tablet will bring them over in droves. Just use a hollow plastic tube jig on your line, break off a piece of the tablet, and slip it into the tube. As the jig sinks, it will leave behind an enticing trail of small bubbles on its way down. If you spend all afternoon trying this without any luck, then you can switch to using the Alka-Seltzer to relieve the heartburn caused by drinking beer and eating chips, and waiting for the Big One to strike!