Tightwad Wednesday – Stuck Envelopes & Old Deodorizers

Posted on November 14, 2007 by Melissa 
Filed Under Tightwad Wednesdays

Each week, I will test out two tips from the The Complete Tightwad Gazette, and on the following Wednesday I’ll review how they went and evaluate if it is worth my time/effort/money to continue with it.

Thank goodness this week was a relatively easy tightwad challenge week. With all the packing/cleaning and meetings/calls with contractors I feel like I’m running behind on everything – even life in general, if that makes any sense. Well, let’s see how they went!

Stuck Envelopes

While going through my office stuff I was thrilled to discover some new-in-the-box envelopes. I’m always running short on these because I use them for all sorts of things like organizing coupons, etc. For some reason half of the envelopes were sealed shut already. I was dismayed, not knowing what to do with them other than use them for scrap paper. When I saw this trick in the Tightwad I thought it was definitely worth a try.

This idea for “unsticking” stuck envelopes was found on p. 378 of the Tightwad Gazette:

When new envelopes have sealed closed due to moisture, heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. This will open them all or partway.

I placed the sealed envelope in the microwave and zapped it for 20 seconds, like it recommended. Sure enough, when I pulled it out all it took was a little gentle nudge and the envelope was unsealed. Awesome!

To be sure these were still mail-worthy I licked the glue and resealed it. The glue still worked! I was afraid the glue wouldn’t reseal it again but it did, and securely. Using this trick will restore useable envelopes out of what was once destined for scrap paper duty.

Old Room Deodorizers

Tightwad On Reusing Old Room DeodorizersOnce upon a time Eric had placed one of those “stick-up” air fresheners underneath a cabinet in his master bathroom. About 6 years later I found it. It was completely useless by this point and seemed permanently affixed to the wood. I just left it there, thinking we would remove it eventually. Out of sight, out of mind. This tip in the tightwad reminded me of that little air freshener and I loved the idea of being able to make it useful again.

The instructions recommend using pine cleaner to re-fragrance the pad but I’m sure any fragrant cleaner would work. I personally hate the pine smell so I have orange and lemon scented floor cleaners. By using scented cleaners instead of oils you can make your cleaner multitask as an air freshener and keep the cost down.

Opening up the air freshenerI used an old straw to dribble the cleaner on the pad so I didn’t over soak it. It smelled nice so I figured it would work well. I reassembled the unit and set it on my counter to dry a little. I didn’t want it to be wet when I put it back under the cabinet.

I would recommend doing this if you already have those stick-up style air fresheners. These styles of deodorizers seem to lose fragrance really fast and then they just sit there, stuck to whatever you slapped it on.

Just be careful not to over soak the pad because it might drip if it is too wet. Un-diluted cleaning solution is strong smelling stuff. Also, use mild cleaning solutions (I used lemon scented pine-sol) that don’t use harsh chemicals or bleach. Cleaning solutions with lavender or fresh scents would be lovely.

UPDATE: PaidTwice mentioned that I didn’t make it clear whether or not the refurbished deodorizer actually worked. It did work and it smelled good. I recommend reusing your current stick-ups with this method so they are useful again. But because there are so many better deodorizer styles out there don’t buy this style just so you can re-use them. I find stick-up style air fresheners aren’t very effective in the first place and they muck up whatever you stick them on with adhesives.

Stay tuned for next week’s Tightwad Wednesday challenge when I will be testing out:


6 Responses to “Tightwad Wednesday – Stuck Envelopes & Old Deodorizers”

  1. paidtwice on November 14th, 2007 10:52 pm

    So I am a little confused. Did the room deodorizer one work?

  2. Melissa on November 15th, 2007 10:25 am

    @paidtwice – You know, I never came out and said my stance on that, hehe. I have added an update above to help clarify things. Thanks for the heads up.

    Yes, I think this is worth it if you already have these stick-ups in your home because it helps makes use of something that is already there. It smelled good and gave it some extra life. However, I wouldn’t go out and buy this style of air freshener because it is “reusable”. There are plenty of better alternatives out there.

  3. Birdseed on March 28th, 2008 6:37 pm

    Excellent envelope idea, I have just rediscovered 8 full boxes of envelopes that are all stuck down with time, thanks

  4. Beth(new comment) on June 16th, 2008 8:16 am

    An easier method for unsticking a large quantity of envelopes is to iron each with a hot iron. Takes only about 4 seconds and a letter opener can slide in and sweep the flap open neatly.

  5. Dustin @ Inzolo(new comment) on January 8th, 2010 7:03 am

    Wow, I would never even consider trying to “unstick” a pile of sealed envelopes. You should probably add a disclaimer to wait until they cool off before licking them! ;)

  6. marguerite mccormack(new comment) on June 6th, 2010 12:53 am



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