How to Clean and Reuse Last Year’s School Supplies

Easy ways to make some of last year’s supplies look and feel as good as new.

We love a fresh pack of pens as much as the next guy, but dropping a car payment on the same school supplies year after year? Notsomuch.

So before you embark on your annual scavenger hunt (seriously, there’s always that one weirdly specific thing you end up searching all around town for), try these ideas for revamping and reusing some of last year’s items:

Lunch Bags
Dawn Dish Soap, warm water and a little elbow grease does wonders on cloth or plastic lunch bags. Jelly smears? Juice spills? Bring it on.

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, repeat this process once a week or so, and you might squeeze even more life out of it.

Backpacks take a pretty good beating, but blotting out stains goes a long way in making them look brighter, better and new(ish). Rub a Tide To Go pen on any surface spots and voilà! A damp Bounty paper towel can also go a long way to getting off some of the everyday dirt and gunk.

If you have two kids who are both begging for brand new backpacks, try suggesting a trade. Her orange polka dots for his green corduroy and vice versa? Hey, it’s worth a shot!

Plastic Rulers and Pencil Boxes
Crayon marks, dried glue, pencil led – oh my! Most of your kid’s marked-up plastic items can be cleaned with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Yep, even that protractor that you’re 98% sure never gets used but always ends up on the list.

While you’ve got your Magic Eraser out, give the kids’ sneakers a swipe or two (if by some rare miracle they can fit into the same pair for more than a month). For extra-stubborn dirt and grass stains, toss them into the washer with some Tide PODS.

As for those ridiculously fast-growing feet … can’t help ya there.

Tissues and Paper Towels
OK, so you obviously can’t clean and reuse these, but you can save on Puffs and Bounty with our coupons. Woohoo!

What are your tricks and tips for tackling your school supply list? Tell us in the comments.


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