Ice cube trays… we all have them! But did you know that they can be used as so much more than just a way to create little cubes of cold for your drink?
1. Freeze your herbs in olive oil. By placing fresh herbs in an ice cube tray filled 1/3 with olive oil, you can keep them fresh for longer. This is great if you use them regularly for cooking. Hard herbs like oregano, sage, thyme and rosemary work best for this.
2. DIY dishwasher tablets. Dishwashers are absolutely wonderful, until you have to keep buying the tablets to put in them. Those can get a bit expensive. Mix 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 cups baking soda, 1/2 cup Epsom salt, 2 cups borax and a small amount of your favourite essential oil and push the mixture in ice cube trays. Place them in a nice sunny spot to dry for over 24 hours until they’re dried nice and hard, and you’ll have them ready to pop into the dishwasher at any time. Store them in an airtight container.
3. Work on seedlings. Use the ice cube trays to seed aromatic plants and lettuces. You fill up the tray with moistened soil, and then you plant one seed per cube. When the plants are 4cm high they’re ready to transplant into a bigger pot or in the orchard… and the tray is ready for new plants.
4. Coffee ice cubes. Brew a pot of coffee and pour your brew into an ice cube tray and pop it in the freezer. No more watered-down iced coffee when you or your family choose to have it!
5. Don’t throw out leftover wine. If, for some reason, you have leftover wine, don’t throw it out because it can’t be stored away. Freeze it and use the cubes to make red wine sauce and other delicacies on a later day.
6. Make a jewellery box. You can use old ice cube trays to store jewellery. Things like earrings and rings fit perfectly into those small individual slots and this will help you to keep all of your jewellery separated and perfectly organised. You can even stack multiple trays in a dresser drawer to save even more space and to keep all of your jewellery where you can easily find it.
7. Make crayons for the grandkids. If the little ones love to colour, chances are they are running through their crayons really quick. Instead of throwing out the ones that get too small or are broken, simply peel the paper off, put them together in a silicone ice cube tray and bake for a few minutes. The crayons will melt into each other creating new crayons. If you use shaped ice cube trays you will have really fun shaped crayons for the kids.
This article originally appeared in Starts at 60