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Unexpected And Useful Uses For cat Litter Around The Home

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The many different uses for cat litter show that cat litter can be used for more than just catching your cat’s business. There are many ways to use cat litter in the home and garden.

Even if you don’t have a cat, add kitty litter to the shopping list today. You will be amazed at its many different uses.

Why Does Kitty Litter Absorb Odors?

Cat litter absorbs odors because when an odor molecule lands on this moist porous surface, it either dissolves into the particles or becomes trapped with other molecules because there simply is no more room. After enough odor molecules are absorbed, the gas simply becomes part of the solid material.

For this reason, kitty litter not only is great at absorbing odors, but is one of the best materials for taming odors in the refrigerator and freezer.

Who knew that cat litter could be so useful? Make sure a bag is on the shopping list.

1. Kick Odors To the Kerb

Place a small container of kitty litter in the refrigerator to absorb excess odors. This is particularly useful if you are going on vacation. It helps reduce the ‘fridgy’ odor that you are greeted with when returning home. Every now and then replace the litter for some fresh litter for ongoing odor control. Easy Peasey! By the way, the same tip also works using baking soda.

2. Potting Up Plants

add cat litter when repotting plants

Add kitty litter to potting mix when potting or repotting plants. The bentonite clay found in some types of cat litter will help the potting mix retain water and the pots will not dry out as quickly.

3. In the Trash Can

Sprinkle a layer of cat litter in the bottom of your kitchen or bathroom trash cans before putting in a liner. This will help absorb any accidental liquid leaks and keep the trash can from becoming stinky. When it’s time to change the liner, just dump out the old kitty litter and replace with a fresh batch.

4. In The Garden – Weed Blocker

You can also use kitty litter as a weed-blocker under the mulch in your garden. Just spread the cat litter around the drip-line of your plants and cover with an inch or so of mulch. The kitty litter will help keep the weeds from growing near your plants, and once covered with dirt/mulch it will not be visible.

5. In The Garden – Sandy Soil Improver

sandy soil can benefit from the addition of cat litter
It’s not quite The Sahara at our place but sometimes it feels like it!

This handy garden tip is for those gardeners who have to deal with sandy soil. Sandy soil is somewhat of a nightmare for gardeners. Sandy soil is sadly lacking in minerals and is almost certainly water phobic.

One quite simple solution that helps with water retention, is mixing cat litter into a slurry and pouring it onto the soil. As sandy soil also lacks in minerals, add some minerals at the same time.

As a homeowner in a near beachside suburb, we have sand, sand, sand. Adding organic matter helps but eventually that disappears and we are back to square one. Adding some clay to the soil helps with water retention and improves the structure of the soil.

Related Reading: Have you ever thought about making your own cat litter? It might be easier than you think.

6. Gasoline Spills

Many people use cat litter to soak up gasoline spills on their garage floor or oil spills under a car or truck before cleaning them up with a shop vacuum.

If you’re going to do this be sure to wear rubber boots and rubber gloves as petroleum products can cause skin irritation after prolonged exposure – even these small amounts soaked into clay granules!

Also, remember that kitty litter absorbs not only odors but liquids. If you use it in your gasoline spill area, be sure to pick up all the granules when you’re done so they don’t clog the vacuum cleaner later on.

7. In The Car And The Closet

clothes in a closet get musty
Protect your clothes from damp. Add a small container of cat litter to absorb moisture from the air.

If you have a car that tends to “sweat” on hot days, place a layer of kitty litter on the floor of the trunk to help absorb the moisture and keep your car from becoming musty.

You can also do this in your closets to help absorb moisture and prevent mildew growth. Put the litter into a small container. Be sure to replace the cat litter every few months

8. Oil Spills In The Kitchen

You can also use kitty litter to absorb cooking oil that’s accidentally spilled onto your stovetop. Scoop the initial spill as best you can with a paper towel and discard. Cover the spill with kitty litter and let it sit for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, simply scoop up the used kitty litter into the trash and wipe down your stove top to remove any remaining residue or smell. There’s no need for harsh chemical cleaners!

9. More Kitchen Spills

Kitty litter can be used as a scouring powder to scrub hard-to-get food stains from dishes before they go into the dishwasher.

Just pour some on an old washrag and scrub…works wonders! It’s very abrasive, so don’t use it every time you wash dishes, but it does work great on especially greasy or food-stained messes.

Related Reading: A litter box that has become non stick over time can be resurrected. Read how to make a litter box non stick again.

10. Pet Accidents

If you have a pet that sometimes has “accidents” in the house, put a layer of cat litter where the accident happened, to help absorb the urine odor.

Change out the litter as needed until the smell is gone.

This also works for baby accidents, especially if you’re potty training!

11. Get Traction In The Snow

Kitty litter is very useful if your vehicle is stuck in snow and you can get no traction with the tires. The tires just spin and you are going nowhere. Try sprinkling some kitty litter in front of the tires before driving forward. The kitty litter may just give you enough traction to get going.

Now you knew there was a reason you had a cat, didn’t you?

12. Sweeping Up

If you run out of Swiffer cloths for your sweeper, use old kitty litter bags instead! Use straight from the bag or cut them up into smaller pieces.

The abrasive texture of the litter will help pick up even more dirt and dust than a regular Swiffer cloth (especially if you have pets that shed), plus it’s free!

uses for cat litter
It’s amazing the amount of cat hair that comes from even a short haired cat.

13. Painting On A Humid Day? Where’s The Kitty Litter!

If you’re planning on painting any walls in your home, put some cat litter down first.

Cat litter will absorb some of the excess moisture in the air.

In humid climates getting paint to dry properly can be frustrating. This will ensure that even when your wall dries out completely (usually within 48 hours) there won’t be any musty smells left behind.

14. Moving House – Get The Cat And The Cat Litter

When moving house, put a layer of kitty litter in the bottom of your packing boxes to help absorb any excess moisture and keep your belongings from getting ruined.

This also works when packing away seasonal decorations or storing furniture during the off-season. Replace the kitty litter as needed particularly if it gets damp.

15. Pet Bedding Deodorizer

Mix a small amount of kitty litter in your pet’s bedding to absorb bad odors…..better yet, mix it with baking soda.

This will help eliminate the smells 100% better than using plain cat litter alone. Use a nylon stocking or mesh bag to store the deodorizer.

Related: As useful as cat litter can be around the home, it does also tend to get everywhere. Read how to keep cat litter under control.

16. BBQ – Cut The Grease

The easiest way to keep your BBQ drip tray clean, is by first lining it with aluminum foil and then filling it with some cat litter. When the litter is soiled from fat and grease drips, dispose of the foil and the cat litter.

17. Ideal Packing Material

Cat litter is lightweight and inexpensive, making it the perfect packing material for all types of things. Protect delicate items when shipping by putting them in a box lined with kitty litter. The kitty litter will absorb any moisture that gets through to keep your package looking as good as new when it arrives at its destination.

18. In Birdcages

Kitty Litter is highly useful for keeping the bottom of your bird’s cage clean and fresh smelling. Kitty litter absorbs moisture very well.

19. A Remarkable Shoe Deodorizer

cat litter to help deodorize smelly sneakers

No naming names here but smelly sneakers and gym shoes really are truly horrible.

Next time you put them outside the door for an airing, do this – Fill a sock with some cat litter and place one sock in each shoe. The litter will absorb odors. Throw away the litter.

Stockings can be used instead of socks. No stockings? Knee highs are pretty cheap and would do the job well.

20. Be Crafty

Many small craft projects require a soft filler for stuffing or filling. Cat litter to the rescue. Cat litter is suitable to use as a filler for a multitude of small craft projects. Note: Do not use cat litter if the crafty project is to be given to or used by a toddler or young child.

21. Phone Rescue

That dreaded feeling when your phone has become wet. A popular way to “dry out” a phone is to place it in rice overnight to absorb the moisture. We have done this in our household and were pleasantly surprised when the rice did work.

Cat litter is another alternative.


Because cat litter is such a good absorbent material for damp and musty places and is also good at cleaning up odors, it is a very useful item around the home and garden.

Even just one good tip can make a huge difference to a pesky problem. I hope you found something that resonated in the different uses for cat litter that you can put to use. Personally the sneaker treatment is a favorite for me but it is hard to choose.

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