Tips for reusing your old newspapers instead of just recycling them

It’s a habit many of us have – we save old newspapers with the intention of pulling them out at

It’s a habit many of us have – we save old newspapers with the intention of pulling them out at a later date and reading them all over again, or just toss them into recycling without a second thought. Here’s how to get the maximum use out of those newspapers and put them to good use before tossing them out.

1. Cat litter box liners

Place sheets of paper in the bottom of your cat’s box, under the litter. You’ll save on litter, and any odours and wetness will be absorbed.

2. Clear up broken glass

First, pick up and dispose of the larger pieces. Then carefully blot the surrounding area with a few sheets of wet newspaper – the shards of glass will stick to the damp wad of paper.

3. Barbecue cleaner

Turn off the barbecue and allow it to cool. Soak the newspaper in water, lay the sheets over the warm BBQ, close the lid and leave for approximately an hour. Then simply remove the paper and wipe the grill clean.

4. Weed killer

If you have weeds in your garden, cover the flower beds with newspaper and soak them with water. Then cover the paper with compost or mulch. Eventually the paper will smother the weeds, and the organic matter will help your garden flourish.

5. Ripen tomatoes

Wrap green tomatoes in sheets of newspaper, place in a box and put a lid on top – they will ripen up quickly.

6. Shoe deodoriser

Crumple up balls of newspaper and stuff them into smelly shoes. Leave overnight and discard – and any odours will have disappeared.


7. Knee pad

Use old newspaper as a knee pad when gardening or scrubbing floors.

8. Wedding bouquet

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If your daughter or granddaughter needs a bouquet for her wedding day, why not suggest she makes it? This DIY version from Pop Sugar only costs a few dollars to make.

What you’ll need:

  • Newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Floral cloth wire
  • Ribbon


– Cut a circle from the newspaper around 20cm in circumference. Now cut a spiral into the circle, allowing at least a 2cm border around the cut.

– Starting from the outside edge, begin rolling the paper, continuing until you reach the centre.

– Place the rolled paper flower flat on your work surface and allow it to unroll a bit. You can even press down on the edges of the paper to create curled petals.

– Place a round of hot glue at the base of the flower and press.

– To create the stem for the flower, slightly angle the end of a floral cloth wire and secure with a dot of hot glue. Cover the exposed wire with a small piece of torn newspaper.

– Continue making flowers until you have a nice bouquet. Bunch them together into an arrangement and then use one of the cloth wires to wrap around the stems, securing the bouquet in place. Trim the ends from the wires using scissors.

– Wrap the paper flowers with a length of ribbon and secure with a bit of hot glue.

Do you use old newspapers for anything else?

  1. Newspapers soaked in water/turps will leave windows with an amazing sparkle.

    • Dorothy Stumer  

      Cleaning windows, over bare soil to establish a garden….stifles weeds.. cover with soil and mulch. Mum used them to fill a pouffe.

  2. Vanessa  

    Fold pages into strips and weave them into baskets, then spray paint. You can spray paint the strips different colours first if you prefer. Make different width strips and paint different colours. Kids love doing this. Can also make paper mache shapes, animals, containers, cover balloons etc etc.

  3. Emilia  

    Wedding Bouquet? How cheap, & nasty!

    I give all my read newspapers’ to local Pet City, to shred for base of small animals’ cages.

  4. Kaylene Morgan  

    More inane nonsense from this site

    • mareela  

      Kaylene, if the site is inane why waste your prescious time reading it and leaving your unwanted advice?

    • Gail Robertson  

      I notice you are reading it and bothering to reply

    • Glen  

      No-one’s forcing you. Just try unsubscribing.

    • Ric  

      Good heavens, Kaylene; if you don’t love it, leave!

  5. The best use for used newspapers (at least for me) is in the garden. If you use bark to cover beds, using layers of newspaper underneath, is marvellous for keeping weeds at bay, and extending the life of the bark.

    Shredded newspaper is also marvellous for the garden. or in potting plants. Initially, it holds the moisture in the ground longer, and then breaks down to enhance the pliability of the soil i.e. compost like.

    I also agree strongly with the bar-b-que & window cleaning technique. Congrats to those who support it’s use for animal comfort.

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