Steel wool, which is essentially a sharp bundle of steel fibers, is typically used by woodworkers who are working with paint, lacquer and varnish, or to clean particular surfaces, like glass or porcelain. But, while those are its’ most common uses, those aren’t the only things steel wool can do.

For instance, these eight steel wool hacks use this common household tool around in the house in some truly surprising ways – most surprising of all, they don’t all have to do with scrubbing things! Who knew. Watch the video below to see what steel wool can do in your home.

As a fair disclaimer, you should be very careful when using steel wool. The fibers are not suited for all surfaced, and they can be prickly to the touch. Some people may feel safest uses gloves or wearing safety glasses when handling steel wool.

Once you’re geared up and ready to go, you can bust out your steel wool and use it in these eight creative ways.

1. Stop Hair From Clogging the Drain

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Your dog isn’t the only one who hates bath day – your pipes hate it, too. Pet hair is often thick and coarse, and when a lot of that hair has been shaken off into a bath tub, it is undoubtedly going to clog your drain.

Wrap a strip of steel wool around your drain stopper while you rinse your tub free of pet hair. You’ll notice the water leaks through the wool and drains, but the pet hair gets stuck in the fibers. Ball the steel wool up and you’ve caught all your pet’s hair without damaging your pipes.

2. Tighten Up a Screw

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If there’s a little wiggle room in a screw, remove it from the wood and try again with this one change: steel wool. Wrap the thread of the screw in some fibers of the steel wool and then proceed to screwing it into the wood as normal.

This will give you a really tight hold and nix any wiggle room in the screw.

3. Clean Your Windshield

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This calls back to steel wool’s original purpose: cleaning glass surfaces. No glass surface is expose to more grit, dirt, and grime than our windshield, and it’s pretty important that we can see through this glass.

Wet your windshield and, using the finest steel wool you can find, scrub your glass clean. Start in one corner and make gentle circular motions over the entire surface until your windshield sparkles.

4. Get Rid of Scuff Marks

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Ever stumble across some tile while wearing sneakers and look back to see a big black scuff mark in your wake? Nix those marks fast with steel wool!

Wet the steel wool thoroughly and then gently rub in a circular motion until the scuff mark has completely disappeared.

5. Block Holes in Wall

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If you have piping in your home (which, most likely, you do), you also have holes in your walls. Namely, the cut holes to allow the pipes to come from the walls and under your sink, for instance. We don’t have to tell you that this is a prime entrance spot for mice or bugs. Yuck.

Use some steel wool to wrap around the pipe and block the hole. The interlocking fibers really help keep the wool in place and fill the empty space, so that rodent is NOT getting through and into your pantry.

6. Start a Fire

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Can’t get the campfire to light up? Well, using caution and the right tools, you can use steel wool to start a fire almost instantly. All you’ll need is steel wool, a battery, and some kindling (they use dryer lint, which is VERY flammable).

Start by rubbing the battery charges against the steel wool. This should almost instantly cause sparks. At this point, add your kindling, and blow gently to encourage the fire to grow. While this is great in a BBQ setting, be very careful doing this particular hack, as this fire can spread dangerously if not controlled.

7. Renew Your Tires

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Your tires take a lot of flack from the dirt and water on the road. If they’re looking a little dingy, don’t spend the money to replace them! Instead buff them up using WD-40 and steel wool to make them look good as new.

Douse your steel wool in WD-40 and then clean the tire off by scrubbing gently in a circular motion. Once you’re done, you’ll see the shiny, good-as-new color that your tires used to have!

8. Brighten Up Sneakers

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If you’re anything like me, you wear your sneakers regularly. This probably means they don’t look quite so nice anymore. Brighten up your favorite kicks using steel wool and toothpaste. The baking soda and cleaning properties of toothpaste, plus the scrubbing power of the steel wool, will get the formerly white parts of your sneakers looking brand new.

Do you use steel wool in a creative way around the house? Share your ideas in the comments section below.