If you find yourself out of something, here’s a big list of genius substitutions you can use when you’re in a pickle.
We have everything from baking substitutions when you’re out of eggs, to cleaning substitutions if you go to start the dishwasher and find you’re out of detergent! We even have a substitution for toilet paper.
20 Hacks and Substitutions You Can Use In A Pickle
There are pros and cons for every substitution on this list, but when your back is against the wall you do what you can.
If you run out of diapers, here’s a list of things you can do to get through it.
Coffee Creamer – try a dollop of ice cream, butter, whipped cream, syrup, coconut oil, honey or powdered milk.
Coffee Filters – a plain paper towel will do in a pinch. I’ve done this many times and it totally works.
Gatorade – lemon juice and coconut water are the main ingredients in this recipe from Healthline. Coconut water, if you happen to have it, is a good replacement on its own.
Pedialyte – you need only sugar, salt and clean, boiled water. Integrative Pediatrics and Medicine has the info to make it yourself. Very easy.
Oil – you can use different flavors of soda (pop) when you’re making a cake rather than oil. Choose a flavor that goes with the kind of cake you’re making.
Flour – plenty of folks tell me pureed black beans make fantastic brownies. Not sure how it would work in other recipes, but it’s worth a try.
Mayonnaise – unflavored greek yogurt is great.
Yeast – baking soda and lemon juice. The Spruce Eats explains how.
Vanilla extract – maple syrup, other extracts with a complimentary flavor.
Eggs – if you need a couple eggs for baking and you’re out, no worries. For each egg, you can use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana OR a blend of 3 tablespoons water + 1 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Milk – if you’re out of milk, you’ll be happy to know in many recipes you can substitute with the same amount of water or yogurt.
Shortening – for every 1 cup of shortening, use 1 cup of butter plus 2 tablespoons.
Household Cleaning Substitutions
Dishwasher Detergent – use 3 drops of regular dishwashing liquid in the soap compartment. Drops! Don’t overdo it or you’ll wind up with a mess. Fill the rest of the compartment up with baking soda and run the dishwasher as you usually do.
Laundry Detergent – dd 1 cup of baking soda in the water – not the soap dispenser that you usually use.
Fabric Softener – add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle or roll up a ball of aluminum foil and toss it in. Either works really well.
Clorox Wipes (and other disinfectant wipes) – hot soap and water and a good scrub will work well. From the Environmental Protection Agency – Coronavirus has an envelope around it that allows it to merge with other cells to infect them. If you disrupt that coating, the virus can’t do its job. They say to scrub surfaces like they have sticky stuff all over them and you’ll be good.
All Purpose Cleaner – Alka Seltzer tablets in water. The Krazy Koupon Lady explains.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of virus germs. Use it undiluted and it’s very effective.
Personal Care Substitutions
Toilet Paper – cut up fabric from old flannel, t-shirts, etc. Put used in containers with lids and lined with a plastic bag. You can rewash them (if you’re brave – I’m not) or you can throw the whole bag away.
Shaving Cream – use hair conditioner, regular soap, or baby oil the same way you would use shaving cream.
Toothpaste – try coconut oil or baking soda and brush as you usually do.
Deodorant – use baking soda and pat under your arms.
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Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.