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Lighter Fluid: The Best Label and Scuff Mark Remover

The first time my husband saw me scrubbing the black heel marks off of our kitchen floor with a toothbrush, he said, "You know lighter fluid will take those marks right off." And it did! No scrubbing at all, just a little lighter fluid poured on a paper towel, and the marks wiped right off.

So what kind of lighter fluid? I purchased mine at the grocery store in the aisle where the picnic and barbecue items are located, right next to the lighter fluid you buy for your barbecue briquets. It came in a small plastic squeeze bottle that cost less than $2.

You can use lighter fluid on a variety of surfaces, first testing a less noticeable spot to make sure it won't do any damage. It's great on most floors, plastic, vinyl, some wood surfaces, basically anything you can dab it on and wipe off again.

Lighter fluid will remove labels and adhesive from almost any surface. When we got our new refrigerator it had strapping tape stuck all over it. The lighter fluid took it right off. I've also used it to take stickers off of book covers. It removes crayon marks from most surfaces and also removes grease and oil stains.

I haven't tried this myself, but someone told me they poured a little lighter fluid on an area of clothing that had been stained by cooking oil, and the stain came right out in the wash. Try this at your own risk, but she swears it works. You can also use it to remove the black scuff marks on the rubber soles of your shoes, and to remove gum from most surfaces.

Don't forget that lighter fluid is highly flammable and should be used with care. It is also inexpensive, easy to find, and you'll find so many uses for it you won't be able to live without it.

Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What's for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at

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