Another good tip: I purchased a small three
ring binder just for my kitchen area. I also purchased some clear sheet
protectors for keeping my pages stain and rip free. Then, as I printed out tips
and hints, I put them all in that one binder so I'd have all my information in
one place. I have collected recipes for various things, including how to make
cleaners and other 'how to' information. And now when I need to find that
information, it's all in one place.
Household Tips and Hints!
From time to time I have received
'forwards', which I generally HATE, but a few are good and full of useful
information. One of my favorite 'forwards' has been the ones containing
household hints and tips, and other interesting information. And in the ten
years I've been on the computer, I have collected many tips that I'd love to
share with you here. I even added a few of them of my own...
This one is my own tip.....
How to clean a shower curtain:
I have a clear
plastic shower curtain. I don't like the 'frosted' type. I love mine to be as
clear and clean as glass. I think it lets in a lot more light than the solid
color shower curtains. Anyway, we all know the nightmare it is to clean a shower
curtain. Well, here's what I do....
I take my shower curtain down, rings
still attached, and I put it in the washing machine with nothing else.
It's not a good idea to wash it with other things because lint gets all over it.
I did that once....ONCE. Never again.
Then I set the water to HOT. Then I
put in a capful of liquid laundry detergent, as if you are doing a medium to
large load of laundry. You can even purchase cheap liquid laundry detergent just
for your shower curtain cleaning. You don't need 'the good stuff'.
Next, I put in a full cup of Clorox
Bleach. I then wash it on a regular cycle, as if it was a regular load of
laundry. When the shower curtain is finished, I ball it up and place it in a
towel because it'll be drippy with water. Then I carry it to the bathtub, hang
it back up, and voila! The shower curtain looks just as perfect and clean as the
day I bought it. Seriously, it's amazing!
Leaving the 'rings' on the curtain
doesn't hurt a thing. It goes without saying that it very much depends on your
curtain rings / hooks. But if you have the cheap shower curtain rings, you can
wash them right along with the shower curtain. I can't tell you how much time it
saves and how easy it is if you can remove your shower curtain rod, slide off
the rings with the shower curtain attached, then wash the curtain, rings and
all. It's faster and easier than standing up and unhooking each ring. Ugh.
But, the bottom line is, you can
clean your shower curtain very quickly and easily. I do this about once a month.
And you know how great it is? I have had the exact same shower curtain since the
day I moved in here, and at this writing it's been just over 2½ years. I wash
my shower curtain every month and it's spotless and perfect. ..no cracks, no
holes, nothing but a perfectly clean shower curtain.
Here's another great trick my boyfriend and I discovered
How to unclog a
The toilet was stopped up, AGAIN. This time I did some research on the
internet for information on how OTHER people unclogged their toilet. I mean, you
never know what's new, right? Meanwhile, Tom was doing the usual
things...plunging, feeding a plumbing snake down into the toilet, etc. Nothing
Well, I found a gem of a fix for a clogged toilet. It goes
without saying that if an 'object' is clogging the toilet and you can see it or
reach it, it must be removed.
scooped out a little of the water. Then we put a few tablespoons of Dawn Dish
Detergent right down into the toilet bowl. Then we poured a few gallons of VERY
hot water right into the toilet. The toilet flushed and the problem was gone.
The Dawn will lubricate the 'clog', and the hot water
helps everything go down and through the pipes easier.
Everywhere I looked on the internet people were singing
the praises of this great way to unclog toilets. We gave it a try and now we're
among the many happy people with this wonderful 'fix'.
Dawn is also AWESOME for cleaning grease and oil stains on
clothing. I keep a small bottle of Dawn on my laundry room shelf. I also have a
small scrubbing brush. Whenever I see oil or grease, and even other stains, on
anything, I run full-strength Dawn right onto the stain, let it sit a while,
then wash like normal. It has never failed me!
Now on with the rest of the
hints and tips I've collected through the years.
Eliminate ear mites: All it takes is a few drops of
Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear...Massage it in, then clean with a cotton
ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin,
smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.
Kills fleas instantly: Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add
a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well
to avoid skin irritations. Good-bye fleas.
Rainy day cure for dog odor: Next time your dog comes in from the
rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly
making your dog smell springtime fresh.
Headaches: Did You Know that drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve
headache pain almost immediately--without the unpleasant side effects caused
by traditional 'pain relievers.' Sometimes the headache is merely because
we've had a lack of water.
For burns: Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for
Stuffed nose: Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled
with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong
Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.
Achy muscles: From a bout of the flu. Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish
in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as
a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.
Sore throat: Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and
take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.
Urinary tract infections: Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two
tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms.
Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost
instantly--even though the product was never been advertised for this
Skin blemishes: Cover the blemish with a dab of
honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin
sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.
Toenail Fungus: Listerine therapy for toenail fungus. Get rid of unsightly toenail
fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic
leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
Eyeglass 'screw' protection: To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from
loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the
threads of the screws before tightening them.
Bug Killer: Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer...If menacing bees,
wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the
insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground
Smart splinter remover: Just pour a drop of
over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off of the skin.
The splinter sticks to the dried glue.
Boil cure: Cover the boil with Hunt's tomato
paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring
the boil to a head.
Balm for broken blisters: To disinfect a broken blister, dab
on a few drops of Listerine. A powerful antiseptic.
Vinegar to heal bruises:
Soak a cotton ball in white
vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the
blueness and speeds up the healing process.
More Helpful Hints!
Quaker Oats for fast pain relief...It's not for breakfast any more!
Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the
microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands
for soothing relief from arthritis pain.
Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick
the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If
you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will
stay fresh much longer and not mold!
Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for
Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It
will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of
spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then
beat them up.
For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes
mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set
for a wonderful minty frosting.
Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of
garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of
Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious
dessert. Simply chop them up with the food
chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking
dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for
15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
Cooking a turkey upside down helps to keep the meat
moist. I like to use a cooking bag too because it cooks faster and seems
to retain more juice.
More Helpful Hints!
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove,
set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy.
No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it
Easy Deviled Eggs
Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are
broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep
mashing it up, mixing thoroughly. Cut the tip of the
baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when
done easy clean up.
Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the
store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double
it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with
the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories
Reheating refrigerated bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated,
place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased
moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
Newspaper weeds away
Start putting in your plants; work the nutrients in your soil.
Wetnewspapers, put layers around the plants
overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds.
Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get
through wet newspapers.
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of
glass you can't see easily.
No More Mosquitoes Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the
To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle
your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the
plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
Flexible Vacuum To get something out of a heat register or under the
fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to
your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow
Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will
not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks
that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of
slacks and... ta da!...static is gone.
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring
cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't
dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut
butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it
in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub
with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include
something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the
freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's
cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really
smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner
you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.
Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass,
fill it 1/2' with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish
washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup
and gone forever!
Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They
eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It
may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works
and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being
Clean a Coffee Maker
Remove and dispose of used coffee filter from filter basket.
Add vinegar to the water reservoir until 1/4 full. Fill with water
Run the coffee maker.
Turn off the coffee maker; let cool for 10 minutes.
Run the vinegar and water mixture through the coffee maker again.
Let cool 10 minutes.
Run plain water through the coffee maker; let cool 10 minutes,
Hand-wash the carafe and filter basket in soapy water.
Bread Schedule For
Buying Bread In The Stores
Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores
five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. And each day
has a different color twist tie. They are:
Monday - Blue
Tuesday - Green
Thursday - Red
Friday - White
Saturday - Yellow
So, if today is Thursday, I want a red twist tie - not
white which is Friday (almost a week old?)
The colors go alphabetically by color Blue - Green - Red
- White - Yellow, Monday thru Saturday. Very easy to remember. But I put a post-it
note in my wallet when I first found out about this so I would not forget.
Enjoy fresh bread when you buy bread with the right
color on the day you are shopping.
More Helpful Hints!
- the easiest way I have found to clean my windows is take a big pail and fill
with very warm water...then add ONE drop of Dawn dishwashing detergent. I then
take a waffle washcloth and completely soak and then wring out as much of the
water as I can. I then wipe the window and follow with a cloth diaper or other
lint free cloth and dry. This leaves the windows crystal clean.
Wastebaskets - for all
the little wastebaskets I have throughout the house I use a hotel maids
trick...I keep folded liners underneath the liner being used. That way I don't
have to track down another liner after I empty the basket.
Hair - About once a week
I clarify my hair with baking soda. To do this I first suds my hair with shampoo
and before I rinse I use about 3 Tablespoons of baking soda and rub it into my
hair. This removes all the hair spray and styling gels that have accumulated.
Counter tops & Sink -
I never use those sterilizing sprays - about all they are is bleach and water. I
just pour some bleach into a spray bottle and add water and spray my counter
tops and sink with this solution and let set for ten minutes then wipe off. We
also use this in the bathtub and shower, just spray it on and let it set and it
Chewing gum stuck in hair
- The easiest way to remove is rub with peanut butter, then wash hair.
Crayons on walls - rub an
art gum eraser over the markings, it comes off pretty easily.
Flies or bees bothering you? Spray
them with hair spray and they will take a quick dive.
Sealed envelope - Put in
the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can
then be resealed.
Kids riding shotgun in car
- At the beginning of the year I take a small calendar and use a different
colored highlighting marker for each kid. I highlight a different color for each
week. The kids each have their own color and know immediately who's week it is
to ride up front. This has worked real well for my kids.
Toilet training a boy
Don't laugh, this really works. When I was potty-training my son we put a square
of toilet paper in the bowl. I'd tell him to sink the ship. He learned to aim
directly in the bowl. Wonder if this will work for husbands too?
More Helpful Hints!
Use Empty toilet paper roll to
store appliance cords in. It keeps them neat and you can write on the
roll what appliance it belongs to
For icy door steps in freezing
temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it
all over the steps. They won't refreeze.
The steering wheel in my truck
gets terribly cold in winter and doesn't warm up. I used regular foam
pipe-wrap, taped the joins (took two pieces) then ran tape around the entire
steering wheel, making my wraps about 21/2" apart. It just doesn't get
cold. And it's cheap.
Keep that nasty dust off your TV
and computer screens!!! After using your dryer sheet with your laundry, run
it over your screens. The anti-static left in the dyer sheet repels dust and
Crayon marks on walls? This
worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes of with little
effort (elbow grease that is!).
Permanent marker on appliances
/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) - rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
More Helpful Hints!
Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S
Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After
years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally
decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S pads
last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened
Opening brand new jars can be a feat
in itself. Well, I have found a way to make it the easiest thing to do. Instead
of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, I
simply reach into the drawer and pull out the handy nutcracker. It adjusts to
the size of the jar and I simply give it a good twist and off pops the lid!
Tired of removing band-aids the
painful way? Well, no longer must that be a problem. Simply apply a little baby
oil directly on the band-aid, wait a moment for the oil to loosen it up, and
viola! It will simply peel right off with no pain whatsoever.
Blood stains on clothes? Not to
worry! Just pour a little peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop
of blood. Works every time!
Use vertical strokes when washing
windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which
side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean.
Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably
Spray a bit of perfume on the light
bulb in any room to create a lovely, light scent in each room when the light is
Place fabric softener sheets in
dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come.
You can also do this with towels and linen.
Candles will last a lot longer if
placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.
To clean artificial flowers, pour
some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt
will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like
new! Works like a charm!
Occasionally cleanse hair with white
vinegar to rid hair of build up of shampoo and other styling fixatives.
Instead of using the usual box of
baking soda in the fridge, you can also eliminate odors by putting a piece of
cotton dipped in vanilla extract. This really works!
To create a fresh, clean aroma in
the washroom, place a sheet of fabric softener in the wastebasket. You can also
do the same with the wastebaskets around the rest of the house, such as the one
at your desk.
To prevent dust from accumulating on
artificial flowers and plants, lightly spray with hair spray. This saves a lot
of dusting and washing.
To make stainless steel sinks really
shine, use white vinegar. The results are fantastic!
Cold tea is great food for your
Add vinegar to the water when
boiling eggs as the vinegar prevents the shells from cracking.
If your nylons get a small hole in
them, simply apply a thin layer of clear nail polish around the hole to prevent
them from running.
Tomatoes last longer if you store
them with the stems pointed down.
Have your roses last a lot longer by
adding a capful of hydrogen peroxide to the water and repeat as you change the
water often. Don't forget to cut the stems on a slant under running water.
For thicker, shiny hair, massage an
egg into your hair for 5 minutes before rinsing and shampooing it out.
For dry hair, massage mayonnaise
into your hair and leave in for up to an hour before washing it out. You can
also use honey, yogurt and aloe vera gel.
Baking soda works wonders for pet
odors. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of baking soda onto the carpet and vacuum it up.
Repeat every time you replace your vacuum bag.
For the best moisturizer possible,
use 5 parts aloe vera gel, 1 part pure vegetable glycerine, and mix into a glass
jar. Both ingredients are available at any health food store.
Soak or massage your nails with baby
oil, vitamin E oil, olive oil or a gentle dish detergent at least twice a day to
stimulate growth and prevent cracking and chipping.
For the softest feet possible, apply
a thick layer of of petroleum jelly on your feet then wear a pair of socks
overnight. You can do the same with your hands by wearing cotton gloves. Do the
same with the rest of your body using petroleum jelly or thick cream and wear an
old pair of pajamas to bed. Don't be afraid to apply petroleum jelly or vitamin
E oil to your face overnight also. Do this at 1-2 times a week and your skin is
guaranteed to be baby soft!
For dry hair, apply vitamin E oil to
your scalp and split ends at night and shampoo in the morning.
Make your own anti-wrinkle cream
inexpensively. Beat a few egg whites (no yolks!) into a meringue and apply all
over your face. Remove after a half hour with cool water (don't use hot water or
you'll have scrambled egg on your face!). Pat dry and you'll immediately notice
the difference. Also great for shrinking pores.
Never throw away the water eggs have
been boiled in as it's full of minerals. Of course it's not suitable for humans
to drink, but after cooling the water, feed it to your house plants. They love
it and will grow at a much faster rate!
Apply ice cold vinegar right away to
skin burns to prevent blisters
Pour boiling vinegar down drains to
unclog and clean them.
To keep fabrics from bleeding, add
2-3 teaspoons of salt to wash and rinse cycles.
Sour milk actually cleans copper!
Pour the milk in a flat dish, soak the copper for about an hour and clean and
Remove pen ink from clothing or
carpet by spraying area with hair spray and after leaving on for a few seconds,
wipe away with a damp cloth.
Set out white vinegar in open dishes
to destroy odors.
Add vinegar to your deep fryer to
eliminate a greasy taste.
Fill film canisters with water,
freeze and use anytime you would use an ice pack or ice cube. They won't drip
and make a watery mess.
Rinse glasses and dishes in water
and vinegar to prevent spots and film.
There is no need to buy expensive
conditioners to make your hair shiny, soft and radiant. Simply wash hair and
massage regular hair conditioner into damp hair and leave in overnight. Protect
your pillow by using a shower cap and if you don't own one, make do with a
plastic bad tied carefully around your head. You certainly do not want to wake
up suffocated and dead if you don't do it right! :)
More Helpful Hints!
Peanut butter - will get scratches out of CD's! Wipe off with
a coffee filter paper.
For a sticking bicycle chain spray with Pam Non-Stick Cooking Spray.
Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a
can in your garage for your hubby.
Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls.
When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch
and watch them slide on.
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to
prevent ice cream drips.
Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto
the hot griddle - perfect shaped pancakes every time.
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the
To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the
water before hard-boiling.
Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispie treats
in the pan, the marshmallow won't stick to your fingers.
To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room
temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before
Spray your Tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before pouring in
tomato-based sauces-no more stains.
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of
the dry cake mix instead - no white mess on the outside of the cake.
If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop
in a peeled potato. It absorbs the excess salt for an instant
"fix me up."
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator - it
will keep for weeks.
Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a
beautiful glossy finish.
Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.
When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out
the corns natural sweetness.
To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool,
salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh - if it rises to the surface,
throw it away.
Don't throw out all that leftover wine: freeze into ice cubes
for future use in casseroles and sauces.
If you have problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing
gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice
and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.
Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and
better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures, get warm water and put
Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They
More Helpful Hints!
SCRATCHES ON WOOD SURFACE:
If a stained wood surface gets a scratch and you can see the lighter
wood underneath, all you need to do is get a walnut. Using the meat of a
walnut, rub it across the scratch. The oils in the walnut will hide the
scratch. I have never tried this on light colored woods (such as ash), but for
oak, cherry and walnut finishes, this has worked wonders.
Rub drawer runners and track or bottom edges of drawer with candle wax,
wax-type furniture polish or soap and slide in and out a few times to
WHITE WATER RINGS ON WOOD:
Rub with wood grain using toothpaste on a clean dry cloth.
TIPPY CHAIRS & TABLES:
Find the short leg, and glue a button to the bottom.
KEEPING BOTTOM SHEET ON MATTRESSES:
Attach one end of a pair of suspenders to the bottom end of the sheet, run
beneath the mattress, and attach the other end to the top end of the sheet.
For king-size beds, you’ll need oversize suspenders.
NURSERY FURNITURE PULLS:
Replace regular drawer pulls with wooden toy blocks that have been drilled on
one side to accommodate the original pull’s screws.
DIRTY/OILY STAIN ON UPHOLSTERY:
Sprinkle stain with corn starch or baby powder. Let sit a few hours, then
brush off. Stain should disappear. If some remains, try again. Or dampen a
clean white cloth with carpet shampoo solution, and rub stain gently from
outside into center. Wipe with another clean white cloth dampened with water,
and blot dry with a clean white cloth.
STUCK TO POLISHED WOOD TABLE:
Saturate paper with cooking oil and let sit a while. Paper will slip off
& SCRATCHES ON WOOD:
Wipe with a dab of shoe polish or magic marker in a shade as close as possible
to wood color. Or rub on a paste of instant coffee and water. Or rub with a
raw halved walnut meat, or a peanut.
Rub with a soft cloth dipped in ammonia. As long as you don’t saturate the
wood, you won’t leave spots.
Remove mattress from bed, and place a wool blanket over box spring, then
replace the mattress.
To replace seat cushion covers after removing them to wash, put the cushion
into a plastic trash or dry cleaners’ bag, then slip into the cover open-end
first. Pull out the bag, leaving the cushion inside the cover. If using a dry
cleaners’ bag, you may choose to leave the bag inside to protect cushion
Place a bath mat, rubber “gripper” fabric, or foam rubber pad under each
cushion to keep the slipping to a minimum.
PANELING, WOOD & PLASTIC:
Wash with Murphy’s Oil Soap, according to directions, then buff with a dry
Set speakers inside open-weave baskets. The sound will carry, but the speakers
will be hidden.
SINK FROM DRIPPING FAUCET:
Fill sink with hot water and add a couple of denture tablets. Let soak. Or try
a paste of baking soda/cream of tartar & hydrogen peroxide. Or saturate a
paper towel with straight bleach and place over stain for several hours.
Rub with a salt & turpentine solution.
WATER SPOTS ON SHOWER WALLS:
Rub with floor or car wax. DO NOT WAX FLOOR OF TUB/SHOWER! Very slippery!
SPRAY RESIDUE ON MIRRORS:
Rub with rubbing alcohol on a soft, damp cloth.
Hang a three-tier wire vegetable basket in bathroom, near sink &/or tub,
to hold shampoo bottles, sponges, shower caps, tub toys, extra soaps,
cosmetics, combs, hair spray cans, etc. Also, glue magnetic strips to the
walls of medicine cabinet to hold small metal objects (nail clippers, files,
Cut through fine sandpaper several times, or draw across the rough under-side
edge of a ceramic coffee mug.
SPRAY RESIDUE ON CURLING IRON:
Unplug, and clean wand with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol.
Place a dab of solid antiperspirant on each side of your nose, where glasses
To ease pain while plucking, apply teething gel over entire brow a few minutes
Buy shoes in late afternoon or early evening, when feet have swollen slightly,
for the best fit.
Fasten through holes of a button to keep pairs together.
STUCK ON SWOLLEN FINGER:
Hold hand high above head for a couple of minutes. The blood will drain from
your hand and swelling should diminish. If that doesn’t work, rub hand cream
around the ring and soak hand in a bowl of soapy ice water.
When pinning brooch to a delicate blouse, place a piece of sturdy fabric
inside blouse and pin through both layers to prevent large holes in blouse
After opening nail polish or other liquids, rub petroleum jelly around threads
and lip of bottle for easier opening next time. Repeat application
Pour gel capsules (Vitamin E, etc.) Into a bowl and mix well with 1 tsp.
Cornstarch. Return capsules to bottle. Dust keeps caps from sticking together.
If shoes are too tight, place a zip-loc bag inside shoe and fill with water.
Close securely. Place shoe inside another bag, and place in the freezer
overnight with the water concentrated in the tight spot (toe, heel, etc.)
Water will freeze and stretch shoe.
When drying anything that should be fluffy, such as a feather pillow or down
jacket, place one or two tennis balls into the dryer with the item, and
Replace liquid fabric softeners (ie. Downey) by pouring ½ cup of vinegar into
the rinse water.
If the bottom of your iron gets a gunky buildup, put salt on a large sheet of
wax paper, adjust the iron for low heat, and iron the salt.
Place a few lemon slices or some lemon juice around baseboards, and in the
cracks of your cupboards.
Every two or three weeks in the summer, place a line of table salt around the
edges of the patio to keep slugs away.
& DOGS IN TRASH:
Pour some ammonia onto a couple of paper towels, and place in trash bag, or
rinse trash can weekly with ammonia to keep strays away.
Hints and Decorating Ideas
Shaving cream can be used to clean
To help remove candle wax from
carpeting and other areas, place a generous piece of paper over the wax and
then place a warm iron on the paper. Applying the heat, carefully, will
re-melt the wax and make it adhere to the paper.
If the pictures on your wall keep
slipping out of place, place a drop of 'glue gun' glue on the bottom corners
of the back of the frames and allow to dry. It will help hold your pictures
Use wicker cases and old stacked
luggage for extra storage space.
Use an old weathered window pane as a
mirror by replacing the clear glass with mirror. Hang on the wall, or prop
against a wall, for an interesting look.
Attach a quilt to the wall by using
Old cloth dishcloths make wonderful
'Country' curtains in the Kitchen or on odd windows.
Use a small wicker basket in your
refrigerator for small items.
Hat boxes make great bathroom storage.
If you have odd pieces of 'silver
plated' items, you can use them in your bathroom for brushes and combs, or
sit them on your vanity, to use for make up brushes.
Not all furniture in a room has to
match...mix it up and spread it throughout your house in different rooms.
For a textured wall, take different
sizes of torn strips from brown paper bags, glue them on a wall, and then
'milk paint' it. Makes for a great 'accent wall'.
Remodel your kitchen in 1950's style.
If you are using throw pillows stacked
on beds and chairs, put the floral pillows behind the solid color pillows.
Always make the pillows in the back point 'up'.
Take your favorite vacation pictures
and have them enlarged....frame them, and group them together.
For a nice display of photographs, keep
all of the frames the same...which will make the viewer focus on the
pictures, and not the frames.
For your dining area, take menus from
your favorite restaurants and frame them. Keep this in mind when you are
traveling and going to different restaurants.
Hang and display your pots and pans
around your kitchen window, instead of curtains.
If you have an out-of-the-way nook in
your home, use maps from everywhere as wallpaper.
Dig out your family treasures and
display them...playbills, ticket stubs from favorite movies and moments. Old
report cards? Hair clippings? Younger pictures of yourself? Favorite moments
in your life?
making your own Laundry Detergent!
Here's a great recipe for making your own laundry soap.
It's used by the Duggar Family and
they graciously shared their recipe on their website. I wanted to copy and paste
it here for all to enjoy, in case you don't know who the Duggars are.
TIPS FOR LAUNDRY SOAP
We use Fels-Naptha bar soap in the homemade soap
recipes, but you can use Ivory, Sunlight, Kirk's Hardwater Castile or Zote bars.
Don't use heavily perfumed soaps. We buy Fels-Naptha by the case from our local
grocer or online. Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found on the laundry or
cleaning aisle. Recipe cost approx. $2.
Homemade Liquid Laundry
Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
4 Cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup Washing Soda
½ Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water.
Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.
Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is
dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit
overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser
half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use.
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil
per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640
-Grate soap or break into pieces and process in a food
processor until powdered. Mix all ingredients. For light load, use 1 Tablespoon.
For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 Tablespoons. Yields: 3 Cups detergent.
(Approx. 40 loads)
1 Cup White Vinegar
Add vinegar to rinse cycle. Works great. Removes residue and odors. Also helps
to keep washing machine and hoses fresh and clean too.
1 Container of Name Brand Fabric Softener
4 Inexpensive sponges, cut in half
Pour entire container of softener into a 5 gallon
bucket. Fill empty softener container with water twice. (2 parts water to 1 part
softener) Add sponges to softener/water mixture. When ready to use wring out
extra mixture from one sponge and add to the dryer as you would a dryer sheet.
My Favorite Window
My favorite recipe is to combine:
2 cups of
1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar
and up to 1/2 teaspoon of Dawn Dish Detergent in a spray
That’s all there is to it. (Make sure to label the bottle and keep it out of
the reach of children.)
People by the thousands tried this, and
many swore off cleaning with homemade products for good because the formula left
streaks on their windows. (I wish I had $1 for every time someone has said to
me, “Well, I tried non-toxic cleaning and it didn’t work. I used vinegar to
clean my windows …”)
The problem was that the commercial window cleaner used
before the switch to vinegar left a very fine wax residue. The vinegar alone
wasn’t enough to remove it, and the result was streaky windows. If instead,
everyone had added a dab of liquid dish soap, Dawn - in particular, to the
vinegar and water, the wax would easily have been removed and the windows would
have been cleaned perfectly!
Homemade Sawdust Candles
I thought this recipe may be useful. I found two sites and the other one says to
use a 3# coffee can and up to 3 zinc cored wicks per coffee can. A source of
zinc cored wicks is www.lonestarcandlesupply.com
. Supposedly one 3# can will burn for 26-30 hrs and keep a 9X12 room above
freezing. The canned candle when being used must be placed on a heat proof
surface & away from pets & kids since they will get really hot! Here's
2 C. fine sawdust
1 lb. melted wax
Chip or cut up wax into small pieces, and melt over water, never directly
over flame or burner. It can be melted in the same container you're going to use
for the candle. (empty tuna can, coffee can, etc.)
Put the sawdust in a shoe box and pour the wax over it. Mix it until it holds
together well when squeezed in your hands. Pack and press the mixture into the
can tightly and firmly. (Careful it may be hot!)
Make a hole with a long knitting needle. Add the wick, all the way down. Pour
melted wax over the top to secure.
I was thinking that a great source of wax could be cheap wax, like when
candles go on sale. And it can be ANY color candle. Candles go on sale very
cheap after each holiday.
Here's the other recipe
in case you want to try both types.
Emergency candles They are a good heat source and can be used to cook
on also. They were pretty easy to make and not too expensive either.
Supplies required: 46 oz metal can 1 1/2 lbs
Candle wax--not paraffin 1
candlewick-approx. 10 in w/wire inside 2 (46 oz) cans of very fine sawdust 1 #10
can to melt the wax in.
Fasten the wick to the bottom of the can w/masking tape. Wick should
extend 1-2 inches above the rim of the can. Melt wax in a #10 can inside a pan
of water over Medium Heat. DO NOT BOIL. 145 degrees-melting point 160-170
degrees-pouring point If it is much hotter the wax will ignite! Reserve 1/4 c of
the wax for the top of can.
Pour sawdust into the disposable roasting pan. Slowly pour wax into the
pan while stirring with a stick or wooden spoon. (paint stirring sticks work
well) Continue stirring until cool enough to stir with hands. (This begins to
resemble brown sugar or graham cracker crust!)
When mixture holds together when squeezed in your hand, it is ready to
put into the can. If the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pan, add more
sawdust...It will NOT be ruined if add more wax or sawdust.
Scoop the mixture into the candle can a little at a time...packing it
down-tightly- while holding up the wick. Pack it tightly with a stick or spoon
or spice jar bottom. Continue a little at a time -packing tightly until when
packed down it's within 1 inch from the rim of the can.
Then pour 1/4 cup of plain wax on the top to seal it in.
Three candles will heat a 9 x 12 ft room for 24-30 hours. Can will be
HOT, so be sure to place it on a non-burning surface. Candle will be smoky when
first lit until the 1/4 cup of plain wax is burned off.
HINT: Tight packing and fine sawdust yields larger burning time.
You can purchase a huge bag of sawdust at Lowe's or Home Depot. It's
not very expensive and it'll last a LONG time.
My boyfriend and I were even thinking of making our own firelogs by
using this recipe and then wrapping the 'logs' tightly in newspaper. We have a
fireplace and during winters here in South Carolina, it's not unusual to lose
our power for days at a time. Having firelogs on hand would be a great back-up
If you notice, those fake firelogs in the stores are pretty much made
of the same thing...sawdust and candle wax. Those firelogs are very expensive.
Anyway, at some point this year we want to try our idea for making our OWN
firelogs. I'll post how they turn out when we make them.