Household Hints and
Eight tips from Stephanie G:
Repair scratches on surface of wood furniture: Simply fill in with appropriate shade of colored pencil.
Remove stubborn dirt/scuff marks on walls: furniture, tables, shoes, etc : Diaper wipes! Funny, but true! They work!
Boils/blisters/other sores: Soak for hour in tub with a cup of oatmeal. Will draw out the infection and leave skin soft and soothed. (May have to repeat soakings for a few nights.)
Grime on glass baking dishes: Soak in soapy water, then use the edge of a metal spoon to scrape away.
Silk flowers dull/dusty : Spray with hairspray. They will stay shiny and when they get dusty again, simply blow off with hair dryer.
Dog chewing on couch cushions: Pour a bit of lemon juice on corners. Dogs do not like citrus.
Ants or other bugs around kitchen sink/bathroom: Put mixture of dish soap and water into empty spray bottle and keep handy. When you see the insects, spray with the mixture. The soap actually breaks down their exo-skeletons and they die almost immediately. Cheap and easy clean-up.
Get rid of ring around the tub: Magic erasers! They are cheap and even generic brands work well! Cuts right through the dirt and saves hours of back pain from scrubbing with the standard brush and soap.
Have more to come!
Vacuum Sealed. The easiest way to open a vacuum sealed jar is to gently tap the top on its edge on any hard surface ( work top. ) Hey presto jar will open easy peasy, this works every time. -- lucy brown
Awkward Bottles. A tip for all those girls out there who occasionally lack the oomph to open screw-top water/juice bottles but are too proud to ask nearby guys for help... If you are at home, a rubber glove or bottle gripper will give you the power you need to get into the stickier ones. However, these are usually in short supply at work in the office, so carefully wind a rubber band snugly around the lid and try again... Magic! Clare -- Cheeky Pixie
'I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every minute of it!'
Getting a Glass Lid (top) from a Glass Jar. We had trouble getting the glass lid (top) from a glass jar. Temperature differential did not help nor did rubber bands and rubber gloves. With eye protection and gloves, one of us held the jar whilst the other levered the lid using vice-grip pliers. The knob was protected with thick rubber bands and a rubber rest was on the edge of the jar lever point. It took a little time and patience but we were successful with not one but two jars. -- Dr John BROWNBILL.
Stuck Glass Lid #2: Following on from Dr Brownsbill’s post, this evening I had an inspiration when faced with no rice for supper after the glass lid became jammed in the jar. In the UK you can buy something called a ‘wheaty’ neck warmer which is a fleece bag about 17” long x 4.5” wide filled with wheat berries. Microwave according to instructions to maximum heat. Wrap round the neck of the jar and hold for 30 seconds or so. Hey presto, the lid will come out with no effort whatsoever and no danger to yourself. I’ve now reclaimed some lentils that were inaccessible for months as well! -- ALISON PRUDENCE
Stuck Glass Lid #3: Hi there. Following on from my recent tip I’ve used a similar principle to remove a metal lid from a jam jar which had resisted all efforts for over three months. The key is that the metal needs to be hot and expand and the glass needs to stay cool. I put an inch of boiling water in a bowl and held the lid in it for 60 seconds and hey presto, the lid came off easily. NB: the water did not come up beyond the edge of the lid and therefore did not directly touch the glass which might have caused a problem. Happy opening! -- Alison Prudence
Markings on Food Bags: For markings on foodstuff and on freezer bags you could use an old lipstick to write the name of the foodstuff in the box or plastic bag.Lipstick is edible stuff so safe. -- Pushpa Kishore Mehta
Top Freezer Bags... I Have difficulty getting them open? Take scissors
and snip a fair sized "V" in one side of the top strip (don't cut into
the 'sealer') and you will find it easy to gain access without the
frustration. Also if you find it difficult to fill small freezer bags
you might try putting them inside a measuring cup, folding a small flap
down over the edges of the cup. Then it's easy to fill with foodstuffs
and prevent the bag collapsing and the resultant spills. Same holds
true for larger bags if you find a suitable sized bowl or can to place
the bags in. -- "Shelly"
Bleach Smell: To remove bleach smell from hands (and that
slimy feeling) pour a little vinegar or lemon juice over your hands
then rinse. (bleach is alkaline, vinegar and lemon are acid, so they
cancel each other out and balance the pH of your skin.) -- Candace
Dish. To keep
butter from sliding around on the butter dish, heat the dish with hot
tap water, dry off and then put the butter stick on the dish and then
into the refrigerator. It will melt just a little of the butter which
will freeze when put in the fridge. Doesn't slide around when you are
getting butter. -- Ron S
your socks together in the wash and dry process. Get some safety pins and keep them by the washing
machine for your socks .Pin the toes of the socks together so you save
time matching them up after the laundry process. -- Tammy
Dixon Kingston Springs, Tn
Grocery Bags I have
recently fixed a pair of 3M Commander hooks - the kind that come off
any surface just by pulling the tab - onto the sides of my kitchen
garbage bin - the kind that fixes onto the inside of a cupboard door. I
put the Commander hooks, one on each side a few inches below the rim
and upside down. Instead of buying expensive garbage bags I can now
hang a pair of plastic grocery bags from the hooks and tuck the edges
neatly round the top of the bin. You know how these bags have an
annoying habit of gradually sinking into the bin as they fill up -
well, with the hooks they can't do that and when the bin needs
emptying, I can just unhook the bag and tie the handles ready to toss
down the garbage chute. It's also a great way to use up grocery bags
instead of throwing them away. (Ingenious
hint - Ed) Hope you think this is
worth passing on via your interesting web site. From: "Meg Gagie"
Cleaning Materials. The
best thing for cleaning anything around the house is very hot water
with a squirt of good quality washing up liquid, and a window cloth
(the best one is a reasonably priced Vileda window cloth found in
Wilkinsons ). I like the water as hot as possible
therefore I use rubber gloves, and ring out the cloth as much as
possible. I use this for cleaning windows (in and out), mirrors, tiles,
marble furniture, even the bedroom furniture, dusting around the house,
car windows, anything that you might use cleaning products or polishes.
Guaranteed not to leave smears. I haven't bought any cleaning products
or polishes for about 8 years. -- "A M"
Spot Cleaner. To
clean spots on rugs and carpets, use window cleaner. It works as well
as the spray-on carpet cleaners and if you buy the store brand (I use
Wal Mart), you can get it for as little as $0.97 for a full quart
bottle. -- Jean Calderon,
Candles and Drains.
Try putting your cheaper candles in water just
deep enough to cover them, add 2 teaspoons of salt and soak. This is
suppose to cut down on the amount of dripping. I haven't tried it yet,
but will when I bring the Christmas decorations out. This will
eliminate tossing out all of the cheapies you already have on hand. If
anyone has a leaky faucet that drips rusty water, purchase a cheap
screen-type strainer for tea (the one I bought had a handle on it, but
that's OK) and place it directly under the faucet and over the drain.
The water will be directed into the strainer and down the drain instead
of splashing the sink or bathtub sides. Discard the strainer when you
have time to repair the faucet and you'll have a cleaner sink or tub,
as well. E. Knack --
Carpet Stains Don't remember where
on the web I got this solution but it has worked everytime. I was
originally searching for something to remove old red wine stains from
carpet but have used it on other stains and it has worked just as good.
dishwashing liquid (i use Palmolive) and peroxide. The stains actually
just disappear. It's great. I've never used a precise measurement of
either. I would be careful on dark carpets. From what I understand the
peroxide can have a bleaching effect. My carpets are beige so it hasn't
been an issue. --
Stainless Steel Appliances Hello, Thought people out
there would like to know a tip about cleaning stainless steel appliance
doors etc. The folks at the Sears store use "baby oil" to get
the finger prints and marks off the doors. I was nervous to try it but
it works like a charm. I used a small amount on a napkin and wiped the
fingerprints away. It also took off the glue from the tape that was
used in shipping. K. MacPherson ~~ 9 Jul 2002
Scraps of carpet can be used to stop
chairs from making dents. -- Veronica Smith
Talc removes sticky
labels. Use talc to make playing cards easier to use. Remember to put a
little quantity of talc in your rubber gloves -- Rickie
Stuck Glasses etc. When
you can't use lots of physical force to separate two "stuck" things,
heat is often the best way to do it. The principle here is that when
you heat something, it expands a little. When you cool something, it
shrinks. You need a temperature difference (what scientists call a
"delta-t") between the outside (neck) of the decanter and the stopper.
This causes increases the space between the two parts, hopefully enough
to separate them. For example, you could tie a piece of cloth on the
outside, soaked in hot water. You could even try ice on the stopper at
the same time. Another application of this idea is to apply a torch to
a nut that won't come loose from a dirty or rusty bolt. The nut heats
up faster. This helps to break the "glue" binding them
together. -- Tony
Slow Draining Sinks --
If your sink drains are chronically slow and you live in an older
house, the problem may be an accumulation of sludge in the lines. No
amount of plunging and chemicals is going to fix this. What's needed is
to climb up onto the roof of your house with a metal snake (preferably
one with a business end looking a bit like a ballpeen hammer) and ram
that snake down each of the drain lines, entering through the vent
stacks, with a fair amount of force. It may require 50 or 100 motions
for each stack. A licensed plumber will charge you about US$250 or, you
can venture it yourself. You should also snake out any drain clean-outs
you can find at ground level. -- Mark Gilman
Make use of Leftover Soap:
Utilising these little pieces of
soap that are always left over. Add a little glycerine and mash them up
with a little warm water and you will have a liquid soap that is gentle
and economical -- Essie
Leftover soap: These little slivers of soap can be pushed into slits cut in one side of a face sponge and gives a nice lather. Debbie Chilvers
Apply mineral oil over your shower
doors and tile surface. That delays the mineral build-up in
future use. -- Cameo
your wardrobe and Linen Cupboardby using brightly colored dyes.
Faded shirts, underwear and towels can be made to look as good as
new.Off-white whites and stained clothing can be rejuvenated. You can
buy dyes that can be used in your washing machine – Essie
inside cups and mugs are caused by the metal cutlery abrading the
glazing coating the service. Try an old fashioned remedy from an old
fashioned man - toothpaste! (Betcha it works!) -- Alan -
whitening toothpaste usually contains alumina which is an
abrasive. I suppose that if it safe on the teeth it has to be
O.K. on cups etc -- Ed
run vinegar through my dishwasher once a month and this prevents hard
deposits from getting a head start. -- Good Luck,
bread to pick up fragments of broken glass - - Veronica Echols
Finger Rings? Use washing up liquid as a lubricant to remove
stuck rings, I have seen it used to release a dog stuck in a rocky
crevasse, alternatively use cooking or olive oil etc. -- Axel
Floorboards can be eased by using French chalk or talcum powder
– Jean Smith - see also this article on the subject
Sewing Tough Material, rub the material first with an old candle or
cooking paraffin. Used this technique to sew carpeting.--
be restored by hand painting using fabric dyes -- Tony Doran.
(A useful range of fabric dye pens is available from Dylon)
mix cut daffodils in with other cut flowers as the daffodils produce a
toxin that kills off the other flowers. – Anon.
House Plants If you have an aquarium, save the water each time
you change it and water your house plants with it. You'll be amazed at
the results. Andy P Smith -- Nuneaton -- England " --
can be useful in protecting the ends of unused fluorescent
tubes – Davie
working on your car you can clean your hands with a mixture of
dishwashing liquid and sugar -- Simon Spicer
olive oil or other cooking oil to clean hands
dirtied by engine oil -- Jean Edmunds.
teaspoon in the glass will prevent it cracking
when boiling water is poured -- Wendy Quinn, Hong Kong
Imitation Suede. I
bought an imitation suede jacket. There aren't any care instructions.
Is this something that is disposable or can it be washed? It's like a
lined flight jacket. -- Marti Han,
Clothes after being left in the Washing Machine. If you leave the clothes in the washer
for a day or more, especially in warm weather, they will smell bad.
Rewashing with 1/2 cup of ammonia gets the smell out better than
laundry detergent does. --
Drying Down Clothing. Instead of sneakers, use a can of new tennis balls.
"Pills" from Clothing. When
"pills" develop on clothing (small wads of lint) use a rough piece of
steel wool, run it over the material and the "pills" disappear. Very
easy to do. Will not harm material. -- Gertrude M Seifert,
Leather. Small spots of dirt on glossy leather can be
removed with a damp sponge. Scuff marks can be removed with a shoe
polish of the correct color. - Jane King
Remove cats hairs from clothes
furniture by rubbing with wetted rubber gloves -- Wendy Quinn Kuala
washing red clothes. My
Grandmother told me this- to keep brand new red clothes from bleeding
all over your other laundry, soak it in vinegar before the first
washing. Works like a charm!! -- Mindy Ralston
Wonderweb. If you’ve used Wonderweb to turn up kids trousers and you now want to let the hem out again. The bond will obviously break easily enough with minimal force, but what about all scratchy residue that’s left? To stop your kids legs getting scratched up on old bits of wonder web place some kitchen tissue or brown paper over the old wonder web and press with the iron. The wonder web will transfer to the kitchen paper and be removed from the trousers.-- vicky wood.
Vinegar as disinfectant. I
have a tip for everyone and also a bit of information that not everyone
knows about, is that Vinegar (either white or cider is the best
disinfectant around it beats anything man made and is certainly
healthier and cheaper, use vinegar all around house to disinfect and
clean many surfaces, although don't use this on furniture made with
fabric. You can use vinegar straight or equal parts vinegar and water.
Household: Cleaning. Use
a Crest SpinBrush battery toothbrush ($5 ) and spray cleaner or
powdered cleanser for easy cleaning of those hard to get to places:
baseboard corners, around sink faucets, tile grout, corners of wood
mouldings around windows, around shower doors, etc. -- Peggy Velthoen
Low Cost Descaler. - Here is handy hint that I’ve discovered if you want to rid your Kettle of Limescale without buying the expensive products. Use Lemon Juice & Water (about 50% of each). Put them into you kettle and boil it. If there is a heavy build up of Limescale you might need to boil it more than once. It works like a charm. You can buy Lemon Juice from most Supermarkets, I get mine for less than £1 from Tesco and it lasts a while depending on how much you need to use. --
Martin Lewis O'Neill
bowls come up shiny when cleaned with old, flat Coke or
Pepsi. Leave overnight to dissolve limescale -- Sylvia
Burge, London UK
Ring in Toilet. pumice didn't work - CLR didn't work - ZUD
worked. -- LCD
This was passed on to me from my mother of course. Add about one
tablespoon of cornstarch to about a third of a gallon of lukewarm
water. Wet and a rag or squeegee, remove excessive water and wipe down
glass as if using regular glass cleaner. Dry with either a soft cloth
or paper towel and be amazed. This is great for both inside and outside
glass cleaning. Vehicle windows too! Cleans the dirtiest windows in
half the time. No steaks, never clean and then clean again to get the
spots that didn't come off the first time. The glass seems to stay
cleaner longer too. I have been told that the cornstarch method doesn't
build up a static charge on the glass so it doesn't attract dust and
debris as quickly as regular cleaner.?? Thanks mom!! ~~ Famous Redhead
Stainless Steel Sinks. A
great way to get your stainless steel sink to look brand new. After
cleaning and drying the sink. Put some lemon oil or pledge on a paper
towel and coat the entire surface of the sink. It will look brand new!
Of course, once it is used again, the lemon oil will vanish and your
sink will look the way it did before. But it is great if you are having
company, and want a shiny sink. -- Linda Sparrow
Dirty dish solver.
Want to solve the grungy caked on baking dish problem? Instead of
scrubbing away, ...fill pan with water,pour a bit of Downey fabric
softener in and let soak. Everything will slide off ! :) Debbie ---
Kitchen & window cleaner. Mix about a 1/8th or a 1/4 bottle of
rubbing alcohol, 4 drops of dish soap & water in an old Windex
bottle this works great for cleaning in the kitchen & cleaning
windows and you'll never have to buy Windex, 409, Fantastic
or whatever again and to get tape off windows use straight rubbing
alcohol ~~ Jimisme
get perfectly spotless windows and mirrors, without chemicals,
use a solution of water and regular
vinegar. (About 1/2 cup vinegar to 2 cups water), spray and wipe. This
solution will not streak at all. It is the best and cheapest way to
clean glass. You can increase the amount of vinegar for very dirty
glass. -- Kelly Jimenez
Shower Curtains: To remove mildew soak shower
curtains in water containing 20% chlorine bleach. To remove soap and
water marks wipe with vinegar. – Essy Edmunds.
For more tips on cleaning mildew see the stains
To remove toilet stains, use a pumice stone and rub
hard, It will not scratch and works well- did on my toilet bowl after
20 years of build-up -- James A Boyle
crayon on walls, use WD-40. It removes it immediately, but if you use
it on a flat paint it will leave a greasy line that can easily be
washed off with soap and water. -- Kelly Jimenez
good replacement for those expensive cleaners for shower stalls/doors
that I have found is, believe it or not: WD-40. I never believed it
until I tried it, and it certainly makes a shower door sparkle, so give
it a try! --"Susan Kelly"
vinegar when cleaning windows (glass) -- Vanessa Echols.
newspapers give windows a shine, every bit as good as a
chamois leather -- Wendy Quinn, Hong Kong
marks on wall: use a blowdrier to heat the crayon so it can easily
be wiped off. -- Heather Dickerson
Crayon On Walls
I have tried both of the other methods you have shown, and neither
worked successfully. The only method I found that worked quickly and
easily was to use white spirit (mineral Spirits) and an only rag. It works a treat, but
be careful on emulsion walls (it works best on vinyl and gloss).
3 Dec 2004
on Walls: Try using bread to remove marks on walls and
surfaces - - Mike Weller
Silk plants Why pay expensive prices for silk plant cleaners?
Just spray them with Dow bathroom cleaner and let them dry. This works
just as well as the more expensive alternative -- Toni
Brass: Clean brass with lemon juice. – Comi Edmunds.
windows with old newspaper -- Nigel Hartley.
Stuff. To remove
hairspray on eyeglasses or any non porous surface, use rubbing
alcohol. It does the job. -- I've learned a lot of neat things while on
this planet for 68 years. Try them, what do you have to lose? Irene M. Ward
Using an astringent or other harsh/acidic/abrasive cleaner on glass
lenses coated with protective film (ie to help prevent scratches) - may
scratch, blur or altogether remove the protective coating. This will
also void any insurance claims or "warranty" regarding the "protection"
on your lenses --
Irene M. Ward
GUM Great way to
get GUM out , rub it with PEANUT butter! I think it is the OIL in in,
and though I have not tried it, I am sure oil would probably due the
same thing, except the peanut butter is GOOEY, and the oil runs! --
hair Use lighter
fluid to get gum out of hair works like a charm, wash hair a couple of
times after to get rid of smell. Lighter fluid can also be used on
other sticky thing such as: paint, glue, price tags, stickers, I even
washed silicone caulking out of my hair once. -- Kelly Lowery
gum. If you have
gum on a shirt try putting it in the freezer and scrape it off. --
Baking Soda. Baking soda is a all around
cleaning solution. It is non abrasive. Cleans the outside of a
refrigerator very well and takes the yellow away if you have white. I
use it in the wash instead of softeners. It sweets the clothes and
softens them also. It is also good to take the bugs off the car.
Remember it is non abrasive. Always keep baking soda in the car as it
will put out a fire, yours or someone else's. Cheap also. We used
baking soda in our pool along with bleach for 14 years and never bought
another chemical. We had the best looking pool in the neighborhood.
Crystal clear. I also use it in my pond for the PH.
-- KD Bug 27 Nov 2002
REMOVING GUM Great
way to get GUM out , rub it with PEANUT butter! I think it is the OIL
in in, and though I have not tried it, I am sure oil would probably do
the same thing, except the peanut butter is GOOEY, and the oil runs! --
Scratches on Furniture: Rubbing a Brazil nut on a scratch can disguise some
surface damage in wooden furniture -- Vanessa Echols
Chewing gum: To remove chewing gum from clothes
freeze, or cover the gum with ice, then crack and scrape off.
– Marjory Simpson.
Poison Spiders Read more....
Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business. ~ ~ Tom Robbins