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otheila 01-24-2002 05:34 PM

Did You Know???
If you wash your mirrors in your bathroom with shaving cream they won't fog. Same goes for eye glasses.
If you place/ hide small bowls of vinegar around your house it will absorb odors.
If you add some celery to the frying pan/pot while cooking fish it will absorb the smell.
There is only 4 things you need to clean and disenfect your house, baking soda, vinegar,toothpaste and borax.
To fix broken china or pottery use can milk like you would glue, works better then glue.
Alway's wash paint brushes in cool/cold water then they won't get bushy. Either wrap in newspaper or hang to dry.
If using paint brush again for same project wrap in plastic wrap and store in freezer. defrost well before using.
If painting at night make sure window coverings are closed to get proper light. It is better to paint at night, light and shadow wise.
You can use a ( used) dryer sheet to: dust furniture,as insect repellant, make a new dust mop.
If you have a problem with ants draw chalk lines around doors and windows around where you think they are coming in from or on they're paths and they won't cross it.
Borax kills ants.
If you wash an area with peppermint oil ( diluted of course) you won't get mice there.

That's all I can think of for now. Sorry it's so long and probably all known stuff but I thought I'd pass it along anyways. What's some of the things that you do?

Jenna 01-25-2002 09:56 AM

Wow! You are really an encyclopedia of information, othelia!:)

Some of the things I knew, but others I didn't. Gee, my son gets shaving cream on the mirror regularly. I think I will just rub it in now!



kimmyo 01-25-2002 05:43 PM

I always freeze my paint brush in a ziploc bag when I'm working on a project. I thought I was the only one who did that. My dh thinks I'm crazy!

aubry 02-04-2002 10:19 AM

Ok, what do you clean with toothpaste?^^

otheila 02-04-2002 11:59 AM

Anything in the bathroom. Does great on tiles, chrome, acrylic tub,brass, crayon marks, scuff marks.....
The bonus thing is you don't use much. I have a 72'' soaker/whirlpool tub and it only takes the same amount of toothpaste to clean it as 2 times brushing your teeth.

Shawn 02-06-2002 04:17 AM

Ready for more

Use lifesavers candy to hold candles in place on your next birthday cake! Kids love 'em!

Poke an egg with a small sewing needle before hard-boiling, and the egg will peel with ease! And hold that needle in place with a magnet refrigerator clip!

Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips!

Zap garlic cloves in the microwave for 15 seconds and the skins slip right off!

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 potatoes!

To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling!

Use a pastry blender to cut ground beef into small pieces after browning!

Sweeten whipped cream with confectioners' sugar instead of granulated sugar--it will stay fluffy and hold it's shape better!

To easily remove honey from a measuring spoon, first coat the spoon with nonstick cooking spray!

Mash and freeze ripe bananas, in one-cup portions, for use in later baking--no wasted bananas (or you can freeze them whole, peeled, in plastic baggies)

To quickly use that frozen juice concentrate, simply mash it with a potato masher--no need to wait for it to thaw!

To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove-top--skillet will be much easier to clean now!

Transfer your jelly to a small plastic squeeze bottle--no more messy, sticky jars or knives! This also works well for homemade salad dressing!

To aid in washing dishes, add a tablespoon of baking soda to your soapy water--it softens hands while cutting through grease!

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 on 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"!

Next time you need a quick ice pack, grab a bag of frozen vegetables out of your freezer--no watery leaks from a plastic baggie!

Rinse cooked, ground meat with water when draining off the fat--this helps "wash away" even more fat!

Substitute half applesauce for the vegetable oil in your baking
recipes--you'll greatly reduce the fat content! (Example: 1/2 cup vegetable oil =3D 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup oil)

Place a slice of bread 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!

When starting your garden seedlings indoors, plant the seeds in egg shell halves. Simply crack the shells around the roots of your plants and transplant them outdoors--the shell is a natural fertilizer!

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.

Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your
forehead. The throbbing will go.

Don't throw away the wrapper after removing a bar of soap. Place it inside your shoe cabinet or shoe box. It's a cheap way of filling the air with a nice smell.

If your polished furniture has small scratches: Try rubbing them with a shelled walnut. You'll see the scratches just disappear!

Are your shoes smelly: Here's a solution. Put some tea leaves into a pair of stockings and stuff each into a shoe. Leave for a day or two and the smell just vanishes!

Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Tips for stamp collectors: Place the envelope in the freezer for a few hours. You'll then be able to easily lift the stamps off with a pair of tweezers.

To keep buttons from dropping off: Dab a drop of clear nail polish onto the thread the secures the buttons. This will harden and make it more difficult for thread to break off.

Jenna 02-06-2002 08:08 AM

WOW, Shaun!:)

Thanks for the great ideas! Are you sure your name isn't Martha?!:p


Shawn 02-11-2002 03:51 AM

More Tidbits
Vacuum Scents To add a fresh scent to a room, add some fragrant spices to your vacuum cleaner bag and vacuum as normal. Cinnamon and Allspice are especially nice--or try tearing open a couple of teabags of a fragrant herbal tea, and add that to the bag.

Foiling Mirror Scratches Hide scratches in the back of a mirror by covering them with aluminum foil, shiny side out. Affix the foil to the mirror by painting over it with clear shellac.

Lemon Twist To keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh, occasionally drop a sliced fresh emon or lime inside and grind it up.

Stifle Static You can reduce static electricity in your carpets by mixing one part liquid fabric softener with five parts water. Put the solution in a spray bottle, mist over the carpet, and just let it dry.

Unsticking Hooks To remove a self-adhesive hook, drip vinegar behind it. Give it a few hours to go to work before tugging the adhesive loose.

Salty Windows By the Seashore? Easy-Off or other similar oven-cleaners remove salt deposits quickly and easily, leaving windows shining.

Cleaner Coffee Mugs Try soaking them in hot water with a dash of bleach for glass mugs, or a dash of vinegar for plastic mugs.

Can't hang it? Stick it. If your landlord frowns on using nails to hang pictures, try velcro strips with adhesive backs. Place them in each corner for maximum support. When it's time to move, just wet the adhesive and peel the strips off.

Chewing Gum Cleanup Chewing gum stuck in anything can be a nightmare. Somebody track it in your carpet? Harden it with an ice cube and scrape it out with a dull knife. Then, after most of the mass is out, you can try a warm sponge dipped in water and dishwashing liquid to gently rub out the remaining bits. For getting gum out of hair (oh, those horrible school-day memories!), try working in peanut butter or a little cooking oil into the hair and comb it out. You can even treat your hair as carpet by hardening the gum with ice and then cracking it off.

Shampoo Cleans Oily Spills Spilled salad dressing, butter, or other oils on your clothing, but don't have a stain remover? Remember that most hair shampoo is designed to strip away the oils that accumulate on our head (especially the kind ormulated "for Oily Hair"). If you daub some shampoo on the spot and let it soak in for an hour or so before washing, the stain may well disappear.

Toothpaste Spackle Holes in the walls, but no spackle to cover them? Toothpaste (not the multi-colored kind, obviously) works surprisingly well. Push it in with a toothpick or paper clip, and leave a generous dollop on the surfce. The next day, after it's dried, you can smooth it down with your hand. It'll last, and you can even paint over it.

Mosquitoes Inside You heard an annoying, high-pitched mosquito buzzing in your face just as you were falling asleep, only to wake up to lots of bites all over. All your doors and windows have been closed, so how did those nasty attackers get in? Check your flower vases. Water left in vases for several days is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, just as a swamp is. Change your water daily and throw out flowers that have slimy stems.

Flower Power If you want those fresh-cut flowers to last longer in water, lightly singe their stem ends on your stove (don't set them on fire!).

elg71 02-11-2002 09:17 AM

Shawn, I think you know how to solve just about every problem that comes your way! Thanks for all the great tips. Some I had never heard of, but I have another for cleaning grease out of clothes: dish washing liquid.
Years ago when I worked in a steak house, I never came home without steak grease, butter something all over my shirt. We were not aloud to serve on trays, we had to stack the plates down our arms (shoulder to hand) and even though I never dropped a thing, juice would still get on my shirt. I quickly figured out that dish liquid would get the grease out. I would soak it over night in the sink before I stuck it in the laundry. It even worked on rayon and silk, which I thought was a lost cause.
Thanks again for all the great tips, especially baking soda dry bath for dogs. I know that will be a life saver in between the wet baths:)

ajrsmom 02-12-2002 09:27 PM

Whoa Shawn , Youve been busy!!

I love reading tips like these and trying out the new ones to see if they really work .

Thanks for taking the time to print all of these !

dxlifer 02-15-2002 11:07 AM

wow...i am overwhelmed....i'll have to go back and read these over a few times to absorb it all.
and i thought i had already collected a lot of shortcuts and easy fixes..i tip my hat to you!

but can you come up with an answer for this one? i live in cotton for a variety of reasons but since i'm a chronic slob all my tops, though clean, have dark stains that i can't get rid of. i assume their grease or something....i can't really say how i do it. i refuse to keep buying new tops as these are serviceable albeit not the most presentable. and i don't have the inclination to change clothes everytime i run to the store or the library. do you know a way to restore cotton jersey to it's unblemished state?

thanks so much for all the tips...i'll be checking in from now on.


otheila 02-15-2002 02:21 PM

You could try rubbing the stains with a bar of hand soap like ivory it might take a few times but that usually works. If you can access a janitors market look for a product called ' hot purple' follow the directions on the jug for dilution ratio for clothes, this stuff gets rid of everything. Do not use it full strength on anything it will eat it doesn't matter what it'll eat it, alway dilute it first then add to wash.
Good luck

Kat 02-15-2002 03:13 PM

Vinegar for Cat Litter?
I like the idea of putting vineger to absorb odor.
I wonder if that would work if I put some around cat litter boxes.
I'll have to try that...but will have to make sure the cats don't spill the vinegar! Thanks for posting great tips, Otheila...and Shawn, too!


Shawn 03-26-2002 03:21 AM

I was trying to figure out how to do something the other day and for the life of me could not do it.

Well, I totally forgot that I posted all this stuff here and low and behold, I found the answer. (I think alzheimer (sp?) is setting in :eek: LOL, Only kidding)

So I just wanted to remind you all to take a look and see what helpful tips and hints may help you


PrairieRose 03-26-2002 06:36 AM

For getting out tough stains in cotton tee shirts try M30 laundry pretreater from Dollar General. It's the best stuff that I've ever used and will always take a grease stain out. The only problem is that sometimes it will take it out too good and leave a white circle on an otherwise dingy t-shirt! It's CHEAP too!!! :-D

kimmyo 04-14-2002 12:54 PM

Household Hints
I have not tried these but a friend sent this to me and I thought I would share it with all of you! Let me know if any of them really work!

1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

2) Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.

3) Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

4) For icy doorsteps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze.

5) Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is)!

6) Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE) Rubbing alcohol on paper towel.

7) Whenever I purchase a box of SOS 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 SOS pads lasts me indefinitely! In fact, have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!

8) 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!

9) 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!

10) 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 sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

11) 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 turned on. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshl washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.

12) Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.

13) 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.

14) To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop.

15) Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.

16) When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

17) Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

18) When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

19) Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

20) Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

21). To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on them and you will experience instant relief.

22) Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said too never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.

23) Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.

24) When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

Mom2twoboyz 04-17-2002 07:00 PM

Hairspray also works on large spiders trapping you in the bathroom. :eek:

Haleys grandmom 02-18-2007 10:43 AM

Do you have problems with the waste paper basket liners falling down ? There is a simple solution , just get a trusty bungy strat that will fit tight around the basket, and no more slipping into the basket.

janet 02-19-2007 09:03 AM

WE all enjoy simple tips..please share any that you have.

Here are a couple of mine:

1.Take off shoes everytime you enter the house. You will track less dirt and dust in your home.(80%) This is really good for us living UP NORTH! Now what can I do with doggie feet? lol

2. Space saver for your closet..I have done this in my closet!
Install a second rod below your existing one.

3. Use Olive Oil
I use olive oil to: shave, remove eye makeup, shine stainless steel, unstick zippers
dust wooden furniture and silence squeaky doors! --I have also used warm olive oil when I had an ear ache...and use it to clean my doggies ears.

4. Coffee Filters
I use them to keep soil from draining out of my flowerpots.
I also cut my filters to fit our pod coffee much cheaper, and then I can use our regular coffee.

5. Toothbrush Holders
I have alot of these, since the new toothbrushes will not fit in I use them to hold
flowers, and even if it is not a closed one to hold water..drop it down into a large vase to
hold your flowers apart.

PS. I posted this in "my blog" here but not sure if anyone reads the I am sharing it again. hee hee

Hugs, Janet:blooming:

Pippe 02-20-2007 10:01 PM

These are great ideas!

Here are a few of mine:

Splinter removal - put a drop of white glue on it & let dry & you can pull it out.

Paper cut - put a drop of glue on it to close & protect.

When traveling & having to wash out undies or stockings - use shampoo for detergent.

A little dishwashing detergent will take out many hard stains on cotton (it can also bleach it, so use as last resort or on whites.) Rinse well & launder.

A spoonful of honey in a cup of hot lemonade will sooth a sore throat.

Put a new drier sheet in your luggage when storing to keep it fresh.

To make a copy of a classified ad - stick a piece of tape to cover ad & gently peel off.
It separates the paper & doesn't make holes. Good for ads for yard sales. Stick onto a index card.

Use a juice pop for a cold pack on a child's split lip.

Baking soda paste takes away itchiness of insect bites.

Meat tenderizer paste takes away swelling and pain from bee/wasp stings. (They did that to me in the ER!)

My newest favorite: When using the dry facial wash cloths, cut in half which is usually enough.

Thanks ladies!

Pippe :lep:

janet 02-21-2007 04:25 AM

Great Tips Pippe,

I love the splinter one..I have also used a piece of tape and then pulled it off in the direction I thought the splinter went in...worked for me!

Also, I have used shampoo that I didnt like for my hair to wash clothes before..and I have used conditioner that I didnt like, to use as softener...such a savings instead of throwing them in the trash.

Here is one of my newest tips:

When applying mascara, leave your mascara wand outside of the tube for a minute or so, so it can dry off a little..mascara right out of the tube is so wet, it will I hate clumpy lashes..I also learned to stay away from waterproof mascara, for I feel they clump more..or at least the ones I tried did.

:clover: janet

HAPPY6 03-09-2007 08:00 PM

I have a helpful easy tip for candle wicks. To keep candle wick even use finger nail clippers each time you go to relight them. I found that it also cuts down on your candle burning black, which gives you an uneven scent. This is much easier then trying to use a pair of scissors to cut the wick.:mush"

BuddyBeanieBaby 03-09-2007 09:15 PM

Want to relieve the itch from a Sunburn...

A couple of years ago while hubby and I were out in the boat fishing...we both ended up with sunburns...oh we looked like 2 bears trying to scratch our backs against a tree...we tried everything,including Aloe Vera...which we soon realized that neither one of us can use...both allergic to I filled the kitchen sink with cold water and 1/2 cup of baking soda...I grabbed a white t-shirt and soaked it for a couple of minutes...had hubby put the t-shirt on while it was wet and I tell you the itching stopped and so did the scratching and so did the burning from the sunburn...It worked great...I always keep a couple of boxes of Baking Soda in the house at all times...

HAPPY6 03-10-2007 08:11 PM

Here's a hint to prevent lint from clinging to clothes. Add one cup of Vinegar to each wash load. --------------Another hint to prevnt ice from forming on a car windshield over night. Use three parts white or apple cider vinegar to one part water. Put into a spray bottle, and spray the window with:4leaf: this solution.

janet 03-15-2007 10:43 PM

I have highlighted hair and it seems to get so dry in the winter, in desperation,I went to the kitchen, grabbed my olive oil and poured a small amount into my hands...I rubbed it into my hands so it glistened...then I started to run my hands through my DRY hair from the bottom up..paying close attention to the ends.
What can I hair looks MARVELOUS now!

Hugs, Janet:clover:

debknechtel 03-16-2007 06:58 PM

this more of a cooking tip but when you have a recipe that calls for measuring a sticky substance like honey, corn syrup etc. spray a little pam on your measuring utensil...they syrup will all slide out perfectly not leaving any behind.

Hugs Debbie

debknechtel 03-16-2007 07:01 PM

Here is anouther tip for the kitchen. When you have done the unthinkable me.... and burned a food to the bottom of your pot and left a nice baked on black mess....squirt dishwasher soap in the pan add a inch or so of water and put on the stove. bring to a boil and all the mess will lift up and be easy to clean. I am famous for doing this by boiling steamed broccoli dry!!!

Hugs Debbie

Lisa-b 03-16-2007 07:34 PM

A tip once your fake flowers are cleaned spray them with hair spray .

Minny 03-22-2007 04:22 PM

Super glue
If you get super glue on your fingers while gluing something, never ever try to pull it'll tear your skin!!! Use nail polish remover & it will dissolve the super glue. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

Pag36 03-22-2007 05:37 PM

Thanks for the tip sure wish I knew that before. But now I do

HAPPY6 03-23-2007 12:54 PM

:bluebun: Run out of coffee filters and need that cup of coffe---Use a paper towel for the coffee---works great till you get to :hare: the store to buy filters....

Bunny 03-23-2007 02:11 PM

Usefull Tidbits
Ever run out of laundry soap and couldnt get to the store? Use Dish soap or shampoo works just as good.

janet 03-24-2007 06:08 AM

Bunny, you have to be careful with washing clothes with dish soap..some of it has harsher ingredients and it can ruin finer clothes...

Now if you are washing work clothes..go for it.

I use up all my shampoos, that I do not like in the washer too..but nothing that has a color enhancer in it. (For example, shampoo for silver hair)

I have alot used hair conditioner as softener..

Now I have to find a use for all the other products I have tried but were not for me.(moouses, waxes, shine enhancers, glosses, etc.)

:dot: Janet

Can You Guess? 03-24-2007 06:31 AM

I put a fabric softener sheet or an air freshener in the glove boxes & trunks of our vehicles. It makes them smell fresh & clean.

If you drop something small in a tight spot you can put a piece of freshly chewed gum on the end of a long object & put the gum on the object it should pick it up. We found money in a storm drain & used gum to retrieve it.

You can use cooking oil or non-stick cooking spray to lubricate your door hinges.

WD40 will kill ants.

A mixture of borax & powdered sugar will kill ants.

A mixture of borax, powdered sugar, & oatmeal will kill rats, mice & roaches.

Mint plants repel roaches & small rodents.


Can You Guess? 03-24-2007 06:35 AM

A little Pine-Sol added to the water of a load of greasy work clothes will get the grease out. Laundromats do this for their customers.

Pag36 03-24-2007 07:18 AM

Be careful with the dish soap/shampoos in washers as it can sometimes make them over flow BEEN THERE DONE THAT. And NEVER use regular dish soap in dish washer as that will over flow.

I love these tips thanks

Minny 03-24-2007 04:27 PM

Fire Ants
I've used sweet 'n' low to kill fire ants. We had a nest of them in a flower bed & sprinkled it on the ants & just put enough water on it to dampen the ground. Next day they were gone completely!

HAPPY6 03-24-2007 04:53 PM

:hopp: To get rid of fruit flies, put a small bowl of cola on your counter. Fruit flies will go into the bowl, and become trapped.

Pag36 03-24-2007 05:13 PM

Boy I sure wish I had known about the sweet & low and fire ants. We had a lot all around my folks place in SC

Minny 03-24-2007 07:13 PM

Pag, that's where we had the fire ants in SC. We used to live in Anderson.. where does your folks live? If I can find that email I had got about it, I'll let you know.


Originally Posted by Pag36
Boy I sure wish I had known about the sweet & low and fire ants. We had a lot all around my folks place in SC

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