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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Useful Household Hints

Coffee Stains
To remove a coffee stain from fabric or a rug, try one of these methods: Dip a white cloth into a beaten egg yolk and rub the yolk into the stain. Then rinse with clear water. Work denatured alcohol into the stain, then rinse with water. Apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon mild detergent in a pint of water. Blot with a white towel. If the stain remains, apply a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar and blot.
Cleaning Kitchen Countertops
Use a mild dishwashing liquid for plastic lamination and rinse well afterwards to prevent residue from getting on food.
Cleaning Vinyl Floors
Mop with a mild detergent and wait awhile to allow it to penetrate the ground-in dirt.
Cleaning Safety Tip
Don't mix cleaning products like ammonia and bleach. They can be toxic.
Cleaning with Automatic-Dishwasher Detergent.
Automatic-dishwasher detergent works well on refrigerators, stoves, floors, walls and glass.  Dissolve 1/4 cup in one gallon of very hot water. Wipe with a dry cloth afterward. Wear rubber gloves and test first to make sure that what you're cleaning is colorfast.
Use the bartender's method for speedy stemware washing. Holding the base, pump the glass vigorously in very hot sudsy water, then quickly put it in hot clear water (cooler water may shatter it) Dry upside down on a cotton towel. For extra-shiny, streakless glasses, add a little vinegar or borax to the final rinse water. If glasses have hard-water stains, rub them with a scouring pad dipped in vinegar. Never use hot water, harsh soaps, ammonia or washing soda on silver or gold-rimmed glasses. A well-lathered shaving brush cleans deeply etched or hobnailed glass especially well. If eggs have dried on your patterned glass tableware, rub off the residue with a slice of lemon.
Storing Leftovers
When storing leftovers in the refrigerator, use old butter tubs and cottage cheese containers. When its time to clean out the refrigerator you can discard the entire container. You won't have a spilled mess in the garbage can or a sink full of dirty dishes.
Garbage Disposal Tips
If you've ever switched on the garbage disposal instead of the kitchen light, mark the switch with a dab of red nail polish - anything to stop that grating noise. If your dishwasher drains through your garbage disposal, switch it on when the hot soapy water is running through is so it gets a good cleaning.
Stainless Steel
To remove water spots on stainless steel, rub area with a clean, soft cloth dampened with white vinegar. Then wipe dry to avoid spots.
Heel Marks
Use a pencil eraser on black heel marks.
Dishwasher Soap Film
Run a cup of white vinegar through the entire dishwashing cycle in an empty dishwasher to remove all soap film.
Refrigerator Odors
A little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors. After cleaning the refrigerator add a dash of lemon extract to the rinse water for a fresh scent.
Stuck on Food
For stuck on food on a casserole dish, try adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda and boiling water to cover the stuck on food. Let sit for a while. The dish will be much easier to clean.
Handy Tie
Drop the twist tie in the bottom of any can or basket before you put the liner in. When you're ready to empty it, the tie is handy.
Natural Weed Control 
Hopefully this guide will help you in controlling weeds. The key to getting and staying weed free is persistence. You have to stay on top of it by checking your gardens regularly and maintaining what needs to be done. 
Vinegar or boiling water: If you spot a weed growing in the cracks of your footpath or in your driveway, pour boiling water or vinegar over them.  Don't do this in your flower beds, it may kill neighboring plants. 
Mulch: As long as mulch is applied thick enough to keep sunlight from reaching the soil, it will keep new weeds from sprouting. You can use grass clippings, shredded and chipped branches,  beauty bark, hay, leaves or compost. 
Hand picking: Take a walk through the yard equipped with a bucket and gloves as often as possible and hand pick weeds. Try to pick them before they flower to prevent them from going to seed and seeding themselves all over the yard. Also, be sure to get all the roots; if you don't, the weed will more than likely be back in a couple of weeks.  
Earwig Traps
My tip for getting rid of earwigs or pincher bugs is to put vegetable oil or any cheap food grade oil into a tuna can. The tuna smell attracts the bugs, the can is low enough so they get in easily, and the oil drowns them. This is an easy, low cost way of ridding your home or garden of earwigs without using pesticides.

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