Eat. Home. Live.

In depth ramblings about cooking, homekeeping, and whatever else I decide to write about.

A List of Tips and Hints

Here is a fun and interesting list of tips and hints that a friend of mine sent to me:

A sealed envelope – Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmm)

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.

For icy door steps in freezing temperatures,
 get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t eefreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years)

To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.

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

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

*** Alcohol is good on lime and hard water stains as well.

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. Now a box of S.O..S pads last me indefinitely, In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get ‘sharpened” this way.

***Can I add that SOS pads rule for getting gunk off of electric burner pans??

Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time! (Now, where to put the body?)

***Would you want to test for colorfastness with this one???

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 streak.

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.

***Doing this to my freshly cleaned bedroom tonight!!!

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! 

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.

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

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

I looked this one up and it is recommended even on gourmet cooking sites. I can’t seem to find the scientific explanation of why this works so well though.

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s’ natural sweetness

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

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

Ants, ants, ants everywhere. Well, they are said to 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.

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

***This seems like a toxic idea to me. These sprays can exacerbate asthma and allergies and spray unnecessary chemicals into the air. See my article about Dawn and mirrors. It’s a much less toxic way to clean mirrors.

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.

Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer:

Clean a toilet.
Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China

Clean a vase.

To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.
Polish jewelry.

Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

Clean a thermos bottle.

Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

Unclog a drain. 

Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.

* While Alka Seltzer is a great product, it is made of baking soda, acid, and aspirin. It seems like a pricey way to clean things. You can make your own baking soda and acid by combining equal parts baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice. I would estimate that a tsp. of each would be similar to an Alka Seltzer tablet. The aspirin may or may not have value in cleaning, that is up in the air. But, if you want to make sure, you can add a crushed aspirin tablet to the baking soda and vinegar mix.


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This entry was posted on January 12, 2011 by in Home, Live.