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Barefoot Lass
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Below are some of the very best household hints and tips that I have collected through the years from various sources. Please read the Disclaimer. If you have any great hints or tips that you would like to share, please send them to me with your name, city, and state so that I can give you credit for sending in the tip. Thanks! On to the hints and tips!


household


Bubble Gum Removal!
S. Hurley from Kennesaw, GA sent in this super tip; "To remove bubble gum or any type of gum from hair (child's head, on arm, leg, etc.), simply spread peanut butter on the area and wash! It comes out like magic because of the oil!!" Thanks S.!

candleCandle Wax Removed From Carpetcandle
Brandon sent this tip in but he says that the credit goes to Sandy from Scottsdae, AZ. First, remove as much of the wax as you can by hand after it has dried. Then place a piece of brown paper bag over the wax in the area you want to clean and go over it with a warm iron. Keep the iron moving, and move the paper often. The heat from the iron melts the wax, and the brown paper wicks the wax OUT of the carpet. Repeat until it is gone. I have seen red wax completely removed from very light colored carpet this way..not trace of the wax remained. Thank you both for the great tip!

Candle Wax Removed From Wood
Soften the wax with a hair dryer. Remove wax with a paper towel and wash with a solution of vinegar and water.

Carpet Stains
I've received so many great carpet stain removal tips that I had to make a whole new page for them all! There is even a tip for carpet burns and much more! Just click HERE and you will be transported there! Don't forget to return here to see all of the great hints and tips!


carpet shocksCarpet Shocks!carpet shocks
To stop the static shock in rooms with wall to wall carpeting, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of one part liquid fabic softener and five parts water, then lightly mist the carpet.

Cast Iron Pans
Beverly from New Orleans wanted to share this great tip with us; "If you have cast iron pans, or a wood stove that has collected "gunk" from being used over and over, remove the crusting with a paste made of cream of tartar and vinegar, it will make cleaning a breeze!!" Thanks for the wonderful tip Bev!

Chrome Fixtures
Use new or used fabric softener sheets to shine the chrome-plated fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen. The chrome will sparkle like new! Also, for kitchen fixtures, don't toss your lemons after squeezing the juice! Rub the pulp on your faucet and wipe with a cloth for shiny chrome. Then put them through your garbage disposal to sweeten your drain. LeAnna from Cullman, AL sent in this super tip; "To easily wipe away soap scum and other junky stuff from your chrome fixtures and even look alike chrome, simply poor a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cleaning cloth or papertowel and wipe it away, you don't even have to apply any pressure; it's amazing!" Thanks LeAnna! I love this tip because alcohol will kill the germs and it is streak free!

Cigarette Burns On Wood
Rhonda Schimanski from Elmwood Park, IL sent in this wonderful tip; "A cigarette fell out of an ashtray and burned a line in our new coffee table (wood) and I used vinegar and baking soda on it, just a little to make a paste. I then used a pencil eraser to gently "erase" the burn mark. I had a mark in the table, but it was clean and I was able to patch it up with some stain." Thanks Rhonda for the super tip!

Check it Out!

Clean A Vase
To remove those tough stains from the bottom of a glass vase, just fill with water and add two Alka-Seltzer tablets!

Cleaner Microwave
Dissolve two Tbs. baking soda in one cup water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Let the solution boil in the microwave for a few minutes so that the steam condenses on the walls. Then wipe clean with a damp sponge. Zoe was kind enough to add this important warning; "Always put something like a toothpick or a straw in the water that you're boiling in the microwave. Otherwise, it could explode when you take it out and give you a bad burn, because it actually reaches a point beyond boiling." Thanks Zoe!

Clogged Drain
Allie from Florida writes; "I have been using store-brand denture cleaning tablets for years to clean vases. I have found that the tablets also work great to remove that icky grease build-up from kitchen drains. Just drop a couple denture cleaning tablets down the kitchen drain, along with a cup of hot water." Works like a charm Allie! Thanks so much for sharing! Here is yet another tip from Barefoot Lass; If your drain is clogged with grease, pour one cup of salt and one cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a kettle of boiling water. This should do the trick!

Coffee Pot Stains
Rhonda White from Roachdale, In. sent in this helpful coffee pot tip; "The best way that I have found to clean a burnt coffee pot is to put baking soda in the pot and put the pot back on the burner until the burnt coffee dissolves , then rinse with hot water." Thanks Rhonda, that's a winner!

Pots and Pans Stains
Sheila Hendricks writes: "Cascade automatic dish detergent is terrific for removing baked on stains from bake-ware, and pots and pans, teakettles, etc. Make a paste of Cascade and a bit of water. Paint on a thin coat with a pastry brush, let it sit for awhile and rinse off. Make sure that it's rinsed thoroughly. For really hard baked-on food, wrap the pan in saran wrap tightly and let sit overnight. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Voila! I have not tried this on aluminum utensils, but it works on stainless, glass, porcelain and ceramic." Thanks a bunch for sharing Sheila!

Plow & Hearth

Counter Top Stains
This great tip was sent in by Wayne Williams from Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories in Canada; "I was told that if you have a stained counter top (fruit juice for example) to make a paste with water and cigarette ashes and rub it into the stain then let sit a while then wash off." Celia Wolff from Kansas sent in this handy tip; "Another product to remove countertop stains is liquid dishwasher soap. Very little rubbing is necessary even with older kool-aid stains." Julie Grove from Lawrence, KS sent in this dandy tip; "The product Simple Green is great for removing stains from counters (even older stains)." Nancy Fawzy from Chicago, IL writes; "A great solution for counter top stains is to use Shout fabric stain remover. The enzymes in the Shout will lift up the counter top stains." Thanks to you all for your wonderful tips!

Crayon-free Walls
Linda from Valparaiso IN writes; "My two year old likes to write on our walls, her latest masterpiece included crayon and pencil. While using an eraser to clean the pencil off, I decided to try to erase the crayon. Much to my surprise.... it worked. In fact, that worked the best out of any other way I have tried in the past. The best part, it didn't hurt the wall. I used a plain old pink eraser." Thanks Linda! Tamara Jolley from Boddington, Western Australia writes; "My toddler had scribbled a 'picture' on nearly every room in the living area and I wasn't looking forward to an hour or more of rubbing with an eraser. Spray with WD40 and rub off with a soft cloth, this took half the time to remove all her art work." Thanks for the quick tip Tamara! Or try this tip that a reader sent in; "Apply plain white toothpaste to the marks and leave on for a half-hour. Wipe off with a dry cloth." Serha from Norridgewock, Maine writes; "Here is a great way to remove those beautiful art projects from your walls. For crayons, just take a blow dryer to it for 5 to 10 seconds. Wipe with a clean, dry towel. Works every time." Gracias Serha!

Clean toilets, disintegrate rust, cook a ham and more with this wonder drink! CLICK HERE to see some wacky stuff!

Erase That Mess!
A. Brake from Alberta Canada writes; "I just found your site for the first time and absolutely love all the carpet cleaning ideas. Thank you so much for them. I just wanted to mention the new Mr. Clean Erasers. They are absolutely miraculous!! They have removed everything I have thrown at them, from scuffs and crayons on walls to counter stains. I don't know what I ever did without them!" Thanks for sharing A.!

Dusting Tip
Before you vacuum, use a damp cloth to dust your furniture. The vacuum will blow the dust every which way if you don't.

TV Dusting Tip!
Christine, a fan of this website, writes; "Here is a great tip about dusting! Don't you ever get tired of dusting your TV 3 or 4 times a week? Well, here is what you do! It's simple and easy too! All you need to do is take a fabric softener sheet that has been used in your laundry and after cleaning your TV, rub it all around the area that you don't want to dust anymore! It's a guaranteed success! Instead of attracting dust, your TV repels it!" Thanks a bunch Christine!

teethFalse Teeth!teeth
Jessica from Kentucky wanted to share this tip with us. "To get stains off of false teeth, brush them in Ivory dish washing liquid and rinse well. After several times of doing this they will become brighter. This came from a old lady that has actually done this. Please make sure they are false teeth!!"

fireplace
FIREPLACE ALERT!
Do not burn colored newspaper or magazines in your fireplace! They contain lead and when burned will emit dangerous levels of the lead. This can be extremely harmful especially to children!

Cleaning Fireplace Doors
Maria Almli writes; "Another remedy to clean up fireplace doors is to just use the ashes from the fireplace! Sounds crazy but works amazingly well. As I recall a little water helps. The burnt residue will smear all over the glass (but will no longer be stuck) then wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel." Thanks Maria! Sophia DeSherlia from Brighton, IL writes; "We have glass fireplace doors and I have found it very hard to clean the inside of the doors after the fireplace had been used several times. I use Lysol Basin Tub and Tile Cleaner (in the aerosol can). The Lysol melts the "burnt" gunk right off (no scrubbing!), then I clean with windex." Thanks Sophia!

No More Flys, Gnats or Mosquitoes
Mr. Arthur Davies-Patrick sent in this tip to get rid of those pesky pests: "Fill a spray bottle with Listerine (mouth wash) and simply spray it around at the first sight of flys, gnats, or mosquitoes. They will get the heck out of Dodge (your house or yard) because they hate the smell of Listerine!" Great tip for those icky little critters Arthur! Thanks so much for sharing!

Check Your Furnace Filter Often!
A dirty furnace will make it harder for your fan motor to blow air, raising your heating & air conditioning costs by up to 10%. Check it monthly, and replace it after a thin layer of dust collects over the surface. You'll also have to do a little less dusting.

Garbage Disposal
For a sweet smelling garbage disposal, remove the splash guard and scrub off the gunk. Then sprinkle about one half cup of baking soda in the grind chamber. (down the drain!) Follow that by pouring in distilled white vinegar. Ashlee from San Diego, CA sent in these great garbage disposal tips; "Put a few citris peels (preferably lemon) in the disposal and grind them up. It leaves a nice lemony scent. If you have a stuck disposal, first check to make sure that you haven't dropped something in by mistake that's jamming the blades. Next grind up a few ice cubes. Sometimes grease will accumulate and prevent the disposal from operating at full potential. The grease will stick to the ice and scrub out residue." Thanks Ashlee! Robyn Thorn from Round Rock, Texas writes; "To clean my garbage disposal I use frozen lemons or limes. I take one or two lemons or limes out of the freezer and put in some warm water in the sink so they are slightly thawed. Then I cut them into 4 pieces and drop one at a time into my running disposal. The citrus makes it smell good and the hardness of the somewhat frozen fruit breaks apart any grease or gunk already in there." Thanks Robyn!

Sparkling Clean Jacuzzi
Debi Do from Plymouth, MA writes; "Here is a great way to get your Jacuzzi sparkling clean, get yourself some Cascade (the Cascade with bleach is the one to look for). Fill your tub as full as possible without overflowing with hot water. Depending on the size of your tub, put anywhere from 3 to 6 cups of Cascade into the full "hot" tub and set the jet a bubbling. Keep the jets on for 20-30 minutes. You won't get the "bubble monster" because the Cascade doesn't bubble. You won't believe how your tub sparkles. No more scum! For your regular tub, let sit for a few hours then bush it out with soft brush that you use for cleaning. Works good on toilets too. Try it... you'll love it!" Thanks Debi!

Jewelry Cleaner
Stephanie from Woodbury, NJ writes; "I thought that my friend was crazy, but this really works. Soak your jewelry in ketchup over night, then rinse in hot water. It worked awesome on silver!" Thanks so much for the great tip Stephanie! Check the tip below under "Sterling Silver" for yet another tip to clean silver jewelry.

Bathroom Mirror Trick!
Rachel Nicholl from Phoenix, AZ writes; "You can prevent that annoying fog that builds up on the bathroom mirror when showering by applying aftershave to the mirror's surface. Spray a small glop in the middle and then spread it over the surface with a cloth, then you wipe the surface clean and.... Walla! You have a mirror that is fog resistant for at least three weeks!" Thanks Rachel! Ronalee from Arizona writes; "After you clean your bathroom mirror, use Pledge on it! For weeks afterwards all you have to do is to take a dry cloth and wipe the smudges off. When you notice that things don't just wipe off, wash your mirror again and apply another coat of Pledge. Looks like it will streak, but wiping real well takes care of that." Thanks for the dandy tip Ronalee!

Glass Shower Doors
To get your shower door clean, shiny, and streak-free rub with a damp sponge soaked in white vinegar.

Grout, Silicone Sealer, Mold and Mildew Remover
Evelyn from LaPlace, LA writes; "Remove mold and mildew from around bathtub silicone sealer with "Shock It" (Shock It comes in a bag and is a powdered chlorine product that is used to control algae in swimming pools. You can buy it at Wal-Mart). Sprinkle a little on, let set for 15 minutes and rinse off. The black is gone. I tried straight bleach and other cleaners from the grocery on the silicone sealer and nothing worked like this!" Thanks Evelyn, you are a real sweetie for sharing this super tip with us! Another good tip is to use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the hard to remove mildew that collects in the grouting around the bathroom faucets. Pour it on directly and it instantly softens the dirt so you can remove it with just one wipe! It will also whiten the grout! Janet Roseland from Witt, Illinois writes; "If the white grout between the ceramic tile looks nasty, just clean it with a household cleaner let dry and then go over it with white shoe polish. The kind that contains wax. I used Kiwi Cuir and it looks very nice again. Remove any polish on the tile with a damp cloth." Thanks Janet!

Hardwood Floors
Patrice from Litchfield, IL sent in this tip; "When cleaning my hardwood floors, rather than deal with the mess of a mop bucket, I fill a spray bottle with one part vinegar to three parts water. Spritz the floor and use a sponge mop to clean. The mop doesn't get soggy, but the floors still get clean." Thanks a bunch Patrice!

Hide Nail Holes
From the landlady! Rub toothpaste into the hole and smooth with a damp sponge. Or, try scraping an aspirin and put the shavings in the nail hole.

Please Help!

Homemade Cleaner
KarenMarie from Lyndhurst, NJ was kind enough to share this cleaning solution tip with us; "Instead of buying all different and expensive cleaning products, I take a spray bottle, and mix one third pine cleaner, one third ammonia, and one third warm water. It will clean everything from kitchen counters, to the bathroom floor, and everything in between. For tough grease stains, I let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. All I ever need to clean ANYTHING, is my spray bottle and a sponge!" Thanks for the great tip KarenMarie!

Lamp Shades
Use a rolling lint remover over your dusty lampshades, works like a champ! It even collects all the lint! I would like to thank Lisa (Des Moines, IA) and Frances (Dearing, Ga.), two of my readers who have sent this super tip in.

Linoleum Floors
Joe and Shelly from Seabeck, Washington write; "We found that oxygen activated all purpose cleaner (Oxy-clean), a bit of water on a rag & some elbow grease removed the ink from our linoleum floor when nothing else would work! Thanks for all of your tips!" Thank you Joe and Shelly! Elaine Lamb sent in this great household hint. To get magic marker or ink stains off of your linoleum floors in a breeze, just spray some hairspray on them. Thanks Elaine! My tip to hide scratches or burn marks on linoleum floors is to cover them with automobile touch-up paint. Choose a color that matches your floor. The "touch-up" will endure countless washings!

Vinyl Floors
Pam sent in this great tip for cleaning vinyl floors; "A friend told me about this last week. They have very light colored vinyl flooring many years old that just wouldn't come completely clean and new looking no matter what. They noticed when the dishwasher overflowed, the light colored streaks on the vinyl. Used BOILING, not just hot, water with dishwasher detergent and the floor came out like new. They're not replacing the floor! Think I'll now try the BOILING water thing on other things, including fabrics, too if that's the trick. Just found your website & really plan to make use of it." Thanks a bunch Pam!

flowersLonger Lasting Cut Flowersflowers
Vi Stearns from Illinois sent in this super tip; "Keep cut roses for 3-4 weeks in a vase! Just put l/2 of water with 1/2 of Mountain Dew in a vase. I had a cut rose that lasted and "dried" in 4 weeks in a vase and it still looked fresh! Then simply take off petals and place in a bowl for popourri." Thanks Vi! Or try this tip sent in by Chris Knopp from Greensburg, Pa.; "Combine two Tbs. of vinegar, three Tbs. of sugar and one quart warm water in your vase. Your cut flowers will last much longer!" Thanks Chris!

jarLoosen Tight Jar Lidsjar
Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that gets those tight lids off every time. No more having to ask "Mr. Muscles" for help! Also, here is a tip that Pete sent in to share; "Wrap a rubber band around the lid or top, it will give you enough grip to unscrew it." Thanks for sharing Pete!

Mini Blinds
Becki from Audubon, New Jersey sent in this helpful tip on cleaning mini blinds. She writes: To wash my mini blinds, I just throw them in the tub. Spray with any cleaner and rinse with shower hose. Give them a good shake and hang up wet. They dry very quick. Thanks Becki!

mowerMowing Tipsmower
Now you can cut the grass even when it's wet. Just spray the blades with vegetable oil. This way, the wet grass won't stick to the blades.

newspaperNo-fade Newspaper Clippingsnewspaper
To preserve a news clipping, dissolve a milk of magnesia tablet in a pan containing a quart of club soda. Soak paper in the mixture for an hour. Lay flat to dry. Paul from Greensburg, PA sent in this tip. Thanks Paul!!

Patio Furniture
Silvia Colonnese from Montreal, Quebec, Canada sent in this time saving tip; "I have a great tip for cleaning white patio furniture (the plastic or resin kind). It's especially for the lazy. Just toss it in your swimming pool before going to bed and when you take it out in the morning, it will look like new." Thanks Silvia! Now that's my idea of cleaning! Yet another patio furniture tip from JH from Ontario, Canada; "For cleaning resin patio furniture, mix 1 part dish soap to 8 parts bleach then wipe on and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse and repeat if neccessary. Comes clean everytime!" Thanks JH!

pillow Pillow Refresherpillow
Place two feather pillows (in their cases) into washer. Set on warm water and gentle cycle. Halfway through the cycle, flip the pillows. Now, you have to run the spin cycle twice to squeeze out all of the water. Toss into the dryer with a clean tennis shoe to prevent the feathers from bunching up.

Plastic Trash Bags
To keep plastic grocery bag clutter under control, stuff your bags into an empty kleenex box (the large size box). It's pretty and it also gives you easy access when you need a bag in a hurry.

Plastic
Mike from New Britain, CT sent this tip in; "Believe it or not, BRASSO (yes, the same Brasso that works so well on brass, copper, etc.) will do a great job on clear plastic items like watch crystals, motorcycle windshields (I use it on my bike all the time), clock faces, any clear plastic. You just need a little bit on a soft cloth. Apply like you would to metal, don't rub too hard, let dry and wipe off with a clean soft cloth. The results are amazing!" Thank for the super tip Mike!

scuff marksRemoving Heel Marksscuff marks
Laycee from North Carolina was kind enough to share this great tip with us; "Spray WD-40 on the heel marks and wipe up with a paper towel." Thanks Laycee! Another good tip is to erase scuff marks with with an ordinary pencil eraser. Miki from Washington says; "To remove scuff marks from vinyl or tile floors, use Kiwi Scuff Zapper. Just rub over mark and wipe up with paper tower immediately." Thanks for sharing Miki! Karen Bates from South Mills, NC writes; "I have read everything and tried everything to get rid of those unsightly black scuff marks! I bought the Kiwi product, tried WD-40, bought Goo Gone, etc.. All of them work, with a lot of elbow grease, time, and repeated applications. Purely by accident, I found the perfect solution! Using a plain SOS pad (dampened, of course) will take off even the nastiest of scuff marks, new or old! And guess what! It only takes one time, and no elbow grease!" Great tip Karen! Teresa from Springfield Il writes; "To Remove Heel marks on vinyl floors just put on some tennis shoes and twist your toe over them, Gone in a flash!" Thanks loads Teresa! Last but not least... Debra from Lancaster, Pa. writes; "Use good old chicken grease! Rub on the scuff and wipe right off!"

Removing Tar Spots
Richard writes; "To remove tar marks on floors, try using any paste wax with Carnuba Oil in it. Works a lot better than regular wax. Being in the floor covering business for 20+ years I learned to clean the old cut back glue with that." Thanks a bunch Richard! Or, in a bind, try using ordinary paste wax. This also works on shoes. Barbara Crowther writes; "I have always found that eucalyptus oil is the best thing for removing tar or black oil. It works great on shoes, clothes, carpets, and clears the nose too!" Thanks Barbara!

Ripen Green Tomatoes
Tom Greaves writes; "When that first hard frost is forecast, pick those green tomatoes, bring them in and wrap each one in a page of newspaper. Store in a suitable dark container with lid, at room temperature and check each one every three or four days. They will all eventually ripen with the texture and taste of a vine ripe and fresh picked tomato... I Gar-ron-tee!!" Thanks Tom... you're a gem!

scissors Sharper Scissorsscissors
Take your dull scissors and cut through three layers of tin foil ten times. Cut some paper to test. Repeat if not sharp enough for you. Or... cut a sheet of medium-grade sand paper into small pieces! Teresa Cribb from Florence, S.C. writes; "A great tip for sharper scissors is to cut a SOS pad or Brillo pad in half with the scissors. This sharpens the scissors and also gives you two pads instead of one. Just try it but be careful not to cut yourself!!" Thanks for the super duper tip Teresa!

Sink and Bathtub Stains
Dee Anderson from Ventura, Ca, writes; "I tried everything to try and remove a brown stain from my bathtub that occurred after I cleaned it with bleach. Until I found this tip on the internet: Use Hydrogen Peroxide, (a brand new unopened bottle) and Dawn dish detergent together on the stain. I was amazed, as it was the only thing that worked! I wanted to let you know, because trying to find this remedy was next to impossible, and maybe it will save someone else some sweat, should it ever happen to them!" Thanks so much Dee! Yet another tip for dark stains, like rust, rub your sink with a paste made of Borax and lemon juice. Lighter stains can be removed simply by rubbing with a piece of cut lemon.

Sliding Glass Door Tracks
Marla from Raleigh NC sent in this keen tip; "Clean the door tracks with furniture polish instead of a cleaner. It gets the tracks clean and the polish acts as a lubricant." Thanks Marla!

Stainless Steel Sinks:
Barbra from Illinois writes; "To shine stainless steel sinks or appliances, rub a small amount of flour on it!" Thanks for the simple yet effective tip Barbra! Stacey from Hinesville, GA writes; "If you have rust marks on your stainless steel, rub with a cloth dipped in lighter fluid. When the rust marks are gone... just clean with dish soap." Thanks for the great tip Stacey! My tip is to remove water spots from stainless steel. Just rub on some rubbing alcohol! And to keep your sink shiny, take some car polish and rub onto your sink and fixtures. This will prevent water spots!

Sterling Silver
Peter from Bristol, CT wanted to share this super tip with us; "To clean your silver, use tooth paste. Any kind will do the job but we prefer plain white. Just rub some on and wash off. Instant shine." Thanks so much for the great tip Peter! Check out the Jewelry tip above for another great silver cleaning tip.

Stiff Jeans!
Break in those stiff jeans and make them soft by washing with detergent and a half cup of table salt.

Sweet Smelling Drains
Pour one half to one cup of baking soda into the drain, follow with one cup or more of vinegar. Presto! Sweet smelling drain!

Sweet Smelling Hands
Jennifer Kinnear from Napanee, Ont. Can. writes; "Here's my tip for removing the smell of fish, onions, garlic, even the smell from the garbage bag when it's leaked! Get a piece of cheesecloth and put a couple of tablespoons of coffee beans in the center and tie with string. After washing hands, just rub it all over your hands. It works every time! Another trick is to rub hands all over a piece of stainless steel." Thanks so much Jennifer! Donna from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia writes; "My favorite and reliable remedy for removing the garlic smell or the prawn smell is to rub a teaspoon full of sugar into your hand. Add a couple of drops of water to make it stick & rub vigorously. Make sure you rinse well in warm water paying particular attention to under your nails as the crystals will stick down there. It works every time, odors disappear instantly." Thanks for the great tip from "down under" Donna! Nancy from Sherman, Texas writes; "To remove the odor of onion, bleach and laundry detergents from your skin, rinse with white vinegar." Thanks for sharing Nancy! Marie Graham from Murrell's Inlet, SC writes; "I work in a seafood market and to get the fish smell off of our hands, we use vanilla extract or vanilla scented hand lotion." Love this tip! Thanks Marie!

house

Sweet Smelling Home
Add one quart of water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and some orange rinds into a pot and boil on low heat. When the water is gone, your house will be home sweet smelling home!

Sweet Smelling Refrigerator
Cynthia McClellan from Jax., Fla. wanted to share this great tip with us; "To keep your fridge smelling fresh, dampen a cotton ball with vanilla flavoring and place in the back corner of your fridge. It soaks up the smell a fridge can sometimes get." Thanks Cynthia! Jennifer from Grosse Pointe Farms, MI writes; "I have an awesome way to remove pesky fridge and freezer odors. Just ball up a few pieces of newspaper and place them on the shelves of your fridge and freezer. Within a day or so, yucky smells like garlic and onion are gone. Simply recycle the newspaper after it's been in the fridge for a few days." Thanks Jennifer!

Squeaks
Out of WD40? Use non-stick vegetable spray!

Remove Tree Sap
Misty Payne from Florida writes; "Butter or margarine will take tree sap off of your car in an instant. Just take some and rub it on with your hand or a cloth and it comes right off. Also if you get it on your skin you can rub it on and off comes the sap. It works in hair and on some clothes as well." Thanks Misty! Mary-Leah Gordon from Bothell, Washington writes; "I have found another way to remove tree sap from skin and clothing. Just rub Purell or another antibacterial hand gel on the stain. For some reason, it breaks up the sap and removes the stain. This also worked on the hood of my brother-in-law's car that had sap stains from sitting under a tree and did not damage the surface of the car at all." Thanks for the super tip Mary-Leah! Check out my stain remover page for more tips to remove tree sap from clothing!

toilet bowl cleaner
Toilet Cleaner
Out of toilet bowl cleaner? Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush! Sue from Coffs Harbour, Australia writes; "To remove the build up in the bottom of your toilet bowl simply throw on of those denture cleaner tablets, the ones you soak your dentures in like Steradent or Polident, into the bowl and leave overnight. Works a treat, loosens all that lime build up and if you do it weekly you will hardly ever have to brush." Thanks loads Sue!

towelNewer Looking Towelstowel
When washing new towels, always add a cup of salt to the water. The salt will set the color so the towels won't fade as quickly.

Wall Cleaner
Combine one half cup of ammonia, one fourth cup each of white vinegar and washing soda into one gallon of warm water for the best wall cleaner around.

Removing Grease from Walls
Peter from Tacoma, WA writes; "I was told that I had to repaint my kitchen in order to get the grease stains out of my white painted walls. This is what I did instead: Mix together in a bucket; 1 Gallon of Water, 2 Tablespoons of Dawn,1/2 Cup of 20 Mule Team Borax, 1 capful of Ammonia. I put them all together and I had a great cleaner. It cleaned the walls. It won't harm the paint either. It may take several applications. Wait about 10 minutes between each application. Now I don't have to repaint the kitchen and it only cost me about $4.50 too! Happy Cleaning!" Thanks for the super wall cleaner Peter!

Removing Ink & Permanent Marker from Walls
Ashley Mullins from Fort Carson, CO writes; "Here is a great way to remove ink and permanent marker off white walls. I have a 2 year old son who loves to write on walls with anything he can get his hands on. While looking at different sites I could only find ways to remove ink and permanent marker stains off clothes, but I thought I would try them anyway. I found that spraying hairspray on the mark then wiping it clean with a dry cloth worked the best. I no longer have red ballpoint ink or black sharpie permanent marker marks on my walls. Hope this helps other moms!" Thanks so much for your super tip Ashley!

Cleaning Wallpaper
This tip was sent in anonymously! To remove dried water based paint from wallpaper, rub gently with rubbing alcohol. Depends on quality of wallpaper ink whether some ink will fade with removal of paint in this method. Also, Marla Womack from Paris, Tx sent in this great wallpaper tip; "Toothpaste is good for stains on walls or wallpaper it acts as a mild abrasive". Thanks Marla!

Removing Wallpaper
Mitch from Ontario writes; "Put boiling hot water in a spray bottle with about one third liquid fabric softener. Spray wallpaper, wait a few minutes and peel off. This mixture dissolves the paste very fast. I have tried this many times and it works great and smells nice too." Thanks for sharing Mitch! You are a gem!

Washing Dishes
Add a tablespoon of baking soda to your water with your usual dish soap. It will soften your hands while cutting through that nasty grease!

Weeds in your Garden
R. Robinson from Redding, Calif. writes; "Spray or pour apple cider vinegar on weeds and they will be done for the next day. But do not pour or spray on or around any plant you do not wish to destroy. I just recently got this hint from my sister-in-law; G. Lee in Redding, Calif." Thanks to you and your dear sister-in-law for this super weed killing tip!

Wicker
To keep wicker furniture from turning yellow, wash with a solution of warm salt water.
To prevent it from drying out, apply lemon oil every so often.
Don't let your wicker freeze because it will cause splitting and cracking.

window
Window Cleaner
Fill a spray bottle with three tablespoons of ammonia, one tablespoon of vinegar and cold water. (add a drop of blue food coloring and no one will know the difference.
Pour rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle. This is also great for bathroom mirrors and faucets because it's streak free and kills germs!

zipperUnstick Zipperszipper
Zipper stuck? Try rubbing an ordinary pencil over it a few times. The graphite will help it slide smoothly. If that doesn't work..... try rubbing a candle over the zipper. Amanda from Tennessee was kind enough to share this tip with us; "To un-stick a zipper, try rubbing a little bit of Chap-Stick or other tube lip balm. Works like a charm. I had to do this when the zipper on my graduation gown got stuck 10 minutes before the ceremony began!" Thanks Amanda! Here is another great tip from John Summerfield from Midland, Western Australia; "We call 'em zips, you call 'em zippers. No candle wax at hand, but a few drops of olive oil (applied with a match not burning) did the trick. Actually, I think oil would be better than wax because it can soak in more easily. The zip was a nylon affair. Not sure what I would have done with a metal one. Oil would stand a good chance, but removal of corrosion comes to mind. Maybe vinegar for that. Vinegar contains acetic acid, and acetates are soluble in water." Thanks for the tip John!


FYI: Ants prefer not to walk through baby powder!

I have many more great household hints to add. Please come back soon to see what's new! In the mean time, check out some of my other interesting and helpful pages below. And, please, oh please sign my guestbook!



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