Friday, August 22, 2008


At an auction recently, I bought a box of linens that also contained a newspaper clipping from the 1960's, as far as I can tell. Now I loved the yellow tablecloth and hand-embroidered linens in the box, but the clipping was cool--s0meone obviously liked the 'home remedies' for household problems.

Which made me think about other household shortcuts I know, like:

*scrub your white leather athletic shoes with toothpaste to clean stains and brighten the white

*scrub your hands with sugar to remove stains and odors (works pretty well after chopping onions!)

*put a couple tablespoons of vinegar in the pressure canner to make the water boil more quickly, and to make your jars come out clean and sparkly

*salt makes a good scrub too, for cast iron and aluminum pans

*use a used slice of lemon to wipe down your sink and give your kitchen a fresh smell

*put your kitchen sponges and scrub brushes in the dishwasher to clean and disinfect them

*we've put plastic shower shoes and flip flops in the dishwasher too--they come out nice and clean!

*you can wash your plastic shower curtain liner in the washer, and then hang it back up to dry--or tumble briefly in the dryer to smooth the wrinkles before hanging.

*wipe the mirrors in your bathroom with your bath towel when the mirrors are covered with steam to clean them quickly and easily

*simmer a little whole pickling spice to make the whole house smell good; or, use cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg to do the same thing

These are just a few of the tricks I use. What are your favorite shortcuts or low-cost methods of getting things done around the house?


Anonymous said...

If you have heavy grese on your hands, wet them and pat both sides in dry laundry detergent. Then rub into a paste. It gets really hot but will get your hands remarkably clean. A second use is that if the person washig their hands has a small cut this serves as a test of that persons machismo. Even a small paper cut will bring the toughest to thier knees!


Jackie said...

Put a little dishwasher detergent and hot water in your hardest-to- clean-because-they-have-baked-on-food pots and let them soak awhile to overnight. The food will come off quite easily. Diswasher detergent cleans most anything very well including soap scum in your bathtub or shower.

Jackie in VA

Granny Sue said...

hey, these are good ideas that I've never heard. Thank you for sharing them!

City Mouse said...

A few of my favorites -

Lemon juice, ice, and salt to clean a glass coffee pot. As it melts a little, swish it around in a circle until it's clean. Works like magic, no scrubbing!

Baking soda and (any kind of) salts in even amounts as a simple but amazing bath salts.

Granny Sue said...

I just heard a report on NPR about cleaning ladies in New England who are doing "green" cleaning, using homemade cleaners. Now that's an idea whose time has come, CM. They used many of the things you suggested.

Another cleaning solution I just remembered. Clean kerosene lamp chimneys and windows with old newspapers. It gives an incredible clean shine.

Granny Sue said...

Jackie, welcome! I will defintely use that disher liquid in the bathtub idea. That's the one cleaning job I hate most.

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