Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Remove Rust and Scale

soaking nuts and bolts in vinegarGenerally things in the house don't get too rusty, but some very damp summers can cause things to rust, and there's always the times you'll have to work on something that's rusted - or can show off your smarts to the one in the house who needs to get rust off of something. Sure, Cola can remove rust, but that means you have soda in your house. It's not cheap either, even if it's just a dollar for the small size. Instead, soak whatever needs the rust removed in vinegar. Not only does it remove rust, it also removes scale. This isn't a quick fix, as they should soak for a few days, however it requires nearly no effort on your part and you don't have to buy a replacement. Simply rinse the soaked whatever you needed cleaned, and the rust and scale will come off.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fix Glasses-With a Pair of Earrings

Post earring to fix eyeglassesI'm going to carry a set of post earrings on me at all times with this tip now in my head! I have to wear glasses to see, and get a massive headache, eye strain and nausea when I try to go without them - not to mention I can't drive without lenses. It's very difficult when a screw falls out and is lost, or you don't have a small enough screwdriver. If you are ever caught in that pickle, use a post earring to secure the glasses hinge, making sure to put the back on the post so that it stays in place.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Organize the Kids Room with Planters

simple-organizationGarden planters can be used as a great kids room organizer. This is definitely one I'll be doing once we move into a house, as it'll keep Mimi's room organized. All of her books can fit somewhere other than the bottom of my entertainment center in the living room, and the stuffed animals can have their own home that's within her reach as well. You can really make this a unique decoration, using whatever type of planters you can find. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keep Necklaces Untangled

Plastic drinking straw as tangle preventerHere's a tip I found that is just so clever and useful I had to share. When putting my necklaces away, be it in the jewelry box for storage or a suitcase to travel, it almost always ends up horribly tangled. If you can't hang them up, thread one side through a drinking straw (cut the straw if it's too long for the necklace) to prevent the dreaded tangling. What a fantastic idea!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Clean Away Stickers

cleaning sticker off a hard surfaceStickers are so fun for kids, but I can't stand them in any other circumstance. They are just a pain in the butt to clean off of whatever they are on. I get a lot of the goop under my nails, which drives me nuts. And the best solution I'd come up with on my own- soak it in hot water and then scrub with a brillo pad - left gunk on the brillo pad, and could only be used on things that can be soaked.

This Old House has a better solution - use vinegar. Yet again, vinegar saves the day and makes things so much easier. Dab it onto the sticky surface, then wipe clean. You may have to do this more than once, but it's certainly easier! If possible, warm vinegar works even better than room temperature.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Treat Yourself: Homemade Foot Soak

Every once in a while you need to take the time to pamper yourself. Take the time to relax and watch a movie, read your favorite magazine, take a bath while munching on pommegranite and listening to your favorite music (my favorite is the last)... Or soak your feet. Soaking your feet is so relaxing. And if you don't have the time to just sit and let them soak, you can soak them at your desk or wherever else you can sit still for long enough to let them soak.

Regardless of when you do it, or even if you want to gift a nice foot soak recipe, a fantastic one can be found at Or So She Say's. It's fantastic because it's all natural, relaxes your muscles, and your body won't be exposed to or absorb anything harmful. You can store it to use later, and as long as it's in an air-tight container you don't have to worry about the essential oil smells from fading away. So treat yourself, you deserve it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clean Your Showerhead with Vinegar

dipping a shower head into a plastic bag filled with vinegarTo clean a showerhead, you need just some warm vinegar, a plastic baggie and a rubber band. If you are comfortable removing the showerhead, do so to avoid pulling on the spigot. If not, use your personal judgement on if you think the vinegar will be too much weight. It shouldn't be, but every shower is built differently and a different age.
Heat half a cup of vinegar to warm, but not hot (you don't want to take a chance of melting the bag). Put the vinegar in the bag and add the showerhead, if it's detached. If it is not, then use the rubber band to tie the vinegar-filled bag to the showerhead. Either way you do it, make sure that all of the holes that the water comes from are submerged. Let it sit for an hour, then rise and wipe clean. If it was detached to clean, re-attach it now.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Whiten Whites Without Bleach

ft_whitening_l.jpg Naturally brighten your whites: boil them in a pot of water with a few lemon slices. Boil the water and lemon first in order to avoid damaging your clothing, then remove from heat and add what you need whitened. Let it soak for an hour and then wash in a normal wash.
In normal laundry to help keep whites whiter and remove excess buildup in the washer, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash. I use this especially on towels, and it helps to keep them very soft, fluffy and absorbent!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Remove Wallpaper Easier

spraying vinegar on the wallHere's a tip I haven't tried personally, but have heard plenty of good things about from a close friend who did it. If you need to remove wallpaper, saturate the paper with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar, using a spray bottle, sponge, or whatever is most convenient. The vinegar breaks down the glue and the water softens the paper, and after a few minutes the wallpaper should peel right off.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Keep Bugs Out of the Pantry

You can keep your house nigh immaculate, and still have a problem with grain bugs. My grandma freezes her flour when she brings it home from the store, which helps to cut down on the problem as it somehow gets rid of the bugs that can live in flour. But to keep any more bugs from coming into your pantry (like grain moths) and eating or ruining the food, tape whole dried basil leaves to the underside of the shelves.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Knife Drawer Organization and Safety

I like to keep my knives in a kitchen drawer. Our apartment doesn't have a ton of counter space, but has a decent number of drawers. However, when you open and close the draw the knives slip and slide, which can not only damage them, but can cause knives pointing their sharp blades up,  and it's just dangerous to search through a drawer full of knives! Instead, lay a strip of no-slip material on the bottom of the drawer, and if it's not sticky on one side secure with double sided tape. My personal tip to add to that to make it more safe for a house with children? I put one of the very cheap flexible large cutting mats on top of the knives in the drawer. I'm lucky that my drawer is slightly smaller than our cheapy cutting mats, so the mats sit on perfectly and don't slide around. Our kid proofing keeps her out of the drawers, but that doesn't mean it's safe enough, at least not to my mommy side :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Clean Cast Iron

To clean cast iron cookware, just scrub it with salt and a good soft sponge. The pan will be cleaned gently, the salt acting as an abrasive and also soaking up any excess oil. A simple, cheap fix to a cleaning problem I've personally had for a while! Since you can't use soap on them, I've had issues with applying the right amount of elbow grease to the pans to clean them without scratching too much out of the surface.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Organize Cutting Boards and Pans

I love the drawer under the stove/oven, but sometimes it sucks having to lift them all up to get the pan or cutting board on the bottom. And there are times where it is literally impossible, like 9 months pregnant or toting a cranky clingy toddler on one hip. Solution? Find a place that the boards and pans fit standing on end, doesn't matter which. Then put in tension rods to support the pans (think mini shower curtains). The pans and boards can sit in a nice, orderly row and you can even put them up high enough that there is no bending required. Here they're shown horizontal, but I see no reason why you couldn't stash them vertical if that's what your space calls for.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't Toss Old Paintbrushes, Do This Instead.

cleaning brushes in a bucket of vinegarI hate having to toss out old paintbrushes that still have paint in them. But if you spend several hours painting outside on a hot day, or set it down and forget to clean it quickly, you'll either have to throw it out or spend considerable time and effort attempting to clean them without even a guarantee that they'll come clean.
Instead, do this: soak them for half and hour in hot vinegar. I'm not sure why they're pouring it out of a vinegar bottle, probably for effect. But please don't heat it up in the plastic bottle, especially if you use the microwave. I imagine you're smarter than that, but the mom in me has to say it. After they've soaked, clean them normally with soapy water. Rinse, dry, good as new!
Recommended for nylon brushes, I don't know how it would work on other types.