Friday, November 30, 2012

Remove Hairspray Buildup

Rubbing alcohol used to lift hair spray residueI don't use hairspray much anymore, but still love this tip. As of my last hair appointment, my hair is 32 inches long. So when I do use hairspray, I use a ton. And it gets EVERYWHERE. Instead of scrubbing or even doing any hard work, spray a mix of 2 parts water, 1 part vinegar, and a small amount of dishwasher liquid. Spray it on the surface, and it'll wipe right off. If you use it on a mirror, I'd suggest cleaning the mirror again, as this may leave smudges.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clean a Vase

Rice used to clean vaseSo I know it's not summer any more, but I still like to have flowers in my home when I can. So this post isn't so terribly timed, if you think of it that way.
Oddly shaped vases - or any other container- are a pain to clean. One way to clean them is to add a tablespoon of rice or so to the soap water, then swishing it around until it's clean. The rice helps to scrub where you cannot reach, while the soapy water does, well, what soapy water does.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Remove Unwashable Grease Stains

Cornmeal used to absorb grease stainsMost things that get grease on them can be cleaned in the wash, but there are some things that just can't be washed. To clean stains off of upholstry or any other fabric that you can't wash, cover the stain in cornmeal. The cornmeal will absorb the grease without damaging the fabric or causing any hard work on your part. Just let it sit for 15-30 minutes and then vacuum it up to remove the cornmeal grains.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Secure Lose Glasses Screws

0509glasses-nail-polishHere's another glasses fix, and another fix that includes nail polish. When you tighten loose screws, dab it with some nail polish to secure it. It should work in other areas as well, just be cautious to use it only on screws you don't anticipate removing it any time soon (or else you will have to use polish remover to get a good hold on the screw head, and I honestly don't know how it reacts to different materials). And the bigger the screw, the less of a fix this would be. But a simple dab would be enough to hold the screws into your glasses if they are lose.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tape to Stop Shoelace Fraying

Transparent tape used to fix frayed shoelaceToday's tip reminded me of something I hadn't thought of since my childhood. As an adult, I wear lace-less shoes, reserving the laces for my workout shoes (which I don't use nearly often enough) and work boots (which I currently don't own). My husband wears out his shoes rather quickly because he works 10 hour shifts on his feet all day, before the laces would have a chance to fray. He also uses paracord as laces, burning the ends of them to keep from fraying (as he also breaks normal laces when tying his shoes). And then there's the toddler, who I refuse to buy shoes with laces until we're at the point she's learning to tie them herself. But when I was a kid, my laces would wear out much faster than my shoes. The aglets (the little plastic caps on the end) fell off rather quickly, and it was only a matter of time before the ends would fray badly. If you don't want to, can't, or aren't comfortable melting the ends of the laces, use tape instead. It may not last months, but it is a great temporary solution that can be easily replaced if needed, and keeps you from having to run to the store to get a replacement pair of laces.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Freshen Up the Carpet

To remove carpet odor, use baking soda. I add some cinnamon and other ground spices too, because I love the smells. Simply mix a big batch up, being cautious of any spices you add. If you add cinnamon and have a white carpet, you may need to break out the steam cleaner or hand wash any brown spots that appear on the carpet, especially if it gets wet before you vacuum. I have a brown carpet, so I don't need to worry about that though. Sprinkle it onto the carpet liberally. If your carpet isn't bad you won't need very much. I use less than a half cup on my entire home, which is mostly carpet and about 1,500 square feet. But if you have dogs, indoor/outdoor cats, people wear their shoes inside, or any other reason the carpet is highly used and smells musty you may need to use more. I use a fork to spread it, though a metal strainer would probably work better. After about 4-5 hours, vacuum it up and enjoy the fresh carpet! The image to the left has it extremely thick, but the blogger I got the image from used her version of the mix to freshen up after 17 8-year-old's partied in her home, so it was probably very justified!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chemical-Free Drain Unclogger

Baking soda used to clean drainWe live in an apartment complex, and enjoy the maintenance department we have. However, they can be quite slow, especially when we have cold weather and neighbors with so little sense that they went on vacation and turned their heater off, causing their water pipes to burst and flood their entire building (not ours thankfully!). When we have minor issues in areas that we cannot wait several days to a week to be fixed, like a clogged kitchen drain, I take matters into my own hands.

The best chemical-free, and inexpensive method I've found has been vinegar and baking soda. Pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. Cover the drain with a damp to wet cloth so that it has nowhere to work out but down, and wait about five minutes. Flush it out with hot water. This should work in any drain, though I have only used it in the kitchen. It won't dissolve hair or other big clumps, but should still push the clogs down the drain and out of the way.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Clean Your Iron... With Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets with an iron Here's a tip I keep seeing, but haven't been able to try because, frankly we don't own an iron. When we really need one, we come to my parents and use theirs. And they live close enough that it's never been a problem. But if you iron a dryer sheet or two, it will remove all the built up goop without any hard work or damage to the iron. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Eraser Earring Post

Pencil eraser used to secure earringI don't remember where I met the woman, but I somehow got on the topic of loving earrings with a random stranger the other day. I'd forgotten the tip she shared with me until I was looking for a good tip to share with you all today. I am constantly losing the backs to my earrings, as I A) never take them out and B) have a toddler who pulls on them. But I am also allergic to nickel, so I cannot just go out and buy a lot of extra cheap earring backs. (Here's another nail polish tip though - coat earrings or jewelry that you are allergic in a layer of it, and you can get a reaction-free wear each time.) There are also the times that the back falls off, and there's not a post around, like at work or the airport. In that case, slice a slab off of a pencil eraser, and use it as a post. It's not a long-term fix, but it certainly does the trick, at least for the rest of the day!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fold Fitted Sheets Perfectly

Today's tip comes from Stephmodo. I've always had trouble folding fitted sheets, which drives me nuts. I am a neat freak when it comes to my linen drawer and how things are folded. But with their tutorial, it is so easy. The only real trouble I have now is getting the time to fold it into such a nice square, because between our kitten and our toddler, anything on the floor or bed is immediately mucked up.

To see the image bigger or the full tutorial, click on the blog name above or the picture to the left.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nix Panty Hose Runs

I have a love-hate relationship with my pantyhose. They usually peek out over the top of my skirt, and cut into my waist even though I'm far from overweight. But they make my legs look amazing, and the thick pairs are fantastic during the winter to allow me to continue wearing shorter skirts and dresses through the winter. And a nice pair of hose is like the right shade of lipstick- it just takes the outfit to the next level, it perfects it. But pantyhose are fickle, and snag easily. Which is really a drag, especially when it's your favorite pair, the only pair that fits comfortably. But did you know you can stop the snag from running, or running worse? Dab a spot of nail polish (I always use clear, as it doesn't show up at all) onto your hose, and they're fixed. It's amazing, and has saved me more than once.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shapie Removal-Anywhere

I want to kiss the author of DIY Home Sweet Home. I just stumbled across an amazing list she has, of how to remove permanent marker. From anything. And it's not like there is one method per material (which ranges from vinyl to upholstery to skin to clothing), but multiples for everything. Just in time too, as I came home from work to sharpie all over the faux wood floor- in my apartment. That we are renting. I can't pay to replace the flooring in the kitchen! This woman is a life saver. And not only does she have this fantastic list, but she includes a printable version of the list, so you can keep it on hand and don't have to worry about even going online to find it. No, this isn't my toddler, by the way. Not because it hasn't happened, but because I just haven't taken a picture of her "artwork".

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cornstarch to Refresh Hair and Reduce Shine

Cornstarch as Makeup ProtectorCornstarch is another staple in my home. My daughter sweats like none other sometimes (when she was only a few months old she was in her diaper and nothing else, with the ac up so high I was in my fleece pajamas and she was sweating... and not sick. She's just very hot blooded like her daddy!), and I love it for her hair. She showers with me every morning, but her hair gets very unhealthy if it's washed too often with shampoo. I only shampoo it once a week, and during the summer regardless of how long I took on her hair it gets greasy by the late afternoon. Cornstarch comes is handy here; I rub some in her hair and comb it through. If you put it on too thick it's visible; she has very dark red-brown hair. But a little bit of water and a thorough brushing takes care of that. With the right amount, it livens up her hair so that she looks fresh out of the shower after I wipe her face too. I've used it for myself as well, but I usually don't need it (my bangs are long, and worst case scenario I can do a high ponytail and it still looks clean).
Another use for cornstarch in the beauty department is on your face. You can apply it after pulling some of the grease off of you face, or put it on top of a moisturizing cream that makes your face a little too shiny. It's inexpensive, makes your skin extremely soft, and certainly isn't bad for you to boot!