Ant Repellant: To keep ants out of the house, find where the ants are entering the house and sprinkle a “barrier” of cinnamon or any type of ground pepper to block their way. The spices are too hot for the ants to cross. Cucumber peels have the same effect.
Bathroom Odors: Place an opened box of baking soda behind the toilet to absorb bathroom odors.
Carpet Stains: Baby wipes are miracle-workers on carpet stains, from motor oil to blood, they remove almost anything!
Candle Holders: To prevent the wax from melting and sticking to the inside of a votive candle holder, pour a bit of water in the holder, then place the candle on top. If you forgot the water and there’s wax stuck to your candle holder, pop it in the freezer for an hour. The wax will chip right off.
Candle Wax: To remove wax from carpeting or other fabric, first scrape away any excess. Then, place a brown paper bag over the wax and run a warm iron over the bag. The wax will melt right into the bag! Continue moving the bag around as you pick up the wax so you are always using a clean section. If a little grease stain remains on carpet, sprinkle with baking soda and allow to sit overnight before vacuuming, which will remove the grease residue. If colored wax leaves a stain on carpet, blot with spot remover or carpet cleaner, following label directions.
Cast Iron Pans: To gently and effectively clean your cast iron skillets after most uses, wipe out excess food with a dry paper towel, then sprinkle salt inside the pan. Wipe clean with a clean, dry paper towel. The salt acts as an abrasive to scratch off any stuck-on particles of food without using soap and water, which can remove your seasoning. For stubborn stuck-on food, use a putty knife to scrape it off. You may, however, need to reseason the pan after doing this.
Chimney: To keep your chimney clean, throw a handful of salt on the fire.
Chrome: To remove rust from chrome, wipe it with aluminum foil dipped in Coke®. To polish chrome, use a crumbled up piece of aluminum foil and rub.
Cloudy Drinking Glasses: Soak them for an hour or longer in slightly warm white vinegar. Then, use a nylon-net or plastic dish scrubber to remove film. Still there? The damage must be etching (tiny scratches that occur in the dishwasher) and is permanent, sorry to say. To avoid this altogether, hand-wash your best glasses.
Coffee Grinder: Grind up a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder and sharpen its blades.
Copper: To polish copper, rub an ample amount of catsup on the copper and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse off the catsup with hot water and dry to find an incredible shine.
Crayon on Walls or Washable Wallpaper: Spray with WD-40®, then gently wipe, using a paper towel or clean cloth. If the mark is stubborn, sprinkle a little baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rub in a circular motion. If the WD-40® leaves a residue, gently wipe off with a sponge soaked in soapy water; rinse clean; blot dry. Another method is to use a hair dryer – it heats the wax and wipes away instantly. If the color remains, like red usually does, wet a cloth with bleach and wipe.
Deodorize dishes, pans, cutting boards or utensils with pungent odors by adding 1/4 cup of lemon juice to your dishwater.
Dishwashers: To clean mineral deposits from the inside of your dishwasher, pour in a container of Tang® Drink Mix and run the dishwasher (don’t put dishes in the dishwasher for this load).
Fireplace Soot Odor: To diminish and remove this odor, after you clean out the ashes, place a shallow pan of baking soda for a few hours or overnight in the fireplace.
Fish or Other Spoiled Food Odor: Place a bowl of white vinegar on the counter for a few hours. The odor will disappear for good.
Freshen a Garbage Disposal: Sprinkle baking soda in it along with a few drops dish-washing liquid. Scrub with a brush (a new toilet brush works great), getting under the rubber gasket and all around the inside. Then, turn on water and let the disposal run to flush thoroughly. For a fresh citrus scent, throw in a few cut up lemons or limes and run them through, too, using lots of water.
Freshen Laundry Basket: Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of your laundry basket (remember to change it weekly.) You can also simply sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom of your basket and that will help absorb the odors as well.
Freshen Linen Closet: In the linen closet place cotton balls that have been sprayed with your favorite scent. Once they are dry place them in corners and on the shelves.
George Foreman Grills: After removing the cooked food from the grill, place a paper towel soaked in water on each of the 2 cooking surfaces. Unplug the appliance, allow it to sit for 5-30 minutes (while you eat), then use the paper towels to effortlessly wipe out the grease and food particles.
Ink Stains: The best way I have found to get out ink stains is to put rubbing alcohol on the stain – it disappears! This must be done before washing. For ink on the wall, wipe with bleach and it will disappear.
Kitty Litter: To keep cat litter fresh smelling, mix baby powder in with the litter.
Microwave Filth: Food splatters all over the inside of your microwave and cooks itself on after time. To easily remove this mess, place a sponge soaked in water in the microwave. Cook on high heat for 2 minutes, then allow it to sit without opening the microwave door, for 5 minutes. The filth is now ready to be wiped right off – no scrubbing – and your sponge is right there!
Microwave Odors: Keep a cup of baking soda in the microwave between uses to keep potatoes from smelling like bacon or other unusual combinations!
Mothball Substitute: Take your leftover soap slivers and put them in a vented plastic bag. You place the bag with seasonal clothes before packing them away. Not only will the scent prevent them from moth harm but also they’ll smell great when you pull them out.
Odor-free Car: Place a few briquettes of charcoal under the seat of your car to absorb odors and keep it smelling fresh. Make sure to use the type without the starting fluid on them or your car will smell of fuel.
Paint on Carpet: Spray with Windex® and wipe clean.
Permanent Marker on Carpet: Dab a washcloth soaked in rubbing alcohol onto the marker stain. Do not rub it – just blot it – rotating the cloth to a clean spot every time.
Pet Urine on Carpet: First, blot up what you can with paper towels. Then, with warm, soapy water and a clean cloth, blot the area clean; rinse with clean water; blot until dry. Next, combine 1/3 cup white vinegar with 2/3 cup water and dab it on stain; rinse with clean water; blot until dry. Once the area is totally dry (at least 24 hours), sprinkle entire carpet with baking soda or rug deodorizer; vacuum after a few hours.
Photos Stuck Together: With a hair dryer on low, slowly melt them apart.
Roach Problem: Combine equal parts boric acid (a powder sold in hardware stores and drugstores) and sugar, mix well. Sprinkle in crevices and, if building or remodeling, between walls before putting up plaster board. Put the powder in jar lids; place lids behind the fridge and under sinks. Caution: Keep mixture away from children and pets. If ingested in large quantities, or even in small amounts over several days, boric acid can be harmful.
Shower Doors: I have clear glass shower doors. I have tried everything from CLR®, to Comet®, to Clorox® – you name it, I’ve tried it. Today I decided to try something different. I found a bottle of Resolve® spot remover for carpet and fabric. I figured “Why not? I have tried everything else.” All I did was spray the Resolve® on the shower and with no effort ran a dish sponge over it and rinsed and every bit of the soap scum came off.
Smashed Down Carpet: To make the carpet stand back up after moving a piece of furniture, place an ice cube on the spot. As it melts, the piles will go back up.
Smelly Cooking Hands: Simply rub your hands over a stainless steel utensil under running water. This works especially well for the odor of garlic, onions or fish.
Smelly Shoes: Simply fill a tube sock with kitty litter, baking soda, or tea leaves; tie the end closed; and place the filled socks in the shoes when you’re not wearing them. These sachets can be used over and over in any kind of shoe.
Sour Sponge: Soak the sponge in lemon juice and rinse it out. This will remove the odor for good but keep in mind that it is important to either dispose of, bleach, or run your sponge through your dishwasher regularly to keep bacteria from growing.
Stains in Plastic Storage Containers: Use a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) and rub into the stain. You can then rinse with vinegar (optional) and wash normally. Another method is to place container outside on a nice sunny day and the sun actually bleaches the stain out. To avoid stains in the first place, spray container with cooking spray before putting things in it that stain i.e. spaghetti sauce.
Stickers, Decals, and Glue: To remove them from furniture, glass, plastic, etc. saturate with vegetable oil and rub off.
Stuck-On Food in Pots, Pans, and Crockpots: Fill the pan with water and place a fabric softener sheet in the water. Allow the pan to soak overnight. The food will wipe right out!
Stovetops: To prevent grease and grime from sticking to your stove top, making it easy to clean, rub it down with car wax on occasion.
Tarnished Silverware: Line a cake pan with aluminum foil. Fill with water and add 1 Tbls. of baking soda per 2 cups of water. Heat to 150 degrees. Lay silverware in pan, touching aluminum foil. Watch the stains disappear!
Trash Bag Idea: Save money on trash bags by reusing plastic grocery bags. Use them in all your trash cans. To keep them from slipping down, affix a plastic, self-adhesive hook to both sides of the inside of the trash can. Hang the shopping bag from the hooks.
White Heat Marks and Water Rings on Wood Furniture: If the wood has a good finish (don’t try on bare wood), mix equal parts of baking soda and regular white, non-gel toothpaste. Lightly dampen corner of a clean, soft white cloth with water and dip into the paste. With circular motion gently buff the marks for a few minutes. Wipe area clean, and buff to a shine. Follow with furniture polish. (If rings remain after buffing five minutes or so, they may have penetrated the wood; you might have to refinish the piece). If that doesn’t work, dip a cloth in vegetable oil, then in cigarette ashes, then rub it over the mark. Another method is to rub real mayonnaise onto the stain, allow to sit overnight, then wipe with a dry towel.