A Bit of a Departure: Helpful Household Hints

This post is a bit of a departure from my usual subject matter, but I wanted to share this information and archive it for future reference. What better way to do that, than via my blog, right?

Best Ever Tub/Shower/Hard Surface Cleaning Solution

12 oz. Vinegar (heated), 10 oz. Blue Dawn

Heat the vinegar for 2 minutes and add to a spray bottle. Add the Blue Dawn and shake gently to combine. Use to clean your sinks, tubs and showers.

Chemical-Free Orange Cleaner – Great for Floors

Add orange peels to white vinegar and sit out in sun for several hours. Great for steam cleaning floors and pretty much every other cleaning chore!

Bananas

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Cheese

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Beef

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Eggs

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

Brownies

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Allow to set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Garlic

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Snickers

Leftover snickers bars make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Bread

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can’t see easily.

Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Squirrel (Rabbit?) Away

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.

Vacuum Tube

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Pace pin in seam of slacks and …TA-DA!… Static is gone.

Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshields

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening Envelopes

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Conditioner

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn’t like when you tried it in your hair.

Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2′ with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

Clothes Dryer Sheets vs Mesh Filter

Your dryer’s lint filter is made of a mesh material. Dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh  and left unchecked, your dryer’s heating unit gets stressed and burns out. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free … that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box … well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it!

The best way to keep your dryer working for a very longtime (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months.

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