Home Rescue Tips

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There are certain items I have found to be so useful around the home that I wouldn't want to be without them.  

Microfiber Cleaning Towel - Our local newspaper ran a column about this type of cloth and raved about it so much that I broke down and bought one even though it seemed $12.00 was a bit much for one cloth.  I was AMAZED!  You wouldn't believe what it does for windows!  It cleaned them better than I could hope for with ammonia and paper towel.  It has tiny micro hooks that attract and hold dirt.  Glass wipes crystal clear and streak free with just water.  You can clean window after window with the same cloth, it is amazing!  There were spots I tried to get off with my fingernail and couldn't but the cloth got them right off!  When it's dirty, wash it and it is like new again.  Every home needs one of these cloths.  Once you use it, I doubt you will ever go back to your old ways of cleaning windows.  It is also good for cleaning other surfaces.  It is also super absorbent.  

Dirtex- A painter shared this product with me.  It cleans walls and floors wonderfully.  It gets marks off walls like nothing else.  You can find Dirtex at hardware stores in the paint department.  Don't get the powder, it didn't work as well as the spray.

Goof Off- I had someone who works in a fast food restaurant ask how to get the greasy stains out of her shirt.  I suggested Goof-Off and much to her amazement it worked.  Put this on items that have a greasy substance on them.  Cooking oil spots come off your clothes.

Stains on white fabric- For those stains that won't come out of your white clothes first try putting undiluted lemon juice on the stain, then put out in the sun.  If this doesn't work pour a very small amount of bleach into the bottle cap, fill with water.  Pour this unto the stain.  Be careful with this method because bleach does break down the fibers of cloth but it is worth the try if you can't remove it any other way.  Use a cotton swab to dab unto an small area.

Goo Gone- (or any of those solvents your see in the stores now.) Get those gooey labels off things.  Be careful when using the solvents on plastic, they can damage it.  Try an inconspicuous place first.  It appears the brand name "Goo Gone" does the lest damage to plastic.

Hand Held Vacuum- If mine were to die I would get another one right away.  Quick clean up jobs are a cinch.  I'm always using mine in the kitchen or bathroom.

Cornstarch- Has your pet had an accident on your carpet, you clean it, and it looks good?  But when it dries there is a slight stain still there.  Let me give you a simple secret, it works every time.  Clean spot with soap and water.  Sprinkle cornstarch on the wet area.  Use plenty so the whole area is covered well.  Allow to thoroughly dry for a couple days.  As it dries the cornstarch will draw any residual stain up into itself.  You will actually see color in the cornstarch.  When thoroughly dry, vacuum up.  Use this method for all kinds of stains on carpet and furniture.

Household tips:

Soap Ends - What is all this stuff about saving them and melting them down so you can reuse them?  When the soap end becomes small all you do is stick it to the new bar of soap.  At the end of your shower when it is pliable, stick and form the small piece to the new soap.

Hydrogen Peroxide - Trying to get peroxide on an injury can be hard using the bottle that it comes in.  Take a small spray bottle (opaque to keep light out) and pour some into it.  You now have a way to get that spray where you want it.

Insect Bites - We often use the bite pens you can buy because they are so handy.  But white vinegar or ammonia work well also.

Green Hair from swimming pools - We tried many things that didn't work before we discovered what really worked.  Spray lemon juice on the hair and sit out in the sun.  This will dry the hair out so use a good conditioner afterwards.

Coffee Maker - Run white vinegar through your coffee maker to remove lime, rust, and calcium deposits.  If you don't remove them they will clog it up.

Stained Coffee Carafe - Put salt and ice cubes inside carafe.  Swirl around until clean.

Garbage Disposal - Run ice cubes through it while running.  If you just cleaned your carafe and have ice left over run this solution through the disposal.

Pimples - Dry out a pimple by putting toothpaste on it.  I recommend you do this at bedtime when no one will see you.

Kitty Litter - Save your plastic bags so you can clean out the litter frequently without dumping it all. e.g. bread bags, produce bags, etc.  Need I say use only bags without holes in them!?

Musty smelling books - Put books in a paper bag with waded up newspaper.  Repeat several times until the newspaper has absorbed the smell.

Smelly concrete floors - To deodorize a concrete floor; scrub it with a solution of 50/50 white vinegar and water.  Or put undiluted denatured alcohol in a spray bottle and spray the floor thoroughly.

Pet Urine - Use commercial pet odor remover from a pet store.  If odor is still present, seal the area with two coats of shellac. 

Musty basement - Sprinkle a hard basement floor with chlorinated lime bleaching powder, available at hardware stores.  Sweep up the powder and dispose of it.  Wear plastic gloves when using this product.

Mothball smell - Scrub the area with a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar or lemon juice and rubbing alcohol.  Repeat if necessary.

Fish, garlic or onion odor - Wash utensils and hands with lemon juice.

Cutting Meat Safely - Using your cutting board as a place to cut uncooked meat can leave the board contaminated with germs and bacteria.  Avoid this by using a hard surface, such as a glass cutting board or dinner plate, for all meat cutting.

Refrigerator Odor - First find the offending food or whatever is causing the smell.  Then use a solution of 2-T. baking soda to 1-qt. warm water.  Put baking soda on a small dish and place in frig or freezer.

Smelly garbage disposal - Grind citrus rinds while running the water in the disposal.

Smelly kitchen sink - Run very hot tap water into sink after every meal.  Once a week put a handful of baking soda in drain followed by hot water.  Or pour in 1 cup of white vinegar, let stand for 30 minutes, and then run hot water.

Smelly trash compactor - The best way is to not put any food into compactor.  Collect vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc in a container for the compost.  Any meat products, meat wrappers, dirty diapers, etc. should be put into all those plastic bags you are saving.  Put these into a trash container outside or if you must use compactor then double bag the item.  If you aren't recycling make sure cans and bottles are rinsed out.

Yucky compost container - Fill with hot water with a little bleach in it.

Spring-cleaning for your auto - Take out the mats and shampoo, rinse with a hose and hang to dry in the sun to remove road salt and mud from the winter.  Sprinkle seats and carpet with baking soda, then vacuum.

Barbecue grill racks - Lay the grill on the grass over night.  The dew combines with enzymes in the grass to loosen any burned on grease.  Oven racks will work also.

Pet sprayed by skunk -

The BEST*** Apply pet in 4-cup-hydrogen peroxide, 4 tbsp. baking soda, and 1tsp. dish liquid.  Allow to set for awhile, rinse and dry.

Other methods

  1. Good old tomato juice.  Sponge it on your pet, let it soak for a while then shampoo.  There are shampoos you can purchase that will help.  
  2. Try rug and carpet deodorizer on your pet.
  3. Massengill douche, mixed as directed on box.  Do not rinse and avoid eyes.  A little petroleum jelly around eyes will help protect them.
  4. If all else fails, take your pet to the groomer.  They have something special that works so well that even when their fur gets wet the smell is gone.

Clothes Dryer Safety - Don't EVER leave your clothes drier running when you aren't home.  It can overheat and burn your house down.  I knew a family this happened to so now I never leave the house with the dryer running.

 Helping Your Memory

Set patterns (and stick to them) to assist your memory.  The easiest way to explain this is to give examples of how I use this.

To avoid arguments with the children as to whose day it was to feed the pets, wash the dishes, clear the table, or even certain privileges, we used the odd-even system.  One child was even days the other was odd days.  We had two children so it was very simple but if there are more children just assign them into groups.
When my children would check out library books with me we always checked out 10 books. Never less, never more.  That way I didn't have to remember each time how many had to go back.
I use a different creamer in my coffee than my husband and sometimes I couldn't remember which was which, even just a few moments after pouring the coffee.  So now I always have my mug on the right, his on the left.
VCR tapes are put on certain shelves- recorded ones on one shelf, empty or ones that are o.k. for recording on, on another shelf.  My kids followed this method also so I'm sure with encouragement yours can also.

The trick to this method is to always do the same thing the same way, no exceptions.  At first it might seem awkward but after you see the positive results you will not mind doing it.  Another way I remember something when I'm in a hurry and don't have time to write a note, is I will set something in a very obvious place that doesn't belong there.  For instance; I will set a laundry hamper in the middle of the kitchen floor to remind me that there is a load of wash in the washer that needs to be dried.  So when I come back into the house I won't forget to dry the clothes.

 

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