Wednesday, April 09 , 2014

Spot-Free Shower Doors

You just cleaned the inside of your glass shower doors (with vinegar and baking soda, we hope!). Wouldn't it be nice if they stayed that way for awhile? Using those expensive "clean shower" sprays are such a waste. Here's what to do...

Once your glass shower doors are clean and wiped dry, pour a few drops of baby oil on a soft cloth and apply a light layer of the oil on the inside surfaces. (Do it all over the interior of your shower if it's completely enclosed in glass, if you'd like.) This will keep the glass free of soap scum, hard-water deposits and dirt for weeks at a time. And dears—be careful not to drip any oil on the floor where it might make you slip, OK?

More help with housework...

Thursday, April 03 , 2014

All-Natural Roach Killer

A reader from our Facebook page asks, "How can I safely get rid of cockroaches?" Roaches are tough bugs to beat. Here's one way that doesn't involve dangerous poisons...

Combine equal parts of baking soda and confectioners' (powdered) sugar, and sprinkle the mixture wherever roaches hide and walk. The sugar will attract them, and the baking soda will kill them (in a way that's too gruesome to explain).

More help with pests...


Monday, March 31 , 2014

Homemade Air-Freshener Spray

There's a funky smell coming from your basement or kitchen, but commercial aerosol air fresheners are dangerous for you and the environment! Here’s a homemade room spray that will quickly freshen the air without destroying your lungs or wallet.

In a large spray bottle, combine two cups of distilled or filtered water with six drops of natural lemon oil (available at health-food stores or online—often labeled as “essential” oil). Make sure your bottle can spray like a mist and not just a steady stream. (You can find fine-mist spray bottles online, but we used a recycled, cleaned-out spray bottle with an adjustable knob.) Shake the spray bottle until the mixture is completely blended. You're ready to freshen the air!

Now, as a long-term solution, figure out why you have that bad smell so you can fix it for good...


Friday, March 28 , 2014

Powerful Cleaner for Tile Floors

Tile floors are usually pretty easy to clean…unless you haven't gotten to them in awhile. Here's a homemade heavy-duty tile cleaner to take care of the dirty work.

If your tile floor hasn't been cleaned in awhile…and you can see that the grime is pretty embedded and you suspect that the floor needs to be disinfected...it's probably time to mix up some heavy-duty tile tonic. This mixture works best on coated vinyl tile, but it will also clean ceramic tile.

In a large spray bottle, combine one cup of white vinegar, one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of water and three quick squirts of liquid dish detergent. Spray the tile with a generous portion of the mix, mop and then rinse with warm water.

More help for easy cleaning…


Monday, March 24 , 2014

Use My Toilet Brush for What?!

Do you hate the reaching, the bending, the knee-breaking antics to clean your tub and/or shower walls? Here's something that will make it effortless…

Your toilet bowl brush! If you don't like using the same brush you use to clean your toilet, just buy another at your local dollar store—that's what we did. Sprinkle it with baking soda or your favorite disinfectant cleaner, and easily scrub away those hard-to-reach spots on your tiled walls and tub. No more contortions!

More cheap and easy ways to clean better…


Thursday, March 20 , 2014

Removing Mud from Carpets

Ah, Spring! It brings such wonderful things like birds and flowers...and mud. Mud is not so hard to clean off foyer tile or hardwood floors, but carpet is another story. Here's what to do...

Let the mud dry, then use an expired credit card or a very dull knife to scrape off as much of it as possible. If the rug is still a little muddy, mix two teaspoons of laundry detergent (powdered or liquid...use a little less detergent if its concentrated) with one cup of warm water, and sponge it on the carpet. Blot with paper towels, rinse with a wet sponge, and blot dry with more paper towels.

More help with your carpets…


Monday, March 17 , 2014

Easy Rust Remover for Your Tools

If you have a tool (such as a pair of scissors, pliers or tweezers) that is so rusty that you're ready to throw it away, we are here to offer a mercy plea. Give your rusty tools another chance! Here's what you do…

Get a container—most tools will be able to stand in a wide-mouth jar—and fill it with apple cider vinegar. Put the rusty tool in, and let it soak overnight. The next day, wipe the tool completely dry with a clean rag (and brush it with an old toothbrush if you need to). Apply some light machine oil to any moving parts, if necessary. Your tool should be rust-free and usable again.

More household help...


Thursday, March 13 , 2014

Keep Plant Seeds for Years

Depending on what part of the country you live in, you may be itching to get planting! Many gardeners like to start seedlings indoors four to six weeks before the final frost. Most seed packets have way more than you need. You can share with a neighbor, or do this...

Whenever you finish a bottle (opaque plastic or dark glass) of vitamins or other supplements, save it, along with that little, moisture-absorbing silica gel packet that came in it. They are good to use when storing seeds.

Put any leftover seeds in your selection of saved bottles along with the silica gel pack. Close it tightly, and keep it refrigerated until next year. Most seeds will stay viable for two to three years. If you want to test before planting, just remember that dud seeds will float in a small bowl of water.

Note: Be sure to label the jar clearly so your seeds don’t become a salad topping.

More help with your garden...


Tuesday, March 11 , 2014

Cold-Weather Clothesline

It's time to think spring, but it still feels like winter across lots of the country. And you can't wait to wear some fresh air! To prevent wet clothes from freezing when hung outside to dry, here's what you do...

Pour one-quarter cup of table salt into the last rinse cycle of your laundry. You'll be able to hang your clothes outside and get that great-smelling air-dried laundry experience starting today...and the salt will also help brighten your wash.

Drying laundry outside is good for your sheets and clothing…the environment...and your pocketbook. Do you do it? Let us know below.


Friday, March 07 , 2014

Homemade Furniture Polish

Some people love the lemony smell of store-bought furniture polish...and some people hate it. Here's a homemade furniture cleaner that's kind to your wood and doesn't smell like a chemical factory.

Mix one-third cup of white vinegar with one cup of olive oil. Rub a bit of this homemade polish on your furniture with a soft, lint-free cloth (such as an old bit of bedsheet or T-shirt) until your wood has a smooth, even shine. Refrigerate any unused portions...or use some on your salad at suppertime!

More help for around the house…