Friday, December 19 , 2014

Keep Your Car Doors from Freezing Shut

If you aren't blessed with a garage, like some lucky so-and-sos, and wet, cold weather is in the forecast, you need a way to get into your car in the morning (or late in the evening!) without denting the driver's-side door with an ice pick. Here's what to do…

Before the Ice Bowl sets in, coat the rubber gaskets around the doors with vegetable oil or a thin layer of petroleum jelly to prevent them from freezing shut.

You can also use a bit of vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to prevent your trunk from freezing solid.

Ways to keep your car forever…


Thursday, December 18 , 2014

How to Clean Up Cat Barf

Homemade cat-vomit removal…easier than you think.

Meet Patches. She’s like a member of the family, but sometimes, she finds herself in the doghouse! Why? Barf cleanup! If you licked the hair off yourself all day, I guess you'd barf, too! The most common form of cat throw-up is the hairball and the easiest way to clean that off your furniture or carpet is to just let it dry and then simply lift or scrape it away. Don't use liquid cleaners on a hairball barf— those will smear the hairball goo into your carpet. If the barf is not a ball- or log-shaped clump of hair, but an icky liquid or food-based slime, here's what to do: Carefully blot up the excess throw-up with a rag or paper towel, taking care to rub as little as possible into your rug. Then mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one-half tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. This will make a thin, spreadable paste. Spread this paste over the barf spot, covering it completely (double the mixture if needed). If the barf is on a delicate or patterned material such as an Oriental rug, test the paste on an inconspicuous area, since hydrogen peroxide can yellow some materials. Let it sit until its dry (two hours to overnight), then vacuum it. The barf goo should come up with the dried baking soda paste.


Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Watch How to Fix a Sticky Iron

Hate ironing? If the underside of your iron tends to stick to your clothes when you use it, try this trick. Wait until the iron is cool...that's important! Then put some baby powder on a cloth and coat the iron's bottom. Once it's coated with powder, turn on the heat and watch the powder disappear. At this point, the iron should no longer be sticky. To be sure, test the iron on an inconspicuous part of any delicate garment that needs to be pressed. It should glide over silks and other delicate, catchy, clingy fabrics—with the greatest of ease!

Tuesday, December 16 , 2014

Last-Minute Gifts for Your Loved Ones

If you're short a few gifts at the 11th hour, you don't have to run out to the mall or run up your bill-me-later tabs online. All you have to do is direct your visitors to your Christmas tree. Here's why…

Write out note cards that say wonderful things. You can use leftover Christmas cards, attractive scrap paper folded over…whatever you have available. Or, for something special, place your notes in small red envelopes (in some Asian countries, red is believed to be the color of good fortune and happiness). Then attach them around the Christmas tree with paper clips, binder clips, small clothespins or clamps. Tell every guest that comes into your home to select a red envelope. The uplifting message will make the person feel hopeful, happy and glad he/she stopped by.

Here are some examples of what the cards could say…

All of your dreams will come true in the New Year.

Your dazzling personality makes the sun shine brighter.

Many memorable adventures are in store for you.

Your creative ideas will soon pay off.

Expect the best because you are the best.

Your kindness is a gift that rewards all those around you.

Kind words for the New Year make great gifts!

More ways to give…


Friday, December 12 , 2014

Easy Way to Get Rid of Pet Hair

Get rid of pet hair.

Meet Survivor. He's a American Eskimo mix, and when the temperature goes up, his hair sheds like crazy! Pet peeved? I’ve got an easy clean-up solution. Pet hair gets everywhere, even in your car! If you don't have one of those hand vacs to suck it all away, here's what to do. Put on a cheap, disposable rubber glove, and rub the upholstery with it. The hair will cling to the glove. Take off the glove by turning it inside out, and then discard it along with the pet hair. This works on all car seats, but its best on cloth upholstery. It works indoors, too, if you don't feel like pulling out the vacuum.


Thursday, December 11 , 2014

How to Clean Up Broken Glass

Mazel tov! That’s what we say when someone breaks a glass. Then we get busy cleaning up the pieces the safest way we know how. Here's what to do…

If you break a drinking glass—or anything made of glass—put on rubber gloves, then pick up the shattered pieces with a few slices of bread. Bread is thicker than paper towels so it's safer to use. (And it's more thorough than a broom and dustpan.) Once you've cleaned up all of the visible pieces of glass, throw out the bread and carefully go over the area using the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Then go back to your party!

More easy ways to clean…


Friday, December 05 , 2014

Make Your Kitchen Smell Like the Holidays

One of our favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit is to fill the kitchen with smells of the season. But we don't like the mess of simmering a mix in a pot that could bubble away to the point of burning. Here's what to do...

In a microwave-safe bowl or large mug, put one cup of water, one tea bag (make sure there's no metal staple), one teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of allspice (or cloves or any other spice you like). Nuke it on high for two minutes. Then open the microwave door, and wait one minute before removing the scented bowl or mug and setting it on the counter. The spicy scent will permeate your kitchen and lift your spirits!

Help for the holidays...


Tuesday, November 18 , 2014

Suede Scuff Fix

Suede shoes and boots are soft and cozy, but they can get scuffed pretty easily, even the waterproof kind. If you have a minor scuff or a patch of grass stains on your suede (or soft leather) boots, here's what to do...

Dip a clean, dry cloth or soft sponge in glycerin, and gently rub it onto the shoe or boot until the scuffs or grass stains disappear. It will leave a dark patch. After rubbing with glycerin, scrunch up a coffee filter to buff the scuffed area, then let your suede item sit for an hour or so to dry completely. If you have a hard time finding liquid glycerin at your local pharmacy, you can use glycerin suppositories. Just cut one in half, and rub on the scuff. If your suede is not waterproof, be sure to test a tiny, inconspicuous spot first (such as a hidden part of the tongue or under a belt buckle). If the glycerin leaves a water ring after sitting for an hour, do not use. We've never had that happen. It usually works like a charm, especially on dark suede.

More shoe and boot care...


Monday, November 17 , 2014

Sticky-Floor Solutions

Did you just discover a spot of sticky gunk on your vinyl or linoleum floor? It could be accumulated food grease or dirt, wax buildup (if you still wax your floor) or an old label that was never removed. Don't pull out the sharp scrapers yet! Here are three floor-preserving ways to get rid of the gunk...

If it's a greasy-sticky patch from a food or oil spill, pour cola on the stain and let it stay there for one hour. Then wipe it off— both the soda and the stain. (Legend has it that Coca-Cola works best due to its acidic content, so you might want to try the “real thing” first.) Don't let it sit for more than an hour because soda can stain some vinyl floors if it dries. (If you’re not sure if your floor has a protective coating, you might want to test some cola on a patch of unseen vinyl before using it to clean the grease.)

If you think the sticky spot is from a sticker, use our favorite pantry floor cleaner— white vinegar. Just pour straight vinegar directly on the spot, and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Wipe away with hot water and a damp cloth. The stickiness will wipe away with the greatest of ease! (You can also use vinegar on sticky food spills, but we think the cola works best when grease is involved.)

If your vinyl or linoleum floor is sticky from wax buildup, take club soda and pour it on a small section of the floor. Scrub it in with a brush, and give it a few minutes as you start the process on the next small section, then go back to the first section and wipe it off.

More cleaning tricks...


Friday, November 14 , 2014

Cloudy Glassware

If you use a dishwasher, place a dishwasher-safe bowl on the bottom rack of your empty dishwasher and fill it with a cup of white vinegar. Place the cloudy glasses on the top rack, and run a full cycle without detergent. This will clean both your dishwasher and your cloudy glasses! We've also found that using gel dishwasher detergent can leave a film on glasses. Try using powdered detergent only, and use a little less than the recommended amount.