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Tuesday, May 14 , 2013

Easy Ring Removal When Your Fingers Swell

When your finger is a little swollen (from the warm weather, stress, water retention, whatever) and you can't take off a ring, put your hand in ice-cold water (a bowl filled with cool tap water and a few ice cubes works best). The cold water will cause your finger to contract (it should take less than a minute) and the stuck ring will come off easily.

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Monday, May 13 , 2013

The Anti-Wrinkle Mask That Costs Nothing (Almost)

An easy, inexpensive wrinkle mask calls for one teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Mix them together vigorously. Dip your fingertips in the mixture and, with a gentle massaging action, apply it to your face and neck, wherever wrinkles and lines reside. Leave it on for at least a half-hour. You'll feel it tighten on your face as it becomes a mask. When you're ready, splash it off with tepid water. Do this daily for naturally beautiful skin.

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Friday, May 10 , 2013

Hand Cleanser You Can Eat

When your hands are downright dirty, use olive oil to clean off the grease and grime. Vigorously massage the olive oil into your hands, then wipe them with paper towels. If the gunk still won't go (like paint or tar), oil your hands again and rub them together with some sugar (which works as an abrasive) until the stubborn stuff is gone. Rinse your hands with the warmest water you can stand, and wipe them with more paper towels.

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Thursday, May 09 , 2013

Vinegar-and-Honey Headache Cure

When you get a headache and the aspirin bottle is empty—or you'd like to try a nondrug approach—here's a quick fix from your kitchen cabinet. Mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey in a glass of room-temperature water (about six ounces). Drink it slowly, and the pain should dissipate within a half-hour.


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Wednesday, May 08 , 2013

Ants Won't Want to Be in Your House

If you have an ant problem in your house, do a thorough cleaning of the areas where they usually show up and then try this ANTidote. Take some whole cloves and wedge them individually into corners of cabinets, drawers or wherever you usually see the ants. Make sure the cloves are unobtainable by crawling infants and inquisitive pets. Whole cloves retain their strong, repellent smell longer than loose herbs or ground spices, keeping the pests away for months (and possibly longer, if they get the message).

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Tuesday, May 07 , 2013

Homemade Scrubbing Bubbles

There's a classroom science experiment that will never die—the baking-soda-and vinegar volcano. It's fun, safe, messy and…a great stove-top cleaner. When you eventually get around to cleaning that baked-on spaghetti sauce near your stove burners and regular cleaning sprays just won't get rid of the gunk, combine one tablespoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of vinegar (double the amounts for bigger blobs) in a small ceramic cup or bowl.

Don't worry—this small amount won't make a spewing volcano, but the combo will create an impressive foam. Quickly dump the bubbling ooze onto the caked-on blob, and simply wipe it off. If the ancient spill doesn't come off immediately, let the mixture sit for a minute or two. You also just saved your stove surface from abrasive commercial cleansers and harsh chemicals—safe for glass-top stoves, too!

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Monday, May 06 , 2013

Fast Way to Make Bread Crumbs

Lots of us keep a loaf or two of bread in the freezer so it lasts longer. Well, when you want to make bread crumbs fast, here's a clever trick for using that frozen bread—just leave it frozen and simply grate it into crumbs. (Watch your fingers!) This way you don't have to thaw it, toast it or drag out your food processor.

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Friday, May 03 , 2013

Remove Pet Urine Without Harming Your Rug

Your cat or dog made a rest stop on the guest-room carpet a few hours ago (surprise!), and you have guests coming for the weekend. How do you make the spot (and smell) disappear? First, blot up any remaining urine (as much as possible). Then, if your rug is vinegar-safe (see below), mix one-half cup of white vinegar with one-half cup of water, and sponge it into the fibers. After a few minutes, blot the area and repeat the procedure. Then combine one-quarter cup of table salt with one-quarter cup of baking soda, and cover the wet spot with the mixture so that it absorbs the wetness. Wait until the baking soda/salt mixture dries—it may take a few hours—then vacuum.

To make sure your rug is vinegar-safe: Test carpet swatches or a tiny, inconspicuous patch of each carpet and rug in your home with white vinegar. If the color of any of the test patches changes, don't use the vinegar solution on that carpet or rug. Instead, if your pet has an accident on that rug, you'll want to deal with it immediately by blotting the spot and covering with a thick layer of table salt. Wait until the salt hardens to vacuum (overnight, if possible).

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Thursday, May 02 , 2013

Banana Heals Cuts and Scrapes

After cleaning your minor wound, put the inside of a piece of banana peel directly on it and secure in place with medical adhesive tape. Change the peel every three to four hours. A banana skin on your arm might look funny, but we've seen remarkable and rapid results. This gives you another good reason to pack bananas when you go camping (along with the eating part, of course).

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Wednesday, May 01 , 2013

Reducing Lint from Cotton Clothes

Fabrics like terry cloth and chenille produce lint. So it's wise to put linty robes, towels, blankets and spreads in a separate washer load. But if you want to throw a few lint-producing towels into a regular load, add some white vinegar (one cup for a large load or a half-cup for a small load) in place of fabric softener. The vinegar will help prevent the towel lint from attaching to other items in the washing machine and in the dryer, too—in fact, you might even get away with mixing light towels with your colorfast dark clothing! Your laundry will not smell vinegary, but fresh and clean.

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