Friday, March 02, 2012

Tips and Tricks!!

I've been working on this post for awhile now, as I find these neat tips and tricks I wanted to keep them all together and be able to share them with all of you!
1. To clean the grease off of the burners on the stove- put them in a zip lock baggie with about 1/4 cup of ammonia and seal the bag. Then let it sit overnight (outside is best, in case the bag breaks and you can avoid the stink!) and the fumes will take off the burned on grease and you can wipe it away with a sponge in the morning.

2. To get the built up residue off of your shower head, tie a baggy of vinegar around a shower head. Leave it there over night, and it will clean everything off with no work!

3. To keep spaghetti sauce from staining your plastic ware, spray the inside of the storage container with a little bit of non-stick cooking spray. It will prevent the red from soaking into the plastic. If they still smell like sauce after you've washed them, place a cut up lemon inside and zap it in the microwave for a minute. 
4. If you frost a cake and are going to store it in the fridge, wet a piece of newspaper and set it on a plate. All of the fridge odors will go into the newspaper and not the cake. A great hint for if you have a fridge full of food for a party.
5. The sun is a great bleaching agent. You can place wet fabrics or plastic ware into the sun and it will bleach the stains out for you.
6. Aspirin can not only prevent heart attacks but also remove sweat stains, take the green out of blonde hair in the summer, treat pimples and get rid of dandruff.  To remove sweat stains crush up enough pills to make a paste with water to cover the stain. Let set and then wash as usual. To remove the green from the pool from your hair, dissolve 6-8 tabs in water and let soak onto hair for 10 minutes. For problem acne, make a paste and apply directly to the pimple. For Dandruff- crush two aspirins and mix it into your normal amount of shampoo (regular shampoo, not the dandruff kind!) you use in the shower.  Let sit on hair for a few minutes and rinse away the flakes!

7. Tossing a few pennies in your garden to make your hydrangeas blue. (My grandma also swears it prevents slugs, but I dont have slugs in my garden so I dont know if this is true or not!)

8. Store your sheets in a pillowcase. Keeps everything together and it makes for easy, compact storage.

9. Once you open the brown sugar, toss a few marshmallows in to keep it soft.

10. To remove stains from nails after wearing a dark polish, scrub nails with a whitening toothpaste and a nail brush.

11. To make your own matte nail polish, make a little pile of eyeshadow (great idea for the broken shadows we all have lying around!) and mix in a little clear nail polish. No more paying $8 a bottle for the matte stuff!

12. When you cut up an apple keep it from turning brown by using a rubber band to hold it together in its original apple shape.

13. A bounce sheet in your back pocket will repel mosquitoes. Place them around your house to repel mice as well.

14. To get the water spots off of chrome faucets, after cleaning rub them with a piece of waxed paper- it will keep the water spots and fingerprints from sticking to the clean metal. You can also use a piece of waxed paper on your swifter sweeper. Just rip off a piece the size of the sweeper, attach, and wipe away. The dirt sticks to the paper- so much cheaper than buying the refill kits.

15. If you get a water mark on a wooden table, rub the stain with Petroleum Jelly and let sit for 24 hours. Then wipe off the excess and polish as usual.

16. Cornstarch will untangle all kinds of knots. Rub some into the knot in shoelaces, chains, string etc and watch as it comes apart.

17.  When painting, wrap a rubber band around the can over the opening. Then you can dip in the brush and wipe the excess paint off onto the rubber band, rather than the edge of the can.

18. You can make your own ice packs by filling a zip lock baggie with dish soap, then placing into a second baggie to seal in leaks. The soap wont freeze totally, allowing you to mold it to your body. Bonus, you can get a few packs out of a $1 bottle of soap from the dollar store.

19. To make perfectly shredded chicken, simply toss hot/warm cooked chicken into the mixer with the cookie paddle attachment. Turn it on speed 5 and in about 30 seconds it will have done all the work for you.

20. When you take down Christmas lights, wrap them around a square of cardboard for storage. A good use for all of the shirt boxes that get ripped open Christmas morning. Keeps them untangled and easy to put away.

21. When hammering in a nail, use a clothes pin to hold the nail in place. No more hammering your fingers!

22. You can make your own magic erasers for cleaning by simply buying some melamine foam. You can buy 30 of them on Amazon for $15. No more paying $4.69 for four!

23. Baby powder will remove sand from skin. Perfect for keeping feet clean!

24. Soak old paint brushes in HOT vinegar for 30 minutes and then wash. The old paint will come out and they will be as good as new.

25. Chalk will remove grease stains from clothes. Simply rub the stain with chalk, then toss in the wash as normal. I learned this when I was student teaching :)

26. Add some Velcro to a dish towel to keep it secure on the handle of the oven.

27. When a sweater gets pilly from being in the dryer, run a cheap disposable razor over the fabric to shave off the fuzz! They used to make little machines that were basically mens razors for this back in the 90's.

28. From Martha- save cabinet space in the kitchen, hang a tension rod and use S hooks to hang pots and pans. Then a magazine rack attached to the door will hold lids in place.  Also, tension rods turned vertical will sort cookie sheets and pans so you don't have to move a bunch of stuff to get the pan you want.

29. To clean a cast iron skillet, toss about 1/2 cup coarse salt into the pan and rub with a soft sponge. The salt removes excess oils and takes off the bits of food without messing with the seasoning of the pan.

30. Strawberries can be hulled using a regular drinking straw. Thank you Williams and Sonoma for charging me $8 for a strawberry huller for nothing...

31. Iron a little baby powder into the under arms of your white shirts. It will keep oil from seeping into the threads, thus keeping them white.

32. Bed Skirts can be really costly. Get an extra fitted sheet and cover the box spring. You can get the plain ones for around $7 from target.

33. When painting something, use a few push pins in the back of the object to lift it off of the table. No more sticking to whatever its painted on!

34.  Tired of having your shoes bang around in the dryer? Check this guy out.
35. Keep the stove top clean by applying a thin layer of car wax, then wipe it off. It keeps food from sticking. Anything that sticks easily wipes away with a magic eraser!

That's all for now, if you have any tips please feel free to pass them on!