Some household hints for you


When I was young, Femina magazine had a page with household hints. Now when I come across the magazine I see that they no longer have it. Pity. Anyway here are some household hints on what you can do with lemons, vinegar, rice, milk and eggshells.

Citrus rinds, such as lime and lemon, make a great polisher. To speed up the process a bit, try sprinkling a little baking soda.

Rub a banana peel against the leaves of the plants in your house and it will result in a beautiful shine. Banana peels can also act as a natural fertilizer.

Before bringing out the chemicals in the kitchen, try cleaning grease with lemon. Sprinkle affected area with salt or baking soda and then rub with juiced lemon halves.

To make glass coffee pots sparkle: add ice, salt and lemon rinds to an empty coffee pot; swirl around for a minute or two, dump and rinse well.

For mineral deposit build-up in teakettles, fill the vessel with water and a handful of lemon peels and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit for an hour, drain and rinse well.

To stop the salt from clumping together put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker. They'll absorb the moisture, allowing your salt to pour freely.

Ever got your cell phone wet? Or accidentally spilt liquid on your television remote? If so, your gadget may be waterlogged. Before you replace it, try leaving it in a tub of rice for a couple of hours or overnight. The rice will absorb the wetness and hopefully restore your device to working order.

You can use rice to clean your plastic kitchen wear. Just pour an inch into your container with two inches of water. Close the container tightly and shake it; the rice scrubs the inside and removes stubborn dirt.

Whether it's a bathroom fixture or a decorative accessory, you can restore the beauty of chrome just by rubbing the item with half of a lemon. Just glide, let sit for ten minutes and then wipe away finish.

Grout is the cement between the tiles. If it goes grey, cut a lemon into quarters and then use the pieces to scrub into the grout in between tiles. (If it's a really set-in stain, call upon an old toothbrush to help you rub the lemon into the grout.) The juice helps break down mildew, mould and other mysterious stains. Rinse with plenty of water.

To eliminate odours from a microwave, simply fill a small bowl with water, add a few lemon slices and then heat for 45 seconds. Let sit; then wipe out the inside of the microwave.

If you don't want your cats in a certain spot in your home spritz the surface with a 50/50 solution of lemon juice and water.

After a while, coffee grounds can build up into the grinding blades. To eliminate the mess, simply grind about a 1/3 to a 1/2 cup of sugar, then empty. This can also deodorize, making sugar an excellent 'cleaner' for spice grinders, too.

Vinegar is an effective bacteria killer, and you can use it for household cleaning purposes, ranging from scrubbing the tub to even cleaning mirrors or stainless steel.

Try putting a little bit of baking soda into a clogged drain and then pour vinegar into it. Your drain will erupt and the reaction helps break down the clogging. This is much safer than industrial chemical drain cleaners, which are toxic.

Do you have some stinky laundry? Just pour a cup of vinegar into the washeror the bucket and it helps take care of your odour problems. The vinegar also helps keep your fabric soft and fluffy. Just add the vinegar when you start the laundry with your regular detergent.

Clear The Air. When painting the walls, all paints give off some odour. A dish of vinegar placed in the room will reduce the smell.

In addition to cleaning tarnished silver and rusty pans, potatoes can also be used to clean up your shoes. If you have shoes that just don't seem to take a shine anymore, try cutting a potato in half and rubbing those old shoes with the raw potato. After that, polish them. They should come out nice and shiny.

Potatoes are nutritious for your flowers as well. When you plant your flowers in the ground, place some small slivers of a potato around the root. As the potato breaks down, it releases nutrients into the soil.

A classic tip for keeping a bouquet lasting as long as possible, add three tablespoons of sugar along with two tablespoons of vinegar to the water in your flower vase. The sugar provides nutrients to keep the clippings alive, while the vinegar fights off bacterial infections.

Whether it's from a pen or printer, these stains can often mean the end of the road for a garment. Not so, if you use milk before laundering. The enzymes in milk will dissolve the ink, without harming the material.

Do you have a cup that has been stained by your favourite warm beverage? Grind up some eggshells and drop them in the drinkware filled with warm water. Let it sit overnight, and the eggshell will absorb the stain.

Use eggshells to start seeds. Fill the eggshell half with soil and the seed, and then plant directly into the ground (or into the pot). As the plant develops and the shell breaks down, it provides the seedling with plenty of nutrients.

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