October 14, 2010

HOUSEHOLD FIX-ITS!

The More Things Change,
the More They Stay the Same!
Old Fashioned Fixes for Everyday Household Issues...
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I thought I'd share with you some household cleaning solutions I've found. No, I have NOT proven all of these...but many I have. (I have this laminated and taped inside my kitchen cabinet) You'd think I was getting a kickback...but I aint... Just sharing my brilliant, mind-blowing, super-sensational discoveries with you people.



Let's start with VINEGAR
With all the Madison Avenue crap about going "toxic-free," "living green"and "environmentally safe products," vinegar, the oldest known cleaner is still the best one for all of your cleaning and miscellaneous tough jobs around the house and is naturally, totally 'green'! Madison Avenue tells you that Proctor & Gamble or Johnson & Johnson have 'green' products...whatever.. Buy a 1.5 gallon jug of Vinegar at Costco, it's about $3.25

VINEGAR: THE MILLENNIA-OLD ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER

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SHOWER HEADS WITH LIME SCALE: Remove and soak your shower heads in pure vinegar for 2 hours. With an old toothbrush (or your husbands) brush the shower head, then rinse with water. Reinstall. You have now increased the life of your shower head and increased the volume of water through it...

STINKY FIREPLACES: You know that odd stinky smell a fireplace gets when you're not using it regularly? Creosote, a by-product of steam and soot from burning logs is usually the source. Flue soot buildup comes from burning logs that aren't fully seasoned (dried). Over time, it can build up inside the chimney.
After sweeping the floor and walls of the inner hearth & firebox, pour household vinegar on an old cloth and wipe down the inside surface to help neutralize odor. The smell may be a leak in the flue which may be letting in moisture, in which case you should call a chimney sweep to provide a thorough inspection and cleaning. (Chimneys also need to be cleaned every 5-10 years by a pro chimney sweep!)
The Scandinavians have a custom I love, they clean the fireplaces out and paint the interiors white each spring. It looks great all summer, the smell is eliminated by the paint, and when used again in the autumn it reflects the light more and looks cleaner than the usual black interior.


FRESH PAINT ODORS: place a bowl or two of vinegar in a freshly painted room to eliminate the paint odors. NO, the vinegar doesn't out-stink the paint, it actually eliminates it.

WINDOW CLEANER: Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water, it's the same as Windex. Put in a spray bottle; Use crinkled up newspapers too, the ink and newsprint works amazingly. IMPORTANT: Clean windows on an average temperature, preferably overcast day to avoid streaks. Dry windows outside in one direction then inside in the other direction. If you see a streak, you will know which side is the offender. Aint I smaaart?

KITCHEN CLEANER: Add a few drops of lemon juice or an essential oil to 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of water and you'll have your own custom-made, pleasant- smelling kitchen cleaner. (Essential oils: lavender, orange oil, peppermint, eucalyptus are great!) Pour the mixture into a labeled spray bottle and you're ready to clean anything. Instead of removing the e-coli with toxic chemicals (409, Fantastic, etc.) you've cleaned it with a non-toxic 100% effective germ-killing, natural cleaner.

GLASS SHOWER DOORS: Will sparkle if cleaned with white vinegar.

SHOWER CLEANER: Use a solution of 1/2 cup vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, and 1/4 cup baking soda added to one gallon of warm water.



WD-40 IS A NECESSITY FOR HOME MAINTENANCE!
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(trust me!)
This one can is capable of handling zillions of things that you thought were permanent problems. Beside all the obvious things, i.e. squeaky door hinges, stiff locks, hard to use cabinet hardware, sticky drawers, etc.

YOU CAN ALSO USE IT FOR:
1. Spray it generously on a soft cloth and wipe the top of your wooden (or iron) curtain poles to make the rings glide across easily.
2. Spray a fine mist all over your fancy stainless steel outdoor appliances (grills, fridges, sinks) once in a while to keep them from rusting. Yes, stainless rusts (and stains) go figure....
3. Spray inside the deadbolts and latches on your indoor and outdoor door hardware once a year as preventative maintenance. Keeps it from seizing up and working smoothly.
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4. Open your doors, hold a paper towel under each hinge and give it a quick shot to keep them from squeaking. The paper towel keeps the drips from the floor.

5. Use on all outdoor items that have any folding parts. It keeps the moisture out and keeps them working properly.
6. Spray locks, clasps, connections and hinges on outdoor garden lighting to keep the metals from corroding and seizing closed.
7. Wipe, not spray, the screw-base only part of your light bulbs (not the bottom of the bulb) before you put them in outdoor fixtures, it will help when its time to remove them.
8. Spray old rusty iron garden urns with a good heavy coat once in a while to keep them from rusting completely out and maintaining the lovely patina.
9. Spray lightly on outdoor woven vinyl furniture which has faded, this brings back its original color (let dry b4 use).
10. Removes crayon, scuff marks & chewing gum
11. If you have a Refrigerator with the pull-out freezer drawer on bottom, spray in the center of the the rollers (not the track itself) it will make the drawer work sooo much better!
12. Spray in the overhead track of a pocket door, it'll glide perfectly then.
13. Spray into wooden floor cracks that squeak (don't get on the surface as it will stain the wood)
14. Spray on the track (metal and wood) of an expandable dining table with leaves, this makes the table open and close 100% easier (don't get on exposed wood surfaces, or over-spray and have it drip on carpet)
15. Spray on the track of the TV pull-out-and-swivels or kitchen cabinets to make them easier to use.
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16. Spray all garden hardware, fence latches, hinges to keep it working for many years to come.
17. Spray aluminum or iron outdoor light fixtures lightly once in a while to keep them from corroding (yes all over!)
18. Spray in the inside tracks of old double-hung windows to keep them operating easier. Use on casement window hardware to keep it operating and from rusting or oxidizing.
19. Clean out the tracks of your sliding glass doors with a vacuum and aggressively brush up all ground-in dirt well. Then spray a good amount on the bottom track, and inside the top track lightly. Your doors will then slide beautifully. Also, give the latch on the edge of the sliding door a shot too to keep it operating well. Do the screen slider track too.
20. If you live near salty water, and have aluminum sliders spray a rag generously with the WD-40 and wipe onto all of the aluminum frames, this keeps them from corroding (Not on wooden sliders!).
I COULD GO ON AND ON and ON...
GIVE WD-40 A TRY....



SHAVING CREAM
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When your boozy friends wont go home and keep downing the red wine...which eventually turns ugly and somebody spills it on your carpets.... Well, just before you go ballistic on 'em.... work some regular foam shaving cream in, scrape off and rinse with clear water.


GOOF OFF
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1. Use to remove sticky labels and price tags
2. Takes magic marker and ink off most surfaces
3. Removes glue and adhesives.
4. Will take dried latex paint and caulk off of most surfaces
5. Removes asphalt or tar
6. Cleans up printer ink messes
7. Loosens dead/smashed bugs off your car
THE LIST GOES ON AND ON FOR GOOF-OFF TOO.....


PLEDGE
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Another staple I love...the white-trash miracle...
When WD-40 is too intense and stinky for surfaces, I use Pledge. Its an amazing product. Pledge is obviously great for polished wooden furniture,but its also great for.....


  • 1. Leather indoor upholstery
  • 2. Paneling, it brightens it up!
  • 3. Floors (for a quick dustup, but slippery!)
  • 4. Good for light colored woods; pine, ash,teak, oak and walnut too
  • 5. Protects against water damage to furniture; rings, etc.
  • 6. Reduces airborne dust and pet dander
  • 7. I use it for the car seats and dashboards (instead of expensive Armor-all)
  • 8. Boat "Isinglass" panels
  • 9. Marble tables and bath sink-tops; protects against water marks and stains. Keeps them shiny and easier to wipe clean.
  • 10. Vinyl furniture, restores to a new look.
  • 11. Granite counter tops! Wipe them off, then "Pledge them" they'll look brand new and the colors will pop out amazingly.
  • 12. Quick touch-up to shine shoes. Spray very lightly on a finely grained sponge or cloth and wipe on... No, not for suede shoes, ok?

MATTRESS MAINTENANCE
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Rotate and flip the mattress every few months so body impressions don't set in. To fluff "pillow-top" mattress, which can't be flipped, use the vacuum and upholstery attachment, pressing the nozzle down on a spot and quickly pulling it up to loosen the inside stuffing, then repeating over the surface. (I hate pillow-top mattresses by the way, they'll always have a body impression)
After rotating and flipping or fluffing each mattress, then vacuum it and spray with Fabreeze. I spray my own bed before making it up in the morning lightly with a lavender essential-oil mist as Lavender helps you sleep better.
Jo Malone also has an awesome Linen SprayJo Malone Lino nel Vento Scent Surround Spray



BLOOD STAINS ON SHEETS, TOWELS AND LINENS

1.)Soak bed white sheets or any linens with pure ammonia for 15 minutes or until stain is gone (test for colorfastness on colors first) Another must-have-around product. Heretofore, it was only used by carpenters and workmen, but now the secrets out. It has many uses around the house!

OR:
2.) Pour FRESH Hydrogen Peroxide on blood stain and watch it dissappear.This wont fade colored fabrics.


MOLDY & MILDEWED
SHOWER CURTAIN LINERS
Place plastic shower curtains or fabric liners into the washing machine with a bath towel or two (for scrubbing action) along with the usual amount of detergent. Then place in the dryer (fabric ones only) for a couple of minutes or hang to dry. I prefer fabric (usually nylon) liners. To stop mildew buildup along the bottom, use pinking shears to cut off the bottom seam of a liner or a non-decorative plastic curtain, so the water drips off.


CLEANING LAMP SHADES
SILK PLEATED or FABRIC: Lightly brush silk pleated shades with a very soft natural-bristled paintbrush NOT a used one either. Keep it especially for the lampshades only. Careful as silk deteriorates very quickly and one overly-aggressive brush stroke could rip the shade.
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PAPER, PARCHMENT & CARD: Softly wipe shades with a Swiffer wipe; it wont leave lint or streaks and is so lightweight it wont damage or dent the paper. Wipe the lamp base while your there too. Hold the shade by the metal frame in the top when cleaning not by the side.


SINK STAINS
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STAINLESS STEEL: Baking soda or club soda will clean and shine stainless steel sinks easily. I use comet and then the secret is to DRY it after you clean it! Remove stubborn water spots from a stainless sink with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. Spots on stainless steel also can be removed with vinegar.

PORCELAIN: For a sparkling white porcelain sink, place paper towels across the bottom of your sink and saturate with household bleach. Let sit for 8 hour & rinse. Never use bleach in colored sinks....duh.
TOUGH STAINS ON PORCELAIN SINKS:
Lighter fluid will remove most stains from sinks and bathtubs.

WOODEN FLOORS
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WASHING: 
A solution of 1/2 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water. Damp mop with a mop squeezed nearly dry. It is safer to mist the mop with the cleaner than to apply to floor. Do a section at a time and throw an old towel on the floor and scoot back and forth with foot to dry and prevent streaks (standing liquid from mopping, spills, and pet accidents can damage floors) The greatest damage done to wood floors is from grit. Mats at doors are necessary to collect grit and it's important to keep these clean. Frequent dust mopping in high traffic areas to collect grit is the best prevention. The brush attachment of a vacuum can be used (no beater bars). Felt and furniture protectors should be installed on furniture. Never scoot furniture on wood.
HEEL & CASTER MARKS: Try a pencil eraser first, if it doesn't work, rub vigorously with fine steel wool and floor cleaner. Wipe dry and polish.


WALLPAPER FIXES
GREASE STAINS ON WALLPAPER: Try mixing corn starch and water and make into a paste. Rub on with a soft, clean cloth. Test this in an inconspicuous area first.
WALLPAPER PATCHES: If you need to make a patch for your wallpaper, never cut out a piece. Always use a piece that you have torn by hand and be sure to tear toward the wrong side of the wallpaper. This will make the patch nearly invisible 

CARPET IMPRESSIONS
(from furniture legs)
Place an ice cube in the impression and let it melt, maybe over night. When melted, blot up with towel. (this process shrinks the canvas backing and makes it tighter, lessening the indentation)
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PERSISTENT ODORS

USE CHARCOAL!
The amazingly easy, cheap and INSTANTLY SUCCESSFUL solution to odor abatement. When I returned to Florida in the fall after being away three months my fridge had gone off and the food left inside wasn't particularly fresh.... So, after a major scrub the odor was still r-e-a-l-l-y bad, a friend suggested I use some charcoal (found at Home Depot) NOT briquettes. I put a big bowl of the charcoal bits in my fridge and in 1-2 days the horrible odors we ALL gone! Now, I have a small plastic container filled with the charcoal bits instead of Baking Soda in my fridge and there's never an odor issue.
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I also use it in a store room which has no airflow and always had a musty, stanky smell, now it never has a smell. I have a cloth bag with a handful of chunks under my car seat so it stays fresh smelling too! Gotta Love That!

CLEANING MIRRORS
Rubbing alcohol can remove the dull haze from mirrors.

SPOTTY BATH FIXTURES
Use rubbing alcohol to remove spots from bathroom fixtures with cosmetic wipes (cosmetic wipes are great! Tough and disposable for small jobs)
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See how well these 60 year-old fixtures look!!

RUSTY TILE STAINS
Marks can be removed with kerosene.


If anyone has similar shortcuts, helpful hints or home decor specific maintenance ideas please forward them, and the JPDSOD will send them out in a future Weekly Newsletter.

You can do it, I'm here to help!


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