Hints from Hellonwheels
Sometime's you just gotta do
whatcha gotta do....
whatcha gotta do....
I want to share with you some simple remedies for taking care of small issues around the house. Many of these are old-fashioned tried-and-true fix-it's. I have not tried some of the chemical remedy's so I can't vouch for their effectiveness or be repsonsible for mishaps. These are only suggestions.
PROTECT YOUR PHOTOS
- Put silica gel packet in the boxes where you store your photos to keep them safe and dry.
Moisture can lead to tarnish and corrosion on silver and jewelry.
- Slip a silica gel packet in your silver chest or jewelry box to keep those items tarnish free and looking great!
PROTECT YOUR WARDROBE
If you live in a high humidity area
- Stash silica gel packets in with your clothes when you put them in storage for the winter and in your closets where you store coats and linens. They will wick away excess moisture and prevent mustiness.
PROTECT YOUR DOCUMENTS
- Place a silicone packet in your home safe to keep the papers inside dry and mildew free. Cash money often introduces mold and God-knows-what to your home safe creating mildewed documents.
PROTECT YOUR ASS
A better way to keep attackers away
- Put a can of wasp and hornet spray near your front door, your bed or in your office or car.
- It's inexpensive, easy to find
- It's more effective than mace or pepper spray.
- The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home or office, spray the culprit in the eyes. You'll be able to reach 20+ feet so they wont have time to to reach you before they're affected by the spray.
KEEP APPLIANCES CLEAN
Most people use 10 to 15 times the amount of soap they need, and are pouring money down the drain.
Following the instructions on the soap container is a good first step.
- Too much soap is also a problem in dishwashers and can cause dishes and glasses to look filmy.
- Check the detergent container for recommended amounts
- You definitely don’t have to fill up the entire soap container in the dishwasher.
Yes, there is a right way to load a dishwasher!
Here are tips for how to best load the dishwasher:
Large items like pots, pans and casserole dishes should be placed along the sides and back of the lower rack. Glasses and smaller items should go on the top rack, with glasses placed upside down in between the tines, never over them. (They're less secure when placed over the tines, increasing the risk of damage. Plus, the tines can cause food and water to get trapped inside, leaving stains.)
Silverware is a little trickier to arrange. The key to getting these clean is to make sure that they don't nest. Load spoons and forks with the handles down; knives should always go in with the sharp end pointing down.
Platters and cookie sheets are best placed on the sides of the bottom rack. If placed in front, they may hinder the detergent door from opening or prevent the detergent from being dispensed and fully mixing with the water. Using too much detergent can cause etching or a rainbow effect on glass that's irreversible. Scrape, don't rinse! Pre-rinsing is a waste of water, all experts agree.
Dryers are the 3rd leading cause of household fires and responsible for 400 deaths annually. Prevent this happening to YOU! (you just know she farted leaning in there like that!)
- Clean the lint below the removable filter
- Buy a dryer vent brush, its like a bottle brush, but is longer, denser and has a kind of thin nose. It reaches down and removes lint you can’t get to otherwise.
- Clean the lint off the dryer vent where it vents outdoors.
- Those liquefy when the dryer gets hot and can gum up the dyer, becoming almost like tar and feathers.
- Use the self-cleaning mode more than once a year otherwise, so many food particles have built up that when they burn off, smoke will billow throughout your entire kitchen.
- DON'T clean right before a big holiday dinner. That’s because the oven heats so high during cleaning that any weak part will give. If it’s ever going to fail, it will then.
- Place inside a 4-cup large microwave-safe bowl that contains 1 cup of water and a chopped-up lemon or lime, or several tablespoons of vinegar.
- Turn on High for several minutes or until the solution boils and the window is steamy.
- You must let it sit to cool for 15 minutes before opening the door.
- Remove and wipe out inside.
- Clean the rubber gasket around the door with a sponge dampened with water only.
- If the window is greasy, clean with a mixture of half vinegar and half water, then dry.
RINGS ON WOODEN TABLES
- This sounds weird - just do it! If you have a ring from water or flower vase, etc.
- Take a gob of mayonnaise and heavily smear it on the ring with a soft cloth.
- Let sit 5 minutes
- Wipe off well....voila! It's gone..
COUNTER TOP STAINS
- Wipe up spills ASAP!
- If it's an oil base stain, blot clean with paper towel, then wipe with ammonia and clean cloth.
- Then wipe with acetone and paper towels.
- Or, sprinkle with corn starch, next day scrub with soapy towel and wipe with ammonia.
COFFEE, TEA OR COLA STAINS ON COUNTERS
- Mix peroxide and ammonia wipe with paper towels
BURNT CIGARETTE SPOTS ON CARPET
- You'll need: super glue razor blade cutting shears tweezers
- Carefully cut out burn marks with small scissors
- With razor lightly scrape the carpeting and gather some fuzz
- Put drops of superglue down in bottom of hole where burn was
- Take tweezers and grab fibers and work into into hole with tweezers, fill to a mound
- When its dry fluff it up
- Trim level to surrounding carpet
CLEANING SILK FLOWERS
- Buy a can of condensed "air" spray used to clean keyboards of computers (at any office supply place) and carefully blow the dust off your arrangements.
SCRATCHES IN HARDWOOD FLOORS
- Rub almonds or Brazil nuts directly into the scratch, no more scratches...you might wanna trim those toenails too.
RUST STAINS ON TEXTILES
- Moisten a clean household sponge with full-strength white vinegar and thoroughly wet the stain.
- Grab your salt shaker and sprinkle a healthy dose of salt on the vinegar then rub it in to the stain.
- If the sun is shining brightly outside, lay the vinegar/salt soaked item in the sun and let the sun help draw the stain out.
- If it isn't sunny, allow the vinegar/salt to air dry on the garment.
- When dry toss it into the washer and wash according to manufacturer's directions for the fabric.
Trust me, these tablets are amazing at cleaning hard-to-reach spots, and they're cheap: 120 tablets of Efferdent costs less than $8, and the generic version is even cheaper. I know half y'all already got 'em at home.
- Use to eat away crud & lime buildup inside vases
- They are great for cleaning the rubber casings on earbuds.
- Clean the toilet. Drop two or three tablets into the bowl, let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then give it a scrub.
- Remove burnt food. Get rid of the browned bits on your Pyrex by soaking the dishes in denture cleaner and warm water for half and hour to an hour. Follow with dish soap as usual.
- Remove stains on ceramic. Whether it's a coffee-stained cup or a stem-stained flower vase, fill it with water, drop in a tablet, and let it soak for 15 minutes.
- If you have a clear plastic rain gauge outside, drop a table inside of it to clear away the crap.
- Unclog a drain. Break up a denture tablet (or several) so the pieces fall into the drain trap, then run hot water down the drain.
- Clean tea kettles, coffee carafes, and thermoses. Get rid of the stains and mineral deposits on metal-lined carafes by filling them with water, dropping in two tablets, and leaving it overnight. Then clean thoroughly with soap and water.
BOUNCE DRYER SHEETS
- Wipe your television screen with a used sheet to keep dust from resettling.
- Place a sheet in a drawer or hang one in the closet to keep it smelling nice.
- Place a sheet inside empty luggage before storing.
- Place a sheet under the front seat of the car to freshen.
- Place a sheet at the bottom of the wastebasket.
- Rub upholstery with a sheet and it will magnetically attract all the loose pet hairs.
Poor air circulation in tight storage spaces often leaves linens, towels, clothing, and other items smelling less than fresh. Luckily, sprucing up the smell requires nothing more than two items most of us already have around the house. Store-bought deodorizers can be a little overpowering for my taste, which is the main reason I love this trick, but also because you can use a scent of your own choosing. Another added bonus? It costs next to nothing.
- Simply spray your favorite scent (or any appealing smell) onto a few cotton balls
- Let them dry a little, and then put them in the corners on a shelf or in the back of drawers, and voila!
- Musty books: Do you have some old and musty books that you can't bear to throw out? Sprinkle some baking soda between the pages, and brush it out a few days later for a fresh scent
- Mothball smell: The smell of mothballs on clothing can be removed by adding ½ cup of baking soda to your washing machine's rinse cycle to eliminate the odor.
- Oil and grease: Sprinkle soda on the garage or basement floor to soak up oil and grease.
- Weathered look: If you want a quick way to eliminate mold and mildew while achieving a weathered look for your deck, use baking soda. Wash your deck with a solution of two cups baking soda in one gallon water, and use a stiff straw brush to work the solution into the wood, then rinse with cool water for a clean, yet aged patina.
- Weed killer: Sweeping large amounts of sodium-rich baking soda into the cracks of your paved walks and driveways will eliminate weeds and dandelions.
- Canvas cleaner: To clean anything canvas, rub on a paste of baking soda, then rub off.
- Burnt pots: To eliminate seriously burnt-on food, pour in a thick cushion of baking soda, add an inch or so of water, and put the pot on the stove to boil. After boiling for a minute, try scrubbing again (don't burn yourself). The burned-on mess should come right off.
- Plastic shower curtains: Wash mildewed or dirty plastic shower curtains in the washing machine on the gentle cycle with a couple of bath towels, and add in a half cup of baking soda and detergent during the wash cycle. Add in one cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle, then let drip dry.
- Stinky clothes: We know that baking soda deodorizes just about anything, but here's another way to use it for clothing with a deep smoke or gasoline odor. Place the clothing in a plastic bag with baking soda for two days, then wash as usual.
- Clean up pet accidents. Clean with club soda, let dry thoroughly, then sprinkle on Baking Soda, allow to sit for fifteen minutes, then vacuum up.
- Neutralize vomit odor. Sprinkle Baking Soda generously to cover the stained area, let sit for an hour, then vacuum up.
- Deodorize a closet. Place an open box of Baking Soda on a shelf.
- Remove crayon marks from walls or wallpaper. Sprinkle Baking Soda on a damp sponge, scrub gently to avoid mussing the paint or wallpaper, then wipe clean.
Let gravity work for you.
- Dust from top to bottom, and save the vacuuming for last. If you dust at the end of your cleaning routine, dirt particles will linger in the air and eventually land back on your surfaces.
- To stretch out time between dusting's, first wipe surfaces using a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth, then vacuum to help remove any remaining dirt.
PET PEE PEE
For those occasional pet pee spots on acrylic carpeting or rugs
- Use a pile of salt on top to pull all the moisture out. It may take 24 hours to dry
- Then just scoop and vacuum the salt up.
- If it still smells, dab vinegar on the spot.
To clean fan blades without spilling dust onto the floor
- Slide an old pillowcase over each blade
- Then grip the case and pull it away, keeps the dirt contained....velly smaaaat
For curtains that are not stained but are dirty. The dryer will remove all the dust and make them fresh looking.
- Take the hooks/pins out
- Place them in the dryer on air fluff for 30 minutes
- Do not let them sit in the dryer once the cycle is over.
- Rehang them immediately
Aqua Net hairspray (yes, that nasty shit your momma used on her helmet-hair) is the best ink remover to eradicate ink from almost everything from leather, to microfiber, to clothing, etc. It's non harmful.
- You simply spray on the spot
- Rub it off with a mild brush or cloth
- Repeat until gone.
- The best wood floor cleaner is a solution of 1/2 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of warm water.
- Damp mop with a mop squeezed nearly dry.
- It's 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 (not the beater bars).
- Felt and furniture protectors should be installed on furniture. Never scoot furniture on wood.
WAX ON CARPETS
For spilled candle wax on an Oriental or decorative wool rugs
- Place a brown paper grocery bag over the spot.
- Put a hot iron on top, move it around until the wax soaks into the paper.
- Repeat as needed
Sofa's and chairs need more maintenance than you'd expect!
- First, remove all of the cushions and vacuum the furniture well
- Vacuum the floor underneath.
- Then use the upholstery attachment to vacuum both sides of the cushions and all pillows.
- Fluff/beat cushions hard and replace in opposite or different positions to help prevent wear and tear.
Don't pile firewood directly on the ground, it needs to be dry to burn! duh...
- Buy a rack or just lay some railroad ties or 4x4's.
- Stack the wood in alternate directions (criss-cross) so the air can circulate
- Don't pile higher than 4' and make sure it's stable.
- Put a tarp over that---preferably a green one that is easily disguised.
- Don't put your firewood near your house as firewood naturally attracts termites. duh!
Build-up around the lip can prevent a good seal and paint will dry up.
- Cover the can with Saran Wrap before replacing the lid
- It prevents rusty bits from falling into the paint and gets a good tight seal.
- Place a piece of wood on the lid then tap with a hammer to make sure lid is tightly closed.
- Don't ever store paint in a place that can freeze as latex paint is 80% water and if it freezes its ruined.
- Wrap each piece in newspaper or newsprint
- Stack in sets of 8
- Get "large Heavy duty plastic wrap" like commercial size 24" Saran wrap
- Wrap each bundle of 8, they wont move or settle making them less likely to break store in a low-traffic area of attic.
- Buy s small narrow dresser (Pier1 $199., or at a yard sale).
- Keep the leashes and poop bags in one drawer, meds in another, treats in another.
- Then all the dogs papers, vaccine shot information, etc. can go into the bottom drawer.
- Now everything for Fluffy is in the same place.
- Store racquet's, poles, bats, etc in an umbrella stand.
- Store balls and small stuff in mesh bags and hang in closet so you can see it.
Add more kitchen storage, clear out some drawers and cabinets by using the following ideas
- Place dish towels on the counter in a large bowl within easy reach and free up a drawer.
- Place utensils in easy-to-reach containers on top of counter. Metal in one, wood in another.
- Put a tray by the stove for your oils, salt and pepper, sugar, vinegar, and all the stuff you use often. Then they're not getting sticky in a cabinet. You can wash the oily tray easily once in a while.
- Ina Garten keeps baking trays and cutting boards out in the open in a basket which creates a nice kitchen-y display, freeing up cabinet space to store the ugly crap.
Cluster specific tasks in one area
- Keep the appliances for breakfast in one area
- Keep the coffee, tea and warm beverage items in one area, this way you're not running hither for a mug, thither for sugar, and yon for a spoon.
- The small white cups in the front hold demitasse spoons, Splenda packets and Starbucks instant coffee
- The three clear canisters hold espresso, decaf and regular coffee; no need for clumsy different sized containters to clutter up cupboard
Don't keep those crappy ones from the florist, keep three kinds in clear glass or white ceramic if you have limited storage.
- Bud vase, for one or two blooms you've stolen from the park or your neighbor.
- Small shorter one for bundled posie's
- Large cylinder for branches and sprays.
- Wrap each in paper towels and store inside each other.
- Always store wine on its side (duh)
- Wine which is to be used within two weeks should be kept in the fridge.
- Keep red in a cool area.
- DO NOT store wine in the garage, the heat kills the fruit and turns it to vinegar.
CHRISTMAS or HANNUKKAH ORNAMENTS
- Get a large Tupperware bin
- Separate ornaments in 3 piles: Fragile ones, less breakable ones and ones smaller than a lemon.
- Place nonbreakable ones on bottom
- Lay a layer of cardboard strips crisscrossed
- Then lay kitchen drawer inserts on top of that for the small ones.
- Then wrap each individual fragile one lay them on top
- Then place the tree skirt on top to soften it and close lid and kiss that shit goodbye for another year.
- Store glass inside
- Store cushions inside in dry place (totally dried out 1st)
- Heavy stuff is OK outside with a tarp or cover.
REVIVING SCENTED CANDLES
You know when the wick burns away and you still have a lot of that expensive-as-hell scented wax left in that schmancy container? Well, I'll keep your fires lit baby...
- Take a narrow Phillips-head screwdriver or an ice-pick and place the metal tip on the burner of your stove for 1 minute.
- Then carefully stick it in the center of your expensive scented candle - all the way to the bottom
- Next, take a normal birthday cake candle and gently stick it in the hole you just made in the wax.
- Take another taper candle, light it, and drip the wax around the newly inserted birthday candle to fill the remaining gaps, if any.
- Don't worry if the top of the birthday candle sticks out a bit, it will burn down quickly and you'll never even know it was there.
REVIVING WILTED CUT FLOWERS
- Trim the stems on a diagonal, preferably under running water. This gives the stems more surface to drink from.
- Fill your vase with very warm (almost hot) water.
- If you have "flower food," great - you can add that to the vase as well.
- Place your flowers back in the vase
- Take a spray bottle filled with very cold water.
- Spray the cold water directly onto the blooms.
- Give them a light spraying, do not drench.
- If possible, temporarily place your flowers in a cool place. (not in a refrigerator)
- Your flowers should be revived in no time!
CANDLESTICK SOCKETS TOO BIG FOR YOUR CANDLE BASES?
- Roll wax paper into long folded pieces like straws
- Wrap around and around the base of your candle
- Pulling tightly as you wrap around
- Fit them into the candle socket
- No more having to drip wax into the candle socket to hold candles, this comes out clean and easily
- You dont see the wax paper inside the glass candlesticks
- You can use strips of crinkled tin-foil for silver candlesticks
STEEL WOOL PADS
How many times do you use a steel-wool pad, then store it under the sink to use later, and then when you go for it, it's all rusty and nasty?
- Cut them into thirds which is just about right for all the tasks I use them for then throw them away.
You can do it, I'm here to help!