As a child, I was fascinated by Heloise’s Housekeeping Hints. My Grandma Mac even had a book from the early 60′s, filled with tips for the thrifty housewife. Now, I may not be married, nor am I that amazing of a housekeeper, but I still love the tips.
My favorites? Cool New Uses for Familiar Household Products. Check these out, and add yours in the Comments below!
Dehumidify drawers and closets. Chalk is a natural, odorless dehumidifier. Tie together a bundle of chalk, and hang in from a hook in your closet. Or put a bundle in a bowl and set it inside a drawer.
Remove grease stains from fabric. I first read about this in a 1960’s Heloise Housekeeping Hints book, and you can still see this recommendation online today. Draw on the stain liberally with the chalk. Let the chalk sit for a while, then brush off the extra chalk dust. Launder as usual.
Repel ants. Draw a thick chalk line around your doors and windows and ants won’t cross the line to enter your home. Or let your kids go nuts around your house’s foundation with sidewalk chalk.
Bonus Tip – Another way to stop ants is to “spray” talcum powder into crevices with a baster. For some reason, ants won’t walk through the powder.
Soak up oil stains on garage floors. Like chalk soaks up oil on fabric, kitty litter will soak up oil and other spills on your garage floor or driveway. Liberally douse the stain with kitty litter, let it sit for 1 hour to overnight – depending on how old or extensive the staining is – and then sweep up the litter.
Remove musty odor. When you think about what kitty litter’s primary use is, this use makes sense. Kitty litter will dry out and freshen anything from old books to tents and sleeping bags. For books, place the book and some kitty litter in a bag and leave overnight. For camping equipment, pour kitty litter in an old sock and wrap it up in your tent or sleeping bag.
Create traction. Keep a bag in the trunk of your car to help you out of slippery situations. Just pour the kitty litter around the front and back of your tires, and the traction the litter creates should be enough to get you on your way.
Clean and kill mold. You can’t just clean up mold, you also have to kill the mold spores. Use a 3% dilution, sprayed directly on the mold. Let it sit for 10 minutes to kill the mold, then scrub to remove the residue and staining.
Remove red stains. When you cut yourself, you may reach for the hydrogen peroxide to sanitize your wound. But if the blood makes a mess, clean THAT up, too, with hydrogen peroxide. Or, if the stain is just red wine – a lesser tragedy, depending on the vintage – cover the stain with a layer of liquid detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Blot with a clean towel and cool water and let dry.
Brighten whites. Add a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to machine when it fills up. Let it agitate to disperse throughout the water, and then add your laundry. Remember, though, this is a peroxide, so use this on whites, not colors.Continue Reading »