Part of the requirements for my Christian Womanhood class was to come up with 50 homemaking tips. We were allowed to use outside sources as well, as use ideas of our own or that we had learned from our mom's or others. So I thought I'd share them with all of you!
1. To clean off the oven window, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub onto the window and let sit for about 15 minutes. Wipe clean with a paper towel and clear water.
2. Silver that has dulled can be shined up again by rubbing a potato dipped in baking soda. Or when you boil potatoes, save the water to soak your silver in. (http://www.jelleyjar.com/life/homemaking.html)
3. Add 3 teaspoons of Epsom salts to wash water to prevent colored fabrics from fading and to help keep the colors from running.
4. Once a month flush some yogurt into your septic system to prevent buildup.
5. If your glasses are cloudy, fill them with water and a few drops of ammonia. Let them soak for an hour then rinse them thoroughly with hot water.
6. Make lists. When you have a lot of things to do and remember you're bound to forget something. Make lists and attach them to the fridge or to a cork board, anywhere that you'll be likely to notice them.
7. Do dishes while cooking – it makes the clean up process so much easier and it’s more efficient
8. Use Windex and a tooth brush to clean wrist watch bands
9. Don’t go grocery shopping while you’re hungry
10. Always make a shopping list – this keeps you from making extra unnecessary trips to the store to get things you forgot and it also helps to keep from making impulse purchases
11. Use coupons.
12. Compare store circulars.
13. Garages sales are great ways to get rid of unwanted junk and to make some extra money.
14. Keep an extra loaf of bread in the freezer just in case you run out when you’re least expecting it.
15. Shop at scratch and dent stores – the food or other items are usually fine, and they are priced a LOT cheaper than if they are bought at a retail store.
16. Make leftovers into other things
17. Use pine bark chips for mulch for flower beds
18. Use vinegar as a weed killer.
19. Rub shaving cream into the bathroom mirror and keep rubbing until the mirror is shiny – this will keep the mirror from fogging.
20. Shop at Goodwill’s, Salvation Army’s, and other thrift stores.
21. Use Windex to get stains out of the carpet
22. Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds on carpet that has an odor right before going to bed, in the morning vacuum it up and the smell should be gone – don’t try on light colored carpet!
23. Put a paper towel in the sink and peel potatoes over that, when done simply pick up the paper towel and throw it away, this saves in bending over the trash can and hurting your back.
24. Keep an emergency kit handy at all times to prevent stress when you have a mishap.
25. Put oil on the bottom of ice cube trays to keep them from sticking to each other.
26. For a good night of sleep drink milk with honey right before bed – both milk and honey are good laxatives.
27. To get rid of ants sprinkle baby powder where the ants are coming from – baby powder has talcum in it which is a natural any repellent
28. Mix together some baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice until the mixture reaches a pasty consistency. Rub this paste vigorously on the surface of the coin.If the dirt is stubborn and still stuck on the coin, get half a cup of vinegar and pour it in an aluminum-lined bowl. Soak the coin in the vinegar overnight. The next day, repeat the process of rubbing the paste on the coin. This time, it would be much easier to remove the dirt as it had already been softened when the coin was soaked in vinegar.
29. To get the scaley stuff out of a kettle mix equal parts of water and vinegar. Heat up the mixture and let it boil for a few minutes. Pour the mixture inside the kettle and let it stand overnight. The following day, pour out the mixture and rinse the kettle thoroughly.
30. Take a piece of banana skin and use it to clean your teeth in a circular motion. Do this everyday and within two weeks you should see a clear improvement in the color of your teeth.
31. Keep club soda on hand to clean up spills on carpet and clothing. Club soda will remove red wine, coffee, tea, pop (yes even red pop!) Kool-Aid™ and many other spills you can think of. Lift any solids carefully off carpet or clothes and then pour on the club soda, blotting with a white rag until all the color from the spill is removed. Blot carpet easily by folding a rag and standing on it, turning the rag as it absorbs moisture and discoloration from the spill. The carbonation in the club soda brings the offending spill to the surface so you can blot it up
32. Heat white vinegar until it is hot, but not too hot to pour into a spray bottle and work with. Spray it on the shower and tub heavily. Wait 10-15 minutes and then moisten a scrubbing-type sponge with more of the vinegar and scrub down the shower, using additional heated vinegar as necessary. Rinse well and dry.
33. If you don’t have a cleaning closet, here’s an idea: hang an over-the-door shoe bag with clear plastic pockets behind your garage or laundry-room door, and use it for storing cleaning supplies.
34. Use felt pads on wood floors under heavy furniture to protect floors from dents and gouges, and when moving heavy furniture, lift - don't slide - the piece to avoid scratching the wood.
35. Dust cloth lampshades with a lint roller.
36. To clean a microwave bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave, the steam will help loosen dried on particles making them easily wiped away.
37. Use baking soda to wipe down the inside of the refrigerator. It scrubs and eliminates odors without damaging surfaces.
38. Washing dishes can be a great time to have a parent interview with a child you need to reconnect with. The job may not go more quickly, but you'll be accomplishing a lot more than clean dishes
39. Every three months (once a season), pour a mix of ¼ cup ammonia and 1 quart boiling water — per drain — into your bathroom and kitchen drains to dissolve grease and loosen clumps before they become a problem. This mixture doesn’t work on drains that are already clogged — it’s only intended to prevent clogged drains.
40. If you have a tough time removing pet smells from your living room furniture, place dryer sheets inside an envelope and tuck them under the cushions. When you and your guests sit down, the air from the cushions mixes with the smell of the dryer sheet.
41. After cleaning your bathroom tiles, apply a coat of car wax — it will help water and stains run off so you’ll have to clean them less often.
42. If you’re out of silver cleaner and need to touch up a tarnished spot quickly, rub it with toothpaste. It will shine.
43. To absorb odors from your kitchen trash, leave a couple of used fabric softener sheets in the bottom of the kitchen trash can.
44. To clean your tea kettle fill it with a cup each of apple cider vinegar and water and boil for five minutes. Repeat if necessary.
45. To make a small room look larger the use mirrors is very effective, possibly ceiling to floor on a wall, or framed mirrors hung in important places and with groupings.
46. Mushrooms should be wiped off with a damp cloth and not washed under the faucet since they are like sponges and will absorb the water.
47. To prevent sticking, brush or spray a light coating of oil on grid.
48. To substitute honey for sugar in recipes, start by substituting
up to half of the sugar called for. With a little experimentation,
honey can replace all the sugar in some recipes.
49. Do not use dried herbs in the same quantity as fresh. In most cases, use 1/3 the amount in dried as is called for fresh.
50. Cool leftovers as quickly as possible. Reheat to 165® F before serving again.