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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Cheap and Cheerful Remedies for your Home

Now that the holidays are over, January can feel a bit flat, and our bank balance can seem a little empty. What better way to cheer you up than with some unconventional (sometimes wacky) and inexpensive (cheap) ways to help you clean and maintain your home… 

– Brush your Carpets:  Take a sturdy outdoor broom and brush your carpets. I promise, you will be embarrassed by the amount of dirt, dust and hair that comes off them. – Don’t drink the Koolaid:  Use it to clean the inside of your dishwasher and toilet instead. The citric acid in the Lemon Koolaid (not sugar free) will help remove stubborn stains; add to the dispenser in your dishwasher, and run an empty cycle. Same goes for stubborn stains on your toilet; sprinkle around the perimeter, leave for a few hours then scrub. – Sand away Tarnish and Grease:  I use a fine grade Sanding Sponge constantly in my kitchen  treat it like a regular sponge; add warm water and a bit of soap to remove tarnished silver on your utensils (it’s gone in seconds) and, I clean my cast iron, stainless and regular frying pans (not non-stick) with it as well. Stubborn grease residue and burn stains come off easily (it does not ruin the surface, or take the seasoning off the cast iron). Just rinse when done, and store near your sink.  – Not just for Coffee:  Durable, lint-free and porous, coffee filters can be used for so many things – to plug the hole of a plant pot (dirt will stay in, but water can still drain), an impromptu paper towel to clean windows and appliances, the perfect taco holder for little children, to absorb the grease when draining bacon and fried foods, wrapping and storing Christmas ornaments etc… – Eat your Bananas: Then, use the peel to remove scratches on a DVD or CD (just wipe in circular motion with inside of the skin, then polish and rinse with the outside). And, what about taping a piece to a wart or splinter for the night (by morning both should be better), polishing your shoes and silver with it, and, laying the peel on your forehead to relieve a headache? – Chinese Food First Aid: Instead of throwing away those little extra packets of soy sauce and mustard, freeze some to use as mini ice packs. Perfect for soothing little bumps, burns and bruises (and your child might just think it is funny enough to make them feel better). – Coffee Deodorant:  Don’t just throw away the grounds; place them in a bowl and use them as an odor neutralizer for your fridge, freezer, coat closet, kitty litter area, stinky shoes and garbage pail. Or, sprinkle them around your plants to repel ants and add nutrients. – French Toast? Au contraire!:  White bread is not as popular as it used to be, but maybe you want to keep some in the freezer just in case. Ball it up, and rub on the walls to remove crayon and pencil marks. Same idea will remove sticky fingerprints on photographs. Add a slice to brown sugar and baked cookies to keep soft, and place a few pieces on top of cooking broccoli to dilute the smell. A few torn pieces added to your coffee grinder will clean it, and a few slices will help pick up splinters of broken glass (wear gloves too, of course). – Economical Toothpaste:  Keep a  tube of the old fashioned, no-frills kind, around for all sorts of things. The mild, no scratch, abrasion will polish chrome, clean silver and freshen bathtub sinks. And, a dab on the skin will stop the itch from a mosquito bite, and dry out a pimple while you sleep. – Not just a condiment:  Ketchup will clean your copper pans, so that they look like new again; just rub and rinse. If your pet gets sprayed by a skunk, you could wash them in ketchup to get rid of the smell, and, you could wash your own hair with it as well to get rid of chlorine green. Shampoo in, leave for about 15 minutes, then rinse. Also fun as an easy and tasty finger paint for children. Well, there are a million more ideas, but I thought this was enough for now. None of these will harm anything, and I am pretty sure most of them work (or will at least make you smile while you try). Thanks so much to Apartment Therapy for the photograph.

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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