Friday, May 21, 2010

Helpful Hints

A few weeks ago a friend of mine went to a series o f Ms. Fix It classes.  She was kind enough to share one of the handouts from "Granny's Home Remedies" with me (thanks Joyce!).  I've gone through and highlighted some that I might actually use and thought you might enjoy reading/using some of them as well.

  • Clean spills in the oven by sprinkling them with salt while the oven is still warm.  When it cools, scrape away the spill and then wash with baking soda and vinegar.  I wonder if the scraping away part is completely necessary.  They had me with the sprinkling of salt but then it got too labor intensive after that!
  • To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set 5 minutes and wash clean.  The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.  Here's where the good part begins.  Who knew that vodka had so many uses?  Well we all knew but those aren't the uses I was referring to.  I'll be sure to buy a liter now so the store clerk can give me a judgmental look as he/she stares down at my belly.  Good times.
  • Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving.  The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.  This is certainly cheaper than the $19.99 infomercial special I bought in attempts to prolong the life of Wes' razors.  Save yourself the time, that thing is a piece 0' crap!
  • Spray vodka on wine stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry.  
  • Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.
  • Spray vinegar around door sills and windows to keep insects out.
  • A ziplock sandwich bag of water thumb tacked near doors will keep the flying insects out.  I can hardly wait to walk into one of your houses and find baggies full of water tacked on the wall.  Seriously, this one is too crazy not to try!
  • Getting grease or other spills out of the concrete porch or patio can be accomplished with dry cement, corn meal or sawdust poured on it.  Note:  endless coats of wood stain do not cover up a grease stain from a cheap box of Bubba burgers!
  • Pollen allergies?  Find a source for local honey (within 10 miles) and take a tablespoon every day for the rest of your life.  I luckily don't suffer from allergies but if I did, you wouldn't have to twist my arm – hacking and sneezing or delicious sweet honey?  Hmm…
  • Witch hazel will also reduce the pain of an insect bite, but it will do a while lot more.  Use it chilled and it will reduce swelling.  It can be used as a shave lotion and as a face splash to reduce oily skin.
  • Chamomile tea is my favorite insect repellant.  Use 3 bags of tea to two cups of water.  Spray entire body.  Store in refrigerator.  I'll be putting this one to the test seeing as how mosquitos think I'm the caviar of human flesh!
Good luck and happy drinking cleaning!


  1. These are great fixes! Thanks so much for sharing! I'll have to print it out and save it.

  2. Would it be wrong to start keeping a small bottle of vodka in my purse?!

    I refuse to go to the liquor store because how tacky is it to go with two kids in the middle of the day?!

  3. What great ideas! I will be sure to stock up on cheap vodka and chamomile tea for the summer (I hate spraying down with DEET so I'm excited about that natural remedy for insects).