Home Forums Ideas & Tips Home, home improvement – $ Sense, $ Matters

This topic contains 85 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Smile Therapy 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #459

    Smile Therapy

    Remedy for STAINED Shirts(underarm)

    White Shirts UN STAINED…

    When white t-shirts get underarm stains, dilute one part liquid detergent to three parts water, and using a spray bottle, spray on stain. Then sprinkle on baking soda and spray again. Gently rub in baking soda. After laundering, let air dry. You\’ll be surprised how well this works in restoring whiteness.

    Helen B, Belle Plaine,MN

  • #820

    Smile Therapy

    Deal with Mosquitos

    Heres a tip I saw on Mosquitos::

    I know it’s a bit early for mosquitos, considering the amount of snow some of us still have on the ground, but come spring…those little buggers will be back. The best way of getting rid of mosquitos is Listerine, the original medicinal type. The Dollar Store type works, too. I was at a deck party a while back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitos. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children’s swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I wouldn’t be without it. It kills them instantly. It really doesn’t take much, and it is a big bottle so it’s not as expensive to use as the can of spray you buy that doesn’t last even 30 minutes. (Not to mention that it’s non toxic). It will last a couple of days. Don’t spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around window frames, and even inside the dog house if you have one.

    …..Pass it on.

    Julie, Central NY

  • #821

    Smile Therapy

    Avoid Scratching Surface Countertops

    We bought a set of dishes that were rough on the bottom. For people with solid surface countertops this can prove disastrous as they scratch pretty easily. A simple solution is to take one of those foam sanding pads and simply sand the rough edge until smooth.

    Bob N, Syracuse NY

  • #822

    Smile Therapy

    Safety Tip…….from home intruders

    For those who don t have an alarm…..

    Put your car keys by your bed at night.If you hear a noise outside your home, or someone trying to get in your house, just press the PANIC BUTTON for your car. The alarm will go off and continue to sound until you decide to stop it.

    Simple to put into play and very effective.

    Norma L, New Jersey

  • #823

    Smile Therapy

    Kitchen Hack

    This one was given to me a few years back by a close friend. When you buy the ginger roots in the produce section, freeze them in an airtight container. They will last forever with a super fresh flavor. Bonus? They are SO much easier to grate that way.

    Myscha Theriault http://www.thelessonmachine.com

  • #824

    Smile Therapy

    Clean Wood Floors

    To clean wooden floors and protect them against the sun, try this….

    Clean the floors with water and vinegar. Works very well.

    Jackie, Clay, NY

  • #825

    Smile Therapy


    I had to go into the kitchen and check this out for myself. Who ever looks at
    the end of your aluminum foil box? What a great idea. I hope I’m not the
    only person that didn’t know about this (that I’m sending this to) .

    Now, if someone would just make plastic wrap that didnt stick to itself!


    I’ve been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember.
    Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain.. You know, like when you are
    in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and
    the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the
    box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time.

    Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out
    an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at
    the end of the box. And written on the end it said, ‘Press here to lock
    end’. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in
    place. How long has this little locking tab been there?

    I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too.

    I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can’t count
    the number of times the Saran warp roll has jumped out when I was trying
    to cover something up.

    Live and learn!

    G Howard, FLA

  • #826

    Smile Therapy

    Oil Change

    Little lesson I learned when changing my own oil. Make sure that after you remove the filter that the seal is attached to it. Every filter has a ring. If you put on a new filter and the old seal(ring) wasn’t removed(either by being tightened to much)the oil will spill completely out at the filter.

    mo VA

  • #827

    Smile Therapy

    Cashing in your coins/change????

    Did you know Coinstar charges 8 cents for every dollar you put in.
    However, there is no fee anymore if you choose to get paid in gift certificates.
    Stores like Amazon, I Tunes, Starbucks, Borders, and Linens and Things are among the participating stores. Check it out.

    ST Staff

  • #828

    Smile Therapy

    Need a Stud Finder

    Turn off all the lights in room
    Hold flashlight at a sharp angle against the wall
    observe where shadows form on wall
    notice shadows where mud was used to cover nails or screws running down the wall in a straight line
    there’s the stud

    Jim Meyer

  • #829

    Smile Therapy

    Roof ? Microwave? How long will they last?

    Vinyl Siding??

    The life expectancy of these and many more here at


    The WWWebScout, Planet Earth

  • #830

    Smile Therapy

    How to Clean Caulk around the Bathtub/Shower

    To clean caulking around the showers and bathtubs, fill a trigger bottle with VODKA.

    Spray the caulking, let it sit 5 minutes and wash clean. The alcohol will kill and get rid of molds and mildew.

    Who knew?

    C Roy, Central NY

  • #831

    Smile Therapy

    No More IRONING??

    Try this with wrinkled clothes

    Put the wrinkled clothes in the dryer for 3-4 minutes with a damp cloth.

    Quicker than using an iron and Presto!

    Kelle T

  • #832

    Smile Therapy

    The best thing to add to your Laundry Load??

    Some of you laundry veterans may know this tip…..

    Rather than using fabric softeners and/or sheets.. add 1 cup of WHITE Vinegar to your laundry load.

    It softens the clothes, as well as acts as an added “super cleaner”. It will also shrink your laundry bill at the supermarket as well.

    AAH… the Simple things in life to create a Smile.

    Jackie, Syracuse,NY

  • #833

    Smile Therapy

    How to “Fix” a Shrunken Sweater……

    Anyone ever shrink a sweater?????

    Resize it by:::

    Place in sinkfilled w/ lukewarm water and 1/3 CUP of HAIR CONDITIONER

    Let soak 10 minutes

    Then lay flat on a towel to dry, giving it two even tugs all the way around.

    What happens is the oils in the conditioner soften knit fibers, allowing them to stretch back to original shape.

    Mary P, Florida

  • #834

    Smile Therapy

    Prevent Icy Windshield

    Take a cut onion in half.

    Rub it on the outside of the windshield prior to a snow. It prevents ice from forming. The windshield stays crystal clear and non iced.

    Pretty cool huh( no pun intended).

    some magazine

  • #835

    Smile Therapy

    The “MAGIC” of those Magic Wall Erasers

    Magic Wall Erasers will remove stains from wool and silk carpets. I once tracked red food dye into the living room rugs at my parent’s house after doing cookies.. two days later I notice it.. I freak.. when they leave.. I take a damp Mr Clean Wall Eraser to it.. very carefully as not to spread it.. lifted it right out.. I recommend them to EVERYONE.


    Jenn, Fulton, NY

  • #836

    Smile Therapy

    Traveling By Car.. use this TIP for BUGS

    Dead Bugs – Dead bugs and bird droppings contain acids that can damage a car’s painted or chromed surfaces if they’re not cleaned up right away. To make bug removal easy, spray a light coat of vegetable cooking oil on your car’s bumper, grill and hood before a long drive. The slick oil will make it much easier to remove bugs after the trip. To remove dead bugs that are firmly stuck to the car, dip a scrunched up mesh onion bag or old pair of panty hose in warm, soapy water and gently scrub off the bugs.

    G Smith, S. Carolina

  • #837

    Smile Therapy

    Good way to get rid of BAD Car ODORS

    Bad Smells – To remove offensive smells from the car, put shallow bowls of white vinegar on the car’s floors in front and back. Then close all windows and let it sit over night. In the morning, remove the bowls and open all the windows to let any lingering vinegar smell dissipate.

    G Smith, S. Carolina

  • #838

    Smile Therapy

    Car Mats Cleaned!

    If you need to get your car mats cleaned quickly, throw them into the washing machine with a little javex…this made mine look better than the carpet underneath!

    Nimble One

  • #839

    Smile Therapy

    Postal Tip for heavy items

    If you have a heavy item, ask to have it mailed by FLAT RATE, 2-3 day shipping.

    As long as it fits into the box, its ok regardless of weight.

    This could save $5-10-even $20 in postage-

    WWWeb scout

  • #840

    Smile Therapy

    If you subscribe to MAGAZINES… ( $$ Saver)

    Heres a quick tip that may save you a few bucks….

    Take an inventory of any magazines that you subscribe to and see what type of costs you are paying.

    You can recheck to see if you are getting the best price for your money.

    Go to


    Timothy, Syracuse, NY

  • #841

    Smile Therapy

    Need a Handyman?

    If you need a handyman and don’t know who to contact, try here.

    The Natural Handyman Network.

    It’s a group of smaller contractors, handymen, guys who dont think any job is too small.

    There is a website that has gathered all these people and its searchable for your area.

    Have a look


    WWWeb scout

  • #842

    Smile Therapy

    Several USES for PUMICE STONE….

    Using Pumice Stones

    These little stones are great for getting the rough edges off your feet, but there are many uses for them. They are great for cleaning the hard water stains in toilet bowls. They are also great for getting baked on stains off your oven. Basically, you can use a pumice stone on anything enamel and it won’t scratch the surface. I buy mine at the dollar store. Usually they are attached to a stick or a brush of some kind to be used on your feet, but I’m able to pry it off the stick so I can use it for cleaning.

    Donna G

  • #843

    Smile Therapy

    Need Roofwork…Do it OFFSEASON mega $$ave

    A Matter of Timing

    Last year, we procrastinated in getting a new roof after a hailstorm in the summer; this proved to save us thousands. Our insurance company allows claims for up to six months from the occurrence, and we filed a claim in December. The roofing companies in the neighborhood were very busy replacing roofs during the summer and fall months, but by December, they needed the work. Because this was the off-season for them, and they were no longer busy, we were able to negotiate the one-percent deductible. The roofing company paid the entire thing! So, try to schedule your claim in the off-season and always negotiate.

    Pam S

  • #844

    Smile Therapy

    Trouble Hammering Small Nails? No more.

    When hammering a small nail into a wall or in an awkward position, I always seem to drop the nail repeatedly. I have found that putting the nail through an index card and then holding the card while hammering the nail helps without fail. The card holds the nail in place.


  • #845

    Smile Therapy

    Great Way to Determine UN Worn Clothes

    Here is a fgreat way to see what you ve warn lately or even through the year.. and What you Haven’t warn.

    I hang up all my clothes in the closet with the hangers in the opposite direction that you would normally hang them. When I wear something or wash it and return it to the closet, I put the hanger back in my closet the correct way. At the end of a year, it’s easy to see what I haven’t worn. I remove all the clothes that I haven’t worn and donate them. I’ve decluttered my closet and made a donation to a worthy charity

    Stacey K

  • #846

    Smile Therapy

    How To Deal With Lost Mittens

    Is it time to buy glove/mittens? I have a tip that will keep them around for years until they actually wear out. When purchasing, buy two identical pairs of the same color. It’s almost guaranteed that at some point, you will be in a hurry and will only be able to find one glove/mitten. That’s not a problem. You have another that matches. There have been times that I have lost a glove/mitten, and instead of throwing out the odd one, I still use it until the missing one shows up again.


  • #847

    Smile Therapy

    Get rid of Wrinkles without the IRON?

    Rather than using an iron, to rid clothes of wrinkles….

    Put them in the dryer for 3-4 minutes with a DAMP CLOTH.

    This will shed the wrinkles.

    Kelly, USA

  • #848

    Smile Therapy

    What else OTHER THAN a fabric softener??

    If you are not a fan of Fabric softener sheets, TRY this…

    Some times fabric softener sheets due to the chemicals in them can cause havoc on your dryer and its efficiency.

    Try WHITE VINEGAR instead. It does the trick quite well.

    Jay, USA

  • #849

    Smile Therapy

    Save ENERGY when Washing Clothes.. HOW?

    In my experiences, about 90% of energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water.

    Cold water works well almost in every case, unless you have extremely dirty clothes.

    Try washing all the colored clothes in cold water and wash the TOWELS and whites in WARM(not Hot).

    Should work well and save some energy.

    Karen, USA

  • #850

    Smile Therapy

    Air Dry your Clothes….. Avoid the CRUNCH

    If you air dry your clothes on a clothes line, and find that they are too “crunchy” after drying… throw them in the dryer for 3-5 minutes.. they will be just as soft as if you’ve dried them the entire time 🙂


  • #851

    Smile Therapy

    Have you heard of BEAT MY PRICE?

    There is a site out there called Beatmyprice.com

    When you are shopping for any article, if you know the product name, or model, or specifications, you can type it in and supposedly this site does price checking for you for the best price.. thus BeatMyPrice.

    It can be found at


    Janice, Central Florida

  • #852

    Smile Therapy

    Fantastic STAIN REMOVER( Grease)

    If we get a grease spot on our clothes from something we spilled while eating, I simply apply baby powder or cornstarch to the grease spot, and let it sit over night. I launder it the next day and the grease is gone. The powder or cornstarch absorbs the grease spot and takes it out.

    Laura, United States

  • #853

    Smile Therapy

    Get Rid of Thermous Odors?

    Most people know that bringing your coffee to work in a thermos is a great way to save money. I have a high quality metal Thermos with a plastic cap. However, I never liked to bring coffee from home because the Thermos cap would invariably get a funky smell to it even though I washed it thoroughly every day.

    I discovered that the best way to eliminate this odor is to sterilize the cap with boiling water. My office has a water cooler that dispenses boiling water from one of the spouts, so all I need to do is fill the cap with the hot water on a daily basis. This takes about two seconds and it works like a charm. Since I’m a coffee fanatic, I easily save $4 per day ($80 per month) by bringing my coffee in, and it is better for the environment because I don’t discard all of those paper coffee cups.


  • #854

    Smile Therapy

    More Dryer $$$ Savers

    We cut our electric bill $35 a month! We are a family of 7 that has been trying to cut our ever-increasing electric bill. I do all the things they say to do like keeping the lights off until needed, using energy efficient bulbs and appliances, etc., but it wasn’t until I quit using my six-year-old “energy star” dryer that my electric bill went down $35 in one month! I was surprised at the difference just doing that made! Now I use a clothesline during the warm months and some drying racks in the house during the winter. An added benefit of hanging wet clothes to dry inside during the winter is it adds needed humidity to the air.

    Renee in Harrisville, UT

  • #855

    Smile Therapy

    Great way to protect CAR MATS

    Living in the cold and snowy north, our car mats get very full of sand, salt, slush and grime in the winter. I started putting old towels over our car mats in the winter to protect them. I wash the towels every month or so until spring arrives. Our 16-year-old Dodge Spirit has its original car mats that look like new!

    Brenda, USA

  • #856

    Smile Therapy

    Laundry tip( on Pre Treating)

    Recently, I came upon the idea to put any clothing with stains that need pretreating on a hanger before putting it in the clothes hamper. When I do laundry, it reminds me to check that item and pretreat before washing, which saves me from accidentally forgetting and ruining clothing.

    Kristi, USA

  • #857

    Smile Therapy

    Yet another use for WD-40.. Stainless Steel?

    After you have taken all the dirt and grime off of any stainless steel surface, spray WD-40 on a soft cloth and rub it in the direction of the grain if it is visible. Use another cloth to remove any excess oil left behind. If used on or near food preparation areas, remove oil with soap and water. I use this on my grill. It is four years old and looks like I got it today.

    Larry, USA

  • #858

    Smile Therapy

    Great way to Preserve WOODEN Kitchen Utencils

    Once or twice a year, I give all my wooden utensils, cutting boards and chopping block a thorough mineral oil bath to replenish the moisture lost through frequent washing and sterilizing.

    Simply smear them with the oil and leave to dry. Sometimes a few coats are needed and drying time can take a day or two. I find this bit of time to be worth the investment, as I prefer the wood utensils and kitchen supplies to plastic ones.

    J O\’Dell

  • #859

    Smile Therapy

    Winter Window Curtain $$$ SAVER!

    Fleece makes excellent curtains! First of all, they do not need to be hemmed, so if you don’t own a sewing machine, you can just cut to size and then pin up. You can even glue decorations to the pins to spice things up. I used chunks of mirror, or faux flowers would be nice. Secondly, the material is a great insulation to help with utility bills. They keep the heat in during winter, and you can open them to let in sunlight for a little free heat. Mine work so well in our drafty old apartment building that I had a half inch of ice form on the inside of the windows! I had to put plastic up too just to keep the ice from forming!


  • #860

    Smile Therapy

    How To Find small things Lost on the Floor

    If I drop something on the floor that is hard to see (like a small earring or pin), I just roll a lint roller across the floor, and the item will stick to it. If I don’t have a lint roller handy, I wrap a piece of any type of tape I have available (duct, mailing, etc.) around my hand and run my hand across the floor. The dropped item will stick to the tape.

    Teresa R USA

  • #861

    Smile Therapy

    Warranty Organizer

    When I need to save receipts and warranties for products purchased, I use my scanner to save the image on my computer. I have a folder for warranties and another for receipts. The name of the image is the item purchased. If I need to read a warranty, I have it on the computer. This is much easier than looking through paper folders.

    TD, Chicago, Ill

  • #862

    Smile Therapy

    Save $$ on Hair products

    Here’s a tip that I got from a hairdresser on how to cut your shampoo/conditioner bill at least in half. This is also a time saver! First of all, don’t buy those expensive bottles of shampoo and conditioner all in one. Buy large bottles of whichever inexpensive shampoo and conditioner you like. When you get into the shower, wet your hair down first thing. Then in your hand, put a blob of shampoo and a blob of conditioner, about the amount you’d use of each individually, and mix together. Apply to your hair as usual, and don’t rinse immediately. Let the mixture sit on your hair while you finish your shower. Just before you get out of the shower rinse your hair. You’ll find it to be as clean as if you’d washed twice, and it’ll be properly conditioned!

    Olga J

  • #863

    Smile Therapy

    The many uses of Coffee Filters

    Coffee filters .. Who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar store for almost nothing.
    COFFEE FILTERS: Not just for making coffee….
    1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
    2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are Lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.
    3. Protect China . Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.
    4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
    5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Put a filter in the Skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
    6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
    7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve Lined with a coffee filter.
    8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
    9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
    10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
    11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
    12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.
    13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.
    14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great “razor nick Fixers.”

    Marilyn B

  • #864

    Smile Therapy

    Making Tax Time Easier

    Each January I start my new check register. Whenever I write a check for anything that is tax deductible, I circle the check number in the register. If I put a donation or contribution on a credit card, I note to whom the contribution was made and the amount of the contribution on the line with the credit card check and circle it. The circles are easy to spot, and I can easily add them at tax time.

    Rose, USA

  • #865

    Smile Therapy

    Tip When Selling your Home

    Keep A House Folder

    We are trying to sell our house. The job is made a little easier because of our house folder. I gathered various documents and papers and put each into a plastic cover and have them all corralled into a binder. These include things like utility bills, property tax statement, subdivision plat layout, subdivision rules, receipts on any repairs or upgrades to house (new lighting, new toilet, A/C repair, new roof, etc.). Each of these items is dated. We also put in a floor plan and a landscape plan. Although the house has not yet sold, lookers have told us how much that folder helps. We leave it on the table for them to view, and we also gave a copy to our agent.

    Diana P

  • #866

    Smile Therapy

    Keeping the Kitchen Cooler, in the heat

    A Cooler Kitchen

    I have a hint to keep your kitchen cooler in the summer. Take your slow cooker out of the kitchen to cook. Plug it in an outlet in the garage, on a porch, etc. You can cook a lot of food at one time, and your kitchen won’t be hot. We are always looking for ways to stay cool in Alabama!

    RVF, in Alabama, USA

  • #867

    Smile Therapy

    Keeping Hanging PLANTS Watered

    When potting your hanging baskets, put a new Depends (cut to fit the size of the bottom of the pot) in the bottom and it will help hold the moisture in your plants. I buy them at garage sales for 25 to 50 cents per package. When you cut them down to size, you’ll have enough for two large pots or three smaller ones.

    Georgia, USA

  • #868

    Smile Therapy

    Just a Shake( Quick Laundry tip)

    A quick shake of your clothes before putting them in the dryer saves time and money, which are two things that I never seem to have enough of. When you transfer the clothes to the dryer, give them a hard shake, even the socks. Because they are now untangled and more fluffed, they dry much faster and there is considerably less ironing needed.

    Becky D, USA

  • #869

    Smile Therapy

    Scorched Pots and Pans.?. This will clean \’em

    Really Scorched Pots?

    Here’s a cost-saving (or maybe just aggravation-saving) tip my mother used to use. If you are planning on throwing out a pot or pan because you’ve scorched food so badly in the bottom that you don’t know how to fix it, this tip may save you some money.

    She sprinkled about a tablespoon or two of powdered dishwasher detergent over the scorched food. Then added about one or two cups of water. She put it on the stove to simmer for 10 or 20 minutes. When it’s done, it should come out pretty easily, and if you use a SOS pad on the bottom, it should shine pretty nicely in most cases.

    Connie A, Washington, USA

  • #870

    Smile Therapy

    Low Cost , Excellent Window Cleaner

    Cheaper Than Window Cleaner

    To wash all the windows and mirrors in my house, plus to wash the inside of my car windows, I use windshield cleaner available at discount chain stores for $.99 to $1.09 per gallon. I then pour enough cleaner, using a funnel, to fill an empty quart size spray bottle. This comes to $.25 per quart of glass cleaner! Plus, I feel if the windshield cleaner is strong enough to clean my car’s windshield of bugs and insects, it is certainly strong enough to clean the glass in my house.

    Ls, USA

  • #871

    Smile Therapy

    How to Clean a CEILING FAN

    Cleaning Ceiling Fans

    The hassle of cleaning ceiling fans can be made easier by using an old, preferably king size, pillowcase. I spray a little Pledge inside the case and slip it over the fan blade. While the blade is inside the case, grip the back of the pillowcase and the blade and then slide the pillowcase toward the end of the blade. All the dust is removed from the top and bottom of the blade in one clean sweep. The best part is that all the dust is enclosed inside the pillowcase rather than falling in your face! You can do several fans with the same pillowcase.

    When you are finished cleaning, take the pillowcase outside and turn it inside-out and shake out the excess dust. When it’s washed and dried, store the pillowcase with your cleaning supplies, so you will have it ready the next time it’s time to clean your ceiling fans. By the way, if you don’t have an old pillowcase, you can find old pillowcases at Goodwill or thrift stores.

    Janet H, USA

  • #872

    Smile Therapy

    Great TOY STORAGE .. Bathroom

    Bath Toy Storage

    I bought a five-pound bag of oranges and used the plastic mesh bag that they came in as a toy storage bag in the bathroom. I simply hung it from my shower organizer with a clip, and it works great! It allows the toys to drip dry and cost me nothing!

    Heather, USA

  • #873

    Smile Therapy

    $$ Saver.. CAR RENTERS…

    Car Rental Alternative

    Next time you need a car rental, call a local car dealer. Not only can the desired make and model be negotiated, but also a savings of nearly 40% over rental agencies can be pocketed. A family member was able to rent a Toyota Prius for a week with unlimited mileage for under $200, taxes and other charges included.

    Rhonda in Mississippi

  • #874

    Smile Therapy

    Longer Lasting RAZOR BLADES

    No More Dull Blades

    You can make razor blades last for months by either putting them in alcohol or drying them with a hair dryer for a few seconds after you use them. It is the water rusting the blade that dulls them very quickly.

    Wanda, USA

  • #875

    Smile Therapy

    Cleaning alternative to Vinegar?

    Vinegar? Not Always!

    In a zeal for frugal living, many people tout vinegar as almost a be-all and end-all of cleaning products. While vinegar is great at removing water stains and good for making glass and metals shine, don’t use it in place of all your cleaners.

    As a Ph.D. chemist, my husband informs me that vinegar is a bactrostatic. It temporarily immobilizes, but does not kill bacteria. So if you are using vinegar to clean your countertops or toilet, it really isn’t helping to keep your home as clean as you think.

    The more frugal, environmental choice is to buy a concentrated organic biocide. You add the water, so it’s more expensive up front, but it will last longer and actually kill bacteria. And concentrated cleaners are lighter to ship from manufacturer to store to home, which is also good for the environment.

    Lyn K, in Washington State

  • #876

    Smile Therapy

    Don\’t Replace That Showerhead!

    Has your showerhead, kitchen faucet, or kitchen sprayer gotten clogged up with deposits? Here\’s a quick and easy fix. You don\’t have to even take the clogged item apart! Simply take a plastic resealable bag, partially fill it with white vinegar, put it over the clogged item (make sure it is covered by the vinegar), and rubber band it on securely. I do this in the morning, and when I take it off when I get home at night, all the deposits are gone and the whole thing is sparkling clean!

    Rod, USA

  • #877

    Smile Therapy

    Window Cleaning the Professional Way

    I once asked a professional window cleaner at my place of business about the secret to streak free windows and mirrors. He told me to put three to four drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid into a 30- to 32-ounce spray bottle.
    First spray and rub with a microfiber cloth to loosen dirt and oils. Then spray once more and use a squeegee. It really works! I never buy glass cleaners!


  • #878

    Smile Therapy

    How To Clean artificial flowers

    To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper

    bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will

    absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial

    flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

    Cheryl B, Syracuse

  • #879

    Smile Therapy

    Dead BUG on Windshield CLEANING

    Clean all those dead bugs off your windshield by sprinkling

    baking soda onto a damp cloth and wipe down the glass. The

    abrasive baking soda whisks away insects easily without

    damaging your windshield.

    Cheryl B, Syracuse

  • #880

    Smile Therapy

    How to Soften up NEW SHEETS

    How to soften new sheets
    I bought some new sheets recently, ran them through a regular wash cycle before putting them on our bed, and immediately thought, wait, did I accidentally buy a negative thread count? They were so stiff and almost scratchy. After doing some hunting online, I did the following:

    • Washed them on the hottest setting
    • Used no detergent (the idea is that new sheets have chemicals on them and detergent just makes it worse)
    • Added lots of fabric softener
    • Dumped in a cup or so of baking soda during the wash cycle
    • Took them out of the dryer as soon as they were dry, rather than leaving them to sit in there for a while

    They came out about a thousand times softer, I couldn’t believe it. Plus, the baking soda made them smell really fresh and clean and nice. I’ve also read that you can add a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to help break down residues, but I haven’t tried this yet.

    Linda at sundrybuzz.com

  • #881

    Smile Therapy

    Cleaning:: Greatest STAIN REMOVER Ever?

    My mom gave me this little pink bottle of stain remover a couple years ago, and it’s been maybe the most useful cleaning product I’ve ever encountered. It’s designed for clothing stains, but I’ve used it on sheets, the carpet, and our cream-colored fabric sofa that’s been spit-up-on, had food spilled on it, and on a recent memorable occasion, had poop smeared on three different cushions. The Stain Remedy cleaned it all up, without leaving a horrible chemical stink behind (I’m looking at YOU, Resolve).

    The Stain Remedy is a liquid soapy type product (solvent-free, biodegradable), and I rub it into stains with a little water, wait a few minutes, then blot it clean. Works like a damn charm every time. I can’t recommend this enough — it’s probably even good for clothes, for which it’s actually designed.

    (Note: the manufacturer recommends you test to make sure your fabric is colorfast before treating stains.)

    You can get it on Amazon, just google it.

    Linda at sundrybuzz.com

  • #882

    Smile Therapy

    A new way to save CHANGE/COINS

    Savings Solution

    We all know that saving our change adds up, right? But let’s be honest. It’s tempting to dig into your change when you need money for something. I found a way to put a stop to that. I save my change in a two-liter plastic soda bottle (wash and dry it out first). I cut a coin slot close to the neck and glued the cap onto the bottle. Now my coins will go in, but I can’t get them out unless I cut the bottle open!

    Towana , chicago, Il

  • #883

    Smile Therapy

    Dollar Store items for 50 CENTS??

    Dollar Store Dents

    I recently stumbled upon my local Dollar General’s “dented and discounted” rack in the back corner of the store. I had to sort through several items to get to what I could use (everything was just tossed in one on top of the other). I found a three-pack of undershirts for my son that had been opened but the contents were not disturbed, an 11-pack of match boxes (that used to be a 12-pack), and two cans of green beans. Everything on the rack was half price due to packages being open or small items missing. In the case of the vegetable cans, they were dented but not leaking or bulging. For a family such as mine on an extremely tight budget, savings such as these are a great find! I now check this rack for new items every time I am in this store.

    Amy, Kentucky, USA

  • #884

    Smile Therapy

    ICE MELT for FREE?

    Ice Melt

    Check with your local Department of Public Works (DPW). In my city, they have a pile of sand and rock salt mix available for free to city residents. I just go down with a bucket and take as much as I need. It is the same mixture they use on the roads. The ice melt in the store is over $2 for a 10-pound bag and doesn\’t contain the sand, which helps to maintain traction.

    John D, USA

  • #885

    Smile Therapy

    Fleece Warmer than Flannel?

    Getting Fleeced!

    We lived buying electric blankets every other year forever. They just never seemed to last.

    I found my solution quite by accident. Having diabetic neuropathy, my feet have become very sensitive. I was on a quest for soft sheets when I found the ultimate in fleece sheets! I bought a good set and was excited to feel the softness. To my surprise, my husband and I about burned up that first night with the electric blanket on as usual. The next night and each night since we\’ve used no electricity on the blanket and relied on the fleece sheets! Flannel sheets come nowhere close to the warmth and softness of fleece sheets. We live in Missouri where the wind chills have been 20 degrees below 0 and heat mostly with wood and propane.

    Save buying electric blankets and electricity. Instead, enjoy the warmth and softness of fleece!

    Claudia, Pleasant Hill ,Missouri

  • #886

    Smile Therapy

    Making PLACEMATS out of Old Jeans?

    New Use for Old Jeans

    Don\’t throw away/give away that old pair of jeans. Instead, use the leg portion to make place mats for the backyard BBQ table. Cut off the legs (using any size jeans), then cut open each leg along the seam, and decorate these. We let the grandkids do this, and they enjoy their own personal place mat as well as using them to fit and cover the entire table. Best of all, these can be washed over and over.

    MPC, USA

  • #887

    Smile Therapy

    Lost Gloves/Mittens

    Lost Mitten? Not to Worry!

    I have a tip to keep gloves and mittens around for years until they actually wear out. When purchasing gloves and mittens, buy two identical pairs. It\’s guaranteed that you will be in a hurry at some point and can only find one glove/mitten. This is no longer a problem! You have another glove/mitten that matches. This works great for kids\’ mittens that have to last for five or more months.

    Janelle, Minnesota

  • #888

    Smile Therapy

    NEWSPAPERS to get rid of STENCH

    Smelly Plastic Containers

    To take the smell out of plastic containers, wet newspaper, scrunch it up, put it into the container, and seal it. Then put the container into the freezer for a couple of days. When you take the container out, throw away the newspaper and the smell will go with it. I\’ve used this when my husband left a salad with meat and a boiled egg in his car for a few days and it really does work.


    A Fresher Fridge

    For musty refrigerators, you can simply put a sheet of newspaper inside and close the door. This works just like baking soda to keep the smells out. Change it as needed, and if you read the paper, it is free!


    Fiona, USA

  • #889

    Smile Therapy

    Stop Winter Drafts

    Every time I see the ads on TV for the foam insulation for windows and doors, I laugh. They want $19.95 each! I fill knee high nylons with sand from the building supply store and tie the end tightly. They stretch as they are filled and are easy to fit into any size window. I make one for the outside to fit between the storm window and the window and one for the inside to push tightly against the window. There are no drafts, and it costs pennies for each.
    Fran M

    FM, USA

  • #890

    Smile Therapy

    Quick Fix, Kitchen Countertops

    Our countertops were old and stained, but we could not spend the money to have new ones put in. I brushed primer on them and then spray-painted them with American Accents Stone Creations paint, although any similar paint would work. You can see what the colors will look like on the lid. I used about 2 1/2 cans and then protected the countertops with several thin layers of polyurethane. Everyone thinks that we have installed new countertops! This was a quick fix without much expense.

    Carolyn H, USA

  • #891

    Smile Therapy

    CLEANING advice.. from a LANDLORD

    As a landlord, I occasionally need to clean really grubby tubs and showers when prepping for the next tenant. I buy the cheapest hair shampoo I can find. Greasy hair formula works best. I just coat the surface with a thin film and let it sit for a couple hours. It usually cleans everything off with minimum effort and expense.

    John, Ohio, USA

  • #892

    Smile Therapy

    New USE for Old Socks(swiffer)

    Worn Out Socks

    Rather than discarding unmated or worn out socks, I cut them down the front to within three inches of the toe and then slip them on my Swiffer(r). After giving them a spray of Endust(r), I use them to mop the hardwood floor. The stretchiness of the socks makes them easy to put on the Swiffer(r) head, and the cut sides of the socks are easily stuffed into the appropriate holders. After each use, I remove the sock and put it in the laundry.

    Norma, United States

  • #893

    Smile Therapy

    Water Heater HUGE Savings??

    Before You Replace the Water Heater

    Just today I saved $650 on a new hot water heater! My hot water heater gave out last week so I thought I was going to have to spring for a new one. However, a quick trip to my local hardware store proved otherwise.

    I explained that my hot water heater wasn\’t making the water hot any more. The fellow at the store explained how hot water heaters are nothing more than a thermostat and two heating coils in a tank. I asked him if he sold the heater elements and he said, \”Sure do.\” We proceeded to the plumbing aisle where there was an array of hot water heater coils. I went home, turned the breaker off (VERY important) to the hot water heater and went to work. With the help of my neighbor, we drained the tank, using the faucet at the bottom of the heater. It had a hose fitting on it so we just drained it using a garden hose into a kitchen pot. After we got as much water out as we could, we unscrewed the heating elements, and they were fried!

    What caused the problem was a build up of scale in the base of the heater. We then hooked up a tube to a shop vacuum hose (using duct tape around the seal) and removed almost all of the scale at the base of the hot water heater through the heating element hole. After a quick trip back to the hardware store for the right heating elements (Total cost: $26!), we were on our way. We put in the new heater elements and turned the breaker back on. We got the most wonderful hot water for $26!

    Terri B

  • #894

    Smile Therapy

    Getting Rid of ROOF MOLD…

    Roofing Mold

    To get rid of moss on your roof and keep it away for several years, apply baking soda fairly heavily, making the roof appear whitish. Leave it there and watch the moss disappear. It may take some time to work. The baking soda soaks into the shingles and changes the pH making it inhospitable for the moss. You can also use this trick on wooden decks and concrete porches, patios, and steps. You may want to use a sifter to apply the baking soda more evenly.

    Janet H, USA

  • #895

    Smile Therapy

    Great tip for SUN SHADE in HOT Areas!

    Affordable Sun Shade

    We live in the desert and summers often reach 115 degrees. Windows in two of our bedrooms face west, getting full afternoon sun. Even with the vertical blinds closed and solar screens on the outside, both rooms used to get really hot every afternoon.

    Last month, I bought white quilted fabric, cut it to window size plus about three inches for the top hem, surged the raw edges, and hung them with an inexpensive tension rod next to the glass. Both windows are about 45\” long and 72\” wide, so I made two curtains for each window that can be opened from the middle and fastened to hooks on the sides for early morning light.

    Our computer is right next to one window and I have really noticed how cool the room is staying. Also, the white fabric blocks the heat but still lets in a lot of light. I\’m sure this $50 investment is going to help lower our air conditioning and winter heating bills a lot. Just wish I had thought of it years ago!

    Janice in Nevada, USA

  • #896

    Smile Therapy

    How To Clean a FAN…

    Provided you use this method religiously at the end of every fan season and the beginning of the next, I\’ve found that standing your fan up in your garage, carport, or driveway and using your leaf blower to blow the dust out of it works very well indeed. If you let the dust accumulate to the point where the dirt sort of solidifies on the fan, on the other hand, there will be definite limits to what the leaf blower can accomplish. Even then, though, it will accomplish something.

    Sharon, USA

  • #897

    Smile Therapy

    Repel PESTS from your GARDEN

    Use a vegetable peeler to shave pieces of soap off a bar.

    Sprinkle the shavings over veggies and flowers – their scent will repel pests from your garden.

    Cheryl B, Syracuse, NY

  • #898

    Smile Therapy

    Tips in the WORKSHOP

    In the Workshop:
    • When you use a saw, you can end up splintering your wood. To prevent this, run a length of masking tape along your cut line, and this will keep the splintering in check.
    • Before you start a project with a sanding block, put a strip of wide tape on the back of your sandpaper. This will give you a cutting guide because it is just the right width and it will keep your paper from ripping on the block so it will last.
    • If you use a shop broom for cleaning large areas you know it is nearly impossible to get the mess into a dustpan. Well tape some newspapers to the floor, sweep the dirt onto the papers and then crumple the entire mess into the garbage.
    • If you need to do some serious nailing use some electrical tape to mark off your hammer handle at three, six, nine and twelve inch increments. This way you can hold the hammer handle against the wall and easily eyeball the next location of your nail.
    • If you\’re having trouble holding a screw when starting it, stick the end through a piece of tape and tape it to the screwdriver. This way you\’ll be able to drive the screw without dropping it and you can pull the tape off when you\’re done!
    • Wrap some tape around the metal rim of a paintbrush before you use it, the tape will prevent the paint from seeping up onto the rim, which is harder to clean. Simply peel the tape off when you\’re done.
    • Wrap tape around a new paint roller and then pull it off the loose fuzzies will end up on the tape not in your paint.
    Good luck!

    Cheryl B, Liverpool, NY

  • #899

    Smile Therapy

    Great tip to keep Furniture Looking New

    The Slip Cover Solution

    I always had a slip cover for our old couch and loved that I could just throw it in the wash. Also, it hid the ugly secret underneath. When we moved, we left our old, hand-me-down couch behind, but not the couch cover. With a new sofa, the bonus is that it keeps the cover looking new! Whenever the doorbell rings, we just pull it off and toss it in the basket behind the sofa, and we have a nice sofa that is sure to last a long time.
    Tracy M.

    Tracy M, USA

  • #900

    Smile Therapy

    Super CLEANING product!

    Bar Keepers Friend –
    It is a product that is found in the cleaning isle near Comet. This product is fantastic at cleaning my pure white Corian counters – it gets rid of all stains – berries, coffee, rust – you name it. It is also excellent at cleaning the lime and rust and soap scum from the bath tub. I have also used it on white clothes to get out stains. It is excellent at removing the charred grease spots from stainless cookware. I use it to clean my grill – and my alloy wheels on my car! Makes everything shine like new.

    Just like Comet it comes in a shaker can (there is also a liquid available.) A canister costs less than $3.00 – you can purchase it at any of the grocery stores.

    If you use Comet – (I hate the smell of Comet) I suggest you try Bar Keeper\’s Friend – it has no real smell to it and it works fantastic. I tell everyone about it!

    Kim Z, New York

  • #901

    Smile Therapy

    Incredible TIPS and USES for a Cucumber

    1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

    2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

    3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

    4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans, but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

    5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

    6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

    7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to ward off starvation.

    8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don\’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly-cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

    9. Out of WD-40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

    10. Stressed out and don\’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

    11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don\’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

    12. Looking for a \’green\’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won\’t leave streaks and won\’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

    13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

    J Smith, New York

  • #902

    Smile Therapy

    Inexpensive T Shirts

    Less Expensive T-Shirts

    The next time you\’re shopping for t-shirts for yourself and/or your family, a cheap source you might not have considered is your local craft store. They carry standard, basic t-shirts in various solid colors that they sell for the purpose of decorating with paints, etc. The prices are pretty impossible to beat, especially when they go on sale. Other plain, functional items they sell cheap are flip-flops, foam visors, and canvas aprons and tote bags. Whether you choose to embellish them or not, these staples are priced right.

    Diva, Shopping expert, USA

  • #903

    Smile Therapy

    Stainless Steel Scratches

    If you have scratches in your stainless steel sink, buy some car chrome polish and use it per the directions on your sink. This is the same product used to polish chrome wheels, bumpers, etc.

    Also, a polishing compound can be used. You can usually find this in a department or auto parts store. Sometimes the chrome polish is sold there as well.

    We recently had a stopped up drain in the kitchen in a stainless steel sink. Due to the various drain openers and acids we used, our sinks were badly discolored and etched.

    Two uses of the chrome polish saved our sink! A scratch-free, shiny sink is only a little elbow grease and chrome polish away!

    Sherry, USA

  • #904

    Smile Therapy

    Night Lights— During Power Outages. Cool Idea!

    I have a friend who used her solar lights inside at night when her power was off during the hurricane. She stuck them in a jar or bottle and said they gave off plenty of ‘free light’. She put one in each room and would put them back outside in the daytime and bring them in at night as long as the current was off. They are safe to use and cheaper than batteries. Bring in a solar light one night and test it.

    Due to a thunderstorm, we lost power for about 5 hours. We were scrambling around in the darkness, looking for matches, candles, flashlights, etc. We looked outside, and noticed our solar lights shining brightly all around our patio, stairs, dock, etc. They were beautiful. My husband walked outside, and brought several of the solar lights inside.

    We stuck the solar light pipes into plastic drink bottles and they made the nicest, brightest, safest, lighting you could ever imagine.

    We put one in the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room, etc. There was plenty of light. There are all types of solar lights available. We bought ours at Harbor Freight. We put them all around our yard. They look nice and they do not attract flying bugs like the outdoor lights around our doorway.

    The lights we have fit into the small (20-oz.) water bottles and they also fit into most of the larger liter bottles. If you need a weight in the plastic bottle to keep them from tipping over, you can put a few of the pretty colorful “flat marbles” that they put in aquariums and vases. (You can also use sand, aquarium gravel, etc., whatever you have available.)

    The lights we have were perfect inside our home. They burn all night long if you need them.

    The next day, you just take your solar lights back outside and they will instantly recharge and be ready for you to use again any time you need them.

    Perfect for power outages, hurricanes, etc.
    Give it a try…

    Cheryl B, Liverpool, NY

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