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BraveWarrior's avatar

Any uncommon household tips you've discovered?

Asked by BraveWarrior (1319 points ) December 7th, 2009

Most people have seen the 101 uses for baking soda… have you made a serendipitous discovery yourself that saves you time / money / effort / pain? For example, when hammering nails to fix a drawer, I used a small thin book with the binding against the nail to keep it straight without having to worry about hitting my thumb. A string come out of drawstring pants & I tied the end of the string to a long nail & used it to easily snake the string back through.

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33 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

When I worked at Applebee’s, we discovered by accident that Murphy’s oil soap effortlessly removes crayon from windows, tables, etc. What would take a vigorous scrub using most other cleaning products was done in seconds using the Murphy’s soap.

SundayKittens's avatar

I love uncommon household tips!!!! I discovered that windex or pine sol gets paint out of clothing. Apply a little, let sit for a few minutes, then scrub out. Very handy for a klutzy art teacher.
Also…BAKING SODA DOES EVERYTHING. Even taxes.

J0E's avatar

Ok, this is an extremely odd thing that I do, but it works. Whenever I get a brain freeze from eating something cold too fast I use what I call the “forehead high five”. I take my open hand and repeatedly “high five” myself on the forehead. It seems to work…and look very weird.

Supacase's avatar

Thank you for the tip about threading the string through with a nail! I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix my hoodie.

My tip is more of a kitchen/cooking tip: wrapping your celery in aluminum foil will keep it crisp for a remarkably long time.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

This is my favorite…when you fry something in a pan & it gets burnt on, sprinkle some automatic dish washing granules in it, add a little water & boil it out. The baked on gunk comes out easily.

filmfann's avatar

Isopropyl Alcohol on a rag will easily remove Sharpie Pen markings.

SuperMouse's avatar

Ice and salt combine to clean coffee burnt on a glass coffee pot.

juwhite1's avatar

Hiring a housekeeper will make keeping your house clean effortless. Okay… I haven’t personally discovered that one, but I’d love to!

RocketSquid's avatar

If you leave your clothes in the dryer too long and they come out wrinkly, throw a wet towel in there and run the cycle again. They come out smooth every time.

J0E's avatar

@RocketSquid Really? I always put my clothes in the dryer to remove wrinkles.

Ame_Evil's avatar

Ironing is pointless (as a man) as if you wear wrinkly clothes the wrinkles will vanish automatically.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Ketchup cleans brass perfectly (solid brass, not brass plated).

Half a lemon with a little bit of salt on it will clean almost anything.

Peroxide takes out blood stains (even set in stains).

Used dryer sheets clean ashtrays beautifully.

Rinse the lint collector in the dryer once a month to remove dryer sheet film (do this is really hot water) let dry before putting back. Cuts down on electric used and clothes get dryer faster.

BraveWarrior's avatar

Lots of great tips! Thanks to everyone for sharing!!!
Hope to get lots more!

@Supacase You’re welcome!

RocketSquid's avatar

@J0E I’ve had some times when I’ve forgotten to remove the clothes for a while after the load’s done, so they go back to being wrinkly. That’s when you’d want to use the towel.

Cupcake's avatar

Agree with @SarasWhimsy about hydrogen peroxide. It’s taken out more than one blood stain for me. For big stains, you can even put the cloth/article of clothing into a plastic bag or bucket (bloody side down) and soak it in hydrogen peroxide.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Another tip I just thought of with the mention of peroxide..

I have white work shirts that, over time, develop sweat stains. I think the yellowing in the pits is really gross. What I’ve used to successfully remove these is a 1:1:1 solution of water, peroxide, and baking soda. Put the article of clothing in a soak of this solution for as long as you can, like 8 hours if possible (though a soak of 30–60 minutes works). The baking soda tends to fall out of solution, so you’ll need to re-agitate every now and then. It really does work and I think it’s even whitened the rest of the shirts I used it on.

master_mind413's avatar

Hairspray removes almost any stain out of your clothes ,white vinegar kills any kind of house hold mold “without any harmful chemicals ” just put it in a spray bottle and shoot

BraveWarrior's avatar

@MissAnthrope Thanks for passing on this tip. I’ve got to try it on my hubby’s undershirts!

BraveWarrior's avatar

@master_mind413 I put white vinegar in the laundry with clothes that have been stored in the garage. Takes out the musty odor. Wonder if it would work on shower mildew? Only problem is the aroma will probably leave me craving a salad… ;)

BraveWarrior's avatar

@juwhite1 Me too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BraveWarrior's avatar

@RocketSquid Yep, I do the wet towel or washcloth (facecloth) in the dryer, too! Works pretty well, better than a hand-held steamer (and doesn’t tire your arm).

Pazza's avatar

Maybe not olong the lines your thinking, but I find putting toilet paper down the toilet before a number 2 stops the water splashing up your sphincter!

Oh, and baby wet wipes clean everything!......

Fernspider's avatar

@Pazza… LMAO… number 2s AND baby wipes in the same post! I love it.

This may be way too much information, but after I have done my number 2s, I get a little bit of water from the tap onto the scrunchy (yes, that is a word on my planet) piece of toilet paper to wipe. Super clean results.

Pazza's avatar

@Rachienz
haha, done it!
(but only when we’ve run out of wet wipes….)

SarasWhimsy's avatar

@master_mind413 In my experience only cheap hairspray gets out almost anything. It’s great for whiteboards.

Also thought of a couple more for candle wax. If it’s a solid use a blow dryer on the low setting to loosen. If it’s material or carpet used ice to get it as hard as possible and scrape off what you can then use a paperbag and an iron on the low setting to remove the rest.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I seem to remember from high school art class that you can use aerosol hairspray as a fixer for charcoal drawings instead of the more expensive fixers intended for the purpose.

evil2's avatar

used dryer sheets are great for cleaning the shower works better than anything i have ever tried

MissAnthrope's avatar

Use coffee filters or newspaper to clean glass and mirrors. They leave behind less lint than paper towels or cloths.

Raoul's avatar

To polish silver, use toothpaste. Not the gel kind.

Raoul's avatar

Those teeny tiny ants that come in the house some places? Put down a scented dryer sheet where they enter the house and bye-bye ants.

MissA's avatar

In the south, we have huge beetle-like bugs which are attracted to landscaping mulch. From what I’ve read, they are indeed some type of cockroach. Mostly, they measure in at nearly three-inches in length (just eye-balling, thank you). Boric acid in strategic places keeps them from entering the house.

IF they do succeed in finding their way into your house, they will leave behind that which is as large as mouse droppings. They are also attracted to the glue part of envelopes, toothpaste, paper products (like toilet paper),

We use jar lids with boric acid. They get the acid crystals on their feet and take it back to their home place. When they ingest the crystals, it doesn’t move through their innards in a way that’s congruent with life.

bippee's avatar

Toothpaste will make diamonds sparkle brightly

limeaide's avatar

@bippee you reminded me that I use toothpaste to clean my shaving mirror I keep in the shower.

Another one I just thought of, to remove permanent mark from hard surfaces use a dry erase marker and color over the permanent marker and wipe off with a cloth or dry marker eraser both dry erase marker and permanent marker is now gone.

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