Home store shelves are full of goop and gadgets for cleaning or fixing just about anything. But, says Julie Edelman, better known to readers and viewers as The Accidental Housewife, you can save a lot of money by cleaning and fixing things with the goop and gadgets you already have at home.
Edelman offers specific tips in a recent issue of Bottom Line Personal:
Polish glass and faucets with newspaper – Newsprint ink is a wonderful polishing agent, so crumple a piece of newspaper and rub.
Shine shoes and plants with banana peels – The inner peel contains oil and potassium, two of the key ingredients in shoe polish. Wipe shoes or plant leaves with the inside of the peel, then buff with a soft, clean cloth.
Clean the dishwasher with Kool-Aid – Fill the dispenser with lemonade Kool-Aid or any powdered drink mix that contains citric acid. Run the dishwasher through a full normal cycle to wash away gunk, lime or rust stains, and odors.
Quiet a squeaky door with cucumber – Rub a slice of cucumber all around the hinge. Wipe away any residue and enjoy the quiet.
Mend minor cracks in china with milk – Milk contains casein, a protein that, when heated, turns into natural, plastic-like glue. Place the cracked plate in a pot large enough to cover it with milk. Bring the milk to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 45-60 minutes. Let the milk cool. Rinse the plate. The crack should be sealed.
Repel ants and roaches with citrus rinds – Bugs hate the oil that is found naturally in citrus rinds. Place pieces of orange or lemon rind in door or window openings or wherever bugs are prone to enter. Replace every few days.
Clean a toilet bowl with Alka Seltzer – Drop two of the tablets, or a couple of Polident effervescent tablets, into the bowl. Let them fizz and remain for 15-20 minutes. Clean with a toilet brush and flush.
Fix a small wood scratch with walnuts – Gently rub the walnut meat, with a circular motion, into small scratches on your dark wood furniture. Let the natural oil seep in for up to10 minutes, then buff with a clean cloth.
Source: Barbara Pronin