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How-to Encyclopedia

Helpful Hints

Remove Wax from Carpet

Place a paper towel over the stain and draw the wax up into it by placing a warm iron over the paper towel (this is called "capillary action"); repeat if necessary. Sponge the stained area with 1 c. isopropyl alcohol and 2-3 c. water if the stain remains. Sponge from the outside to the inside of the stain. Be very sure not to get the area too wet or you can bring up a stain from the padding.

Remove Candle Wax from Furniture

Turn stained furniture upside down. Put a piece of cotton cloth (t-shirt) over the wax stain. Using a hot chrome or metal finish curling iron, heat wax and let it melt into the cloth. This may take several applications to fully remove the wax.

Remove Candle Wax on Material

Remove the excess the best you can. This is best done by putting an ice cube on the wax to harden it, then peeling or scraping off the excess wax. Then place an absorbent piece of paper underneath, such as a brown paper bag. Put a white paper towel on top. Place a warm (not hot) iron on top over the paper towel and it should draw the wax up to the towel.

Remove Candle Wax from Candle Holders

Put candle holders in the freezer until wax is frozen. Chip the wax off. Or, put holders under very hot water and wipe wax off.

For White Clothes

This is for use with white cotton, nylon and polyester only.

1/4 c. liquid detergent
1/4 c. electric dishwasher detergent
1/4 c. bleach OR ammonia BUT NOT BOTH
1/2 - 1 bucket warm water

Soak until stain disappears and launder as usual.
Note: DO NOT use chlorinated bleach.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 Cup grated Fels Naptha bar soap
1/2 Cup 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster
1/2 Cup washing soda (Not baking soda)
Mix in bowl. Store in airtight container.
1/2 Tbsp = Light load
1 Tbsp = Regular load
2 Tbsp = Extra heavy load

Clean Microwave Oven and Remove Odors

Place a bowl of vinegar in the microwave and run on high until it comes to a boil. Wipe the interior clean with a rag dipped in the vinegar.

Preventing Drawers from Sticking

Make sure the wood is very dry and sanded well. Shellac them and then rub with paraffin wax in order to lubricate them so they slide easily. Do this to all surfaces of the drawers.

Removing Hair Spray from Walls

Put a few drops of shampoo and warm water on a sponge or cloth to wipe down the wall. Rinse with clear warm water to remove any residue.

Clean Coffee Makers

Drop an EFFER-DENT denture cleaning tablet in a 10 cup coffee maker and add hot water it instead of cold. Brew as usual then rinse.

Make a Yarn Bottle

Heat the black "ring" portion of a 2 liter plastic soda pop bottle with a hairdryer and remove the ring. Cut the bottom part of the clear plastic container with a knife. Insert the skein of yarn inside the bottle and run the yarn through the top opening. Slip the ring back on the bottom end of the bottle. If the ring is too loose, tape it to the clear part of the bottle.

Flood Basements

Disinfect your walls and floors with Lysol or a solution of 1/2 c. chlorine to 1 gallon water. Discard fruits, vegetables or food that has come in contact with the water. Wash jars or cans of food with soap and hot water using a brush, then immerse in chlorinated water. (3 drops of bleach to 1 gal. water) for at least 15 minutes. Clothing, carpets, toys and upholstered furniture cannot be disinfected, you should discard them. Beware of electrocution. Don't go down in the water until the electricity has been cut off.

Remove Odor from New Carpet

Turn the heat up to full blast for several hours then turn heat back down. Open all windows and air out the dwelling.

Yeast Test

Dissolve 1 t. of granulated sugar into 1/2 c. warm water (110 -115). Sprinkle 1 packet of yeast slowly over the surface of the water. Stir the yeast mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. If the yeast has multiplied to the 1 c. mark and has a rounded crown, the yeast is still active and fresh and you may use it. Remember to deduct the 1/2 c. of liquid from the total amount of liquid used in your recipe.

Preventing Rash from Wrist Watch

Brush back of watch with clear nail polish. When it wears off repeat.

Prevent Stains on Ties

Scotch Guard ties when they're new.

Get Rid of Clover Mites

Put a towel or rag soaked in Roman Cleanser bleach on the window sill. Make sure your sill is constructed of a material that can take the bleach safely such as marble.

Keep Your Coffee Grounds

Tips on Pork Chops

Try adding a little butter and a half can of Vernor's to baked pork chops. The Vernor's tenderizes the pork and adds a great ginger-caramel flavor to them.

Tips on BBQ Ribs

Air Fresheners & Deodorizers


Mildew Cleaners

Remove Mildew

Mix equal parts of non-chlorine Clorox II Lemon Fresh bleach and Palmolive dish soap. Make a paste and apply it to the mildew. You can use a toothbrush to really work it in. This may take a few applications. When mildew brushes off; launder.

Upholstery Rug & Carpet Cleaners

Scouring Powders

Toilet Bowl Cleaners

Drain Openers

Alternative for Household Cleaning Solutions

The improper disposal of household chemicals can be hazardous to people and their environment. While one home's pollution may be small, the effect of many can be significant. Landfills, storm drains and sewage treatment plants are not designed to treat chemical wastes. Without special treatment, the chemicals stay in the environment and move into recreational and drinking water supplies. Everyone must help to solve this problem.

Household Chemicals

Furniture Polish:
Equal parts mineral oil and lemon oil or
Equal parts mineral oil and Murphy's Oil Soap

2 T. olive oil, 1 T. white vinegar in 1 qt. warm water. Spray, and then dry with soft cloth.

Upholstered :
6 T. soap flakes, 1 pt. boiling water, 2 T. borax.

Murphy's Oil Soap.

1/4 c. white vinegar, 1/4 c. washing soda (sodium carbonate) in 1 gal. warm water.

Painted Wood:
1 T. washing soda in 1 gal. warm water.

Vinyl, Natural Wood:
Murphy's Oil Soap.

Wax Remover:
3 T. washing soda in 1 qt. warm water.

All Purpose Cleaner:
Baking soda and water for ovens, cutting boards, coffee stains, toilets, basin, tub and tile.
Water mixed with salt or borax for Formica.
Baking soda and vinegar for crusted food in pans.

Oven Cleaner:
Put salt on spills while warm.
Loosen soil with 1/4 c. ammonia left overnight.

Baking soda or vinegar in open dish.
Air out room.
Fresh flowers or herbs.
Mix 2 c. of corn meal and 1 box of borax and sprinkle on carpet, leave 15 minutes, then vacuum.

Borax and water solution, then keep area aired out and dry.
1 T. bleach in 1 gal. of warm water (wipe on a clean surface and let air dry).

Stain Removal:
For rust or hard water deposits: vinegar or lemon juice.
For copper pots: lemon halves dipped in salt (or rub with vinegar).
For coffee cups: baking soda.
For general use: corn meal and water mixed into paste.

Garbage/Basement Paint, Paint Remover:
Use water based latex paints.
Slow cookers can be used to remove paint on small metal items.
Use sandpaper and sander as paint remover.

Boric acid for cockroaches traps for rats and mice (Pesticides will not be effective if the pests' shelter, food and water are not removed).
Wood Preservatives:
Purchase pre-treated wood.

Laundry Detergent:
Soap, borax or washing soda or use less detergent.
1/4 c. vinegar in wash cycle.

Dry Cleaner Fluid/Spot Remover:
Soap, cornstarch or vinegar.
1 T. cornstarch to 1 pt. water.

Use powdered rather than liquid bleach.

Automatic Garage Door Opener

If you're leaving home for a period of time, unplug your garage door opener and lock the door.

Remove Tarnish from Silverware

Applesauce As a Substitute for Oil

You may substitute up to 50% applesauce or fruit puree in place of oil when you bake to reduce fat content, i.e.: 1 c. oil called for in recipe, use 1/2 c. applesauce.

Raw Egg in an Unbaked Recipe

Coddle the egg: Put whole egg on a spoon and dip it into boiling water for 40 seconds. Shock the egg in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

Finding Hard Boiled Eggs Mixed in with Fresh Eggs

Spin the egg on its side. The hard boiled ones will spin well, the fresh ones won't.

Musty Smelling Books

Put the book in a brown paper bag with baking soda and let sit for approximately one week.

Cleaning Shoes

Apply white vinegar to shoes with a rag and wipe off salt stains. This is supposed to de-activate the salt as well. Rub the shoes with a cloth dipped in ammonia.

Arthritis Cure

Soak white raisins (yellow Dole plump up best) in gin for seven days then pour off gin. Eat nine raisins per day. You can grind the raisins and take one heaping teaspoonful per day.

Arthritis Help

1 T. honey
1 T. apple juice
8 oz. water

Combine and drink 2-3 times daily.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Soak

To help alleviate the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, run a hot bath and dissolve 2 packets of Johnson's Foot Soak and 1/2 - 1/3 cup of rubbing alcohol in the water. Get in and soak. After getting out of the tub, use a good moisturizer as the alcohol will tend to dry your skin out.

Lower Your Cholesterol

Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts purple grape juice and 4 parts apple juice. Mix together well. Keep in the refrigerator. Take 2 oz. every morning after breakfast to help lower your cholesterol level.

Cleaning Copper Pans

Clean pan with Zud and rinse. Wipe dry right away. Or rub the pan with a cloth dipped in ketchup.

Take the Heat Out of Red Onions

Slice the red onion. Put slices into a bowl of cold water and soak for 10 minutes.

Remove Spaghetti Sauce from Clothing

Rub regular Dawn Dishwashing Detergent into the spaghetti stain; put some also into lukewarm water and stir. Soak clothing overnight. Repeat if necessary. DO NOT ever put clothing in dryer if it has a stain or you will set the stain. NOTE: You can use Simple Green in the same manner or try adding 1/4 c. Simple Green to your washing machine load and if there are any stains you may have missed, the Simple Green will help remove them.

Remove Odor from Plastic Containers

Put tomato juice on a sponge and wipe it around. Also can be used to remove odors form inside of refrigerators and dogs. Wash containers and lids with soap and water, dry well and put lid and bowl separately into freezer for a couple of days.

Remove Red Wine Stains

Saturate a cloth or sponge with hydrogen peroxide and blot the stain. If the stain is in carpet do not saturate the actual carpet just use a cloth or sponge that has hydrogen peroxide applied to it.

Remove Perspiration Stains

Converting Regular Cooking to Crockery Cooking

Original recipe calls for 15-30 minutes of cooking time: cook on low 4-8 hours or 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours on high. For 30-60 minutes of cooking time; cook on low 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high. For 1-3 hours of cooking time: cook on low 8-16 hours or 4-6 hours on high.

Cast Iron Pan Seasoning and Care

General Care of Cast Iron Pans

Nutrition and Food Safety Hotline Phone Numbers

U.S.D.A.'s meat and poultry hot line: 1-800-535-4555. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. E/T weekdays


8 Common Causes of Failure in Cake Making

Remove Grass Stains

For grass stains, combine a few drops of household ammonia with 1 t. peroxide. Rub stain with this mixture. Rinse with water as soon as stain disappears.

General Shelf Lives for Common Items

Test Cloth for Stains

When attempting to remove a stain from clothing use an old piece of cloth of the same material to first test the results. Apply the same stain material to the test cloth. Then try the various stain remedies on the test cloth to find the one which works best on that specific stain. This way you'll keep from damaging the original garment before finding the best remedy!

Remove Water or Heat Marks on Wood Surfaces

Get Rid of Mites

Purchase a miteacide for the lawn like Kelthane or Tedion. Mix with water and pour into a sprayer. Spread it in a 1 foot strip around your entire home.

Soften Brown Sugar

Break off a chunk of the brown sugar (if you can). Wrap it in foil and bake in a 300° F oven for 5 minutes.

Clean the Grill

This cleanup trick works while you sleep! Lay a barbecue grill rack on the lawn overnight-the dew will combine with the enzymes in the grass to loosen any burned-on grease. Try it with messy oven racks too!

Substitution Chart

WHEN YOU NEED: 1 t. baking powder USE: 1/2 t. cream of tarter + 1/4 t. baking soda. 1 c. buttermilk 1 t. lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to measure one c. 1 c. cake flour 7/8 c. all-purpose flour. 1 T. cornstarch 2 T. all-purpose flour. 3/4 c. cracker crumbs 1 c. bread crumbs. 1 c. dark corn syrup 3/4 c. light corn syrup + 1/4 c. molasses. 1 garlic clove, minced 1/8 t. garlic powder. 1 t. garlic salt 1/8 t. garlic powder + 7/8 t. salt. 1 c. half-and -half cream 1 T. melted butter + enough whole milk to =1 c. 1 c. honey 1 1/4 c. sugar + 1/4 c. liquid. 1 t. lemon juice 1/4 t. cider vinegar. 1 t. lemon peels 1/2 t. lemon extract. 1 c. light corn syrup 1 c. sugar + 1 c. liquid. 1 c. molasses 1 c. honey. 1 onion (small), chopped 1 t. onion powder or 1 T. dried minced onion. 1 T. prepared mustard 1/2 t. ground mustard + 2 t. vinegar. 1 semisweet chocolate square (1 oz.) 3 T. semisweet chocolate chips or 1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate + 1 T. sugar. 1 c. sour cream 1 c. plain yogurt. 1 c. sugar 1 c. packed brown sugar or 2 c. sifted confectioners sugar. 2 t. tapioca 1 T. all-purpose flour. 1 c. tomato juice 1/2 c. tomato sauce + 1/2 c. water. 2 c. tomato sauce. 3/4 c. tomato paste + 1 c. water. 1 unsweetened chocolate square (1 oz.) 3 T. cocoa + 1 T. shortening or oil. 1 c. whole milk 1/2 c. evaporated milk + 1/2 c. water.

Shower Doors

To keep shower doors shiny and clear, use a soft cloth moistened with baby oil. It prevents scum build-up from dirt and soap. And hard water spots won't appear for several months.

Replacement Parts for Most Kitchen Appliances

Where do you find a replacement carafe for your coffee maker etc.? A company called: Appliances S.O.S (800) 543-7549.

Silence Squeaking Wood Floors

Dust talcum powder into the cracks.

Remove Wrinkles Vinyl Coats

Hang the coat on a hanger and go over wrinkles with a hair dryer until wrinkles come out.

Soften Blue Jeans

Soak in full strength fabric softener (Like Downy) over night and launder as usual (repeat if necessary).

Get Rid of Small Moths/Bugs

Fill a small bowl with white vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap. The moths are attracted to it, fall into it and expire. Strip the pantry and wash. Remove paper from cans and wash cans in hot soapy water. Discard anything containing wheat. Store flour and wheat containing products in air tight containers. You can even store in the refrigerator or freeze.

Remove Crayon Stains

To remove crayon stains from glass, porcelain, Formica, metal, plastic, no-wax vinyl floors, painted walls, painted wood, washable wallpaper, tile, chalkboard and marble. Spray surface to be cleaned with WD-40 and wipe with a soft cloth. If a residue remains add liquid dish washing detergent into water, wash the surface with a sponge, working in a circular motion and rinse. Repeat as needed.

Remove Bats in Attic

Place 6 boxes of mothballs in the area where the bats are residing. The mothballs must contain the chemical naphthalene. The bats dislike loud music and bright lights too. Do not do this between Aug-Sept because they are spawning. They hibernate after that time and again you are not supposed to use the mothballs. You must find how they got into your home and close the opening.

Remove Bleach Stains from Carpets

Using a toothpick, mix colors of paint until you get the shade to match the carpet. Apply the paint very lightly to the bleached spot and let it dry. After it has dried reapply. Repeat this process until the color blends in with the carpet. This works best with very small stains. If the stain is too large the paint will leave the carpet stiff. If you can get a color close enough to match you can use magic marker or colored felt tip pens.

Make Your Grass Greener

Remove Ring Stuck on Your Finger

Wrap your finger tightly with dental floss and then you can take the ring off over that.

Remove Problem Stains

This works great on perspiration stains, baby formula stains, set stains, and even chocolate stains.

1 c. Dove liquid dish soap
1 c. dry Clorox bleach (non-chlorinated)

Mix all with 1 gallon of the hottest water the material can handle. Soak for up to 3 days. If the stain isn't out by the 3rd day, make a new solution and re-soak the material. If there is an odor problem as well add 1 c. ammonia to the solution. Works great on whites; if using color, make sure the material you soak is color-fast or test a portion that will not show.

Window Cleaning

Clean windows with your favorite window cleaner or use a mixture of 1/4 -1/2 c. white vinegar, 1-2 T. lemon juice or 1-2 T. rubbing alcohol. (One neighbor said to add 2-3 drops of dishwasher detergent) and 1 quart water. Wipe dry with crumpled up newspaper sheets. Note: another neighbor says to let the newspaper ink dry for 3 weeks so you don't get it all over your hands.

Clean Bottom of Iron

Using 4 ought to steel wool, rub the bottom of the cold iron until you've gotten it to clean. Heat the iron to the warm setting and run it across waxed paper. Then run the iron over an old white cloth to remove any excess wax.

Keep Animals Out of Shrubs and Gardens

Rabbits, Woodchucks, and Deer: Use blood meal or dried blood. Apply a thin coating to the earth. Adding a lot will rid the area of humans too because it has an offensive odor!

Chipmunks and Squirrels: Use a fungicide with a product called Thiram added to it. This will last about 4-6 weeks depending on the rainfall.

Cats and Dogs: Bury an empty pop or beer bottle in the ground so that the top is level with the ground and fill it with 2 parts ammonia and 1 part water. This will evaporate so you must refill it periodically.

Remove Musty Odors from Towels

Cleaning Washer Machine

This should be done every 6 months. Fill washing machine with very hot to boiling water, add 2 gallons of vinegar and let agitate for 8-10 minutes. Turn machine off and let stand over night. Turn machine on and let it run through a complete cycle.

Premade Cabbage Leaves for Stuffed Cabbage

Cut the core out of the cabbage. Place in a heavy-duty plastic bag and put in the freezer (this can be done a couple of days before preparing the stuffed cabbages). Thaw out in the refrigerator the day before preparation. The leaves will "fall right off" and be pliable enough to roll too.

Tips for Great Gowumke

Eliminate Discoloration and Cover Scratches in Wood Furniture

Break a piece of peanut, walnut or pecan and rub the broken side over scratches in wooden furniture. The oil from the nutmeat can eliminate discoloration and the furniture may look almost as good as new.

Prevent Cloudiness in Crystal Glassware

Add vinegar to the wash water. Don't use the dishwasher. Wash by hand using about 1/2-1c. vinegar to 1 gal. hot water. Or for better results, soak glasses in a strong vinegar solution (1-2 c. per gal. hot water) for several hours or overnight. Repeat if necessary.

Remove Closet Odors

Wash the walls, ceiling and floor thoroughly with a mixture of 1 c. ammonia, 1 c white vinegar and 1/4 c. baking soda for every gallon of water. Repeat if necessary. If closet odors persist, place a shallow pan of kitty litter in the closet. Keep door closed and replenish the litter every few days until the odor is gone.

Washing Pillows

Launder in washing machine. Place in dryer and put 4 new tennis balls in with the pillows (if you don't have the balls use clean tennis shoes). This pounds and fluffs the pillows. This is noisy. This can take longer than a single drying cycle. Feel the pillows with your fingers to make sure the feathers are dry and not matted. If you feel any "lumps", return to drier.

Cleaning Stuffed Animals

Place animal in a paper bag, add corn meal and shake the bag for a minute or so. Let stand for several hours. Brush the corn meal off. This absorbs the oils and grease. Repeat if necessary.

Storing Peppers

Freeze Them: Seed the peppers and put them in a freeze-lock plastic container then freeze. Be aware that they will be slightly mushy but still good for sauces and such. (you can also freeze the peppers whole, this will result in a hotter pepper because of the seeds remaining intact)

Dry Them: Cut peppers length-wise and seed them (using a spoon was suggested) and place on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Put your oven on its lowest setting (150° is desired but your oven may not go that low), place peppers in oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon (just slightly ajar, about 1 inch or so). Cook for 24-48 hours until they are brittle and dry. Remove, cool and chop to desired consistency (use a food processor for this task). Store in a tightly sealed jar.

Note: when handling hot peppers wear rubber gloves and do not touch your eyes or face.

Keeping Squirrels Out Of Bird Feeder

If your feeder in mounted on a pole, put a stove pipe or 4-6 inch diameter PCV pipe around the pole (from the bottom). They can't wrap their paws around the pipe and won't be able to climb up the pole. You can also put a piece of PCV pipe around the chain if your feeder is a hanging type.

Shelf Life for Frozen Poultry

For whole turkey or chicken: 1 year
For turkey or chicken pieces: 9 months

Remove Ink from Wood Furniture

Purchase Mequiars heavy duty rubbing compound and mirror polish (or swirl remover) at the auto parts store. Apply a couple of drops of the rubbing compound and rub in a circular motion. Then apply a couple more drops and rub with the grain of the wood. Then apply a couple of drops of the polish and gently rub out the marks from the rubbing compound.

Additional Uses for Bounce Fabric Softener

Keep Car Doors from Freezing Shut

Spray the rubber door lining with WD-40 or silicone lubricant. Don't forget to spray again after getting your car washed in freezing temperatures.

Clean Burnt Stainless Steel Pots

Sprinkle electric dishwasher powder liberally over the burnt area of the pot (about 2-3 T.). Fill the pot 1/2 way with water, cover with lid and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes and take a brush to it to clean.

Remove Oil from Driveway

Cover oil with a product called Oil-Dry. You can use Kitty Litter if you can't find the Oil-Dry. Scrub the stain left behind with a product called Gunk powdered floor cleaner or use a concrete cleaner.

Clear Frozen Drain-line In Refrigerator

Boil a pot of water. Fill a turkey baster with the water and squirt down the drain line.

Remove Cloudiness from Glassware

Soak glassware in a solution of hot water and white vinegar or full strength vinegar depending on how cloudy it is. Scrub with a brush then wash. If glasses are cloudy only on the inside, just fill with vinegar or vinegar/water solution. The amount of soaking time depends on the cloudiness of the glasses. Repeat if necessary.

Use Pantyhose for Drying Sweaters

Put the pantyhose in the neck of the sweater and run the legs of the pantyhose down through the arms. Now you can hang the sweater up very nicely and let it dry on the line by clipping the clothespins to the pantyhose instead of the sweater. This eliminates any "clip" marks and helps the sweater dry faster.

Remove Tartness from Sauerkraut

Substitute Equal for Sugar

1 pck. Equal = 2 t. sugar.

Remove Mustard Stains from Clothing

Apply a few drops of glycerin and rub it in with your fingers. Rinse the stain with water and launder as usual.

Saving Newsprint

Sandwich the clippings between two of stainless steel window screens and soak in a solution of 1 t. magnesium carbonate and 1 qt. club soda. Soak for 30 minutes. Let dry.

Crisps Celery or Carrots

Dissolve 1/2 t. sugar in some cold water. Place cut up vegetables in the water and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to a couple of hours.

Store Leeks in Freezer

Clean and chop or dice the white parts of the leek. Place in a bag and freeze. Use for garnish or flavorings as needed. This works very well for onions too.

Feed Hummingbirds

4 c. water
1 c. sugar

Boil the mixture for 5 minutes. Let cool and fill the hummingbird feeder. The mixture will keep up to 2 weeks when refrigerated. Change the feed mixture every three days when the weather is hot. You need to clean the feeder thoroughly too. Try placing the feeder around these plants: columbine, bee balm, impatient, petunias and coral bells. Don't use red food coloring or honey.

Stripping and Preserving Wood Decks

Purchase a product called Strip-X (for a stained deck) made by Bio-Wash. Apply with a roller or a brush. Let stand 15 minutes and rinse clean with the garden hose. Apply neutralizer (make sure the neutralizer comes with the Strip-X. It is suppose to be in a small bag that's attached) and let stand 2 minutes; rinse again with the hose. Let the deck dry. Buy a stain with UV protection (follow the directions of the stain).

Get Rid of Carpenter Ants

Mix 1/2 c. molasses, 1 pck. dry yeast and 1/4 c. sugar well. Spread with a knife onto cardboard and place it where the ants are seen.

Freeze Tomatoes

Wash and core tomatoes (skin and seed if you care to). Place into freezer containers and freeze. They should last up to 1 year. You can use them as you would canned tomatoes.

Garlic Spray Deer and Animal Repellent

2 eggs
2 c. water
4 cloves garlic
2 t. Tabasco sauce

Blend until smooth and let stand 2 days. Use with garden sprayer to spray yard and gardens.

Remove Wrinkles from Plastic Table Covers

Place table cover in the dryer with a wet towel on high heat for a couple of minutes. This is to soften up the cover and make it pliable enough to pull the wrinkles out. Place cover over the table and pull wrinkles out. Watch carefully so it doesn't melt!

Freeze Swiss Chard

Wash and cut off the "woody" stems. Place in boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes (stir it around so it doesn't get "matted"). Remove from water and place in another bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain, place in freezer bags and freeze. Use in casseroles, vegetable lasagna or as a side dish.

Extract Pulp from Pumpkins

Knock the stem off. Pierce the top 3-4 times, the middle 3-4 times and the same to the bottom to vent (use a paring knife or an ice pick). Place a piece of waxed paper in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes on high (for a 700 watt microwave). Turn the pumpkin over and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the microwave and wrap the pumpkin in a towel for 10 minutes. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds with a fork and scrape the pulp out with a spoon. A 5 lb. pumpkin should yield about 3 c. of pulp. FOR SQUASH: Acorn squash is done the same way but cook for 3 minutes. Cut in half and add butter, cinnamon or syrup and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until squash are tender.

Clean Coffee Makers

Fill the decanter with white vinegar. Place a filter in the machine, pour in the vinegar and run about 3 c. of the vinegar into the decanter. Turn the machine off and let stand for 30 minutes. Pour the 3 c. of vinegar back into the coffee maker, turn it back on and let the vinegar run completely through the machine. Discard the vinegar and the used coffee filter. Replace the filter with a clean one and run a decanter of fresh water through the machine. Remove the filter and replace with a new one and run another decanter of fresh water through the machine. If you have soft water, you'll need to clean the machine after 80 brew cycles. If you have hard water, every 40 cycles

Prevent Pumpkin Pie from Getting Soggy

Remove Smoke Odor from Wood Table

Invert the table and sprinkle the underside of the table with fresh coffee grounds. Cover the table with a plastic sheet and seal it to the floor with masking tape. Let the table sit for 1 week to pull the odor out.

Remove Refrigerator Odors

Clean the seals of the refrigerator with a baking powder water solution (see the box of baking soda for amounts). Place fresh coffee grounds on a saucer and put in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Remedies for Upset Stomach

Mix 4 oz. of "real" orange juice, 4 oz. water, 2 T. Karo syrup and a pinch of salt. Take 1 T. of the mixture every 15 minutes when you're nauseated. Store in the refrigerator.

Remove Burnt-on Food from Pots

Put the pot in the freezer for a couple of hours. Remove and wash it out as you would normally.

Clean Inside of Copper Pans Using Natural Ingredients

Mix equal amounts of cornmeal, salt and white vinegar into a paste. Apply the paste to the surface area to be cleaned. Rub off. Rinse.

Clean Outside of Copper Pans

If you want to use a natural ingredient, rub ketchup on the copper and let sit for a minute. Rub off then rinse.

Substitute Applesauce for Shortening

You can substitute applesauce for shortening 1 for 1 up to 1 c. This means you can use 1 c. applesauce for 1 cup shortening. Beyond 1 c., use oil or shortening for the remainder of the amount. So if your recipe called for 1 1/2 c. shortening you would use 1 c. applesauce and 1/2 c. shortening.

Sore Throat Remedy

8-12 oz. water (as hot as you can stand it)
1 oz. hydrogen peroxide
1 t. salt

Mix together and gargle once per hour.

Remove Gum from Dryer

Apply a light application of Goo-Gone onto a cloth. Rub on the gum, let stand and wipe off. Repeat if necessary. Rinse well with soap and water (until odor is gone) before using dryer again. Check your local hardware store for Goo-Gone.

When Kids Don’t Like Vegetables

Try pureeing some vegetables into spaghetti sauce so they can't see the vegetables.

Prevent Slip and Fall Getting Out of Car

When you open your car door and step out, hold on to the door or roof until you are completely out of the car so you don't slip and fall.

Vinegar Uses

China: scrub coffee and tea stains off your teacups with equal parts white vinegar and salt.

Fish Bowl: rub away the film on the inside of the bowl using a cloth dipped in white vinegar. Rinse the bowl very well before putting the fish back in.

Drain: Wash away drain odors with 1 c. of baking soda followed by 1 c. of white vinegar. Turn on your hot water full force to wash it down.

Paintbrushes: To save a good paintbrush that's encrusted with dried paint, bring white vinegar to a boil, pour it over the brush and let the brush stand in the vinegar for 1 hour. Heat the vinegar again with the brush still in it until it comes to a simmer. "Cook" for 20 minutes to soften the paint. Repeat if necessary.

Foot Odor: soak smelly feet in 1 qt. of lukewarm water and 1/2 c. vinegar for 15 minutes twice a week.

Dandruff: after you shampoo, rinse your hair with a mixture of 1/2 c. vinegar and 1 c. warm water and leave it in. Don't worry, the smell will fade.

Lunch Boxes: Freshen up a smelly lunch box with a slice of bread moistened with white vinegar. Put the bread in the box, close the lid and let it sit overnight.

Remove Ladybugs from Home

Vacuum up the bugs and dispose of the vacuum bag outside of the house. Try spraying a contact insecticide (like Nu-Mrk) around the outside of the foundation wall of your home. If you have a black light available turn it on at night in the area they congregate and they are supposed to be drawn to the light, making it easier to vacuum the entire group.

Remove Ball Point Ink from Clothing

Place the stained area on a clean towel or piece of cloth (use a clean rag because it will be ruined afterwards) and spray with an aerosol (not pump type) hair spray until wet. Brush with a soft brush until the stain is gone. Launder as usual.

Seed and Plant Catalogues

Gurney: 1-800-531-5887
Park Seeds: 1-800-845-3369
Burpee: 1-800-888-1447
Van Bourgondien: 1-800-622-9997
Stokes: 1-800-396-9238

Determine Water Amount Sprinkled on Lawn

Mark a tin can with a 1 inch mark and set it out on the lawn before you start sprinkling. Turn on sprinkler and start timing with a watch until the water comes to the 1 inch mark. You now know how many minutes it takes to give your lawn 1 inch of water. You'll need to water 1 inch per week. By giving your lawn the 1 inch of water it will drive the water down 4-6 inches giving your lawn the proper moisture needed.

Dry Rose Petals for Potpourri

Place the individual rose petals in a single layer on paper toweling. Cook for 1 minute (using an 800 watt microwave). If petals are not completely dried, continue cooking in 10-15 second cycles. Place on a cookie sheet and continue cooking petals until you have enough for the potpourri. Put petals into a jar and sprinkle with a few drops of rose oil.

Remove Ring Around Collar

For "ring around the collar," use a bar of white, mild soap that is free of moisturizers. Rub the soap along the collar and throw the item in the wash.

Skunk Odor Hints

Mix Massengill feminine douche powder as per directions. With a spray bottle, saturate the affected animal or surface and bathe.

Storing Bread

Bread should never go in the refrigerator (breads with no preservatives). Freeze bread. Let thaw. Bake in 400° oven for 4 minutes. This will refresh the bread.

Clean Stuffed Animals

Place in dryer on "low" setting with a sheet of Bounce fabric softener or other dryer sheet.

Keep Vegetables Green

Prepare the green vegetable for cooking. Boil water that is lightly salted in a saucepan. Once it is boiling plunge the vegetables in the water and cook (or cook over a steamer) for 3 to 5 minutes until al dente or tender to your taste. Drain immediately and plunge vegetables into iced water to stop the cooking and cool completely. Drain. The vegetables will be vibrant green. When ready to serve. Place vegetables into a saucepan with butter or a little water or both and gently heat and serve. They will retain their vibrant green color.

Remove Blood Stains

A mixture of 1/2 c. 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 t. ammonia.

Cook Idaho or Sweet Potatoes in Microwave

Wash and scrub 2 (5-7 oz. ea.) potatoes and pierce them with a fork in several places (so steam can escape). Cook 5-9 minutes (8-13 minutes if you have 4 potatoes), on high (this depends on the power of your microwave oven). Test with a fork to when they're tender. Let stand 2-3 minutes covered.

Substitutes for One Whole Egg In Recipes

Mix 1 t. cornstarch with 3 T. extra liquid (whatever liquid is called for in the recipe).
2 T. oil plus 1 T. water.
2 T. liquid plus 2 T. flour, plus 1/2 T. shortening, plus 1/2 t. baking powder.

Water for Birds During Winter

It is important to maintain a supply of water for birds during the winter, both for drinking and maintenance of feathers. They need to bathe during frosty weather to maintain their plumage to keep warm. Keep your birdbath free of ice (you can buy a thermostatic immersion heater). Never use anti-freeze or salt to prevent the water from freezing because it will harm the birds.

Train Pets to Stay Off Furniture

Put aluminum foil on the furniture. They won't care for it and should get the message.

Clean Shower Curtains

Add Zip To Egg Salad

Add a little hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and/or Tiger sauce to taste for a new "improved" flavor.

Add Zip to Tuna, Ham or Chicken Salad

Add some finely minced sweet pickled gerkins or well drained pickle relish. Instead of using mayonnaise substitute Marzetti's slaw dressing.

Unstick Photographs

Heating Pasta Bowl

To easily heat a large serving bowl for pasta, place a colander in the bowl, pour the pasta and water into the colander and let the hot water stand in the bowl for a few seconds to heat it. Then pour out the water, add the pasta and sauce toss and serve.

Stop Mint Plants from Taking Over Garden

Cut out the bottom off a large (3 lb.) coffee can and push it down into the ground and then plant the mint inside the can. The roots won't be able to spread out all over your garden.

Help Control Mosquito’s in The Bird Bath

Add a few drops of canola, or vegetable oil to the bird bath water (enough to make a light film) it won't harm the birds, but will help control the laying of the mosquito's eggs. Clean the bird bath with 10% bleach solution and change the water every few days.

Homemade Furniture Polishes

1/3 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. turpentine
1/3 c. boiled linseed oil
4 t. almond extract (for a pleasant fragrance)

Clean Shower Doors

If that leftover bottle of white wine has gone sour on you, use it on your shower door instead of throwing it out. Rinse off with water and dry well...even if it's a dry wine. Or you can wipe the shower door with some fabric softener on a damp cloth. Buff with a clean, dry cloth.

Clean Touchpad’s on Stove or Microwave

Warm a little vinegar (don't make it hot) and clean using a soft cloth (not paper toweling). Don't use too much liquid here it could possibly short out the unit.

Growing Tomatoes Inside

You'll need to pollinate the tomatoes (unless you have bees in your home). Take a small paint brush and stick it down into the blossom and turn it slightly. Go to the next blossom and do the same thing going back and forth to spread the pollen. As new blossoms form continue to re-pollinate. Fertilize regularly with a liquid fertilizer with numbers like 15-30-15. Use grow lights, keep them very close to the plant as they grow so they don't get "leggy" and raise them as the plant grows. Keep the lights on for about 16 hours a day.

Chimney Hints

Forming Dough Inside Small Muffin Tins

If your nails are too long or knuckles too large to shape the dough in small muffin tins for making mini-tarts for example, use the cork from a bottle of champagne. It will easily stamp the dough out in a uniform thickness.

How To Make Candles Drip Less While Burning

Put your candles in the freezer for several hours to overnight before lighting them and it will prevent excessive dripping.

How To Unstick Marshmallows in a Bag

Add confectioner’s sugar or cornstarch and shake it up in the bag (that dries them out a little bit) and you can pull them apart. Some of them may still be stuck, but you pull or cut them apart by hand. The next time you purchase a bag of marshmallows, take them out of the bag and put them in a freezer-safe container and freeze.

How To “Sour” Milk for Recipes

Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar for a quart of milk and mix well. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Roasted Chestnuts In Microwave

Buy the Italian chestnuts (they work well in the microwave). Punch a hole in the large round end of the nuts to vent. Cook about 1 minute on high. Remove carefully and shell them. Dip in garlic butter.

Rotating and Flipping Mattress To Distribute Wear and Tear

Your top mattress will last longer if you perform simple maintenance on it. Picture the top left corner of your mattress and make it the number 1. Every 3 months you will make the adjustment. The first rotation is to move the #1 to the bottom, top-right side of your bed. The next move, three months later, is to flip the mattress over so the #1 is now underneath on the bottom side of the bottom left. Next time, you rotate the mattress so #1 is now on the top-right side (still underneath). Flip mattress over so the #1 is back where it began (top-left). Repeat every three months.

Window Washing Solution

Mix a bucket of warm water and 1 c. of window washing fluid for your car. Apply with old towels or rags and dry with a clean towel or rag.

Tighten Lids or Caps Easier

Use a pair of rubber gloves to tighten or loosen you lids and caps. These are the same gloves you use to wash your dishes.

Don’t Core or Parboil Cabbage

Freeze the cabbage a day ahead of making stuffed cabbage. Remove and thaw in a colander (about 4 hours). You don't have to core or par-boil the cabbage.

Raw Egg Substitutes

Cooking whole eggs for use in recipes - As a nutritious combination of egg whites and yolks, whole eggs should be fully cooked for assured safety in recipes that call for raw or lightly cooked eggs. The following method can be used with any number of eggs and works for a variety of recipes. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the eggs and either sugar, water or other liquid from the recipe (at least 1/4 c. sugar, liquid or a combination per egg). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the egg mixture coats a metal spoon with a thin film or reaches 160°. Immediately place the saucepan in ice water and stir until the egg mixture is cool. Proceed with the recipe.

Cooking egg yolks for use in recipes - Because egg yolks are a fine growth medium for bacteria, cook them for use in mayonnaise, Hollandaise sauce, Caesar salad dressing, chilled soufflés, chiffons, mousses and other recipes calling for raw egg yolks. The following method can be used with any number of yolks. In a heavy saucepan, stir together the egg yolks and liquid from the recipe (at least 2 tablespoons liquid per yolk). Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the yolk mixture coats a metal spoon with a thin film, bubbles at the edges or reaches 160°. Immediately place the saucepan in ice water and stir until the yolk mixture is cool. Proceed with the recipe.

Cooking egg whites for use in recipes - Cooking egg whites before use in all recipes is recommended for full safety. The following method can be used with any number of whites and works for chilled desserts as well as Seven-Minute Frosting, Royal Icing and other frosting recipes calling for raw egg whites. In a heavy saucepan, the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl placed over water in a saucepan, stir together the egg whites and sugar from the recipe (at least 2 T. sugar per white), water (1 t. per white) and cream of tartar (1/8 t. per each 2 whites). Cook over low heat or simmering water, beating constantly with a portable mixer at low speed, until the whites reach 160°. Pour into a large bowl. Beat on high speed until the whites stand in soft peaks. Proceed with the recipe. Note that you must use sugar to keep the whites from coagulating too rapidly. Test with a thermometer as there is no visual clue to doneness. If you use an unlined aluminum saucepan, eliminate the cream of tartar or the two will react and create an unattractive gray meringue. Making an Italian meringue by adding hot sugar-syrup to egg whites while beating them does not bring the egg whites to much above 125° and is not recommended except for dishes that are further cooked. If, however, you bring the sugar-syrup all the way to the hardball stage (250°-266°), the whites will reach a high enough temperature. You can use a sugar-syrup at hardball stage for divinity and similar recipes.

Alternatives for raw egg whites - You can use pasteurized, dried or refrigerated liquid egg whites. Egg substitutes often contain gums and/or added salt, which can hamper foaming. Pasteurized, dried and liquid egg whites on the retail market either contain no other ingredients - for recipes where little foaming is required - or contain only a whipping agent - for recipes that require a stable foam. Follow package directions to substitute dried or refrigerated liquid egg whites for raw egg whites or use about 2 T. water and 2 t. dried egg white or 2-3 T. liquid egg white for each large egg white.

Using pasteurized shell eggs - Pasteurized shell eggs are heat-treated to destroy any bacteria, should they be present, and are especially suitable for preparing egg recipes that are not fully cooked, but may also be used for other recipes including baked goods. The heating process may create cloudiness in the whites and increase the beating time needed for foam formation. When you separate pasteurized shell eggs for beating, allow up to about four times as much time for full foam formation to occur in egg whites as you would for the whites of regular eggs. Prepare other recipes as usual. You can keep pasteurized shell eggs refrigerated for at least 30 days from the pack date (a three-digit number on the short side of the carton which represents the day of the year, with 1 = January 1 and 365 = December 31), but do not freeze them. If pasteurized shell eggs are not available in your area, use the cooking methods outlined above or, in place of raw egg whites, use pasteurized, dried or liquid egg whites.

Drinking Milk From Carton Affects Storage Life

Even if you live alone and no one else drinks from the carton, the bacteria you deposit into the carton will cause the milk to sour faster and shorten the storage life.

Water Plants While On Vacation

Arrange the plants to be watered in one area in a circle. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with water and place the bucket on a stand (the water bucket will need to be above the plant containers). Tie cotton strings around a brick and place in the water bucket (one strand for each plant and long enough to reach the bottom of each plant container). Using a pencil, push a hole to the base of the plant containers and place each strand of string into the hole and tap it together to seal.

Note: Only use cotton string. One (5 gallon) bucket of water will water 20 plants for two weeks.

Prevent Bottom Crust From Becoming Soggy

Partially bake pie shell at 375° for 6 minutes if using a filling that must later be baked, but at 375°
For 8-10 minutes or until golden brown if using a filling that does not require baking. Either way you will remove from oven after the appropriate baking time and brush or wipe entire surface of warm crust with light Karo syrup. Return to the 375° oven for about 3-5 minutes or until it begins to sizzle and turn golden when using either baked or unbaked filling. When using the filling that requires baking, add filling to the crust coated in Karo, baked as directed above. Continue to bake filling per filling recipe. Add unbaked filling to the crust with the Karo applied to it and baked as directed above. Then it is best to keep refrigerated. Keebler's shortbread crumb crust can be used instead of a homemade crust for either baked or unbaked filling with directions as given above. Even during baking the crumb crust with the Karo application, it will not affect the crust nor cause it to over-brown. The baked-on Karo application will prevent the crust from becoming soggy during baking or during refrigeration of an unbaked filling.

Make Self Rising Flour

2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Mix ingredients together.

Make Cake Flour

Take 1 c. unsifted flour
remove 2 T. of the flour
add 2 T. corn starch
Sift 3 times.

Cook Fish in Microwave Oven

If your fish averages 1/2 inch thick, you can cook it 2 1/2 minutes at 70% power; 3/4 inch thick will cook 2 3/4 minutes at 70% and 1 inch for 3 minutes at 70%. Turn the fish over and repeat. The fish is done when it flakes easily. The fish remains moist.

Even Cooking of Fish Fillets

Fish fillets often have a thick part and a thin part to them. To ensure even cooking of the entire fillet, Frank suggests that you "curl" the thin side underneath the fillet to even out the thickness. Then go ahead and bake or broil the fish. This will even out both sides and will promote the same doneness at both ends of the fillet.

Remove Saltiness From Ham Slices

If your ham slices are too salty, try placing them in a dish of low-fat milk for 20 minutes, rinse them off in cold water and dry with paper towels before you cook them. The ham will not pick up the taste of the milk.

Soup Secrets

Pumpkin Pie With a Soggy Crust

Start baking at 400° for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to whatever your regular recipe calls for the remaining baking time. Check after half the baking time to see if you need to wrap foil around the edge of the crust to prevent over baking.

Preparing Home for Winter Vacations

Kitchen Drain Maintenance

1 c. table salt
1 c. baking soda
1/4 c. crème of tartar

Freezing Cake

Cut the cake into slices and place on paper plates. Freeze in the freezer. Remove and wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil. Date them before storing in the freezer. Pull from freezer when you start making dinner and the slices will be thawed when you're ready for dessert.

Keep Turkey Burgers Moist

Add 1 t.-1 T. olive oil to the burgers before shaping into patties. It's a healthy way to lard them.

Using Bronze Wool Instead Of Steel Wool

Rusting is a concern when using latex finishes on a project, try using bronze wool. Bronze wool will not rust so the small slivers that end up sticking to your project will not have a rust problem.

Clean Stuffed Animals

Place item in a pillowcase and tie shut (do not tie so tight that you will be unable to get it undone!) Wash in cold, gentle cycle and tumble dry on low. Works GREAT!!!!

Clean Coffee Pots

Dissolve 1 oz. of citric acid in 4 c. of hot water. Add 4 cups of cold water to the solution. Pour solution into the water section of your machine. Turn on your coffee maker (no filter) and let about half the solution run through. Stop the machine and let it sit for 20 minutes. Start it up again and let the rest of the cleaning solution go through. Rinse everything out by running 8 cups of cold, fresh water through your machine at least 4 times. Tips: you can get citric acid at your grocery store, in the canning section. You can scale down the amount of cleaning solution for smaller coffee makers. Clean your coffee maker once a month.

The Three T’s of Brewing Coffee

Time: The coffee should have run through the coffee maker in 3-4 minutes for a 10-12 cup brew.

Temperature: 200° give or take 5°.

Turbulence: Keep the sprayer in the coffee maker clean so it can dispense the spray of water evenly. Use high quality filters.

Note: Drink the coffee in about 20 minutes for the best flavor profile. After that it starts downhill both in flavor and nutrients! Store whole beans in an air-tight container for up to 4 weeks.

Paraffin Wax in Chocolate

Paraffin wax is a by-product of petroleum. It's pretty much made of the same thing your car tires are made of. There is an edible version, but it's still not digestible (it's considered edible because it's more refined) It passes right through your digestive system. There is speculation that it causes intestinal problems later, however. If these people want to make "buckeyes" with chocolate chips and wax, it would be to their advantage to buy summer coating (sold in cake and candy supply stores). Much less mess and much better tasting finished product, not to mention any of the worry about future consequences of using wax.

Remove Odor and Sharpen Kitchen Disposal

Run ice cubes and a few drops of liquid dish washing detergent through the disposal with cold water. You can also run lemon peel through to help remove odors or make "AtmosKlear ice cubes". Fill an ice cube tray with AtmosKlear odor eliminator and freeze to cubes (remember to label the tray). Run a few cubes through the disposal with a few drops of dish liquid and cold water.

Sore Throat and Sinus Remedy

Pour 1 T. honey into a shot glass and warm it in the microwave oven for 7-9 seconds (this depends on the power of your microwave). Add 1/4 t. dark cinnamon and stir. Drink this once a day for 3 days.

Shell Pecan Easily

Freeze first. This shrinks nut away from shell.

Remove Wallpaper Glue

Mix Dawn dishwashing liquid with warm/hot water. Sponge it on and leave it for 5-10 minutes; then use a putty knife to scrape off the glue. It comes off easily, but make sure to put down paper, plastic or old carpet (it is messy). Then with the same solution you can sponge off the thin residue that is left. You'll wind up with a cleanly stripped wall. (409 work too.)

Hint For Camper Cooking

Brown the hamburger and onion together that you will be using in sloppy Joe's etc. Drain the grease, pack in plastic bags and freeze. When it's time to go camping, use these frozen bags as ice in your cooler and by the time they thaw you will be ready to use them.

Keep Deer from Plants

A sure fire way to keep the deer away from the roses, hydrangeas, hostas and other plants: mix 2 eggs and water in an old spray bottle, let it sit in the sun for a while and then spray your plants with it. The deer do not like the smell, but it keeps them away and keeps your flowers blooming. It does not harm the plants.

Cookies Spreading Too Thin

Cookies that spread too thin are caused by using too much shortening, too much liquid, use of extra-large eggs or too little flour. Don't forget to use dry measures for dry ingredients and liquid measures for liquid ingredients.

Clean Grill Gates

Place grate in a tub or sink and cover with hot water. Sprinkle 1/2 c. electric dishwasher detergent over the grate. Add 1-2 c. ammonia. Grab some old fabric softener sheets and try to cover the top of the grate. Soak over-night and give it a good scrub the next day.

Note: wear gloves because this can burn your bare hands.

Home Remedy for a Burnt-on Pot

Put hot water in the pot; add a tablet of denture cleaner and let sit overnight.

Clean Oven Door Window

Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar. Apply to the oven window and let stand a couple of hours. Wipe off with a damp cloth. If the window is still dirty...make a paste of electric dishwasher detergent and water and repeat as before. If using the detergent wear rubber gloves.

Clean Out Cloudy Vases

Use full-strength white vinegar; pour into vase and let stand for about an hour then "swish" and rinse with clear water. If you don't have a brush to fit inside the vase, add some uncooked rice (tablespoon or two - depending on the size of the vase) and "shake" with the vinegar to get the cloudiness out of some of the hard-to-get-at places inside of the vase. The vinegar (and rice) can be re-used until it looks "icky"! Also try the commercial product "CLR". Dampen the inside of the vase and add any toilet bowl cleaner. Let stand for 10 minutes and it will all disappear.

Toast Coconut

In the oven: Place the shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Optionally toss with 1-2 T. of confectioner’s sugar if coconut is unsweetened. Bake in a preheated 350° oven, stirring every 30 seconds, until the coconut is dry and mostly toasted light brown with some white shreds (about 2-4 minutes).

In the microwave oven: Spread coconut evenly on microwave-safe plate. Optionally toss with 1-2 T. of confectioner’s sugar if coconut is unsweetened. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals and toss until lightly browned with some white shreds.

Remove Candle Wax from A Brick Fireplace

Try both Goo-Gone and WD-40 and let it sit. Then take a paint scraper, cover the blade with a slightly damp cloth and scrape.

Clean Stainless Steel Drip Pans On Your Range

Soak the drip pans and oven racks in a laundry tub of hot water and 3-4 c. ammonia overnight. Scrub the next day with SOS pads to clean. You could soak them inside a large, heavy-duty plastic bag if you don't have the tub or the odor of the ammonia is too much for you. She says to be very careful, however, not to tear the plastic.

Removing Ketchup from Carpet

Carefully remove excess from carpet, and then rub glycerin into the stain. Sponge with warm water trying not to wet the carpet too much.

Keep Potatoes From Turning Black

1 c. water
1/2 t. cream of tartar

Dissolve in a large bowl, add shredded potatoes and stir to coat. Drain the liquid but don't rinse. You can keep the potatoes for a day.

Home Made Liquid Soap

3/4 c. dry soap scraps broken into 1 inch pieces
1-3 c. hot water

In a blender, reduce the soap pieces to a coarse powder. Any pieces larger then 1 inch should be smashed with a hammer before blending. Put powder in a non-aluminum pan. Add 1 1/2 c. hot water and bring to the boil. Stir and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue stirring to cool mixture. Add more liquid if necessary.

Summer Salad Tips

Strawberry Tip

After washing your berries, take a wide plastic straw and insert into the bottom of the strawberry and push the stem out. It is so easy and it removes the core as well.

Fresh Strawberries Instead of Frozen

Remember to crush the strawberries before measuring them. This will equalize the proportions for measuring.

Signs That A Roof Needs To Be Repaired

A roof should be inspected every year. If shingles start to cup or curl or if you start to see a lot of granules in the gutter or coming out through the downspout, that is a sure sign that the roof needs replacing.

Purify Your Kitchen Sponge

Put your wet sponges in the microwave on high for 15 seconds. Be careful when removing the sponge, it will be very hot!

Killing Off Weeds

Spray the weeds with white vinegar to kill them.

Inexpensive Alarm System

Put your car keys beside 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 be set off and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there.

Freeze Potatoes

Raw potatoes turn soft in the freezer. Freeze only cooked potatoes and re-heat them straight from the freezer. This will prevent them from becoming grainy and watery after freezing. They will want to fall apart and are best used for making potato cakes or hash browns.

Tip for Paint Odor

Put some vinegar in a pan and let it simmer. It will get rid of odors.

Remove Indentations in Carpet

The Hot Way: Hold a steam iron about 1 inch over the indentation and press the steam into the indentation several times (do not let the iron touch the fibers of the carpet!). This will loosen up the fibers. Brush. Repeat if necessary.
Very carefully lift up the fibers in the indentation using the tines of a fork.

The Cold Way: Put an ice cube (or a small piece of ice) into the indentation and let it sit overnight. Blot up with white paper towel. Brush it out.
A word of caution - if you get the carpet too wet you risk bringing up a stain from the padding below. Be sure it's a very small piece of ice that would equal only a few drops of water.

Easy Roll Out Pie Crust

Roll out between two pieces of waxed paper or between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet and "flop" it into the pie tin. May store it in refrigerator overnight on a dinner plate for additional flakiness. Dough hits cardboard stage the more liquid you put in. Use a blender to mix ingredients for dough until it forms a sandy look, and then add water and blend. Do not use butter at room temperature, it should be chilled.

Remove Cat Urine In Carpet

Use a combination of a vinegar/water mixture and orange oil cleaner. Orange oil and vinegar neutralize odors. Then after a month of cleaning the area on a weekly basis and using the spray, start using Fabreeze on it. Don't get the carpet wet or you may bring up a stain from the padding! Use a slightly dampened cloth.

Prevent Soggy Pie Crusts

Spreading Cookie Tips

Polish Brass

Cut a lemon in half and pour some kosher salt into the cut end. Rub that end on the brass adding more salt if necessary. Rinse and dry. You can spray it lightly with a clear lacquer spray to protect the brass if you want. He also uses a product called Never-Dull. It is cotton wadding.

Planting Tomatoes

Plant tomatoes at least a couple of inches deeper in the ground then they were in the container you bought them. Plant them on a slant also, this gives you more roots.

Freeze Raspberries

Rinse with cold water and let dry in a colander. Place in freezer boxes (so they don’t crush) and freeze.

Canning Information

Misc. Food Hints

“Do Not Call” Registry List Phone Number

Call this phone number to get on the “do not call” list. 1-888-382-1222.

Remove Fruit Flies

Line a brown paper bag with a plastic bag and add a couple slices of banana. Crunch up the bags to about a 2 inch opening. Fold the bag tightly and dispose in the trash the next morning. This may take 2-3 days.

Freeze Corn On The Cob

Use high quality, mature corn. Husk and trim the ears. Remove the silk. Bring 8 qt. water to the boil. Blanch 5-6 ears at a time for 8 minutes (start time as they are submerged). Shock the ears in ice water afterwards to stop the cooking process. Drain and dry corn. Wrap each ear in freezer wrap or bags, removing as much air as possible. Date the bags and freeze for up to 3-6 months.

Home Made Veggie and Lettuce Cleaner

Make a mixture consisting of equal amounts of white vinegar and water. Pour it into a spray bottle and spray veggies and lettuce. Let stand for 5 minutes and rinse well.

Plumping Raisins

Plump raisins in rum for the extra flavor. Put the raisins in a jar and cover them with rum over night. Drain the rum and enjoy.

Tip For Washing Greens

Add salt to the wash water to add just a bit more abrasiveness. This will help get more sand and dirt off the greens quicker.

Healthier Butter

1 stick softened butter (1/2 c.)
1/2 c. canola oil or olive oil

Beat together until blended. Refrigerate.

Buckwheat To Replace Rice for Cabbage Rolls

Used your regular recipe and just substituted buckwheat for the rice. Uses raw buckwheat and add more tomato juice as the raw buckwheat absorbs the liquid or cook the buckwheat before rolling the cabbage rolls.

Yeast Equivalents Dry=Cake

1 package of yeast is 2 1/4 t. = 1 cake of yeast which weighs 6/10 oz. Each works equally well in all recipes.

Store Celery

Remove celery from the plastic bag it came in from the store and wrap in aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator.

Hints for Cooking Beans

Soak beans at least 8 hours. Changing the water every hour or two. Keep the beans in a strainer to make the change of water easier. Do not add salt to the cooking water, put it in after cooking. Clean and sort the beans then wash them well. She puts lots of lukewarm water in the pot and soaks them overnight. She cooks them in the morning.

Dry Meat, Juices on The Plate

Let your meat rest before carving it, the juices will re-absorb into the meat. The length of resting time depends on the weight of the meat. A sirloin steak may take 5-8 minutes; a turkey or roast up to 1/2 hours.

Don’t Plant Too Early

You should check your plant beds soil for dryness by digging down and squeezing the soil to insure it is not wet. Take a handful of soil and squeeze it. When you open your hand up, if the ball of soil does not break down it is too wet. Don't plant yet. The ground needs to thaw out from winter and if it is too wet the plants will not grow properly.

Home Made Topsy Turvy Tomato Grower

You can make your own up-side-down tomato grower for much less money by placing the plants into the hanging plant containers you get at the garden or grocery store. Hang them on a Sheppard's Hook As the plants grow they will grow up-side-down because she has not staked them and because of the weight of the plants. Grow cherry tomatoes as the larger tomatoes don't work as well.

Zipper Repair

Clean the zipper with vinegar. Rub some oil on it or spray with WD-40. Gently press on the wing areas on the left and right sides of the zipper with pliers (do not over-tighten).

Oatmeal as a Thickener or To Extend Meat As An Ingredient

Add oatmeal to stews, chili or soup as a thickener near the end of the cooking process. Add oatmeal as a substitute to extend the amount of meat used in meatloaf or meatball recipes. You can use the oatmeal to substitute for the breadcrumbs in the meatloaf and meatball recipes as well but you will need to run it through a food processor or blender first.

Cleaning Flower Vases

Yellowed Linens

Yellowed linens can be bleached by letting them soak in buttermilk for 2-3 days.

Cleaning Shear Drapes

Launder the drapes; they will come out better then if dry cleaned. Use cool/warm water setting and add Biz all fabric bleach to the water. Remove the hooks and note for replacement. Wash 1 panel at a time. Run on the delicate cycle (if they are very dirty you may have to wash twice). Place panel on a large beach towel which has been laid on the floor and fan-fold the drape to restore the folds. Tie the top section into a “loose fold” with white yarn (this is so color does not bleed onto the drape), keeping all of the fan-folds together and straight down the length of the drape. Tie the middle of the drape next and then pull on the bottom to be sure all is straight. Hang the drape up wet. And air dry for 3-5 days.

Clean Sheer Curtains

To make laundered sheer curtains crisp again, fill a sink with cool water and mix in 1 cup of Epsom salts and stir until completely dissolved. Then add the curtains and submerge them in this solution. When the curtains are completely saturated, remove them and, without wringing or twisting, hang to drip-dry. Now they are ready to go back on the curtain rods. Be sure to tuck this formula away in a convenient spot for the next time you launder those curtains.

Leftover Pork Roast Ideas

Credit Report Info

On-Line at annualcreditreport.com.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
For the Hearing impaired: 1-800-225-0056

P.O. Box 740256
Atlanta, Georgia 30374

Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Hearing impaired: 1-800-972-0322

P.O. Box 9554
Allen, Texas 75013

Trans Union: 1-800-888-4213
Hearing impaired: 1-877-553-7803

P.O. Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834

Start these programs four months apart. Three times a year you'll get a fresh report on your credit standing because they are required to send you a report once a year at no cost.

Making Mashed Potatoes Ahead Of Time

If you find that you are going to be in a pinch for space while preparing your special meal, you can always prepare your mashed potatoes up to 2 hours ahead of time. When you have thoroughly prepared your potatoes and they are ready for serving, simply place them into a slow cooker and let them sit at the low setting for up to 2 hours. You can serve them right in the slow cooker to save dirtying any more dishes and they will stay toasty warm.

Preventing Christmas Tree Dryness

4 T. bleach
2 c. Karo syrup

1 gal. warm water Mix ingredients together and poor into tree stand. Saw off 1/4 inch of the bottom of the tree so you have a fresh cut. Pound around the bark for 6-8 inches to soften the trunk so it can absorb the mixture. Be careful not to spill the solution on carpet, etc. The bleach could remove color.