Oh, this is so easy to happen when you are eating at your dining room table—hot paper plates placed right on top of the wood. Here’s what you can do to remove that unsightly marks:
1. Make this mixture to use on the marks if the table wood is finished (not on raw wood): Combine equal parts of regular, white, non-gel toothpaste and baking soda. Lightly dampen a white cloth with water and dip it into the paste.
2. Rub the marks carefully with a circular motion. Then wipe with a clean cloth, buff until the surface shines. If the marks just can’t be removed, they may have gone through the wood and the table might have to be refinished.
If your children take piano lessons and practice, practice, those keys can get sticky and grungy. Here are hints to clean the keys:
1. If the keys are plastic, mix a small amount of vinegar with warm water and then dip a chamois cloth into it and rub over the keys to remove the dirt. Don’t let liquid drip down the sides.
2. If the keys are really ivory, use just a light damp cloth with a little bit of gentle soap. Wipe off each key, but never allow any of the water to leak down the sides of the keys. Dry the keys ASAP.
3. Get another damp cloth to clean the black keys. Then buff with a lint-free cloth.
NOTE: Do NOT use chemicals like rubbing alcohol or scrub the ivory keys. If the keys have turned yellow, they can be cleaned, but probably will not return to the original white.
Jets in spa tubs do need to be cleaned often because they do accumulate lots of debris and dirt. Here’s how to eliminate it:
1. Fill the tub with hot water to cover the jets with several inches over them.
2. Then, depending on the tub size, pour in 1 to 2 cups of household chlorine bleach along with ¼ to ½ cup of powdered dishwasher detergent.
3.Turn on the spa for about 20 minutes and let the water sit for 20 to 30 minutes and then drain.
4. Fill again with cold water and turn the jets on for a couple of minutes and drain.
5. During the process, make certain you have ventilation and don’t let pets or children come in the area.
If they are valuable family antique china, it’s best not to take the chance. Also, if you have old dishes with metal, silver or gold trim, do not use in the microwave. But you can test other older dishes and here’s how:
Use this easy test to see if the dishes you have are safe for use in your microwave: Pour water into an 8-ounce microwave-safe measuring cup and put in on top of a plate you are testing and turn the microwave on for just 30 seconds. Then stop. The water should be hot, but NOT the plate. If it is, do not put it into the microwave.
When you use sponges in the kitchen, they do become stinky. That’s because bacteria, food particles or mildew can get trapped in the sponge. Here’s how to get rid of it:
1. Soak the sponge in a bowl of vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Rinse the sponge in cool soapy water and then wring it out thoroughly. Let it air-dry.
3. If your sponges still smell bad or are just too grungy, toss them out. Buy new ones when they are on sale.
Vinegar can be used to clean many items in your home from windows to shower heads. For more vinegar hints, click here.
Oh, this laundry disaster does happen! And it’s such a task to remove all that sticky stuff from the interior of the dryer. Follow these Heloise Hints to make it easier:
1. First, place a couple of old towels into the dryer and allow it to run on warm for several minutes. This will allow the gum to soften.
2. Then combine 1 tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent with water, just to make a paste. Apply it with a cloth and scrub over the gum inside the entire dryer and wipe out.
3. Before putting clothes into the dryer again, run it again with just a couple of damp rags to make all of the gum is gone.
4. Check pockets for gum before putting clothes into the dryer!
Indoor ceiling fans do get completely dusty and greasy and often we don’t notice because they are up high. But they should be cleaned on a regular basis, depending on the traffic in the room. Here’s what to do:
1. First, place an old flat sheet on the floor underneath the ceiling fan, so it will contain dust and debris falling when you clean it.
2. Stand on a step stool to clean the fan blades. If the top of the blade is really dusty, wipe a dry microfiber cloth over it to grab the dust. Also, you can use the brush attachment of the vacuum to remove dust.
3. For wooden blades, wipe with just a slightly damp (water only) cloth and then dry well.
4. To clean the light fixtures, remove them. Wash in soapy water, rinse well and then hand dry.
Granite floors can create a stunning entrance to your home. They are durable, but they do get dirty and need to be cleaned. Here’s what to do to keep them in good shape:
1. Dust with a non-treated dry dust mop to get rid of dirt or sand, which can harm the floor.
2. To then clean, mix warm water with a pH neutral detergent and apply with a rag mop. Don’t use too much cleaner, which will leave a film.
3. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.
4. Never apply any acidic (lemon or orange) or abrasive cleaner.
Worried about dust mites in your pillows and bed? These little creatures thrive in warm, humid weather and adore chomping down on the flakes of dead skin from people and pets. These pieces often land in beds or in carpeting or furniture. Here’s how to get rid of them:
1. Vacuum and dust your bed and bedroom often to pick up skin flakes.
2. Wash bedding in the hottest water appropriate for the fabrics and dry well.
3. Buy dust-mite covers for pillows and even box springs and mattresses.
4. Sub in polyester fiber pillows rather than feathers.
Oh, those pesky flies can drive you crazy in the kitchen. Where do they come from? Be aware that when you bring fruit home from the grocery store, they already may have laid eggs onto the skin. So when the fruit gets to your warm kitchen, it will ripen and fruit flies come to life! Here’s what to do:
1. The new fruit flies will then lay eggs in the garbage can, sink drains or empty bottles. So keep them clean.
2. Don’t let fruit ripen on the counter, eat it right away.
3. Store fruit in the refrigerator to make last longer.