During the summer with pollen, grass, storms and hot sun, windows seem to be dirty all the time. Here are some Heloise Hints how to make this mundane and sometimes messy task easier and more effective.
1. Make your own money saving cleaner: Mix 1 cup of white or apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water.
2. First, wipe off as much of the dust and dirt from the windows, inside and outside. You can hose down the outside to remove it.
3. Wash windows when the sun is not shining right on them because it causes the cleaner to dry too fast and can leave a residue or streaks.
4. Then dry windows on the outside from the right-to-left and then on inside up-and-down. You can examine the window to see if there are streaks! I recycle old newspapers and it does a super job! Why waste money!
Vinegar is so useful in and around your home. To keep paint brushes soft, soak in vinegar for an hour or two. For more vinegar hints, click here to find them on my Website: www.Heloise.com
You will want to keep your fresh flowers fresh as long as you can after you have picked them. Here are some Heloise Hints you can take to do that:
1. Try to pick them early in the morning when they are still cool. Not during the heat of the day.
2. Be sure to strip off leaves and anything that will go beneath the water line, but keep the leaves above the water line. Note: Only the freshly cut bottom of the stems, not the shaft, absorbs water. Cut at an angle so more surface is exposed.
2. Change the water every other day and also cut of ¼ inch of the stem.
3. Never put the flower arrangement, near a heat source, like the top of the TV, or in direct sunlight.
After your family has collected lovely and delicate seashells while combing the beach, you will want to bring them home safely. Do this, if you are going home right away, but if you are staying, use these cleaning and sanitizing hints right away:
1. Gather the seashells and put into sealable plastic bags.
2. When you get home, soak the shells in water that you have added a tad (about a glug or 2 to 3 tablespoons) of household bleach. Let soak for about 20 minutes, then rinse them well and let dry.
3. Let each family member pick jars or bowls to put them into for display.
If you do not want to use commercial insect repellents, here are some Heloise Hints to make your own natural ones. Here’s how:
1. Buy citronella or lavender essential oils at a drug, grocery store or online. They act as natural repellents.
2. Combine equals part of the citronella or lavender oil with carrier oils, such as sweet or almond oil. Then dab on your skin to help keep insects away.
Note: Do not apply true undiluted essential oils directly onto your skin.
3. Fill a squirt bottle with water and some mild dishwashing detergent and keep it in the kitchen. When you see flies or gnats flying around, spritz them with it and they will be done in.
If you notice that the window of your oven is greasy and yucky that’s not surprising, but you don’t want it to linger. Here’s what to do to remove it:
1. First, let the glass cool completely. Then to clean it, wipe both sides with ammonia and let it stay on for a couple of minutes. Get a plastic scraper to remove the greasy gunk. Clean with hot soapy water, rinse and dry completely.
2. If this grease has somehow gotten between the glass, the only way it can be cleaned is to take the door apart to clean the glass and seals around it. Have a repairman come to do this job. It might be covered by your warranty.
If you use lots of spices, your rack is probably full old and new spices and they do get stale. It should be cleaned and cleared out at least once a year. Here’s what to do:
1. Open the jar or can of herbs or spices and take a good sniff. It should smell strong and flavorful. If the color is still OK, bright and not pale, you can keep it.
2. If the aroma is flat or the color is not right, get rid of it. Repurpose to a dried-flower potpourri or a sachet.
3. Proper storage is the key to making spices and herbs last longer—no strong light, heat or moisture. Don’t put them over the stove, in direct sunlight or in a window.
While that may seem impossible to all my dessert lovers, you just may have some. Here are ideas to jazz it up and transform it into another dessert:
1. Cut the cake into bite-size pieces. Then layer with your favorite softened ice cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.
2. Use a liqueur over the cake. For example, drizzle chocolate liqueur over chocolate mint ice cream and cake or pour a bit of orange liqueur over vanilla ice cream and cake.
When your children are done eating ice cream on sticks, don’t throw them out. Instead, they can be useful around the house. You can recycle them these ways:
1. Use as a stir for coffee on the go.
2. Utilize to level dry ingredients when measuring.
3. Take to picnics for spreading condiments like mayo or ketchup.
4. Scrape off mud or crud from shoes.
5. Spread glue or paste for craft projects.
This is a good question because it’s important to protect them. They get such use and you want them to be clean and effective. Here’s what to do:
1. Store toothbrushes on the counter—as long as they are away from the toilet.
Keep them in a container with a cover. Airborne bacteria can spread to your toothbrushes!
2. Do not let toothbrushes touch each other because infections from a cold or even periodontal disease can be passed from one toothbrush to another. Rinse the bristles completely after each use.
3. Change toothbrushes around every three months or when the bristles are worn or splayed.
Drapes and curtain can be dust and debris magnets. They need to be cleaned on a routine basis. Here’s how:
1. Draperies or curtains that can be washed first should be taken down. Get them outdoors for a good shake to remove the dust. But if they are really soiled, soak them in warm water and fabric safe bleach, if okay on the care label. Then wash on a HIGH water level, so that they can move around in the washing machine. Add regular detergent to warm water or cold for some fabrics. When done, take out and hang to dry.
2. Sheers should be washed, as indicated on the care label. Then dissolve a cup of Epsom salt in hot water in a sink. Dip the sheers into the mixture and hang on a shower rod to dry (you will not have to iron them).