Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring is Here & Here's Some Help


Spring is Here, which means alot of us are doing double-duty. Alot of us have spring fever ... we're ready to start our days earlier, end them later & get more done. We're ready to cook-out, take longer walks and swing from the old oak tree.
It's also time to do our spring cleaning & get the taxes done for Good Ol' Uncle Sam.
I can't help anyone with their taxes too much, as my own are overwhelming, but I can share some spring cleaning tips... some are very old, tried & true.


  • Mix vinegar with salt to clean copper and lemon to clean brass.
  • To clean drain pipes, pour baking soda into your sink, follow with some vinegar. Watch the bubbles eat the funk then follow with some boiling water to was it all down.
  • Vinegar and water can be used to clean tile floors, soaps dull the tile. This mixture will also clean mineral spots off of irons, faucetts & drains.
  • Permanent ink can be blotted from upholstery/clothing using any alcohol based spray...such as hair spray. Spray it on, blot it up...repeating as needed.
  • Shaving cream can similarly be used for red wine stains.
  • Fresh lemons sliced & added to cups of water then thrown in the microwave for 5 minutes will make it smell again. The steam can be wiped up removing all that funky splatter from the inside.
  • Brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and water in the oven will make the whole house smell good.
  • Lift spilt candle was from your table linens with a paper bag and an iron on low. Place the paper bag on the wax & lightly iron. Lift & repeat on a fresh area of paper bag.
  • Use newspaper instead of paper towels when cleaning windows & mirrors ffrom a streak free clean. You can use a mixture of vinegar & water (1 Tblspn to about 16 oz water) to do this. No windex needed!
  • Uncooked rice, salt & water(or vinegar) can be used to clean the inside of coffee pots, stemware & vases that have stubborn stains. Alka-Selzter tabs can do the same if the stains aren't too terribly bad.
  • Down pillows and comforters can be thrown in the dryer for 10 minutes a week to kill dust mites.
  • After doing the dishes, microwave your sponge for 1 minute to kill the bacteria in it.
  • A tablespoon of rubbing alcohol added to a gallon of water will make glazed tiles shine. Rub it on, then dry it off.
  • A cup of olive oil mixed with 1/2 cup of vinegar,shaken, will make a wonderful concoction for dusting & polishing wood furniture
  • Black tea can be used to clean & shine natural hardwoods (not poly-sealed) Brew tea and let it cool, then mop with it!
  • Use old mis-matched socks on your hands to dust ceiling fan blades with warm soapy water.
  • Avoid summer humidity in your winter shoes by stuffing them with newspaper & a dryer sheet.
  • Kerosene can be used to clean rust spots caused by leaky faucets.
  • Use your blow dryer to dust pleated lampshades.
  • Clean ashtrays can be wiped with furniture polish to avoid a funky build-up.
  • Polish your jewelry in 2 minutes by dropping 2 alka-seltzer tabs in a cup of water with your jewelry.
  • Use dryer sheets (used) to dust tv screens, computer monitors, blinds and any surface that you want to keep from electro-statically attracting dust. Used sheets can also b e used to buff away soap scum on shower doors
  • Fresh dryer sheets can be used with water to clean baked on stains. Allow to soak over night & then scrub in the AM. Also put a fresh one in your suitcase and car, to keep them smelling fresh.
  • A cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract & placed in the fridge will keep it fresh smelling.
  • Silk flowers can smell fresh& look clean again by dipping in a solution of liquid laundry softener and water until clean.

Here are some recipes found for homemade concoctions to clean with:

Glass cleaner

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70 percent concentration)
  • 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil, which gives the solution a lovely smell (optional)

  • Heavy-duty scrub

  • Half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup borax (a laundry booster; find it in the detergent aisle) or baking soda

    Great for: Rust stains on porcelain or enamel sinks and tubs
    How to use: Dip lemon into borax and scrub surface; rinse. (Not safe for marble or granite.)


  • All-purpose cleaner and deodorizer
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 quart warm water

    Great for: Kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator
    How to use: Pour solution on a clean sponge and wipe.


  • Am I doing all of this? Nope! I'm wrapped up in taxes! Soon, I hope to be able to bounce around some more & visit all of you.

    10 comments:

    Matt said...

    Skinny,

    I'd just about given up on my kitchen sink. I haven't used it in three months because I don't like the way it works.

    I'm totally gonna print out this post for future reference. Thank you.

    Angela Marie said...

    Just in time! I will use these handy tips THIS week-end!

    My mom uses this solution for the windows... it is great because it leaves no streaks!

    Tai said...

    Please, please, pleeeeze -- come over and clean my house.

    Orhan Kahn said...

    We've just fallen out of Summer over here. Still some time before Spring rolls its beautiful face around this neck of the woods.

    Awesome suggestions and concoctions!

    Anne said...

    Thanks, Skinny. Now all I need is a case of energy drinks or a big trash-can size cup of coffee, and I'll be ready to clean!

    Pixie said...

    Wow Thanks Skinny, I am going to save all of the above to notepad for future use!

    Nithya N said...

    well well what about a rusted brain??? please tell me you do know something for that...

    Mel said...

    *closing eyes*

    I did not see this.
    I did not see this.

    *going back to sipping coffee and reading a good book*

    Anonymous said...

    Some great tips here thanks - you have inspired me to get out my Marigolds and get cleaning! I have found this website very useful for 'green' cleaning tips - www.dri-pak.co.uk.

    I, like the view said...

    I read this the other day and didn't have time to comment

    I like reading this kind of thing

    the operative word being "reading". . .

    (I cleaned the windows the other day and they are dirty again - how did that happen?!)