Home remedies exposed

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Home Remedies exposed…Yes but does it work? So I got this book (two books, actually) about how to use common household items to do just about everything in the world while saving millions of dollars!  Yeah sure?   These books made me think I could become Martha Stewart and MacGyver all rolled into one person.

Image:Microsoft Office

I thought I’d try three or four of the ideas at a time to see if they really work. Not necessarily scientific or even myth busting, but just to see if I can get anything of value. I thought it might also be interesting to share with you the results. Here is the first of my findings.  Many uses for Vinegar distilled white by the gallon.

·Clean your hairbrushes with vinegar by soaking them in 1/2 cup of vinegar added to 2 cups of hot soapy water. The results:  Good!  In the past I only used soap or shampoo.  This method dissolves any oil left on the brush.  I used this on four different kinds of brushes.  One was very old and dirty (belongs to my husband but that’s another story) That one took two soakings.

·Cleaning your microwave oven and kill any lingering orders by mixing 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water.  Place in the microwave and allow to boil for a few minutes.  Let cool down for about 5 more minutes.  This will remove any orders as well as soften on food splatters. The results:  Excellent!   Depending upon how long it’s been since you cleaned out the microwave, you may need to do this more than once.  If you have a lot of baked on food, use more vinegar and less water (maybe a few drops of dish soap as well).  Once the liquid has cooled down a bit, dip a sponge into the vinegar solution and wipe away the rest of the food.

·Removing carpet stains with a simple paste.  Dissolve 2 tablespoons each of borax and salt in 1/2 cup of vinegar.  Rub into carpet stains.  Let dry then vacuum up the residue. The results:  Poor!  This is one time I recommend buying a commercial product.  Although I have a feeling that many of the sprays and foams you buy have these three ingredients in them, they also have what it takes to get the stains out.

·To get out hard toilet stains, use 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup borax.  First pour the vinegar over the stains in the toilet, then sprinkle the borax over the vinegar.  Allow it to soak.  After 2 hours, brush and flush. The results:  Inconclusive.  It seems that this mixture is no better or worse than using many toilet cleaners.  It’s just cheaper, which is not a bad thing.  I do think there are products on the store shelves that can do a better job.  It just depends on what you want to spend. So, continuing on Cleaning projects,  I thought I turn my attention to multi-uses for toothpaste.  I went to my local 99¢ Store and bought a big tube of original Pepsodent.    Armed with my paste I went about trying to find out what works and what doesn’t. Note:  Make sure you use the old fashion toothpaste and not the gel formulas on any of the following:

Silver Polish –  There are two ways to use toothpaste as silver polish.  One was for silverware, silver platters and vessels.  The other was for silver jewelry.

·For silverware, dip the silver in water.  Rub about a teaspoon of toothpaste on the silver with your finger.  Rub until you make a foam, then rinse off the toothpaste and the tarnish. ·The Results — poor! Nothing much happened.  However, I decided I’d try the jewelry method instead.

·For silver jewelry just rub the toothpaste directly on the jewelry and wipe off with a soft cloth. ·The results – good to excellent! It worked on a small silver platter as well as a silver ring. It was amazing the just by omitting the water it worked as advertised. What I really liked about it was that, unlike my silver polish, it didn’t smell like rotten eggs.

Clean & Polish your watch – You can clean minor scratches from your watch crystal and polish it with toothpaste.  Rub toothpaste on your watch crystal then wipe clean with a soft cloth. ·The results — fair.  The word of the day is “minor” scratches.  It does seem to lessen the look of the scratches, but as for polishing –I thought it left my watch crystal a bit greasy.

Stains on wooden furniture – To clean off those small white stains on the surface of wooden furniture, grab the toothpaste.  Put a dab on your finger and gently rub into the stain.  Wipe that area clean. ·The results – poor! Not only didn’t it make a bit of difference, it left my dresser dull and greasy.  Fortunately, between the oil soap and the furniture polish, I was able to restore the mess that the toothpaste made. So, my conclusion — other than a serviceable silver polish, keep the toothpaste in the medicine cabinet. This is a continuation of my search to see what works for the DIY challenged person.   As I’ve previously stated, I have of a couple of books that impart ingenious ways of using everyday items to do just about everything in the world.  My first reaction was “great, but does it really work?” So here a few of the ideas I decided to test out for myself:

·Renew your windshield wipers for another season by lightly sanding the edge of the brittle rubber with sandpaper. The result: Good! I didn’t have sandpaper, but I did have large emery boards.  I used the rougher side first and then the finer side to finish up.  I got a fairly good result.  We’ll have to see how long it lasts.  Wiper blades are relative inexpensive, but it’s nice to know that I can extend the life of the blade a while longer.

·To clean, polish and remove scratches on plastic lenses, use Lemon Pledge (or any other brand of lemon furniture polish).  Simply spray and wipe with a soft cloth. The result:  Mixed to Good. I did this on three pair of sunglasses and one pair of old prescription glasses.  When it comes to scratch repair, it made very little difference on the sunglasses.  However, on the clear lenses, it did lessen the scratches noticeably.   I thought the furniture polish would leave the glasses greasy.  Not only did it do a good job of cleaning dirt and smudges, It actually cleaned better than soap and water.  As for the lemon sent, it dissipated after a couple of minutes. I also tried this with a non-lemon furniture polish and got a bit of smearing.  I’m guessing the lemon has something to do with wiping clean. ·Truthfully, since I don’t know how Pledge will effect the non-glare coating on my prescription glasses, I’ll stick to the solution my Optometrist gave me.  I will, however,  use it to clean my drugstore sunglasses.  I would suggest you do the same.

· Old panty hose uses.  Here are three ideas I’ve used with fairly good results: ·

Window screen  repair . Cut a patch from an old pair of panty hose and use it as a temporary patch on a window screen. Just cut and sew.  You can also use rubber cement if sewing is impractical.  Remember, this is just a temporary patch.  Don’t expect it to last all season.

·Garden fruit.   If you don’t want birds or squirrels to harvest your fruit before it’s ripe, use panty hose as netting.  The fruit  will get enough light and air through the panty hose to ripen, but the critters can’t get a hold of it before it’s ready to pick.

·Onions last longer when stored in a leg from a pair of panty hose.  Drop an onion into the leg, tie a knot above it, then drop another onion into the leg and tie it off.  Depending on the size of the onions, you can easily store 3 to 6 onions.  You can then hang them up until you need an onion. Let me know what results you get on any of the ideas mentioned.  If you have other tips you wish to impart, please feel free to pass them on.

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