Archived Story

E-helpful hints

Published 11:38am Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I love e-mail. I get all sorts of things via e-mail. I get funny stuff, sad stuff, helpful stuff and silly stuff. I received one last week that was full of helpful hints. I want to share some of them with you.

A sealed envelope can be open by putting it into the freeze for a few hours. Afterwards, you can gently slip a knife under the flap. The envelope can also be resealed. Of course, I mean an envelope that has been accidentally sealed by humidity.

Empty toilet paper rolls can be used to store appliance and extension cords. The rolls can be labeled as to which appliance it belongs or the length of the extension cord. Of course, in a house with children empty toilet paper rolls are also great for binoculars, “rainmakers,” and other imaginative things.

I love candles. I don’t love cleaning my candle holders of wax residue. I’ve found that if there is a lot of wax it can be easily removed by placing the candle holder in the freezer for a few hours; then the wax will just pop off. However, if there is just a small amount of wax residue and the candleholder is glass or crystal, I usually put it through my dishwasher. Candles will burn longer if they have been stored in the freezer.

With six children in the house, it’s not unusual for us to have splinters especially during the summer. I have been told that splinters can sometimes be removed with scotch tape. The next time we have a splinter you can bet I try this one out. Scotch tape is also great for removing those little stick on tattoos or finding the end of the plastic wrap.

Another item with multiple uses is Alka Seltzer. It can be used to clean a toilet, a vase or a thermos bottle, polish jewelry, or unclog a drain. To unclog a drain, drop 3 Alka Seltzer tablets in the drain followed by one cup of white vinegar wait a few minutes then run hot water down the drain. Umm, now that I know this I’m not sure I will ever drink an Alka Seltzer again!

Speaking of not drinking things. Did you know that you can use Coke to clean vehicle battery terminals? I was happier drinking soda before I learned this.

One of my daughters has frequent nose bleeds during the winter. It’s not unusual for her wake up with one. After having several pillowcases stained, I finally learned that hydrogen peroxide will remove the blood stains. Careful though it can also fade some colors. This is definitely a time to test a hidden spot first!

The sting or bite of a bee, wasp, or ant can be alleviated by using antiperspirant or meat tenderizer. Both of them break down the protein causing the stinging and swelling.

Fabric softener sheets are handy to have around. They can be used to get rid of static cling and keep closets and dresser drawers smelling fresh. I had a friend that used to put them under her sofa cushions.

I have several arrangements of artificial flowers. Over the years I have notice some types of flowers do not stand up well to cleanings, even when I used the solution designed for the artificial flowers. One of my e-mails this week suggested putting the flowers into a bag with salt and gently shaking it. The e-mail stated that the salt would absorb all the dust and dirt. I haven’t tried this one yet, but it sounds promising.

Another problem we have developed recently in our home is that my children are learning to cook. Well, actually the problem isn’t the kids learning to cook. The problem is the kids burning what they’re cooking. I’ve found that if you add hot water to the pan with just a few drops of dish detergent and then bring the water to a boil the stuck on mess will easily lift off.

I hope these tips are useful to you.

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