Let's share helpful tips for around the house that others may not have heard before!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TennisPlayer, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Dec 4, 2011

    I'll start:


    Squeeze the extra air out of 2 liters bottles before closing to make the drink last longer!


    Just bought an electric blanket to save money (no more cold bed sheets....ahhhh! :thumb:) and occasionally use the fireplace or space heater to not have to use house heat as much.


    I'm sure I'll think of others but what are some others?
     
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  3. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I love Folex carpet spot remover. They sell it at Bed Bath and Beyond and at some large super markets. Spots practically disappear. It works really well on my couch, too. But they do recommend you spot test it on furniture before trying it to make sure it's compatible.

    When I hand wash dishes (I don't have a dishwasher), I put a splash of bleach in the water. It gives everything a squeaky clean look and feel.
     
  4. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    We bought a thermostat that is programmable. It turns everything off about ten minutes before we leave. Then it turns everything on about thirty minutes before we get home. It has helped a lot with the electric bill. I also had ceiling fans installed in every room. We use them all year round. They do great in the winter.
     
  5. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Nice ideas! I wish we had a like feature on here like Facebook, hehe
     
  6. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    To unclog bathroom drains - baking soda and vinegar.

    Works like a charm.
     
  7. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    When you clean off the top of kitchen cabinets (if your cabinets don't go to the ceiling) line them with paper towels before you add back the knick knacks. THe next time you clean, all you have to do is throw away the old towels and replace with new. Saves a lot of time cleaning.

    Handi-wipes (baby wipes) work really well at removing the gunk left in washers after many uses of fabric softener. They also work well at cleaning white tennis shoes.

    When your dog gets sprayed with skunk, washing them with the regular blue Dawn dish soap is far better than any other cleaning method.

    And on the skunk note, if said dog dripping with skunk goo enters your house before you can stop it, placing cinnamon sticks and whole cloves on a baking sheet and placing them in a 250 degree oven for a few hours really does help get rid of the smell in the house.
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I'm a single mom of three active boys. I have to be super efficient, or else I'd get buried. Here's how I keep laundry from staging a coup and taking over the house:


    -I have sorting bins in the bathroom. When the boys undress for their showers, they place their dirty clothes directly into the correct bin. I have one for jeans, darks that aren't jeans, reds, mediums, lights and bleach. This keeps things relatively tidy during the week, and when I go to the laundromat, I just have to grab and go. I don't have to spend the time sorting. When I had my own machines, I could just wash a load of whatever bin was full.

    -When I fold laundry, I fold it directly into baskets designated for each child. At the laundromat, I have each basket set out. I fold the pants and place them on one side, and the shirts on the others. Underwear, pj's and socks get placed in front of the baskets, then put on top of the shirt/pants piles when I'm done. When I get home, each child takes his basket and puts it away. Its effortless to put it away, since it's not only sorted by child, but by type, so they just have to pick up each "pile type" and shove it in the appropriate drawer. The actual "at home" part of my laundry routine takes about 15 minutes total. 5 minutes to load, 5 minutes to unload, and 5 minutes to put away.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Fireplaces waste heat unless you have some kind of 'stove' insert that recirculates the heat. So cozy though and romantic.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I use vinegar a lot. It gets musty smells out of laundry, and it's a good fabric softener. It absorbs odors, and I clean my floors with it. I also clean my desks at work with it.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Good to clean out coffee makers too...run vinegar through the cycle, followed by SEVERAL water cycles before making coffee!

    Use a half lemon and some coarse salt to shine copper.

    Newspaper to clean windows...doesn't leave streaks and lint like paper towels.
     
  12. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    My husband could have used this a couple hours ago:blush:
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    If you have carpetless floors, wear some hose before you sweep and mop. It tracks far less dirt and prints as you walk than socks or bare feet.
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Vinegar in the wash also prevents colors from bleeding.

    Rub a fabric softener sheet on areas where you see ants.

    Put your sponge in the dishwasher to clean it.

    Put citrus rinds in the garbage disposal to freshen it.

    That mini-snake type of drain cleaner thing that's advertised on tv really works great.
     
  15. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    If you flush the toilet every time you use it, you almost never have to clean it.

    Cleaning the shower and taking a shower can usually be done at the same time.

    If you sleep on top of your covers in your clothes, you don't have to change your sheets nearly as often.

    When you degrease automotive or bicycle parts, the kitchen sink works better than the bathroom sink. But the risk of getting caught is greater in the kitchen.

    Instead of separating your laundry by colors, separate it by shirts, pants, and everything else. That way you can leave the last load (everything else) in the dryer instead going to all the trouble of taking it out and folding it.

    Speaking of folding, sheets, towels, socks, and underwear do not need to be folded.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Used fabric softener sheets shine the faucets.
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Invest heavily in Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. They clean everything, but are especially wonderful on walls. The get rid of the grit around doorknobs particularly well.
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Magic Erasers are bought by the dozen in my house!
     
  19. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    My husband discovered that Magic Erasers work wonders on windows! Between dog nose prints and toddler finger prints, our windows get pretty gross and magic erasers get rid of it all!
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Shhh... Don't tell my boys that trick.

    Never tried that!
     
  21. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    LOVE vinegar, for everything!

    If your glassware is getting spotty from hard water, or even if it isn't but isn't as shiny as you want, put a bowl face up in the top rack of the dishwasher, and half fill with vinegar. Glasses will sparkle.

    I had a student do a speech on vinegar a couple years ago. I learned so much! Try this site for more:

    Vinegar Tips
     
  22. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Very funny...
     
  23. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    My husband complained that the dryer sheets were too strong. He said that was all he could smell when he was driving. I started cutting them in half. They still do the job, the scent is weaker, and saves 50% of the cost.

    I wanted a windshield cover for my van for this winter. We have an ice storm at school last year and it took 30 minutes to chip the ice off the windshield. They were expensive and many had bad reviews. I bought a clear shower curtain at Walmart and cut it a little bigger than the windshield and use a couple of magnets. Cost - $6.00

    Wipe your bathroom mirrors with shaving cream to prevent them from fogging up while you shower.
     
  24. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Midwest... I reuse my dryer sheets for the same reason...something like towels that I don't mind (especially if they sit on the shelf) I use the "full strength."

    I try to run my laundry a couple days a weeks instead of like every day or every other day... I figure if I have the dryer going it takes less time to try to "heat" it especially in the winter.
     
  25. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Somebody posted about putting paper towels on top of your cupboards...this is similar. Clean the top of your refrigerator well, then line it with Saran Wrap. All that gunk that collects up there can be just peeled away!

    I've done the same thing with my meat drawer when I had something thawing in there, like a turkey. It wasn't perfect, but it saved a lot of the mess.
     
  26. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    OMG. One of my most hated chores is the above-the-cabinet cleaning. You're a genius! I might clean them this weekend just so I can line them!!
     
  27. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We have a king, queen, and two twin beds. Not fun going through all the white sheets in the linen closet to find a full set for one bed.
    When the sheets are washed, fold the flat and fitted sheets and put them inside the matching pillowcase. That way, everything is always together.
     
  28. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I do that too mid west teacher...
     
  29. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I tear my dryer sheets in 1/2 too!

    Ants don't like cinnamon. It won't kill them, but they avoid it, so if you springle it around cabinets, etc., they ants will stay away.
     
  30. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    My problem with that is I can never get the fitted sheet to fold right. I usually get so annoyed that I just shove it in the closet. :eek:
     
  31. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I hate folding that sheet too!!!
     
  32. K1teach

    K1teach Companion

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    For this reason we almost always have the same sheets on our bed. I wash and dry them in the same day and put them back on so I don't have to fold them!!
     
  33. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    LOL!!!! Totally agree with you there...but we have different seasonally sheets...You know flannel for the cold months!!!

    Maybe we should just throw them in one of those space saver bags & not worry about the folding aspect!!! :rolleyes:
     
  34. McKennaL

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    I just recently got my electric blanket out of the closet...LOVE IT!! No more chilly nights.

    BUT the problem is..... I hate to get out of bed in the morning. SO... I put it on a light timer. The timer goes off (and turns the blanket off 30 minutes before I wake. I am still warm - but not SO toasty that I stay in bed like a slug (causing me to rush and nearly be late for whatever I need to do in the morning).
     
  35. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I was folding sheets at the laundromat a couple weeks ago and I had at least 6 people ask me if I would teach them how to do it. My fitted sheets are folded so they lay perfectly flat with perfectly square corners. Yes, I am that uptight.
     
  36. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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  37. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    OMG! I have to try that with my folded sheets! I need that space!
    Vinegar, water and a splash of ammonia is the best window cleaner! Use a rag-I use an old white teeshirt from my DH, and wipe dry with newspaper. Brilliant, clear, streak free windows!
    Old tube socks make the best dusters too. Slip sock over hand, spray with dusting spray, and dust! Best part-they are washable!
     
  38. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That is bookmarked for me! I saw my neighbor do something like that but she did it so quickly all I saw her do was tuck the corners in. Now I got something that is easier to watch and learn!
     
  39. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I do mine a little bit differently, but the same basic concept is there. It's actually really easy once you know how to do it.
     
  40. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    A simple eraser will take out permanent marker stains on surface areas

    Saliva also removes stains in clothing and carpet, including blood and wine stains.

    And for everything else, I pretty much use Oxyclean lol.
     
  41. misteacher

    misteacher Companion

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    For pots and pans that have lots of stuck on food- soak a dryer sheet and lay it on the mess. Cleans up easily the next day.

    If you are like me and like to purchase your favorite scented votives (love Partylite votives) store them in your linen closet. Your towels and linens will have a bit of your favorite scent when you pull them out to use them.

    A tennis ball attached to a broomstick will help rub off scuff marks on linoleum floors and saves your back because you can you don't have to bend down or get on your knees to scrub them.

    A light coat of car wax applied to shower walls after you've cleaned the walls will keep your walls cleaner and slows the accumulation of soap scum.
     

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