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Miscellaneous

Affordable Colored Linens: Since colored bed linens cost more, wait for the department stores to have their linen sales, purchase white linens, and then dye them your favorite color. You will need to purchase 2 boxes of Rit dye per 1 sheet set. Glenda Rodenbaugh, Jackson, MS

Air Freshener: To make your own air freshener, mix 2 parts liquid Downey fabric softener to 4 parts water, put in spray bottle and your home will smell great. Works well on furniture and beds also. I spray my home every morning and the great smell lasts all day !!!!! Anita, NM
or
Spray your favorite perfume on your light bulbs ,and turn on the lights. Also try spraying a little of
your perfume on your curtains,and then open the windows ,makes the whole house smell great. Valerie Leach, TN

Animal Care: If you are having problems with your puppy or dog chewing, I suggest using "Vicks Vapor Rub". Rub some of this onto the surface that you want your pet to avoid... the smell of it usually keeps their sensitive noses far enough away that chewing isn't an option! I have used this safely with my Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs for years! The Vapor Rub last longer than most other products, too. This keeps from having to re-apply so often! Leigh Conner

A cool treat for the summer for your dogs is homemade popsicles. We get Dixie cups and fill them with water, then add a few drops of lemon juice. After frozen, they make a great treat. Just peel the cup off, and hand over to your dog. Our dog loves this. Amy Wade

Animal Control:
Pour a little bleach on your outside trash in order to keep the animals away. Rita

Ants: Instead of buying ant killer. Purchase a box of saltine crackers. Crumble the cracker and sprinkle over the ant pile. The salt in the cracker will make the ant explode. Vivian Lerma, TX

With Spring here you are likely to come across those pesky ants. If these creatures are ruining your life, whether it's in the house or outside here is away to rid yourself and your family of these intruders. Grits...yes I said it, good old fashion Grits...Not the instant kind either. Last year my neighbor had huge ant hills in his yard and used my suggestion, after spending many dollars at the local hardware store, and it got rid of hundreds of ants. Sandra Ochodnicky, MI

For ants, sprinkle cinnamon along the doorways, outside window sills, and other openings to the house. It's like an ant- shield! Amanda Wells, OR

For problems with ant piles just pour bleach all over the pile. This will not only kill the ants, but keep them from coming back. Reneta, LA

If you have ants in or outside your home simply fill a spray bottle with alcohol. Treat infected areas in and around your house. Then, sprinkle baby powder over treated area. This will not only kill the ants, but prevent them from coming back. Erika Dejesus, FL

Bee Stings: In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of baking soda and 3/4 cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Mix until a paste is formed. Tear off a section of brown paper bag (the size of the infected area) soak this piece of brown paper bag in the mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Apply a thin coat of mixture on the infected area, then cover area with soaked brown paper bag. This works best if applied immediately after being stung. Crystal Wood

or

For  bee or wasp stings, spider bites, etc. make a paste of plain meat tenderizer and water.  Apply to the sting and cover with a Band-Aid to keep in place.    The meat tenderizer will break up the protein in the venom and the swelling & pain will soon be gone. Erica Shanks, Illinois

Bleached Hands: Simply use pure lemon juice and add a sprinkle of sugar. Rub hands together vigorously and rinse. No more smelly hands. Jennifer, KY

Broken Light Bulb: Broken Light Bulb Removal:Use a small potato. Make sure light switch is turned off. Place potato against broken light base and unscrew counterclockwise. It really works! Melissa Krieger, AL

Bruises:  In the event you find you have a bruise try this: Slice a raw onion and place it on the bruised area (avoid broken skin). Allow the onion slice to set for at least 5 minutes  and you will notice the bruise heal quicker.  Dawn Peetz, NE

Bug Bites: When camping,hiking,or just hanging on the patio,and your bit by a mosquito...PUT HEMMOROID CREAM ON IT!  It will instantly stop itching! Just a little dab will work perfect! Does exactly as it claims: "shrinks swelling,stops itching" Try it! Shirley, OR

Wrap raw fatty salty bacon around bites overnight. It will pull the poison out of the bites, my pediatrician told me this one. Loretta Kitchens, MS

Bug Repellant: When outdoors put a dryer sheet hanging out of one of your pockets, it will help keep the mosquitoes away. (Also works great keeping your TV screen dust free.) Sharon L. Ziolek

Take a paper towel and soak it with Vinegar and rub on arms, legs, etc. Once dry it will not smell. Rita, OH

If you have a problem with fruit flies. Pour a small amount of lemon scented ammonia in a glass and place it in the windowsill. Drives the fruit flies away every time. Retta Murphy, SC

Bug Repellant
(for pet food feeders): When planning your vacations, and pet food will be left in automatic feeders outside, sprinkle baby powder around the feeder. This will definitely keep ants out of pet food. Ants will not cross over the powder lines. (Be sure to sprinkle the powder before you place the feeders down in order to keep the powder residue out of the pet food). Glenda Rodenbaugh, Jackson MS

Bug Repellent (for flour containers): When you put flour in a container, place a piece of spearmint gum in the container to keep the bugs away. Tammy Rios, TX

Burns: Take instant tea granules and add enough drops of water to make a paste. Put over the burned area and let dry. Leave on for as long as possible. It helps heal your burn and ease the pain with the burn. You might look funny but it works. Melodee, IA

Burnt Tongue:
If you burn your tongue on something hot to eat (hot coffee or soup) put a teaspoon of sugar on your tongue and hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth and let the sugar melt. This will keep your tongue from getting sore from the burn. I'm not really sure why this works, but it really does work! Mary, IN

Candles: Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning and they will burn much longer. CD Scratches: To remove scratches on CD's rub smooth peanut butter on the CD then wipe it away with a coffee filter. Yvonne M.

Canker sore: For canker sores on the outside of you lips mix baking soda and water to a
paste and put on the canker sore. Let harden and leave on as long as possible. This helps dry out the sore and shortens the length of the canker sore. It's much cheaper than the products advertised! Melodee, IA

Car Odor: A great way to get those unwanted smells out of your vehicle is to take 3 or 4 fresh apples and cut in half. Place in an open container in your vehicle for a day or two. The smell will be gone! Kim Jackson

Condiments: My family takes their lunches to work everyday. Instead of buying the expensive packages of mayonnaise or mustard, I put a tablespoon in a snack bag so the sandwiches won't get soggy. At lunchtime they cut the tip off of the corner of the snack bag and drizzle it on their bread. Elaine Wallace, TN

Conserving Energy:
To save energy I make sure that in the summer when the air conditioner is running the most during the day the pool filter is running at night and in the winter when the heat is needed at night the pool filter is running during the day. This also works with well with a jacuzzi. This is even more important if you have a load controller. I also cover my roof turbans during the winter. They are designed to remove heat from the attic by spinning driven by rising heat. Since you are heating your home it is wise to keep all of the heat inside that you can. There is a noticeable difference within a foot of the floor once they are covered. No more cold feet! Dave, Arizona

Dentures: After removing your dentures (or other dental appliance) soak in warm water overnight add a drop or 2 of bleach. Rinse well in the morning before brushing. Not only does it leave your dentures pearly white, but also it kills any fungus that can cause bad breath, mouth sores and infections. Me, NY

Diaper Rash: Many years ago my son had a diaper rash and I was told this trick. Boil 3 or 4 outside (dark green) lettuce leaves in enough water to cover them. After boiling the leaves drain the water into a jar or dish with a lid and throw the leaves out. Use boiled juice when cool on baby' bottom, rash should be on the way to recovery in 24 hours or less. A local doctor had this analyzed and still couldn't find out why it worked!

Dog Shampoo: Use Dawn dish washing on your dog instead of that expensive flea soap. Dawn works as well and is safe for your dog. Jimmy, MS

Drain Cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup baking soda in to a drain and 1/2 cup white vinegar to follow. It may require several treatments to get open and running smoothly, leave in for 30min + and rinse with hot water. Shirley Donnelly, OH

Pour one cup of salt and one cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a about a three quarts pot of boiling water down the drain. Normally this will open the drain immediately. Teri Anne B., IA

Dresser Door Freshener: Take the perfume samples from magazines and place them in your dresser drawers for a refreshing scent. Heather P., NC

Trapped Dryer Lint: Is lint trapped in your dry trap, try using a back scratch-er to remove it. Linda, IN

The Many Uses of Dryer Sheets: To keep the interior of your vehicle, R.V, boat, and rooms/closets inside your house smelling fresh/clean, place one or two fabric softener dryer sheets anywhere overnight. You can even use them to freshen your shoes, boots, suitcases, and handbags (especially while in storage)! I've even crumpled a few up and strategically placed them "inside" silk plants making coming home each day "refreshing"! These little wonders also remove static cling from just about everything! From the hemline of your skirt, to your television and computer screens, to those new vertical blinds you just put up. They'll even help "discharge" the electrical charge that builds up on those hard plastic office floormats. Sharelle Fry

Foggy Eyeglasses: In winter, if you put a drop of liquid dish soap on your eyeglasses (both sides) and then wipe off with a dry cloth, they will not fog when coming into a warm room from the cold outside. Dayna Greene, Springfield, MO

First Aid: Any time you cut your hand, finger, or any other part of the body, take a spoonful of sugar and sprinkle it in the cut. If you are bleeding, this will thicken the blood and besides that it will take the pain away. Perfect for paper cuts. Melissa, OH

Gum In Hair: Butter will dissolve it so you can get it out fast! Tracy, MI

or

To remove gum from a child's hair use  mayonnaise. Let it set and it will bring it out painlessly.  It will also remove tar. (Peanut butter also will work.) Leonoris Coen, West Virginia

Hair Clarifier: For really soft shiny hair, mix 1 Tablespoon baking soda with 2 Tablespoons of your regular shampoo. Leave on for a minute or so then rinse and then rinse one more time with a small splash of vinegar. BA, OR

Handbags: I color code the contents in my handbag. It makes it easier to find things, since the inside of many handbags are dark. My wallet, glass case, medical information case, address book, receipt wallet, credit card wallet and cosmetic bag are each a different color. It makes it much easier and quicker to find what I need. Wendy Hamil, MO

Heartburn: 1 Tbls. of distilled vinegar will provide almost immediate relief (within 5 mins) of heartburn for weeks. Jeremy Watson, NV

Hiccups: Take a spoonful of peanut butter to get rid of the hiccups, believe me it works.
Russ, MI

To get rid of hick ups take a teaspoon of Grape JELLY (NOT jam). For infants, just dip your finger in the jelly and let them suck the jelly off your finger, for toddlers 1/4 teaspoon and children 1/2 teaspoon. Adjust accordingly to fit your own needs. Joan Baranek

Homemade Flea Repellant: Orange peels can help combat fleas and mosquitoes! Collect peels from citrus fruits and keep them frozen in a plastic bag until you have collected about a half a pound of them. Boil the peels in one quart of water. Then allow the peels to sit until cool. Then strain the peels and pour the left over fluid into a spray bottle and mist your dog before he goes outside. Mosquitoes hate it, fleas die from it, and it is safe to use. You can also spray their bedding and all around the house for doggy odors as well! It also neutralizes dog and cat urine odors. The active ingredient in citrus peels is its' natural pesticide. Melody Worsham, MS

Ice Packs: For a quick ice pack, keep a bag of green peas in the freezer (be sure to mark it so you can refreeze it...don't eat these peas). The peas in the bag will conform to almost any body part and are not as messy as ice. Be sure to wrap the bag of peas in a towel since you don't want to apply the cold directly to the surface of the skin. Apply 15 minutes on...15 minutes off. Put the bag back in the freezer between applications. When you use it the next time just hit it on the counter to break the peas up to a loose state again. Nancy Curtis, TX


To make a home made ice pack, take equal parts of water and alcohol in a zip lock bag.  Lie flat in freezer until needed.  The mixture will be like a really thick slushy.  You can use small or large bags, both can be molded extremely easily.

Itchy Bug Bites: For chigger bites or mosquito bites use preparation H ointment. It stops the bites from whelping up and the itching. Tammie Ward, MO

Fire Starters (Barbecues/Camp): Half-fill each section of a cardboard egg carton with dryer lint; then pour melted wax over it and allow to the wax to harden. Cut apart segments for fire starting. CAUTION: Do not use plastic foam egg cartons, they will not burn away and they give off toxic fumes! Mary Thompson, Murfreesboro, TN

Fire Starter (Kindling): Save money by making your own kindling for the winter months. Save your toilet tissue and paper towel cardboard rolls. Fill them with the lint from the lint trap in your dryer. Cindy Johnson, IN

Flowers: Place a penny in a vase of drooping tulips and they should stand upright again. Carol Filczer, CA

Homemade Gloves: Keep the plastic grocery bags to use as rubber gloves. Double bag then slide your hand inside and you can reach down inside of the garbage disposal to remove items or pick up disgusting things, then turn inside out as you remove the bag, tie up and toss in the trash without it having ever touched your hand. Faye Parker

Grass: Get rid of the grass that grows in the cracks of you sidewalk by spraying it with white vinegar. The weeds will be dead by the next day and you can easily pull them out and throw them away. Gloria Peebles, OH

To remove grass and weeds between sidewalk bricks and along the edges of your sidewalk or home, simply boil hot water and pour it in those spots. It will kill the pest for the entire summer. Dottie Sims, PA

Household vinegar mixed with orange oil extract will kill grass and weeds that become a problem in the driveway or any other place you have annoying weeds. Sherry, IN

Grocery Store Savings: When a grocery store has an item on sale at a great price, buy some now and then visit the store on day 3 or 7 of the sale when they are likely out of stock and get a rain check. That way, you can buy it later at the sale price whenever you get ready. Lverne, MI

Gum in Hair: To remove gum from hair use peanut butter. Rub peanut butter into the gum, adding more peanut butter as needed. Keep rubbing and the gum will start to ball up and can be easily removed. Luanne, IL

Hiccups: You'll need 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 glass of water. Take the teaspoon of sugar and put it in your mouth, then follow the sugar with the water. Repeat if necessary, usually works on the first try! Patrick, MO

Heating Pad: For aches and pains take a bag of un-cooked rice and put it in a sock, tie the sock up at the end and put it in the microwave for as hot as you want it (caution 3 min is hot). Pull it out and put it on your ache or pain. Believe me, it works and will save you money too! Victoria Carroll, TN

Kids: As a single mother of a 3 year old boy, I know how hard it is to keep him amused on rainy or snowy days. Have housework to do? Forget it! I am always having to answer the "mommy" call every few minutes. One particularly rainy day, I came up with a fun and mess free activity for my son. My front door is a plain wooden one. I give my son his box of sidewalk chalk and some baby wipes (a wet rag will do also). He can color on the door and it wipes off easily! This enables me to clean the house and lets him do something he normally wouldn't be allowed to do. Katy Green, IL

Labels for Potted Plants:
Slats from vinyl mini blinds can be cut into strips about 5 or 6" long, made pointed on one end and used to label potted plants or seed trays. Label with permanent marker. Marie, MS

Leaky Flower Pots: Simply put coffee filters (I usually put 4 or 5) in the bottom of the flowerpot when transplanting, it will keep dirt from running out the holes in the bottom when you water. Dayna Greene, Springfield, MO

Lice: For treatment of head lice. I personally have not tried this but a Canadian friend swears by it adding that a pharmacist there told her of the remedy. Take one part white vinegar and one part cooking oil and mix together in a spray bottle. *NOTE* protect your eyes! Spray on hair and work in to scalp and hair. Wrap hair with saran wrap and leave on for one and a half hours, then use the fine tooth comb to pull out nits. Wash hair well with regular shampoo afterwards. G Freer, LA

Mattress Odor: If you have children who have wet the bed and can't get the smell out, place 3 or 4 dryer sheets under the sheet on top of mattress. It covers the odor (amazingly!) and smells like fresh laundry! Also works good on smoke smell. Tracey, KY

Mailing Boxes: Instead of writing over a logo, using mailing labels, or wrapping over your box of Christmas goodies to go through the mail, turn your used box inside out and tape/glue it back together. It's easier and nicer looking to use the clean surface of the inside of the box. Angela Sherwood

Mice: Place cotton balls soaked in liquid peppermint in areas where the rodents are know to come in. Those already in the house they will leave and no new rodents will come in. Marla, LA

Mossy Roof: Liberally sprinkle laundry detergent powder along the roof line. (Tide is the preferred brand). A light rain will do the rest. Crystal Bacon, OR

Moving Clothes: An easy way to transport hung clothing in a move, take a bed top sheet, spread it out, grab a handful or two of clothes (leave them on the hangers) then wrap them with the sheet, grab the ends and go. Stephanie, MS

Nail Fungus: Use Vicks Vapor Rub. Just smooth it on the infected nail. It is fast working and the best. Donna, SC

Old Socks: When you only have 1 sock left from a pair, don't throw it away! They make great cleaning rags. Use them for dusting or light cleaning. Desiree, OK

Paint Fumes: When painting an interior room, mix 1 tsp. vanilla per gallon of paint to mask paint fumes. Amber, KS

Paint Removal from Skin: Use Skin-So-Soft spray it will take the paint right off. Elaine Eubanks, TX Quick Home Fragrance: Take a piece of napkin, spray on you favorite perfume, stick it on you air conditioner filter (you can use a small nail or tack to stick it on) and enjoy the lovely fragrance throughout your home! Jennie, AL

Sewing:  Put a flat refrigator magnet in your sewing box. then when your pins spill, the magnet will
collect them for you before you noticed they were gone!  Kay Zinn, WI

Shoeshine:
To make dull hard surface shoes look new again, wipe with Armour All. April B.

Splinters: When you have a splinter, use duct tape to remove it. Make sure you press it on your skin firmly and remove it quickly in the opposite direction it went in. Works well on kids that are skittish to tweezers. Teresa, TX

Stop Static Cling in Hair:
If your hair has static cling during the winter, rinse your hair in Downy instead of your normal conditioner. It gets rid of the static cling and feels and smells good. It is also works well to rinse your hairbrushes with it. Terri, OK

Squeaky Hinges: Spray some Pam cooking spray on the hinges (both sides), wait 5-10 minutes and wash off anything left behind. No more squeak! Nancy, OH
or
Look in your kitchen cabinets and pull out some PAM or other cooking spray and spray on those squeaks to silence them. After spraying, work the door back and forth to allow the spray to penetrate the hinge. Once the squeak subsides, wipe off excess spray to protect painted surfaces. Works wonders! Lisa Peden, Hohenwald, TN
or
Shaving cream helps noisy door hinges. Michael, KY
or
Old fashioned Pledge in the spray can works wonders on squeaky hinges. Angel Viator, LA

Stuck doors: Wooden doors that swell or are hard to open and or close...try rubbing bar soap along the edges of the door to ease the opening and closing of the door. Angelika, Missouri

Sunburn: When sunburned, rub vinegar on burn. It will take burning out and in most cases prevent peeling. Evelyn Sisler, TN
or
If you have a sunburn rub a tomato on it and it will relieve the burn. Justena Oshel, KS

Swimming Pools: For those people that have an above-ground swimming pool and are plagued with birds and all the mess that they make around the pool. Simply take an old black belt and lay it beside the pool. Birds are afraid of the belt and what it looks like and will not come anywhere near the pool. You have to try it to believe it, and it really works like a charm. To completely confuse the birds change the shape occasionally, from straight to a slightly curved position around the pool. Ralph Tate, FL

Tangled Cords: All of us have a drawer full of cords - for the coffee pot, electric skillet, griddle, etc. Most of the time, they're a tangled mess and hard to identify. I use an empty cardboard toilet paper tube for each cord. Simply insert the folded cord in the tube and label each. You can then stack them in the drawer and no more tangled mess. Anne Vislosky, NY

Ticks: If a tick's head gets stuck under skin, make a equal mix of honey and baking soda, mix, then warm(do not burn skin) and put on a Band-Aid/compress. Leave this for a couple of hours, may need to repeat with heat, and ticks head will come out. My doctor told me to do this with my child and it worked (a little seed tick head). Good luck. Lynn, KY

Trash Removal: When changing trash bags in the trash cans around the house, place 2 or 3 bags at the bottom of the trash can as replacements to make it faster. Rather than looking around the house for another bag to replace the full one. Barbette

Tree Sap Removal: To remove tree sap from your skin, rub the area with mayonnaise and then wash with soap. Kris Fisher, TN

The Many Uses of Vinegar: Vinegar is good for spider bites, cleaning your coffee pot, cleaning windows, and curing diaper rash. It also removes odors, just mix 1/8 cup with full cup of water in spray bottle and spray it on the odor filled area. Vinegar is also the best remedy I have found for spider bites, mosquito bites, and ant bites. Laurie Johnsen, ID

Vomit: Cleaning up vomit make you want to vomit yourself? Spray with Air Freshener,or sprinkle cat litter on it. Cut a paper plate in half. Double bag two plastic grocery bags and have beside the vomit. With each side of the paper plate in each hand join them back together beneath the vomit (or fecal matter) and voile!...a perfect scooper without any falling out...then move into the plastic bags to be tied and thrown away. Then use more plastic bags as rubber gloves to clean the residue or remove any remaining particles and your hands never touched the matter! Faye Parker

Votive Candle Holders:
To keep votive candles from burning the holder spray them first with cooking spray. Penny Bellard

Wallpaper Removal: Brush on fabric softener and the wallpaper will peel off. Pat Millima Zippers: If you have zippers that are sticking, run a lead pencil up & down the zipper (both sides) several times, the graphite in the pencil lead will make zipper much easier to pull up & down. Dayna Greene, Springfield, MO

Wasps: To remove wasps and wasp nests, use a wet-dry vacuum to vacuum pests safely into the cannister. This method is also environmentally friendly. Paul Elliott, TX

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*Please note: This is a community exchange. The ideas mentioned here have not been tested and product mentions are not indicative of a station endorsement.

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