Household Tips

To Save You Time and Money

Hi! Come on in if you can. Pardon the house but it always looks like this since I found the internet. You can touch my dust, but please don't write in it. This is my I HATE HOUSE WORK section. Hope you can find a tip here to make that nasty job of house cleaning go faster.
House Cleaning


Quick Cleaning
  • Learn to top clean. Put the breakfast dishes in the sink with hot water and detergent to soak. Next make the beds, pick up papers and empty ash trays into a large bag that you should always carry with you. Next douse toilet tissue with rubbing alcohol and wipe the bathroom fixtures. Use a carpet sweeper and hit the middle of the floor, take a feather duster to the coffee table and end tables, then go back and do the dishes.Next have a cup of coffee and go get on the internet..

  • For women who hate housework the following items are a must. Feather duster, carpet sweeper, a chamois (to wipe mirrors and glass), dusting rag (an old wash cloth works well), oiled rag, and a paper sack. When you use your dust cloth sprinkle a few drops of water on it. This allows you to dust twice as fast and it also removes spots.

    Bedroom and Living Room
  • Always start cleaning high and work your way down.
  • Clean cobwebs with an upward motion to lift them off. Downward motions tend to splatter them against the walls.
  • An easy way to clean the ceiling fan is to cover your hands in a pair of old socks. Dip them in warm sudsy water and run your hand over top and bottom of each blade.
  • Next time you clean the blades to your ceiling fan apply a thin coat of floor wax to them. It will keep future dust from clinging to them.
  • Wipe miniblinds with a damp fabric softener sheet to elimate static that collects dust.
  • Use a blow dryer on low to clean pleated lamp-shades.
  • Pet hair will come off your furniture easily with a roller lint brush.
  • Make your own furniture polish by mixing one teaspoon lemon oil with two cups mineral oil.
  • Water rings may be removed by rubbing petroleum jelly thoroughly into the spot.
  • Polish ashtrays with furniture polish before using and they will wipe clean easily.
  • To remove rust stains from sinks and tubs pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on the stain and sprinkle with cream of tartar. Let sit for half an hour then wipe off and rinse well.
  • Drop a denture cleaning tablet into toilet for a fast cleanup.
  • Wipe bathroom fixtures with a little rubbing alochol for a quick shine.
  • Safely and easily unclog a hair filled drain without harmful chemicals. Make a solution of equal parts of vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Pour down the clogged drain, let it foam for 15 minutes, then flush with boiling water.
  • Hair spray buildup can be removed from a mirror by wiping the mirror with a crumpled up newspaper.
  • To keep mirrors clean dampen a soft rag with rubbing alchol and wipe over the entire surface.
  • Keep tile and fiberglass shower walls clean. After washing well apply a thin coat of car wax and buff well. This will prevent most soap build up and the little that does wipes off easily.
  • If you drop an egg on the floor, cover it with salt, wait 5 minutes or so and it will easily sweep up.
  • Run a piece of bread through the meat grinder for easy clean up.
  • Coffee and tea stains can easily be removed by making a paste of baking soda and water, and rubbing on the stain.
  • To keep your kitchen smelling good dampen a couple of cotton balls with vanilla and place around the kitchen.
  • Burnt pans are a breeze to clean. Coat the bottom of pan with baking soda and add enough water to cover. Let stand for 3 hours, then gently scrape out the burnt food with a plastic spatula.
  • Add a few tablespoons of vinegar to dishwater to cut grease and leave your glasses sparkling.
  • To remove hard water stains from your dish drainer, pour 1 cup vinegar over it and let stand overnight. In the morning wipe it off with a wet sponge.
  • Wash and dry your stainless steel sink then polish with a few drops of baby oil and buff til shiny. Will help prevent water spots.
  • For a shiny finish on no wax floors, add one quarter cup of a pre-soak laundry powder to soapy water and then mop.
  • A cup of vinegar in your mop water will give your floor a shine.
  • Deodorize your garbage disposal with leftover orange and lemon peels.
  • Pouring baking soda down the drain weekly will keep the pipes clean and sweet smelling.



    If today is your washday, lets make that chore fun! This is not an approved method written by any authority. This is my own method, some have tried and found it the lazy woman's way to beautiful laundry. Gather all the white clothes that you wash in hot water. Put soap and bleach in washer, let run for about two minutes to make sure soap and clothes or well mixed. Now run in and connect to the internet. Turn the machine off and let stand for 10 minutes, any longer and the dirt will start clinging to the fibers again. Just enough time to run in and check your e-mail.*GRIN* Now go back and start the washer again, let it run through entire cycle. This should give you enough time to grab a cup of coffee and surf for a wee bit. See isn't doing the laundry much more fun.

    Laundry Tips
  • Train every one in the household to empty all pockets, and turn the garments the way they should be washed. I wash all jeans inside out to prevent fading. I turn all printed t-shirts inside out.
  • Have a different colored small basket for each family member. When you fold the clothes just put into their basket so they can put their own laundry away.
  • Use a laundry marker and place each childs name on the inside pocket. That way you can easily tell who the jeans belong to.
  • Try cutting down on the amount of soap you are using as this can make your clothes dingy. Use half the amount of soap and feel the water if it feels silky you have enough soap.
  • Never overload your washer, as clothes cannot swish around properly if there are too many of them in the washer.
  • Improper rinsing is the main cause of gray and yellow clothes. Rinse them a second time adding a cup of vinegar to the water to remove all soap flim.
  • Keep a small spray bottle filled with vinegar in the laundry room to treat perspiration odors before washing.
  • Double duty from fabric softener sheets. Use them in the dryer and then throw in the next load of wash in the washing machine.
  • Sheet strategies, choose different color sheets for each bed. You will always know which sheets go where.
  • Keep a plastic mesh pot scrubber near the dryer. One quick swipe with the scrubber and the lint basket is clean.
  • Adding a tablespoon of Epsom salt to each gallon of rinse water helps keep colors from fading or running.
  • If you accidentally shrunk a wool item, wash it in a mixture of hair conditioner and water. Gently reshape and let air dry laying flat.



    I haven't quite figured out how do this one and stay on the internet yet. But I'm working on it. Can you tell by now I'm just a little bit addicted to this new found place called Cyber Space.
    Grocery Shopping Tips
  • List the items you need in the order you will find them in the store. Saves a lot of foot steps.
  • Arrange coupons by aisles in the supermarket and save time.
  • Clip shopping list to the cart with a clothes pin, so you can find it easily.
  • Instead of using a calculator, just round off each item to the nearest dollar. Put a mark on your grocery list for each dollar. You will come with in a dollar or two of your total bill.
  • When unpacking groceries, put all refrigerated item together next to the fridge. Saves steps and you only have to open the fridge once.
  • Never go to the store when your hungry.
  • Shop alone if possible.
  • Don't buy items just because they are on sale, you may never use them.
  • Try to plan meals for the entire week and shop only once.

    Recently I have had several people email me about shopping online. I have never tried it yet (smile) but they swear by it.

    General Tips to Make Things Cleaner

  • Clean silk flowers by putting in a bag with some salt and shake. The dust will stick to the salt.
  • Another method is to use your blow dryer on low setting and blow the dust off. This one is good for delicate flower arrangements.
  • Brushes and combs may be cleaned by putting a couple of tablespoons baking soda and bleach to a sink full of warm water. Leave them soak for 5 minutes, then rinse and let dry.
  • Clean your candles by using a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.
  • To remove candle wax, place in the freezer for a few hours an the wax will peel off.
  • To clean your computer keyboard. Turn it upside down and gently pat the back to dislodge any dust then wipe with a dry clean lint free cloth.
  • Use an artgum eraser to clean smoked stained areas on your fireplace.
  • Clean old photos by gently rubbing with a piece of bread
  • Clean the telephone with cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol.

    Helpful Hints Visitors Have Shared with Me

    Sent by Brenda:
    TOOTHPASTE works well for the water ring stains on coffee tables.
    Most vaccuum cleaners have hose attachments nowadays. I use that baby to dust EVERYTHING from the window blinds to the ceiling fans, to the nick nacks on the shelves (and of course the shelves themselves). I even use it in the kitchen when the fire wells on the stove get flour or crumbs spilled in them and they are so hard to wipe out and not drop what you are trying to wipe upwards, I just vaccuum it with the vaccuum hose (OK, so I am REEAALLY being lazy there, but hey, it works and takes almost no time at all :) )

    Sent by Twyla:
    You can do your grocery shopping online and have the groceries delivered to your door if there is a Kroger (Shopper's Express) or Tom Thumb (PeaPod) in your area. They'll even let you use your coupons. I did it after the birth of my soon to be 16-month old and just LOVED it. The cost for delivery was $10 but they gave me a coupon for free delivery the next time. They even give you a space to type in how you want your produce or fruit picked!!

    Sent by Tyra:
    1. To keep your bathroom mirrors from fogging up, apply a small amount of liquid soap to a dry washcloth and wipe over mirror. Take another washcloth and rub till no more soap is on the mirror. My husband loves this since he shaves after getting out of the shower.
    2. If wax is dripped on carpet, clothing, etc..take a few paper towels and place over wax. Use an iron on low heat and gently rub over paper towels for a few seconds. The paper towels will absorb the wax, leaving the cloth perfectly clear of any wax.
    3. Give each member of you family a different colored mesh lingerie bag for their socks. When laundry time comes, just throw the bags in the laundry and dryer. This way you don't need to do any sorting and figuring out whos are whos!!

    Sent by Terry:
    Keep a laundry basket in the trunk of the car. After shopping put your bags in the basket. Carry basket full of bags into the house. This saves time and trips to the car!

    Sent by Diana:
    A tip I find really useful, is to use oven cleaner in bathtubs. Spray, wait and rinse. My bachelor friends love this one!

    Sent by Jan:
    There is a company called Peapod in the Metro Chicago area that does grocery shopping via the internet. You logon to , order your groceries and they deliver what you want them to..... I believe that they are available if you live near a big city. I use it and love it. I am addicted to the internet too...

    Sent by Toni:
    Instead of writing your child's name on clothing to tell who's jeans (socks...underwear...etc.) are whose, use the dot system. Mark the clothing with permanent marker in a discreet place... One dot for the biggest kid (notice I said biggest, not oldest), two dots for the next biggest, etc. That way, when you hand something down to the next kid, you can just add a second dot, and you'll always know which clothing belongs to whom. This is especially helpful on on socks and underwear, which all look alike!

    I beleive that even if the good Lord had given us mothers 36 hours in each day and four hands, it still would not be enough to get it all done. There isn't a mother in the world who hasn't wished that just once; she could have all her laundry, ironing, grocery shopping done. The house cleaned, the basement cleaned up, the tool shed cleaned out. There is only one thing to do; do what you can and don't worry about the rest.

    Need some more help? You might try here.

  • Hints from Heloise
  • Tide


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