Common Products – Uncommon Uses

Avon Bubble Bath, A Multi-Tasker

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 88 comments

Avon Bubble Bath, A Multi-Tasker

Don’t you just love those products meant for one purpose then discover they are multi-taskers? Avon Bubble Bath is like that. Naturally the original use for Avon Bubble Bath was as a bubble bath. It provided lots of bubbles and left no bathtub ring behind. But then people’s creativity kicked in resulting in many more uses for this simple product. So here we go: 40 Ways to Use Avon Bubble Bath: NOTE: Compared to many other cleaners or detergents Avon Bubble Bath not only costs less you also use less. For instance, one capful to half a pail of water does a great job cleaning the car or camper. Avon Bubble Bath In the Bathroom: Use to wash down the tub surround, shower walls and doors; Leaves bathroom fixtures and mirrors shining; Cleans the vanity top, cabinets, and ceramic tiles; Can replace your body wash; Works as a shampoo; Good refill for liquid soap – it’s mild on hands (even nicer after adding a few drops of Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil); Cleans combs and brushes – leaves no residue.   Avon Bubble Bath in the Kitchen: Wash your appliances with it and leave them sparkling; Can be used to hand wash dishes (not in the dishwasher); Mild enough to clean your painted or wood kitchen cabinets; Cleans the fridge inside and out, even removes odours.     Avon Bubble Bath in the Laundry Room: Use as a laundry detergent and you no longer need a fabric softener. 1 or 2 capfuls are all that’s needed to do a great job and to remove stains; Great for hand-washing delicate items; Pre-soak heavily soiled laundry, such as greasy work clothes. Easily does away with ring around the collar; Removes butter or grease from clothes. Pour bubble bath directly on the spot, leave a few minutes, then wash and the spot will be gone; Cheaper than Woolite –gentle on lingerie.   Avon Bubble Bath in the Living/Dining Room: Can be used to shampoo carpets, either the whole carpet or just spot cleaning; Upholstery stains are removed by rubbing with a damp cloth dipped in full strength bubble bath; Cleans chandeliers and light fixtures; Use to hand wash the good dinnerware, glassware and silverware.     Avon Bubble Bath Everywhere Else: Leaves windows shining; Washes venetian blinds – leaves no streaks behind; Polishes all chrome household fixtures; Cleans the TV screen, computer monitor, etc.  Wipe with a damp cloth dipped in bubble bath and dry with a soft lint free cloth; Can be used to wash no-wax floors – use 1 capful with ½ pail of warm water; Removes wax buildup – use straight from the bottle with a scrub sponge, wipe with a dry cloth; Does a superior job cleaning ceilings, walls and paneling; Wash your plant leaves to make them shine. Mix a small amount of the Avon bubble bath with some tepid water. When finished pour the leftover water onto soil as a fertilizer; Will clean your jewelry (even costume jewelry); Leaves a fresh, clean smell from room to room . There are a lot of different fragrances – might be fun to try different ones. Use to clean your eyeglasses; Mix some bubble bath with an equal amount of water to put it in your potpourri burner; Adds fun to the children’s wading pool while keeping the pool and children clean; Shake up, then use the bubbles only on a sponge to clean and freshen vehicle interiors; Add to cleaning water for cars, aluminum or vinyl siding, campers or trailers – repels dust; Leaves a protective wax-like...

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25 Salt Uses for Better Cooking, Easier Cleanup

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses | 25 comments

25 Salt Uses for Better Cooking, Easier Cleanup

Salt has received a bad rep which it really doesn’t deserve. There are many salt uses that make food taste better and cleanup easier. It has only been our overuse that has lead us to think salt is bad for us. It isn’t. As a matter of fact, we need to have some salt in our diet. Salt has belonged in the kitchen for centuries and still plays an important role in the kitchen of today. All salt, from old-fashioned table salt to the latest gourmet salts, contain the same amount of sodium. The big difference in the salts is the texture. 25 Salt Uses for Better Cooking and Easier Cleanup: Great Tip # 1. Pour salt into a small muslin bag and tie closed. When you want to fry foods, first rub the pan with this salt bag and food won’t stick. This works well for fish, potato patties, and pancakes. Great Tip # 2.  Add salt at the end of the cooking time – last 5 minutes or so – and you will need only about 1/2 of what you would otherwise use. Apples, freshening. Refresh tired looking apples by placing them in a bowl of cold, slightly salted water for a little while and they will plump up nice and smooth again. Breadboards, cleaning. Soak a dishcloth in a strong saltwater solution. Wash the breadboard with warm, soapy water. Wring out the dishcloth and use it to rub the breadboard on both sides. Cake, frosting. Add a pinch of salt to frosting and it won’t turn sugary. Cheese, preventing mold. Soak a napkin in a cup of water to which a Tbsp. of salt has been added. Wring out and wrap the moist napkin around the cheese, then store the cheese in the refrigerator. Coffee percolator, removing bitterness. Brew up a pot of coffee using salt in place of coffee grounds. Use the same proportion salt as you would normally use for coffee. Cream, whipping. Cream will whip up faster and higher if you first add a pinch of salt to the cream before whipping. Drains, kitchen sink. Keep drains running clear by a once-a-week cleaning with a solution of 1 Tbsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar. Pour this down the drain, leave it to work for a few minutes then follow up with a kettle of boiling water. Eggs, freshness. To test an egg for freshness, add a scant Tbsp. salt to a cup of cold water. Carefully place the egg in the water. A fresh egg will sink to bottom of the cup. An older egg will float – the higher it floats the older it is. If it bobs on the surface throw it out. Eggs, hardboiled. A teaspoon salt added to the cooking water before adding the eggs will make it easier to peel the hardboiled eggs. Eggs for omelets. Add a pinch of salt to eggs when beating for omelets and they will cook up smooth and firm. Eggs, poached. To keep the whites from spreading, add ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. vinegar to the water before adding your eggs. Eggs, spills. If you happen to drop an egg, cover it with salt. This makes it much easier to clean up the mess with a paper towel. Fruit, browning. Cut peeled fruit – apples, pears and peaches into a bowl of lightly salted water. Remove the fruit when done – don’t keep them sitting in the water. Fruit, stains. As soon as the stain happens, remove the garment, sprinkle the stain with salt, leave it sit...

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Lip Balm – So Many Uses, So Easy to Make

Posted by on Nov 22, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Health, Recipes | 42 comments

Lip Balm – So Many Uses, So Easy to Make

Now that the cold weather has arrived many of us will have a lip balm tucked in purse or pocket. It works great at keeping those lips soft and kissable. But did you know that it’s also very useful in many different situations? And did you also know how easy it is to make your own all-natural lip balm that works better than many expensive products? Lip Balm for Skin Care: Winter cold and indoor heat combine to leave skin dry and cracked. Sometimes that needed lotion just isn’t available which isn’t a problem as long as lip balm is handy. Smooth lip balm over nail beds to moisturize rough cuticles; Smooth out those rough, scratchy elbows; Moisturizes and heals chapped hands, fingers and knuckles. Protect skin from windburn – apply a generous layer all over exposed skin; Protect from sunburn – does not have any SPF but good as an emergency use for short periods; Lip Balm for Grooming: The homemade lip balm (recipe below) is very much a gentle healing ointment. Soothes and moisturizes that fragile area underneath the eye; Gently removes eye makeup; Minimized fine lines around the eye; Blend with a little eye-shadow to make eye gloss; Remove mascara smudges; Protect your skin before colouring hair – first add a layer of lip balm to the hairline; Combat frizz and flyaway hair – put a dab on a finger and pat the hair down; Smooths eyebrows – keeps those stray hairs in place; Grooms the mustache and keeps it looking the way it should. Lip Balm for Emergency First-Aid: Dab a bit on a small cut to stop the bleeding and prevent infection; Prevent blisters from forming by applying a generous amount on the rubbed-raw area; Nursing mothers can relieve soreness by rubbing lip balm on nipples; Protect healing scars from sunburn; Soothe irritated skin from colds or allergies by applying some lip balm with a tissue in and around the nose. Lip Balm around the House: Keep zippers zipping smooth by running lip balm up and down the zipper a few times; Dab on a small hole in an umbrella – waterproof too; Lubricate drawer tracks with lip balm; Wipe lip balm all around the thread of light bulbs before screwing into the outdoor fixture – makes the bulbs much easier to remove; Remove label residue – leave it on for a few minutes to work, then wipe off; Coat screws and nails to ease them into wood; Unexpected meeting and your shoes are scuffed? No problem, simply put some lip balm on a tissue and wipe; Put a dab on the knot of shoelaces to keep them tied; Protect a dog’s paws by applying lip balm before heading out in the winter. Great little multitasker, right? Now for the recipe. All the ingredients can be found at a good health food store.Homemade Lip Balm – Ingredients: 2 Tbsp. beeswax, grated 2 Tbsp. coconut oil 1 Tbsp. cocoa butter (this can be replaced by shea or mango butter) 3 vitamin e capsules 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract or any other pure extract of choice – I used peppermint. Directions: Put the grated beeswax, coconut oil and cocoa butter into a measuring cup Boil 1 cup of water in a small pan that is large enough to hold the measuring cup – once the water is boiling, remove from heat, place a canning ring on the bottom of the pan, set the measuring cup on top of the canning ring and return to low heat until everything is melted together Remove from heat and, using...

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Baking Soda: 40 Best Cleaning Tips

Posted by on Sep 27, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living | 47 comments

Baking Soda: 40 Best Cleaning Tips

Baking Soda has been one of my go-to cleaning products for years – it’s cheap, does a great job, doesn’t scratch surfaces and doesn’t harm the environment. With Fall cleaning on the agenda, I thought this would be a great time to review how best to use it for cleaning.     Baking Soda for General Home Maintenance: Aluminum Windows and Doors                                                                    Dissolve ½ cup baking soda in 3 cups tepid water. Dampen a sponge or brush to wipe down the aluminum windows or doors. Rinse well (if working outside, the garden hose can be used); Books, Musty Smell – To remove musty smells from stored books, put 2 Tbsp. baking soda into a brown paper bag, add the book, close the bag, then set it in a dry place for a week or two; Bookshelf – Remove books from the shelf and wipe down with a sponge or microfiber cloth just barely dampened in a solution of 1Tbsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 cups tepid water. Use the same solution to lightly wipe any of the books before they’re returned. Make sure the sponge is just barely damp –neither books nor wood like water; Child-Made Stains – Children love to draw and will find any spot to do so – walls, floors, appliances, etc. Sprinkle baking soda on a sponge to wipe away most crayon, marker, pen and pencil marks; Fireplace Bricks – Remove the smoke stains from your fireplace bricks by the following method: Dissolve ½ cup baking soda in 4 cups tepid water – apply to bricks using brush and elbow grease; Floors, Linoleum – Use a mop dampened in a mixture of ½ cup baking soda in 4 cups tepid water; Floors, Wood – Mix 1 Tbsp. baking soda with 1 tsp. water to remove white spots and other stains from your wood floors. Gently rub the stain with the paste in a circular motion until it’s gone. Too much water can damage wood floors so take care not to use more than the teaspoon called for; Furniture – Even though smoking has become a social no-no, there are still many who do. For those who do (or who have guests that do) here is a good way to remove the smoke smell from your upholstered furniture. Lightly sprinkle the baking soda on the furniture – don’t forget the back and underneath the cushions – follow the same procedure as for rugs/carpets; Mats, Indoor Welcome Ones – Mats are meant to keep the dirt outside, right? To make sure they do, sprinkle with baking soda (same as rugs/carpets), leave for a bit then return to vacuum the dirt away; Mats, Outdoor Ones – Before a rainstorm, scrub outdoor rubber mats with a baking soda solution – ½ cup baking soda to 3 cups tepid water – then let the rain wash the residue away; Rugs and Carpets, General – Very lightly sprinkle baking soda on the rug/carpet, go have a coffee break, then simply vacuum up the residue, sucking up the dirt and unwanted odours; Rugs and Carpets, Stains – Carpet mishap occurring in front of you? Immediately blot up as much of the stain as you can with a paper towel, sprinkle lots of baking soda on the stain, leave to go make the beds, go shopping, whatever, just give it lots of time to work, and an hour or two later, return to vacuum the stain away; Rugs and Carpets, Vomit or Urine Stains (yuk, parents and pet owners can’t be squeamish) – Using lots of paper towel, first pick or blot up what...

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Avon Skin So Soft: Multi-Tasker 2

Posted by on Aug 23, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 52 comments

Avon Skin So Soft: Multi-Tasker 2

Ever since my post about Avon Bubble Bath I’ve had readers asking me to do a similar one about Avon Skin So Soft. Since these are such fun articles to write I am more than happy to oblige, so here we go…..Avon Skin So Soft, the sequel. Avon Skin So Soft first appeared on the market in 1961 as a bath oil and as such it was a huge success. Skin So Soft has a wonderful fragrance and really does what it claims – leaves your skin feeling soft and silky smooth. But as its users soon discovered, it does so much more. I remember the buzz when it was first discovered that Skin So Soft kept mosquitoes away – imagine, an insect repellent that actually smelled nice and wasn’t harmful.  That was the beginning of its many non-traditional uses of which I’ve listed 40 of the best. NOTE: With Avon Skin So Soft a little goes a long way. Often all you need is a smidgeon, about the size of a dime, for it to do the job. Start with this small amount – you can always add another drop if needed. Avon Skin So Soft for Personal Care: After shower moisturizer – just put a drop on your hands and wipe all over, especially trouble spots like elbows and heels; Makeup remover – a drop on a cotton wipe will gently remove makeup and moisturize your skin at the same time; Hair conditioner – after shampooing apply a smidgeon to your fingertips and work it thoroughly into your hair until it is completely absorbed, leaving hair smooth and shiny (not greasy); Massage Avon Skin So Soft into your feet or add a drop to your foot-bath to really pamper them; Hand Cream – a small drop applied to hands will soften and hydrate them; Cuticle softener – warm a little Avon Skin So Soft and use as a hot oil treatment for cuticles; Soothes dry skin – apply a dab to dry skin for relief from itching; Hand cleaner – apply some to hands before tackling dirty jobs and again when finished, before washing hands. This will make it easier to get hands totally clean; Remove chewing gum – apply a smidgeon of Avon Skin So Soft to the chewing gum and rub to remove the gum from hair or skin; Remove a child’s bandage – take away the ouch factor by gently removing the bandage with the help of a little Skin So Soft. Avon Skin So Soft for Household Use: Wood furniture conditioner – apply a small dab to a soft cloth and use to wipe wood furniture. Polish with a second clean soft cloth. Removes soap scum from shower doors and curtains – spray on (can be diluted 1 Skin So Soft, 4 parts water) then wipe off with a clean damp cloth; Cleans bathtub surround – spray (dilute as above) to remove hard water deposits and water spots from the surround, wipe with a clean damp cloth; Cleans taps and other chrome fixtures – apply a drop or two of Avon Skin So Soft to a damp cloth, rub to remove lime and hard water deposits from fixtures, finish by wiping with a clean soft cloth; Dissolves grease – spray on greasy surfaces, like range hoods, and wipe down with a soft damp cloth. Finish with a dry cloth, spray very lightly, do not wipe off to make future clean-ups easier; Ink stain remover – Spray Avon Skin So Soft on the stained surface and wipe with a damp cloth to remove ink...

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Ice Cube Tray: 20 Tips for Best Frugal Use

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information, Recipes | 42 comments

Ice Cube Tray: 20 Tips for Best Frugal Use

In many homes, the ice cube tray is an often overlooked item tucked away on a high shelf in the back of a cupboard. This is especially true nowadays when many refrigerators come equipped with ice-makers. It certainly isn’t something considered to be a money-saving kitchen tool. But it sure can be. Before starting on the list for best frugal use of the ice cube tray I thought it worthwhile to first provide some basic tips: Know how much each cell of the ice cube tray holds. That way you will know how many cubes you will need for a specific purpose. Each cell in the ones I use for serious freezing equal 2 Tbsp. (1/8 cup); Once the cubes are frozen, transfer from the ice cube tray to freezer bags, seal, and label. I freeze mine in small batches 4 (1/2 cup) or 8 (1 cup) cubes to a baggie, then I place the baggies in a larger bag, keeping them all together. That way it’s easiest to grab the right amount without having them all frozen together; When working with sauces like Pesto and Persillade (recipe below) you can do a cleaner job if you spoon the sauce into a ziplock baggie, cut off a small corner and squeeze to fill the cells; It isn’t necessary to blanch foods frozen in an ice cube tray (and transferred to freezer bags) since they are normally frozen for short-term. My rule of thumb for this is: Less than four months storage ideal, six months maximum; It is totally necessary to label the bags properly. Once frozen, everything looks the same; For plain cubes – To make them clear and not add a nasty taste to a drink, boil the water first before using it to fill the ice cube tray. Now on to the list. The Ice Cube Tray as Money/Time Saver: If you have a small amount of wine leftover after a party, what do you do with it? Turn it into ice cubes to be prepared next time a recipe calls for a little shot of wine; Have you ever bought one of those little cans of tomato paste and used only a tablespoon or two of the paste? Make ice cubes and store them for the next time you need a small amount; How about those recipes that call for ½ a cup or so of buttermilk and buttermilk only comes in quart/litre size? Use what you need and cube the rest; Stop wasting food – it’s quite amazing how much you can save by using up your leftovers. The smallest amounts can be frozen in ice cube trays to be added to soups or stews; You probably won’t find a better price on herbs than right now. Take advantage of that and freeze herbs for winter use. Finely chop the herb, place in the cells and cover with extra virgin olive oil, water or herbal tea, depending on how you plan to use the herb; Parsley is growing rampant in my garden so I’ve been freezing loads of Persillade. This is a great addition to add zip to sautés, tomato soup, chicken soup, mashed/roast potatoes, and tired carrots. You can stir a cube or two into pasta – with or without the optional choices of parmesan cheese or pine nuts. It can be spread on french bread which can then be toasted or it can be spread on fish or meat before baking or grilling. A truly versatile sauce. PERSILLADE RECIPE: So easy. Blend together 4 cups parsley, 4 garlic cloves and 1/4 cup extra virgin...

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