Common Products – Uncommon Uses

Do More With Everyday Products A-Z

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Do-It-Yourself, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living | 16 comments

Do More With Everyday Products A-Z

Do More With Everyday Products A-Z, is a bit different from my usual list posts. Those focused on one specific product -this one has tips for how to do more with everyday products A-Z. No need to run to the store when you run out of something. Take a look around and you can probably find what you need right in your own home. Do More With Everyday Products A-Z: Aluminum Foil – Line a paint tray with aluminum foil and clean-up is a cinch. When finished painting, simply grab the foil and discard. No washing the tray. No need to buy liners. Bottles – Trap those pests. Partly fill a large soda bottle (2 litre) with a mixture of ½ cup sugar, 2 cups tepid water and 1 cup apple cider vinegar. Put the top back on and shake to mix really well. Cut a one-inch hole near the top of the bottle. Wrap a string around the neck of the bottle and hang from a tree or other place where yellow jackets and wasps congregate. Once it’s full of pests, discard and replace. This does the trick without resorting to chemical sprays. Cooking Spray – Lightly spray a grater with cooking spray before shredding cheese to make cleanup much easier. Dental Floss – Use this to slice cheese. Simply place a piece of floss under the cheese and slowly pull up. Emery Boards – Use to lightly sand the outer shell of seeds before planting. This speeds germination and allows the seeds to better absorb moisture. Freezer – Place musty smelling books in the freezer for a day or two to eliminate the bad odour. Garlic Press – The perfect gadget to smash up hard-boiled eggs. Hair Spray – Give your recipe cards a good shot of hairspray to protect them from grease and food splatters while you’re using them.  Ice Cube Trays – Bought extra eggs on sale and don’t know what to do with them? Freeze them in ice cube trays. Each cell will hold one egg. Once they’re frozen, remove them and store in freezer bags. Jar Lids – Keep one handy on the stove to use as spoon rest. Keys – Don’t throw those extra, unused keys out. They can be used as fishing sinkers or plumb jobs. Lemons – Add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice to the water in the humidifier. This doesn’t just deodorize the humidifier, it also adds a pleasant natural lemon scent to the house. Repeat as needed. Mayonnaise – Soften your elbows and feet by rubbing mayonnaise on them, leave for a little while, then wipe fairly hard (not so hard it hurts) with a face cloth and finally rinse off. Newspaper – Let wet boots or shoes keep their shape by stuffing them with newspaper while they dry. Oatmeal – Soak your cares away. Grind one cup of oatmeal in a blender and add 5-6 drops (more or less, personal choice) lavender essential oil. Put the mixture in a bath bag, old pantyhose or sock and tie closed. Hang from the tap as the tub is filling with lukewarm (not hot) water. Then just lay back and enjoy. Panty Hose – Cut in strips and use to tie plants to garden stakes. The ‘give’ in the hose won’t hurt the plants. Q-Tips – These make great little dusting tools for your keyboard, remote controls, and other delicate instruments. Rolling Pins – Place a hand-washed sweater between two towels then roll across the top towel with the rolling pin to squeeze out extra moisture. Remove the...

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25 Unusual Ways With MILK

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone | 57 comments

25 Unusual Ways With MILK

Did you know that milk is a much more versatile product than normally realized? We know all about the drinking and making yogurt part, but did you know you can relieve a sunburn with it? Polish shoes? Or how about a cure for the ‘morning-after’? Read on to discover these and other unusual ways to use milk. Milk and the Outdoors: Sunburn: Add only enough water to powdered milk to make a thick paste. Stir in a pinch of salt and apply this mixture to the sunburn to cool and sooth the skin. Bug Bites: Make a mixture like above for relief from bug bites. The natural enzymes in milk stop the swelling and milk’s moisturizing qualities relief the itch. Poison Ivy Rash: Use ice-cold milk – The same mixture and method as for bug bites. If you’re camping and don’t have access to milk powder, wash the rash with ice-cold milk right away. Plant Fertilizer: Helps foliage grow larger and provides calcium and other nutrients to tomatoes and squash to prevent blossom end rot. It also prevents and/or treats powdery mildew on zucchini. Spread a tablespoon or so of milk powder around plants – just before a rain – is good. Don’t overdo. Natural fungicide. Hand Cleaner: There is a saying that “Real gardeners don’t wear gloves.” That is so true. I always lose mine within the first five minutes. Then, after grubbing around in the garden all day, the hands are an absolute mess. No problem. Scrubbing hands with a paste of milk and oatmeal takes care of that. This mixture not only cleans well but leaves hands feeling soft and smooth. Milk and Personal Care: Milk Bath: Think Cleopatra and indulge yourself with a soothing milk bath. Add a cup or two of powdered milk to your tepid bath – your favourite essential oil can be added. Leaves your skin feeling supple and smooth. Calluses: Make up enough powdered milk (or you can use that sour milk you were going to throw away) to fill a foot bath. Soak your feet for 30 minutes, then rinse well in clean water, dry, then lightly rub your feet with petroleum jelly. Facial Mask: You can use milk as the liquid in any facial mask or make your own mask by adding some water to milk powder to make a thick paste which you apply to your face. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse off really well. Leaves skin glowing. Good for acne-prone skin. Remove Make-Up: The same formula and method as for the facial mask can be used to deep clean away all traces of make-up. Shaving Cream: Again, make a paste of water and powdered milk and use as shaving cream. This can be used to shave face or legs. Rinse off really well with lukewarm water. Moisturizer: Before heading into the shower: for dry or regular skin, wash face with a face-cloth dipped in cold milk. Let air-dry. Then shower. Hair Conditioner: After shampooing use milk instead of your regular conditioner. Leave on for a few minutes, then rinse off.  Milk and Cleaning/Repairs: Polish Silverware: Use sour milk for this – if you haven’t any, give milk a shot of vinegar or lemon juice to sour it. All you do is soak the silverware in the sour milk for a while – at least an hour – then wash and rinse. Clean Furniture: Sour some milk with lemon juice, add some favourite essential oil (lemon would be nice) and use to deep-clean furniture. This dislodges deep down dirt and will also moisturize the wood. Shine...

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Duct Tape 101

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Product Information | 47 comments

Duct Tape 101

In my recent post on WD-40, I quoted the Duct Tape guys who claim that you only need two tools in life, Duct Tape and WD-40.  http://frugalforeveryone.ca/wd-40-product-with-a-fan-club/ This post is about WD-40’s partner, Duct Tape. Just think, with this additional knowledge you’ll be set for anything life throws at you – that is, according to those guys. Duct tape, or duck tape, was originally invented by Johnson & Johnson to provide the military with a waterproof tape to keep ammunition cases dry. The original colour was army green but it now comes in all kinds of colours and patterns. Odd little side note: duct tape should never be used to seal duct work as the heat may cause it to smoulder, releasing toxic smoke into the air.  So here we go: Duct Tape 101 – 50 ways to use duct tape.  Duct Tape for Clothes and Accessories: Your shoe lace broke? Not a problem – cut a piece of duct tape 3 times the length of the shoe, fold over, sticky side together, cut it so you end up with a long thin strip and there you have a good sturdy replacement – if needed, you can easily cut two or more shoelaces from the same piece; Need to remove lint or hair from clothes? Simply wrap the duct tape around your hand, sticky side out and pat over the clothes. All the unwanted stuff will stick to the tape; Is there lint or hair attached to the smooth part of Velcro? Use the same method as above; Did the kids tear their snow suit or ski pants? Duct tape it and it will see them through until the end of the season; To fix a cut in boots, duct tape it. This is only a short-term fix but should last long enough to give you time to find replacements. Just make sure the boots are dry before applying the duct tape. You’re out shopping and your purse handles break – pull the two ends together and secure with duct tape. (Never leave home without duct tape – that way you’ll be prepared for most emergencies); You notice that your skirt hem has fallen down – put it back in place with duct tape. This of course works on all kinds of hems, including jeans; It’s raining and your umbrella has a tear in it – cover both sides of the tear with duct tape; Getting ready to go on a trip? Be creative with coloured or neon duct tape to cover your luggage to make it standout for easy identification; You’re staying in a hotel and need a padded coat hanger. Cover one of their coat hangers with a towel folded over several times and fasten in place with duct tape. Duct Tape Around the Home: Have to move electrical cords every time you clean? Pick them up and fasten to the baseboard with duct tape; Can’t get that jam jar open – try this easy method – Tape a  piece of duct tape to the lid as shown, leaving a tail. Give that tail a pull and the top will come right off.   Got a hole in your bucket? Short term fix – while the bucket is dry, apply duct tape, inside and out; You need to reach up to clean out those cobwebs but your vacuum hose isn’t long enough. Insert a wrapping paper tube into the end of the hose and tape in place. This will extend your reach by two feet; Or use the tape to repair that vacuum hose; Are you losing...

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10 Offbeat Uses For Toothpaste.

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in Common Products - Uncommon Uses, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living | 46 comments

10 Offbeat Uses For Toothpaste.

Readers tell me they enjoy these posts about uncommon uses of common household products so here is another one – 10 offbeat ways to use toothpaste. This can be carried it one step further by using an old toothbrush to apply the toothpaste since they are a natural combo. Frugal Tip: Toothbrushes need to be replaced on a regular basis. When they do, don’t throw them out. They make the greatest small-scrub brushes for getting into those hard-to-get-at places such as: Around knobs and hinges; In nooks and crannies; and for: Cleaning small (unplugged) appliances; Dusting the keyboard; Scrubbing laundry stains; And many more uses you’ll discover for yourself. A couple of cautions: For most purposes, in order to avoid scratches, the toothbrush should be a fairly soft one. The toothpaste should be regular toothpaste. (unless otherwise stated). This means no gel or whitening toothpaste (unless otherwise stated) and NEVER one containing #microbeads. http://frugalforeveryone.ca/beat-microbead-get-app/ 10 Offbeat Ways to Use the Toothpaste – Toothbrush Combo: Upholstery and Carpet Stains. Apply toothpaste to the stain and scrub well with a toothbrush, then rinse immediately. This works well on hard-to-get-out stains like grass, ink and lipstick. Piano Keys. Oil from the skin transfers to the keys, making them sticky which then attracts dust and dirt. To clean the keys use a damp lint-free cloth and a small dab of toothpaste. Rub gently, then wipe with another clean, slightly damp, lint-free cloth. For hard-to reach spots, smear a small dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush and clean as above, finishing with the damp lint-free cloth. Sinks and Faucets. Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom sink with toothpaste will leave them shining.   A small dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush will easily remove the gunk around the bottom of the faucet and around the drain. A final wipe with a clean damp cloth to remove any toothpaste residue will leave everything sparkling and smelling great. Shower Doors. Apply a dab of toothpaste to a damp sponge or cloth. Clean the doors with a circular motion and let sit for a while to loosen all the soap scum. Wipe with a clean damp cloth and rinse thoroughly. Finish the job by dabbing toothpaste on a toothbrush and scrubbing the track and around the metal edge of the doors, then wiping with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining toothpaste. Refrigerator Door Seals. Here is where a whitening toothpaste is an advantage, but not necessary if it’s not available. Dab some toothpaste on the toothbrush and brush in and around the seal, removing all the gunk that seems to gather there. Finish off with a damp cloth.  Plastic Containers. Baby bottles, water bottles and storage tubs always pick up strange odours when sitting in the cupboard. Simply put a dab of toothpaste on a toothbrush, brush the containers, let sit for a while. Rinse, washing the smell and toothpaste right down the drain. Store open with the lids removed. Shoes, Boots and Purses. To remove scuffs from leather shoes, boots and purses, apply toothpaste to a wet toothbrush and gently brush the item, paying particular attention to the edge between the upper part and the sole.  Wipe with a clean damp cloth. This is a really good way to prepare winter boots for storage. Use a whitening toothpaste to clean the white part on sneakers. Gardeners’ fingernails. I always start out wearing gardening gloves but 2 minutes into the job and they’re gone – you need to touch the plants to take care of them. Of course, this means our fingernails always look atrocious. We can help...

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