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 May 3, 2005
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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

Animal Control:
Pour a little bleach on your outside trash in order to keep the animals away. Rita Bee Stings and Insect Bites: For bee stings and insect bites use roll on deodorant. It will take the sting right out. Put it in your first aid kit. Denise Arthur, MI

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

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 do ya! Does exactly as it claims: "shrinks swelling,stops itching" Try it!  Shirley, OR

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

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

Condiments:  My family takes their lunches to work everyday. Instead of buying the expensive packages of mayonaise 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 turbins 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 noticable 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

Dog Shampoo: Use Dawn dishwashing 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving Clothes:  An easy way to transport hung clothing in a move, take a bed top sheet, spread it out, grab a handfull 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

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 skiddish 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

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

Shaving cream helps noisy door hinges. Michael, KY

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

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

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 Freshner,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 voila!...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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