Mother Knows Best???

How often have we heard our mothers’ tell us this? I know mine has said it in the past. Where old fashioned cleaning tips are concerned we should admit that yes, they may know best.  After all, if they are older than 50, they have lived through some tough times.

I can remember my mom telling me stories about the depression and what they had to “make do with”, and based on this I have decided to share some of those “tips”.  To start, do you hate cleaning silver and paying the high price of silver cleaner?  Using an old toothbrush and plain white toothpaste will do the same job as those expensive cleaners. I cannot however offer any tips on making it go any quicker or making it less tedious. Sorry.

We all like the smell of a good candle, but what do you do when it gets on your favorite doily or tablecloth? A surefire way of removing dried on wax is to take brown wrapping paper and with the matte side facing the wax, place a medium-hot iron over the stain. Be sure to move the paper repeatedly.  Once you only have a trace of a stain left, use a rag moistened with mineral spirits to remove the rest.

Do you use a rinse agent in your dishwasher? Instead of buying one, try using 1-1 ½ cups of white vinegar in the rinse compartment. Run your dishwasher through its normal cycle and you should have spot free dishes.

What about blood, coffee or chocolate stains? Of course I have a tip for that. After spot testing the fabric in a hidden spot, use ¼ cup of borax mixed with 2 cups of cold water and let soak. Rinse and wash as normal.

If you have a sports player in the family, then you may be familiar with the stinky shoe. One Tip I found online suggests putting a combination of coarsely crushed herbs and spices in an old pair of socks, tie them together and then stuff them in the smelly shoes. Suggested items are rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, orange peel, lemon peel, thyme, lavender and pine needles. Of course the shoes may then smell like a kitchen at Thanksgiving.

While I have not personally tried all of these, they all sound like good alternatives to the more costly and chemically induced store bought brands. 

Happy cleaning