Handy Hints

Compiled by Richard Anthony


Tennis Balls

Store valuables. Make a two-inch slit along one seam of a tennis ball, then place valuables inside.

Fluff your down jackets or down comforters and reduce static cling. Throw in a handful of balls while jacket is tumbling in dryer. The balls keep the feathers from clumping together so they're spread out evenly throughout the comforter or pillow.

Childproof sharp corners of furniture. Cut old balls into halves or quarters and use packing tape to affix the sections over sharp corners,

Make parking cars in garage easier. Having a tennis ball on a string from the garage ceiling so it will hit the windshield at the spot where you should stop your car.

Prevent a chrome trailer hitch from getting scratched. Slit a ball and put it over the trailer hitch as a protective cover.

Make a walker glide more easily. Cut a hole in two balls and fit them on the back feet of the walker.

Give yourself a foot massage. Roll your foot over a tennis ball.

Remove cobwebs from unreachable places. Wrap a tennis ball inside a dust cloth secured with a few rubber bands and toss at the distant cobweb.

Strengthen your grip. Squeeze a tennis ball in each hand.

Prevent snoring. Sew a ball inside a pocket on the back of your pajama top to prevent you from sleeping on your back.

Prevent a deck chair from slipping through the cracks of a deck. Slit four tennis balls, fit them on the feet of the deck chair.

Make a back massager. Put several tennis balls inside a sock and tie the sock at the end.

Keep your car door open without wasting the battery. Wedge a tennis ball into the doorjamb to depress the interior light switch.


Packaging Tape

Cork a wine or champagne bottle. Wipe the lip of the bottle dry and seal tightly with a small piece of packing tape.

Remove a splinter or bee sting. Place tape over splinter and gently peel off.

Hold wires in place while soldering.

Clean a metal file. Put a piece of tape over the length of the file, press firmly, then peel off.

Provide first aid in an emergency. Bandage wounds with torn sheets and packing tape, or make emergency splints with two-by- fours and tape.

Kill ants. Use a strip of tape to pick up advancing line of ants.

Tag the pull cord that opens the drapes. Wrap inch piece at eye level around the right cord.

Remove fuzz, lint, and hair from clothing and furniture. Wrap a strip of packing tape around your hand, adhesive side out, and pat.

Remove a broken windowpane. Wearing gloves, criss-cross tape on both sides of the glass and tap the inside edges with a hammer until the pane breaks free.

Organize cables and extension cords.


Vegetable Shortening

Prevent snow from sticking to a shovel. Lubricate the shovel with shortening before you start shoveling. You can also use floor wax, which will prevent rusting.

Clean grease and dirt from hands. Rub into hands before making soap.

Remove lipstick from clothes. Rub in a dab, then rinse the stained area with club soda.

Prevent diaper rash. Use shortening as a balm on a baby's behind.

Revitalize wooden salad bowls and cutting boards. Rub with shortening inside and out, let sit overnight, then remove excess with paper towels.

Clean ink from hands and vinyl surfaces. Apply and wipe clean.

Remove homemade candles from molds easily. Apply a thin coat to the inside of candle mold before pouring in the hot wax.

Remove tar from clothing. Scrape off as much tar as possible, place a lump of shortening over the spot, wait three hours, then wash.


Lip Balm

Stop bleeding while shaving. Dab on some lip balm if you nick yourself.

Prevent car battery corrosion. Smear lip balm on clean car battery terminals.

Lubricate a zipper. Rub along the teeth of a zipper.

Lubricate nails and screws. Both will go into wood more easily when rubbed with lip balm.

Shine leather shoes. In a pinch, rub balm over the leather and buff with a clean dry cloth.

Lubricate drawers and windows. Run on the casters of both to make them slide easily.

Prevent hair coloring from dyeing your skin. Run lip balm along the hairline before coloring your hair.


Whipped Cream

Lighten coffee. Use a tablespoon of whipped cream as a substitute for milk or cream.

Shave. Apply whipped cream to wet skin as a substitute for shaving cream.

Condition your hair. Apply cup whipped cream to dry hair once a week as a conditioner. Leave on for thirty minutes, then rinse a few times before shampooing thoroughly.

Soothe a burn on the roof of your mouth from hot pizza. To coat the lesion, fill your mouth with whipped cream and press it gently against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Repeat if necessary.

Make a sour cream substitute. Mix three or four drops of lemon juice with one cup whipped cream and let sit for thirty minutes.

Give yourself a moisturizing facial. Whipped cream helps moisten dry skin when applied as a face mask. Wait twenty minutes, then wash it off with warm water followed by cold water.

Remove makeup. Wet face with lukewarm water, spread a handful of whipped cream on face, rinse clean with lukewarm water, and blot dry.


Furniture Polish

Revitalize dull candles. Spray on a cloth and wipe the candles thoroughly.

Keep ski goggles from fogging up. Spray the inside of the lens, then wipe clean.

Polish leather shoes. Spray on shoes and shine with a cloth.

Prevent stains on kitchen drain boards. Coat rubber drain board trays with a light application.

Sweep up dust and dirt with ease. Spray the bristles of your broom or mop before sweeping.

Prevent water spots and soap scum on shower walls and doors. Coat the tile walls with furniture polish and wipe clean. You can also use car polish or baby oil.

Make cleaning grease splatters on the wall behind the stove easier. First, clean the painted wall behind your stove. Then spray the entire area with a generous coat of furniture polish and buff well with paper towels. You will then be able to wipe future grease splatters away easily with a dry sheet of paper towels.

Has your sliding glass door stopped sliding? Spray your door tracks with aerosol furniture polish. The wax in the polish reduces friction plus it won't attract dirt.

Repel spiders When the spider trainer for the movie "Arachniphobia" wanted to direct his spiders, he used lemon pledge sprayed on areas he wanted the spiders to avoid.


Dental Floss

Truss poultry for cooking. Fill the cavity with stuffing, cross the two legs and tie together with dental floss. If necessary, sew the cavity closed.

Repair the mesh screening on playpens. Sew up the rip with dental floss.

Cut a cake. Dental floss cuts cake into neat slices.

Lift cookies from a cookie sheet. Slide a strand of dental floss between fresh baked cookies and the cookie sheet.

Repair a tent or backpack. When hiking or camping, dental floss can be used as a strong thread for tough repairs.

Sew buttons on heavy coats. Use floss as a long lasting thread.

Hang pictures or wind chimes. Oral-B Mint Waxed Floss is stronger and more durable than ordinary string.

String beaded necklaces.


Erasers

Clean piano keys. Use an eraser to remove marks from the ivory keys.

Clean gold. The eraser gently scours gold-plated items such as pens and jewelry without damaging the material.

Fix a wobbly table. Cut an eraser to fit the bottoms of the table legs and affix with nails or glue.

Remove scuff marks from floors. Simply use an eraser.

Prevent framed pictures from tilting or scratching wall. Glue at least two Pink Pearl erasers to the bottom edge of the back of the frame.

Erase finger prints from woodwork. Gently rub with an eraser.

Clean cotton upholstery. Run lightly with an eraser.

Store small drill bits. Twist bits, point first, into a large eraser.

Clean golf balls.


Krazy Glue

Remove glue from fingers. When using superglue, keep a bottle of acetone-based fingernail polish remover handy just in case you get glue on your fingers.

Remove ticks from inside the ear of animals. Put a drop on a broom straw, apply it to the tick, and pull it right out.

Repair a broken fingernail. Use a small drop to secure the nail in place, then coat with nail polish.

Fix leaks in inflatable inner-tubes, air mattresses, or air pillows. Apply Krazy Glue to seal the hole or leaky valve stem.

Prevent bra pads from slipping. Use Krazy Glue to attach Velcro to the inside cups of the bra and the outside of the pads.

Lessen the pain of minor cuts. Apply Krazy Glue to thin cracks in the skin. The glue deprives the nerve endings of air.


Baby Wipes

Blot spilled coffee from a rug or carpet. Wipes will absorb coffee without leaving a stain.

Soothe hemorrhoids. Use wipes instead of your usual toilet paper to avoid aggravating sensitive skin.

Clean hands after pumping gas or changing oil. A box left in the trunk of the car will prove a handy grease-cutter.


Alka-Seltzer

Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush, and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.

Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two tablets.

Polish jewelry. Drop two tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

Remove burned-on grease from a pot or pan. Fill the pot or pan with water, drop in six tablets, let soak for one hour, then scrub as usual.

Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz white vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

Get short-term relief from nicotine withdrawal symptoms. As long as you're not on a low-sodium diet and you don't have peptic ulcers, drink two tablets dissolved in a glass of water at every meal.

Soothe insect bites. Dissolve two tablets in a glass of water, dip a cloth into the solution, and place the cloth on the bite for twenty minutes.


Black Pepper

Stop small leaks in a car radiator. Add a teaspoon of black pepper to your radiator. The pepper sinks to the bottom, finds its way into small holes, and expands, filling them.

Stop colors from running. Add a teaspoon of black pepper to the first suds when you are washing cottons.

Keep dogs, raccoons, cats, rabbits, and other animals away from your garden. Sprinkle black pepper around your hedges and flower beds. You can also use mothballs.

Repel ants. Sprinkle black pepper in cracks and crevices.

Repel moths. Use black pepper as an alternative to moth balls. Fill a cheesecloth bag or the foot of a nylon stocking with pepper and use it as a sachet. Place muslin bags filled with aromatic plants in drawers. Smells nice


Shaving Cream

Remove spots from rugs or carpets. Squirt shaving cream on stain, scrub, and wash with water.

Clean upholstery. Apply shaving cream sparingly to stain and rub gently with a damp cloth.

Prevent ski goggles from fogging. Spray the goggles, then wipe clean.

Clean grease from hands. Rubbing shaving cream between your hands will dissolve grime without water.


Plants

Ammonia as fertilizer. Watering soil with a mixture of two tablespoons ammonia to each quart of water will not only enrich the nitrogen content of the soil but keep black flies away.

Revive ailing houseplants with Geritol. Give the plant two tablespoons of Geritol twice a week for three months. New leaves should begin to grow within the first month.

Grow seeds. Use cardboard or fiber egg boxes, then plant entire tray; it'll disintegrate.

Longer lasting flowers. Pick flowers during coolest part of day.

Water plants on vacation. Soak soil, place plant and pot (still dripping) in a polythene bag, close bag tightly, place in position to receive indirect sunlight.


First-Aid

Neosporin: When going on airplanes, buses, and trains, to avoid getting sick (from the germs of others at close quarters), put Neosporin on pinky, and dab it in your nostrils; right at the edge, not all the way up in the head. This has prevented many people from getting sick on planes.

Diabetes. There was a case I personally know of where someone with diabetes was having an increased heatbeat, 120 beats per minute (twice as fast as normal) because he had a high acidic content. He drank Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) and his hearbeat went down to normal. Many diabetics who take insulan die, because insulan breaks down the organs of the body, like the liver and kidneys. Instead, it's best to do things which are good for the circulation. Trampolines have had a huge positive effect for those with diabetes.

Ulcer Cure. Black walnut hull extract and colodial silver water.

Cancer Cure. Appricot seeds cure many forms of cancer, as well as eating a veggetarian diet.

Kill Parasites. Parasites cause almost all diseases. Black Walnut Hulls (which comes in pill-bottle form in a health food store) is the best natural defense. Pumpkin seeds, garlic, and apple cider vinegar (2 teaspoons in water) are also excellent to take.

Dandruff can often be controlled. Shampoo in cool water. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils that help control flaking, and so do alcohol-based styling products like mousse or gel.

Chapped lips. Use a tea bag. The tannic acid in tea helps retain moisture and tighten the skin on your lips. Just remove any lipstick or lip balm, then take a tea bag, put it under warm water, and press it lightly over your lips.

Heartburn. The best remedy is your own water supply. Saliva is rich in natural chemicals that coat and protect. Get those juices flowing with some sugarless gum! Stay away from gum with sugar, it can actually increase acid output.

Disinfect wounds. Listerine works as an astringent when poured on a laceration or abrasion. You can also use honey. Honey kills bacteria and putting it on a cut or scrape can help prevent infection and speed healing. First wash the area, then smooth on some honey and cover with a bandage.

Dress wounds with honey. Honey is hyreoscopic and absorbs water, creating an environment in which disease producing microorganisms, deprived of their moisture, cannot live.

Get rid of warts. White iodine will make them disappear in a few days. You may also try vitamin A and E. Inside of banana skins. Milk from cut end of dandelion two or three times a day. Warm castor oil on gauze three times a day for half an hour. Cod liver oil. Duct tape gets rid of warts fast.

Relieve a mild sore throat. Gargle several times daily with warm salt water.

Cure for headaches. Camamile oil is great for migranes; just rub it into your temples. Another alternative is to take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Stuffed up nose. Both red and black pepper dilate blood vessels in the nose and they stimulate secretions which help drain sinuses.

Remove dark circles from under your eyes. Try raw potato slices; they contain potassium that apparently will remove dark circles. Another one you might try is warm tea bags; the tannic acid is supposed to do the same thing.

Relieve muscle pain from working out. Try eating bananas! They're rich in potassium, a mineral that has long been prescribed to treat leg cramps!

Get rid of itch from mosquito bite. Apply soap on the area for instant relief.

Treat bee stings. Cut an onion in half and press the cut side to the sting, holding it there for at least ten minutes. Onions contain an enzyme that break down proteins and stops pain if applied soon enough after a sting.

Prevent minor bruises from getting bigger and darker. Put ice on the bruise immediately after you get bumped.

Nighttime cramps. If running gives you nighttime cramps in your calves drink tonic water before you go to bed. It contains quinine, a plant extract that acts as a muscle relaxant. Add lemon to the tonic water or mix it with orange juice to reduce its bitterness.

Cold sores. They heal faster and cause less pain when treated topically with Pepto Bismol or another bismuth-containing antacid. Use a cotton ball to dab the liquid onto the sore every four hours.

"Brain freeze" when you're eating ice cream. Cold on the roof of your mouth causes pain in the temples and eye sockets. The cure? Drink a glass of warm water.

You may not want to keep your medicine in your medicine cabinet. Steam from the shower can break down the pills' chemical makeup! And don't put your pills in a pale pillbox. The original packaging is brown for a reason: some pills lose their power when exposed to sunlight.

Is your little one scared of the doctor? Blow soap bubbles to sooth and distract the child while the doctor goes to work.

Giving cats medicine. If your cat refuses to cooperate when you're trying to give him liquid medicine, put the medicine on the top side of one of his paws. He'll instinctly lick it right off!

Activated Charcoal absorbs toxins in the body (i.e. from taking a lot of medicine). If you have a ruptured appendix, putting activated charcoal on the outside of skin absorbs it. Activated Charcoal is also great if you have high cholesterol. Charcoal breaks down snake venom in half so that it's no longer toxic and your body can absorb snake poison harmlessly. You may also grind activated charcoal, red potato and flax seed oil together for a better remedy (place it in a rag and put the rag next to your skin, to prevent it from staining your skin).

Sun block. Zinc oxide sunblock blocks the sun harmlessly for all ages. Avoid sunscreen, because it causes a chemical reaction with the skin.


Paint

Prevent white paint from turning yellow. Stir a drop of black paint in it.

Stop smell of paint. One tablespoon of vanilla essence to two pints of paint, or add a couple of tablespoons of ammonia to one or two containers of water placed in room.

Remove dirt or lumps from paint. Cut a round piece of window screen to fit just inside the paint can. The screen will sink down into the paint and carry the lumps to the bottom of the can.

Remove latex paint from hands. The moisturizers ease paint from skin.

Cleaning paintbrushes. When you clean paintbrushes you generally soak them in water or turpentine, but then the bristles get all bent. Here's what to do. Take a piece of wood and rubber band it to the brush. The stick will touch the bottom instead of the brush and the bristles will stay straight.

Restore dried out paintbrushes. Immerse in hot vinegar. Bristles - hairspray, smooth, leave to dry.

Don't have a paintbrush? Take a plastic bag, put it over your hand and then put an old sock over the bag. Now dip your covered hand into the paint and apply it.

It can really be a pain getting the paint out of paint trays! Put the tray inside a plastic bag and then pour in the paint. When the job is finished simply remove the plastic bag and throw it away! The tray is clean and ready for the next paint job!

Keeping track of unused paint. After you finished painting and before you've resealed the can, paint a line on the outside of the can at the paint level. Later this will let you know at a glance both how much paint is left inside and exactly what color it is.

Keep paint fresh between projects. Seal the lid tightly by using a mallet all the way around the lid. Then, with one hand on the lid, turn the can of paint upside down for just a second or two and then turn it right side up again. This will coat the entire inside top surface of the can with a thin film that will help seal the lid.

Spray painting something that's small. Put the item in a big paper bag. You can paint and it won't make a mess!

Redecorating? Record paint or wallpaper identification numbers on masking tape and then stick the tape on the back of a switch plate cover in each room. That way you'll know right where to find those ID numbers.

Make your ceiling seem higher. Paint it a lighter tone than the walls.

Use a primer coat. Your paint will go on easier and will be less likely to fade and chip. Another tip: ask the paint store to tint your primer the same shade you intend to use for the paint. That way you can see how a certain shade really looks on your walls without committing to that color.


Clothes

Zipper stuck? Rub the lead tip of a pencil or a bar of soap along the zipper's teeth. The lubrication will get it moving.

Remove gum from clothes. Put some ice cubes in a plastic zipper-type bag and put the bag on the gum. After a few minutes, you should be able to scrape off the gum with the edge of a knife.

Get rid of perspiration stains on clothing. Soak in salt water and wash, or apply baking soda paste and let sit. Or, put white vinegar on the stain. Wait 30 minutes and then wash the shirt in the hottest water safe for the fabric.

Repair skirt or pants. If you need a small bit of cloth to repair a skirt or some pants use material from inside the pocket or hem. It's an exact match and you can replace the hidden fabric with almost anything and it won't show.

Make socks white again. Boil in water with lemon slice.

When tips come off shoe laces. Harden ends with nail polish.

Tired of retying your kids shoelaces? Spritz the tied laces with water and they'll stay tied longer.

Drying shoes. Stuff with newspaper to keep their shape.

Lift a fresh grease spot from a non-washable fabric shoe. Sprinkle spot with cornstarch. Let set, then brush


Food

An apple in the morning is more efficient than caffeine in coffee.

Are you trying to slice something small like an olive? Hold the olive firmly with a fork and then slice between the tines.

Can't get your kids to eat fruit? Cut up fruits for younger children, and they'll be more likely to eat them! Treat the edges of apples, bananas and pears with orange or lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

Get the most juice from lemons and limes. Roll them firmly on a countertop with the palm of your hand before squeezing them.

Easily remove egg shells from hard-boiled eggs. Boil eggs in salt water and quickly rinsed in cold water.

Keep celery fresh for weeks. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator.

Don't slice your cantaloupe until you've washed the outside. Cutting through a melon can draw in bacteria from the surface, contaminating the inside. Wash the rinds with hot soapy water and then rinse well. The same goes for other melons, like winter squash and pumpkins!

Keep potatoes from budding. Place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

Prevent egg shells from cracking. Add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling. If an egg cracks when you boil it, add a little vinegar to the water to prevent white from streaming out of shell.

Take away salt. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato. It absorbs the excess salt.

Take away sugar. If you're cooking and you've over-sweetened a dish, add a little salt.

Grating onions. Put your onion holding hand in a plastic bag. Then when you are finished grating put the bag around the onion without touching it. The leftover onion is ready to refrigerate and your hands don't smell!

Cutting onions. Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying!

Unclog salt shaker. Put a few grains of rice in with the salt, which will absorb any moisture.

Eliminate the fat from soup and stew. Drop a few ice cubes into the pot and stir. The fat will cling to the cubes. Just throw away the ice cubes before they melt!

Prevent muffin tops from burning. When filling the muffin pan with batter, leave one cup empty. Put cold water in that cup right before you put the pan in the oven.

Keep the grease from splattering. Sprinkle a little salt in your frying pan before cooking.

Prevent foods like oatmeal, potatoes or pasta from boiling over. Take a stick of margarine and grease the inside of the pot about one inch down from the top. The boiling food will contain itself.

Soften brown sugar. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.

Sweeten corn. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

Sucanet. Is a natural sugar which is good for your body.

Determine whether an egg is fresh. Immerse it in a pan of cool salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh. If one end tips up, it is less fresh. If it rises to the surface, throw it away.

Prevent mold from forming on cheese. Store with a few sugar cubes in a tightly covered container.

Stop ice-cream leaks. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice drips.

Avoid freezer burn on your ice cream. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place it between the ice cream and the lid. Make sure to press the wrap close to ice cream. Ice crystals will form on the wrap instead of your dessert!

Take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

Avoid stains on Tupperware. Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces.

Keep your punch cold. Use frozen seedless grapes! Not only will they add festive color but, unlike ice cubes, they won't melt and dilute your punch.

Remove gum stuck in hair. Just massage some peanut butter into the gum until it comes free. Of course you'll need to shampoo afterwards.

Remove burnt on food from your skillet. Add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop. Skillet will be much easier to clean now.

Eat a hot pepper? Drinking water will do nothing, because the hotness of the pepper is caused by the oil in the pepper. Water and oil do not mix. The best thing to do is to eat a cracker or a piece of bread to absorb the oil.


Odors

Nature's odor eliminator. To knock out smells in your home set down apple halves. Unlike artificial sprays that make unpleasant odors, apples actually absorb odors. Just don't leave them out too long.

Remove smells from microwave. Teacup three parts water to one part lemon juice or vinegar, cook eight to ten minutes, wipe oven dry.

Absorb smells in refrigerator. Place charcoal inside. Baking soda also helps.

Remove odor of spilled milk on carpets. Cover the stain with baking soda, dampen it slightly and vacuum up a few hours later when it's dry.

Remove fish or pickle smells in glass. Leave drops of bleach in it.

Remove odor from shoes. Tablespoon bicarbonate of soda inside each shoe, overnight. Or, put some unscented clay cat litter in a sock and put the sock in your shoe. Let it sit overnight and it should absorb the smell.

Remove skunk odor from pets. Bathe them in mixture of one quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, cup baking soda, one tablespoon liquid dish soap. Follow with a thorough rinsing.

Scent room. Rub a few drops of perfume on light bulb

Prevent room from becoming smoky from cigarettes. Light candles, or fill containers with vinegar.

Save wax from scented candles. You can put the wax in a jar in a warm place and it will continue to scent the air.

Pet odors can linger in carpeting and fabric forever unless you get to the source! You can find invisible stains with a black light. Urine in carpets glows in black light.


Insects and Animals

Stop ants. Draw a chalk line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. They never cross a chalk line. You can also spray vinegar around doors, appliances and along other areas. To prevent ants from walking up an object, such as an outdoor patio table that has one center pole, attach tape to the pole so the sticky side is showing. Ants never cross something that's sticky.

Discourage ants in house. Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda or powdered borax of cloves on shelves and drawers. Bay leaves also helps. Sprinkle black pepper in cracks and crevices.

Deter flies. Place cotton wool balls sprinkled with drops of lavender oil on saucers. Basil or mint grown in pots on windowsill.

Prevent flying insects. Hang fresh bunch of stinging nettles to front of door.

Bugs at night. Replace your white light bulbs with yellow ones. Insects don't see these colors as well as others so they're not as attracted to the light as they are when white lights are used.

If earwigs are a problem in damp areas of your home. Trap the earwigs with rolled up newspapers moistened with water. The insects will be attracted to the moist area and will hide in the papers by day. Gather up the traps and dispose of them frequently.

Are snails getting to your garden? Sprinkle some white flour around the plants you think are being eaten by the snails and it will get rid of them!

Keep dogs and cats away. Sprinkle pure ammonia.

Keep cats off indoor planter. Pinecones in an indoor planter will discourage cats from walking in the dirt and digging holes. The pinecones are uncomfortable to their feet. You can pour water directly over the cones and it won't hurt the plants. The plants also get plenty of air.

Keep deer off yard. Use the shishi-odoshi (also called deer chaser, deer scarer, bamboo clacker, or water hammer). This was originally developed by japanese farmers to scare off deer and boar from crops. As the water flows from the bamboo spout, the knocking portion fills and spills the water creating a rhythmic knocking sound as it hits a rock. You can also try planting some deer repelling fragrant herbs. catmint, chives, garlic, onions, lavender sage, spearmint, thyme, and yarrow.

Keep squirrels away from garden. Put dog hair in nylon stockings and hang around garden. Sprinkle lose dog hair around plants. If you don't have a dog, go to an animal grooming place and ask to take their hair.

Trash cans. To keep critters away from garbage, mix up two tablespoons liquid dish soap, two tablespoons cayenne pepper, and one quart warm water. Spray liberally over trash to keep varmints at bay.

Dog attack. If vicous dogs are running towards you, stay where you are until they leave, but do not stare them in the eye. They will see that as a challenge to their territory and attack. Do not run away from the dogs, because they will attack. If they are actually attacking you, the best thing to do is to curl into a ball and cover your neck with your hands. They will lose interest if you don't fight back and leave.

Outrun Crocodile/Alligator. Run in a zig-zag pattern, and not just in one straight direction. When making left or right turns, the crocodile/alligator has to come to a crawl to move in that direction because of its short legs.

Outrun Bear. Run downhill. Because of its 2 short front legs, a bear has to crawl down a hill. It can run up a hill, or up a tree, but when going down, its center of gravity forces it to go slower.

Elephant Attack. Elephant's are very protective of their young. If one runs after you, and tries to stomp you, get out of their line of site. For example, if you are around some trees, hide behind a tree. If it comes after you, zig zag to another tree. If it doesn't see you, it will not perceive a threat.

Gorilla Attack. If a Gorilla runs after you, do not run! Simply do not stare at his eyes, and look at the ground, and humble yourself towards it. He will walk away.

Shark Attack. If a shark is approaching, simply stare it down. Do not swim away, because sharks are attracted to erratic movements. When a man swims away from a shark, it looks to the shark like he is struggling, squirming, and panicking, and the shark will attack! Also, do not play dead. A shark has all the senses we have, plus more, and a shark will know that you are not dead, but will be confused why you are not acting like you should be. So, it will get curious and may start to knaw at you. If a shark is actually attacking you, gouge it in the eyes with your thumb (not with your fingers, because fingers have much less force than your thumb).

Snake Attack. If you are bitten by a poisonous snake, the best thing to do is to let it bleed and make your way back to help. Do not take a knife and make the hole bigger and suck the venom out, like you see in movies. You may push the venom in an artery with the end of the knife, and sucking the poison will cause your heart to beat rapidly, and will spread the venom very quickly throughout your body. Do not tie any material around the area you are bitten (to stop the venom from spreading) because it will cut off the oxygen to the wound. One other thing you can do if you are bitten by a poisonous snake is to take a stun gun and zap the area where you were bit. The electricity will turn the poison into a harmless protein.

Bee Attack. If you are being stung by a swarm of bees, don't breathe. Bees are attracted to carbon dioxide.


Household Cleanings and Repair

Gravity. When cleaning your house, always clean from top to bottom. Gravity carries dust down onto lower surfaces.

Prevents brooms from slipping when you prop them against a wall. Cut off the finger of an old rubber glove and slide over the handle.

Streak-free, lint-free windows. Just use crumpled up pages of the newspaper to wipe off your window cleaner.

If you see streaks when finished, know which side they are on! When washing windows, use horizontal strokes on one side and vertical strokes on the other.

Unclog your iron. Pour straight white vinegar through the iron. Make sure to rinse it out when the vinegar has done its magic.

Remove a burned out light bulb from a recessed fixture. Since there isn't enough room for your fingers, you can make a little handle using duct tape.

Avoid breaking light bulbs in your hand. Light bulbs can be hard to remove. Put a light coat of petroleum jelly on the threads of the new bulb.

Remove furniture glue. After taking apart any piece of furniture for re-gluing, here's how to get rid of the old glue stuck in the joints: spray or brush vinegar into the joint. It usually works in minutes. It won't harm a finish and it leaves a white film that simply wipes off after it dries.

Dissolve soap residue in your washing machine. Periodically pour a cup of vinegar in the machine and let it run through a regular cycle without clothes in the machine.

Is your bathroom sink clogged? Cover the overflow hole with a rag when plunging a bathroom sink so the plunger has maximum effect.

Clean burnt food from pots and pans. Add baking soda and water to the pan, heat it to boiling and then let it sit about 15 minutes.

Clean non-washable wallpaper. Make a fist size wad of rye bread and rub across discoloration's and dirt.

Clean washable wallpaper. Lift grease stains with a paste of cornstarch and water or rub dry borax over stains.

Remove stubborn wallpaper. Mix some hot water with a bit of fabric softener in a paint tray and apply several coats to the wallpaper. Let it soak in then scrape off the paper with a putty knife.

Clean lint out of the back of hair dryer. Take a cotton swab and dip it in rubbing alcohol. When you use the swab on the lint it will come right off.

Make a liquid to clean glass. Mix two cups water, two tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent, and two cups isopropyl rubbing alcohol (70 percent). Stir thoroughly then pour into clean pump spray bottle.

Repair carpet dents. Fill a spray bottle with water and spritz it over the dents (or put an ice cube in each indentation and let the cubes slowly melt ). Then use a blow dryer and blow hot air over the moistened areas. The heat helps wool and nylon carpet rebound. Fluff up the fibers with your fingers and the dents will be gone.

Remove gum from carpets. Use an ice cube to freeze the gooey glob then remove as much as possible with a dull knife moving from the outside in. If there's still gum residue, use some dry-cleaning fluid available at drug and hardware stores.

Remove candle wax from carpets. Place a brown paper bag over the wax and gently run a warm iron over the bag.

Shine linoleum floors. Drops of paraffin in water.

"Wax" a floor. Add two tablespoons furniture polish and cup vinegar to a bucket of warm water.

Ceramic tile cleaner. cup baking soda, cup white vinegar, and one cup household ammonia in bucket. Add one gallon warm water. Stir until baking soda dissolves. Wear rubber gloves and apply with scrub brush or sponge. Rinse.

Wall cleaner. Mix cup washing soda, cup white vinegar, and cup ammonia in a gallon of warm water

Remove crayon from painted walls or painted wood. Spray the surface with WD-40 and wipe with a soft cloth. If residue remains, wipe the area with a little soapy water.

Remove crayon from leather sofa. Put baking soda on a damp cloth and rub lightly.

Get rid of water rings on wood. Spread baking soda on the stain and buff it with a damp cloth going with the grain of the wood. Then wipe up the baking soda residue with a fresh cloth and apply a lemon oil furniture treatment.

Get rid of makeup marks. They disappear from dark clothing if rubbed with bread.

Remove stubborn sticky labels. Nail varnish remover, cooking oil, turpentine, or white spirits.

Dripping sink. Attach a long piece of string to the tap. The drip will slowly and silently follow the sting down to the drain. You can also place a sponge underneath the dripping water.

Remove hard water deposits. Fill with malt vinegar, let sit for a few hours, rub off with fine wire scouring pad, rinse.

Remove water stains and soap scum on your glass shower door. Try some white vinegar. Mix the vinegar with some water. Spray the solution on the door and then rinse it off.

Erase stains on bath or by dripping tap. Rub lemon juice and salt, rinse. Or soak with three cups of vinegar for a few hours.

Protect the finish of a surface from the pliers' teeth. Save an old leather or rubber glove for lining the jaws of pliers.

Remove rust from garden tools. Use wire wool dipped in turpentine.

Remove rust on utensils. Rub with cork dipped in olive oil. Rusty metal - rub with raw onion.

Prevent cracking in a glass or jar when pouring boiling water in it. Stand a silver spoon in it.

Shine jewelry. Rub gold jewelry with ball of soft bread, silver jewelry with lemon and rinse.

Unscrew stuck lid. Use latex dishwashing gloves; they give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy. Or place jar in boiling water for a few minutes.

Keep your bathroom mirror from fogging up. Spread shaving cream on and wipe off; effective for two to three weeks. Or rub mirror with drop of shampoo.

Eliminate tiny scratches on glass. Polish with toothpaste.

Sharpen scissors. Slice several pieces of sandpaper, or emery paper.

Stop the noise of a squeaky wood floor. Sprinkle the noisy area with talcum powder. Then walk over the spot to distribute the powder. The powder will lubricate the boards to quiet them.

Lubricate squeaky hinges. Spray the joint with shaving cream. Or rub soap along hinges. Or lubricate the hinges with furniture polish.

Tight fitting drawers. Rub soap or candle wax along upper edges of tight fitting drawers.

Doors that won't stay open. Use self-adhering pieces of Velcro! Put one piece on the tip of the doorstop and the other piece on the back of the door! The Velcro will hold the door securely but it's easy to release.

Free up a door that sticks along one edge or the bottom. Temporarily tape a piece of coarse sandpaper in the tight spot then force the door back and forth across it. The sandpaper will remove enough wood or built-up paint to allow the door to swing freely.

Prevent nuts, bolts, and screws from getting lost while you're working. Keep them on a piece of masking tape.

Prevent drill from slipping. Cover mark with adhesive tape and drill through it.

Catch dust when you drill overhead or into walls. Poke the drill bit through the bottom of a small paper cup, or clear plastic container, and hold the cup rim against the wall or overhead surface while drilling.

Do you have water leaking through the ceiling? Immediately drill a small hole to allow the water to drain before it damages the plaster or drywall. Once the leak is repaired spackle the hole and repaint.

Roof shingles. Do roof repairs on a warm day when shingles are soft and pliable. You'll be less likely to crack the shingles as you walk on them or fold them back and the roofing cement will stick better.

Remove ground-in dirt and stains from concrete walks and driveways. Pour household bleach over the stain and let it sit for ten minutes then rinse.

Cut electrical wire without cutting copper thread. Warm rubber with match, then pull off with pliers.

Prevent tight screws. If you rub soap on the thread of a screw before using it, it will be easy to remove at a later stage.

Loosen tight screws. Soak with a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide or ammonia until screws turn back and forth easy.

Stop leaves from blocking gutter. Place chicken wire over top of gutter.

Kill weeds and grass on walks and driveways. Spray vinegar.


Secret Agent Man

Invisible ink. Dip a swab in a lemon, write on paper. Let dry. Run an iron over paper to make message appear.

Age documents. Let sit in direct sunlight for one day. Dip document in water. Return to previous position. Wait seven-ten days. Make weal tea solution. Soak until desired color is reached. Fold several times. Put in toaster oven.


Miscellaneous

Dehydrating in desert. If you have little water left in your bottle, drink all the water you need; do not conserve water. Most people who die of dehydration in the desert have plenty of water left in their bottle because they were trying to conserve it. Take refuge in shade and wait for help. You can find water in the desert by looking for birds or insects. Look for dew. Dig towards bottom of dry lakebed for water.

Flag down plane. If a search plane is overhead, do not stand up and wave at it; lay down on the ground and wave. Much more of your body is visible this way.

Tornado. If it's bearing down on house, go to lowest place in house, like a basement. If no basement, go to center room or crawl under bed. If you're about to be sucked up in a tornado, crawl under sturdiest piece of furniture or crawl into bathtub. If you're outside, lie down in a ditch.

Quicksand. By raising your legs slowly and laying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand.

Static electricity. To discharge static electricity from your body, touch something grounded, such as a water faucet.

Dripping Faucet. If you cannot stop the sound of a dripping faucet, place a sponge underneathe the faucet to stop the noise. You can also tie a string from the top of the faucet to the bottom of the sink, to allow the water drips to hit the bottom without sound.

Prevent containers of water from building bacteria. Throw a silver coin in it. Even a tub of water for horses will not have bacteria in it if a half-dollar silver coin is in it also. Saves a lot of cleaning!

Prevent candles from dripping. Soak them in salted water for a half hour. Use about two tablespoons of salt per candle and add just enough water to cover.

Increase lifespan of candles. Freeze them a few hours before use.

Remove stuck wax from candleholders. If they're metal or glass put them in the freezer and the wax will pop out. Or you can place them in a sink with hot tap water and the wax will soften and you can wipe it out.

Plastic wrap. Storing plastic wrap in the refrigerator makes it easier to use and handle. It especially helps in finding the end.

Prevent nail polish from thickening. Keep in refrigerator.

Keep batteries fresh. Refrigerate them in a sealed plastic bag.

Remove unused stamps from envelope. Submerge corner of envelope in boiling water.

Remove wrinkles in pants. Here's a quick fix. Toss your wrinkled pants into the dryer along with a clean, wet sock and a sheet of fabric softener. About five minutes on low heat ought to get the kinks out.

Protect your ears. When you don't have earplugs, roll up toilet paper, dampen it slightly, then stick it into your ears.

Unmist glass of watch. Turn it over and wear glass next to skin.

Stop glue from drying up. Partially used tubes of glue won't dry up if stored in tightly closed jars.

Books. Do not place them tight against wall; leave small gap for air to circulate. If pages are torn, smear lightly with white of an egg, leave book open to dry.

China plates. When storing your fine china, put a cheap paper plate between each china plate. This will eliminate the scratches that might occur when china plates are stacked one upon the other.

Organize all those wires behind your entertainment center. Use a coiled telephone cord! The cords are inexpensive and come in various lengths and colors. Just cut off the ends and wrap the coils around the wires.

Hanging pictures. Heat the nail with a flame before driving it into the wall. You won't crack or chip the plaster.

Tablecloths. No matter how much time you spend ironing a tablecloth some wrinkles are always left behind! Just lay the cloth out on the table the night before you need it with a pad or towel underneath and lightly spray it with water. While you sleep, the tablecloth will become smooth!

Plug for sink. Next time you take a trip, bring along a racquetball. If your sink doesn't have a stopper, the ball makes a great sink plug so you can soak or wash things.

Baggage. When traveling, put your name and phone number inside each checked suitcase in addition to the outside tags. That way if the outside tags fall off the bag can still be identified!

Remove a stubborn sticker. Just put the baby oil on the sticker and let it sit for a while. You'll be able to scrape the sticker right off!

Too much soap in your washing machine and it's overflowing? Pour in a capful of fabric softener to eliminate the suds.

Cutting firewood. Wait a few weeks after you cut the tree down to start cutting it up. The leaves will draw water out of the wood, giving you a head start on drying it and making it lighter to transport.

Does your landlord frown on using nails to hang pictures? If it's a small picture, try Velcro strips with adhesive backs! Put the Velcro on each corner of the picture for the best hold. When it's time to move, take the picture down, wet the adhesive on the wall and peel the strips off.

Hammering. If you're hammering into soft wood and you don't want to leave marks, push the nail through a piece of cardboard and then hit it. It's also a good way to avoid hitting your fingers.

Avoid hitting your fingers with your hammer. Use a fork to hold the nail in position. Just place the nail between the tines and then hit it.

Ladder. If you're using a ladder against the side of your house and you don't want to scratch the paint or damage the stonework put socks over the end of the ladder.

Plastic bread wrapper melted onto the toaster of the coffeepot? Rub some petroleum jelly on the spot, reheat the appliance and use a paper towel to rub off the plastic and the printing.

Can't find an earring or other small object? Put a nylon stocking over the tube of a vacuum cleaner and vacuum the spot where you think the object will be. The vacuum will suck the object up but it will be caught in the stocking.

Washing your car? Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to the bucket before you add water and soap. This will help the soap carry away the dirt from your car's paint during the washing process.

Are your windshield wipers a little smeary? You can get a little more life out of your wipers by using some fine sandpaper to rough up the wiper blade.

Keep your grilling surface in good shape. Scrape it with a stiff bristle brush while it's still warm after every use. No brush? Crumpled aluminum foil will work just as well.

Deodorize your dog without a bath. Just rub baking soda into the fur and then brush it out!

Heat a tub of water. Take old steel tube, about 3 " in diameter. Cap one end, drop into water tub, attach to side, drop a few lit charcoal briquettes in. Use plumbers strap to hold it loosely (that way you can slide it out to dump the ashes). Put a baffle down the center of the tube and angle the tube for better drafting of the rising hot air. Another option is to use an RV water heater burner tube. Use a piece of tin or aluminum siding to extend the inner baffle. Be sure to empty the ashes before the water re-freezes, so your heater will be ready for the next refill when you are.


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