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Now Here’s a Tip

  • Need brown sugar for a recipe and suddenly realize you’re out? Save a trip to the grocery store by adding molasses to white sugar. No molasses? Use maple syrup in a pinch.” —W.S. in Florida
  • To keep hard floors in good shape, get a microfiber mop that is strictly for dust mopping. Treat it with an appropriate floor-care agent, and make sure that you toss the mop head in the wash regularly. Never use fabric softener when washing or drying microfiber cleaning cloths.
  • When making a cream pie filling or a custard, you may substitute two egg yolks for each egg.
  • Did you know that when iron and copper in metal kitchen knives come in contact with certain fruits and vegetables, it causes them to brown more quickly? It’s better to use a glass, plastic or ceramic-coated knife to cut produce items, especially lettuce, apples and avocados, which are prone to browning.
  • To remove the scent of garlic from your hands, sprinkle salt on a cut lemon and rub it on your hands. Then, Wash as normal with soap and water. 
  • If you roll sausages in a very light coat of flour before you cook them, it will reduce the shrinkage. 
  • After you pressure-wash the patio and driveway, mix up a gallon of vinegar with a cup of salt and a few drops of dish soap. Use on cracks to deter weeds from growing in them. It’s safe and works quite well.”
  • Rust stains on clothing? Never machine-dry an item until the stain is gone, as it may set the stain. For rust, apply lemon juice to the stain, and then sprinkle with cream of tartar from your kitchen and rub it into the fabric. Allow the clothing to sit until the stain is gone, and then launder as usual. Good luck!
  • Mirrors make a room feel larger, because they reflect space, essentially doubling the visual area. But for maximum impact, experts say to hang your mirror on the wall adjacent to your window, not across from it. 
  • Lunchbox season is here, finally. If you have an issue with odors remaining in your plastic food containers, fill the container with hot water, and add a teaspoon of baking soda. This should remove smells. Let sit overnight if necessary.
  • Rub stubborn stickers or labels with straight white vinegar or soak a paper napkin with vinegar and lay it over the label. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then remove. You should be able to rub the adhesive right off. Reapply if necessary.
  • To erase crayon marks from painted walls, make a paste of equal parts baking soda and water, and apply to the area. Then let it dry and wipe away. This works best on a white or very light wall, as dark colors may lose some color. Also, wipe gently, as baking soda is a mild abrasive.
  • When you shop for shoes, go in the evening. Feet swell and expand throughout the day, so if you buy shoes in the morning, the fit might not feel too good later in the day.
  • To give rooms the illusion of extra height, hang curtains from a spot very near the ceiling. The long vertical lines of the fabric draw the eye up. It can be enough to make a very small room look and feel a little more spacious.
  • Whether you cook or bake often, you definitely have some brown sugar hardening up in a plastic bag somewhere in your pantry. A piece of bread in a jar of brown sugar or stuck into a plastic bag of dry cookies adds just the right amount of moisture. Of course, the bread will be hard as a rock, but that just means it worked.
  • If you want to save money and don’t mind missing the scent, ball up three 1-foot lengths of aluminum foil in your dryer. Compress tightly, making sure to press down pieces that may snag on clothing or undo the ball. As clothes tumble and rub against one another in the dryer, they exchange electrons, which causes static. The foil balls discharge any static buildup the clothes may experience and help keep them separated, which should speed up the drying process.

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