Quirky Solutions to Pesky Problems

I’ve always been one to just try and make do.  Maybe it’s just the penny pincher in me that makes me try and find an alternate method of fixing things without having to buy something specific.  I also like to try and stay away from chemicals in some cleaners.  I have this arsenal of  ideas that I pass on to anyone who will listen in the hopes that it will make their world healthier and wiser.

So here is my list of tried and true remedies that I’ve used over the years.  Add any of your favorites in the comments.  I’d love to hear about them.

  • Burnt pots–Really nasty ones can usually be rescued by boiling a small amount (an inch or so) of water and then adding a good amount of baking soda.  Turn off the heat first.  After it sits awhile the burnt on mess usually comes loose on its own or scrubbed away quite easily.  If not throw the pan away and buy a new one.
  • Cast iron can be renewed by placing piece in a fireplace and leaving on hot coals  overnight.  Scour when cool and season with olive oil.  I rescued a yard sale find that was heavily corroded using this method.
  • Charley horses–The kind you get in your feet or legs.  Grab the skin right under your nose with your thumb and forefinger and pinch it hard.  It will always make the pain subside.  If it doesn’t work for you, move your grip up or down a little.  Pinch hard enough to hurt and you forget your leg for a moment.
  • Hiccups–Tried everything, (paper bags, drinking water or having people try to scare me) before I found this method that works 100% of the time.  (for me, at least)  Put  a small amount (half teaspoon) of sugar on your tongue and let it dissolve.  Hiccups gone!
  • Sneezing–This idea came to me from my son-in-law sho says if you feel a sneeze coming on think of lemons and oranges and the need to will disappear.  It works for me if I remember to do it.
  • Windows–Hubby still swears by the famous brand of window cleaner, but if you want to save money for your favorite latte, you will use newspaper and a spray bottle of vinegar plus a little water.  This is not a new idea, and I like to promote free anytime I can.
  • Blood–Your own saliva is good to remove it.  I learned this from a quilting friend one time when I pricked my finger and bled on the fabric I was sewing on.  My friend came to the rescue and gave me this advice.  Spit and dab with a paper towel.  Worked like magic.
  • Jewelry–Knotted chains can be remedied by sprinkling on powder or cornstarch before untangling them.
  • Furniture polish–1 cup of mineral oil plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • Fruit stains–just learned this one and wasn’t sure it would work.  Baking soda on a  fresh blueberry stain removed it.  You might need a few drops of water to help make a paste.  Rub it in and rinse.  Works.
  • Ants–mix half borax and half sugar and spread where ants are.  Gets rid of them pronto!
  • I once made a mixture of white school-type glue and cornstarch to use for mending a broken piece of white porcelain.  Make it thick enough and you can mold it and when dry, paint it if desired.  (Non washable result of course)
  • A small amount of olive oil worked through your hair before washing tames the frizzies.  Works for me if I wrap my hair and leave it on for ten minutes or so.  It will not leave your hair oily as you might expect.

This sounds like good advice and fits my two rules;  cheap and non toxic:

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2 thoughts on “Quirky Solutions to Pesky Problems

    • Yes, that is probably one of the better remedies. Rubbing peanut butter onto the pitch from a pine tree followed by laundering also works. (And will not leave a greasy residue after washing.)

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