** Instead of throwing away a sponge that has a stale odor, simply toss it in the dishwasher and wash it with the next load of dishes. It will come out clean and fresh smelling and will kill any bacteria in the sponge, so it's a good idea to toss your sponges into the dishwasher often. ** Keep a bottle of vinegar within easy reach. When your stove, counter tops, walls or anything else becomes spattered with grease, spray and wipe clean dry rag. Vinegar cuts the grease and leaves a nice shine. Instead of buying expensive lime removers for the toilet and other bathroom fixtures try hydrogen peroxide first, it can do the job for a fraction of the price.
** When cleaning stainless steel counter tops, ranges or sinks, use club soda. You can buy a small bottle of generic or store brand club soda for about 50 cents and it cleans like a charm and dries to a gleam without streaks or spots. Don't throw away flat club soda; even flat, it still works to clean stainless steel or spots spilled on the carpet.
** To clean up spills in the oven, sprinkle table salt immediately on the spill. When oven has cooled, brush away the burnt-on food with a damp sponge. The salt will make the spill much easier to clean up, saving time and money, since you won't have to buy oven cleaner as often!
** To keep lint and dust off glass top tables, wash them in a solution of warm water and fabric softener. Add one tablespoon of liquid fabric softener to one quart of warm water. The fabric softener will clean the glass inexpensively and will help keep lint from gathering on the glass. Also great for computer screens and TV's.
** Good weather sealing around doors and windows not only saves money on heating and cooling, but also cuts down dusting dramatically.
** Don't throw away odd socks or socks with holes in them, use them to make a mop. Tie several socks (10 -12 works best) to a mop or broom handle and use just like you would a regular mop. White cotton socks work best for this project and by the time the "sock mop" wears out, you'll probably have plenty more socks to make a new one.
** To get nasty soap scum and dirt off your tub or shower, put a little baby oil in a spray bottle and mix with water (1 part baby oil to 4 parts water). Spray mixture on a section and wipe off with a sponge. When you're done, spray with a disinfectant cleaner to make sure all germs are killed.
** Save celery leaves. Spread them out on paper towels or a paper plate and let them dry. Crumble them into soups, salads and stuffing's. They will add an extra zippy flavor for free.
** Get rid of tarnish on silver the easy way, place a piece of aluminum foil (shiny side up) on the bottom of a glass bowl or pan. Fill the container with a solution made of 2 cups boiling water and 3 teaspoons of baking soda, and you've made an inexpensive "bath" to soak your silver in. Your silver will shine like new in no time!
** Get rid of pet hair on upholstery effortlessly by wiping the furniture with a slightly dampened sponge.
** Toss a few old bath towels in the washing machine when you wash your shower curtains The towels will rub back and forth against the curtain, which helps remove all traces of dirt and soap scum. Hang shower curtains back up right out of the washing machine. They will dry quickly and the wrinkles will fall right out. Most have at least some plastic on them that can melt in the dryer.
** You can economically repair any tears on your ironing board cover by attaching iron-on patches. You don't even have to know how to sew!
** To speed drying time of big bulky items and jeans, add a dry towel to the wet items you're placing in the dryer. The towel will help absorb some of the excess moisture.
** When you need to touch up a scratch or other type of blemish on a painted wall use a drop of paint on a cotton swab to fix the problem. You won't waste a bunch of paint and you won't have to waste time cleaning a paint brush.
** Don't want to spend a lot time on oven cleaning? Place ammonia (about 1 cup) in an aluminum pie pan and place it in the oven overnight. In the morning, simply remove the pan and wipe the oven clean with a damp sponge. If you do this often (about once a month) you won't have to spend money on harmful chemicals to do the job.
** To help new or just cleaned drapes stay fresh and crisp looking, spray them with a few coats of unscented hair spay before hanging them up. Allow the hair spray to dry between applications.
** When you leave the house put any cut flowers into the refrigerator,
making the flowers last much longer.
** To keep cut flowers fresher longer by mixing up a homemade formula. Mix 1 pint warm water, 1 pint lemonade or a lemon-lime soft drink. Pour enough into the vase to cover the lower three to four inches of the stem. Here's how this formula works: the sugar in the mixture supplies energy to the flowers and the citric acid in the lemon helps preserve them
** Make giant ice cubes in muffin tins or plastic margarine bowls. These are perfect for using in picnic coolers or punch bowls. They look pretty and keep your drinks or food cold longer.
** How about a low cost window cleaner: Add just a drop of Dawn dish liquid to 3 cups of water.
** Don't throw those single serving gelatin plastic cups away, make your own single servings. Place the cups in a muffin holder, fill the cups and place in the refrigerator. It only takes a few minutes and no mess.