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georgie 1

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Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelettes rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt chocolate mint patties in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Reheat Pizza - Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.

Easy Deviled Eggs - Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Reheating refrigerated bread - To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Newspaper weeds away - Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass - Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

Flexible vacuum - To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling - Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and.. ta da!... static is gone.

Measuring Cups - Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield? - Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope - If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Conditioner - Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Get Rid of Ants - Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can'tdigest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

INFO ABOUT CLOTHES DRYERS - The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something else; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material... I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ...the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ..well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that, so, I thought I'd share!

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it. the water ran right through the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!

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Thanks Georgie 1 for all of those tips.

I am going to try the cornmeal as I have an ant problem and the tumbledryer one too.

If only you could give me a good tip for getting rid of mould, the wet weather here in Queensland has patches of mould appearing on my curtains and on the chipboard backing of my bookcase and dressing table etc.

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Check out the tips in red

80 Handy Tips for Home Improvers

Published : 01/05/2008 | Author: HOMEMAKERSonline

DIY tips for home improvement

* To clean a dirty microwave oven, boil a cup of water in it for a few minutes. The steam will loosen the food, which can be wiped off with a dish cloth.

* Wash your sponges in the dishwasher along with your dishes to make them last longer.

* Use equal parts of white vinegar and salt to clean out coffee and tea stains from your china.

* Cigarette smoke can be eliminated by lighting candles in the room.

* Film that accumulates in your bathtub can be removed by scrubbing with vinegar.

* Save your old toothbrushes to scrub small areas. Also ideal for cleaning tile grout.

* A window decal can be removed by painting it with vinegar. When it has thoroughly soaked for a few minutes, it can be wiped off easily.

* Use equal parts of warm water and vinegar to clean windows. Dry with a soft cloth or newspaper to prevent streaking.

* Carpets should be vacuumed once a week. Dirty spots can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water. Blot dry.

* To get rid of grease stains on your carpet, rub lightly with baking soda or cover it with cornstarch for about an hour. Vacuum or brush clean.

* Wet mud on your carpet should be dried first, and then vacuumed. Rub the open end of the hose on the area to help break up the mud. Sponge it with dishwashing liquid.

* To clean a dirty vase with a small opening, crush some eggshells and mix with water and vinegar or detergent. Pour into the vase, cover and shake until clean. Rinse thoroughly.

* Vinegar - removes mildew and stains. Cleans glass, grout, and fireplaces.

* Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, removes stains, polishes and softens fabrics. Can be used on plastic, vinyl, upholstery, carpets, and stainless steel, down drains and in refrigerators.

* Pure Soap - cleans most everything

* Ammonia - cleans linoleum, carpets, and most appliances but can irritate the skin and eyes. Area must be well ventilated. Never mix with bleach because it creates a poisonous gas!

* To rid your cutting board of onion or garlic smells, rub the surface with a paste of baking soda.

* To prevent mildew from forming, wipe the area with vinegar to kill the mildew fungus.

* Hang an old nylon stocking filled with cedar chips in your cupboard. Not only will it repel moths, it will give a sweet smell to your cupboard.

* To help eliminate odours from the refrigerator and kitchen put an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to eliminate food odours. You'll need to change the box every month or two.

* Simmer a pan of water with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg on the stove for a delightful air freshener.

* Dried orange and lemon rinds can be tossed in the fireplace for a spicy aroma.

* Old pantyhose are ideal to use when applying a stain to wood, as the material is lint free.

* You should keep at least two dozen of each of the different sized cable ties in your tool box – you will always find a use for them, from fixing a fence to holding a broken cutlery tray together, hanging a broom or locking a suitcase.

* Drilling into tiles requires special drill bits. Ceramic tiles can be drilled with a standard masonry drill bit, and using a standard electric drill on low speed.

* Before you start to tile a wall, make sure it’s free from any previous applied tile adhesive or wallpaper.

* Measure twice – you should always double check your measurements. It may feel like a complete waste of time, but doing this will prevent mistakes and a lot of unnecessary frustration.

* To make a plunger more effective, coat the edge of its cup with petroleum jelly before you use it.

* Tired of cleaning mildew off your bathroom tiles? Apply a coat of clear car wax – it should keep mildew at bay for a while.

* Save a lot of clean-up when you’re painting something by covering the paint tray with a plastic packet (turn it inside out to prevent the ink from contaminating the paint). Slip it over the tray and pour in the paint. When you’re done, pour the paint back into the tin and throw away the bag.

* When you’re drilling, tape a plastic bag underneath the point you’re going to drill to catch the dust.

* If you have a scratched DVD that skips when you play it, put a blob of toothpaste on your finger and rub it all over the DVD, then wipe it with soft toilet paper. No more skipping.

* Cut a piece of hosepipe to the length of your saw’s blade and then make a slit along the length of the pipe. Slip it into the blade to protect it when it’s not being used.

* Got a blocked drain, but no plunger? Shove a hosepipe as far down the offending drain as you can, then turn the tap on hard for a second or two and repeat – it should help dislodge whatever is stuck.

* The next time you can’t find your tape measure, remember that a man’s size 11 shoe is 28cm long.

* Mix bicarbonate of soda and vinegar; it will froth and foam. Use instantly to get rid of any bathroom mould and mould between tiles.

* Silence creaking floorboards by sprinkling talcum powder in the offending area and work into the gaps between the boards.

* Avoid getting paint on your hands by cutting an old tennis ball in half, then making a slit on the ‘crown’ and sticking the handle through it.

* When you’re painting a chair or table, put the feet into old aluminium cupcake moulds – any paint that runs down the legs will be trapped in the mould. You can also use this method to treat wood with a finish or preservative. In the later case, pour some preservative into each mould and let the feet soak it up.

* To prevent a mat or carpet from slipping, apply some silicone to its underside and allow it to dry before you turn it over.

* An eco-friendly way to rid paving of weeds is to pour boiling water over the foliage. This will kill the weed, which can then be brushed away.

* If you need a small screwdriver, use a nail file, just don’t bend it.

* To prevent the cap of a superglue tube from sealing for good, dab a little petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) on the tip before replacing the cap. This will prevent the glue from sticking to it.

* To prevent tile adhesive drying out, mix only enough to be used in 30 min.

* To prevent your car doors from banging against the garage wall, fasten a piece of hosepipe, at the desired height, along the wall. This will act as a buffer and protect the door.

* When mixing plaster or drywall adhesive, put the water in the bucket before you add any plaster. If you put the plaster in first, it will go lumpy and be useless.

* To control how deep you drill, wrap electrical tape around the drill bit so the exposed bit shows the correct depth.

* When painting, don’t use plastic sheeting on the floor as this will be slippery – and particularly dangerous if you’re working on steps. Use old dust sheets or newspaper instead.

* Before you replace the lid on a paint tin, drape a cloth over the lid so that any paint that has collected in the rim of the tin does not spray up on you when tapping it closed.

* Climbing up and down a ladder to retrieve fallen tools? Drill some holes in the top step of the ladder to hold the tools you use most often.

* Painting the area around a neon tube gloss white will increase the unit’s effectiveness, particularly when that surface is grey concrete, like in your garage.

* To keep the gutters clear of debris, cover them with the plastic mesh that’s used for supporting climbing plants.

* Instead of bending over to paint all the skirting boards in your house, use a skateboard and sit on that. It’ll be easy to move up and down the length of the walls, and may just inspire you to head down to the half-pipe once you’re done.

* Apply some shaving cream to a creaky hinge and rub it well – this will stop it creaking because shaving cream contains lanolin, which is a lubricant.

* To keep paintbrushes in good condition after cleaning them, wrap some newspaper around each brush, using a rubber band to hold the wrapping in position. The bristles will be able to dry without splaying.

* Keep a few mothballs in your toolbox. It won’t smell too good, but the balls will absorb moisture and prevent your tools from rusting.

* When using power tools, you should always wear safety goggles – but if you can’t find yours, don’t have anything, or don’t want to look ridiculous, use your sun glasses.

* When working at heights, always makes sure that the structure you’re standing on is safe and secure. Never stretch out – always get down and reposition the scaffold.

* If you don’t have a paint tray, use an old roasting pan wrapped in cling wrap. When applying the cling wrap, make sure it’s loose so that you can press it down against the sides and into the corners. If it is too tight, a little extra pressure might rapture it and allow paint to leak through.

* Got rattling or drafty doors at home? Apply Vaseline to the closing edge of the door, and then put a blob or bead of silicon on the door frame (sufficient to hold the door or close the gap). Close it and leave for six hours for the silicon to set. Open the door and trim any excess silicon – the silicon will have set at exactly the width of the gap.

* To keep your garden tools rust-free, fill an old 20-litre paint can with builders’ sand and add a few litres of old engine oil. Drive the tools into the grit a few times before you hang them up to store them. The grit will clean the metal and the oil will coat it. Clean each implement well before you use it again.

* For a quick and simple substitute for a sprit level in situations where absolute accuracy is not critical, use a measuring jug from the kitchen. Fill the jug with water to one of the volume lines. Place it on the surface that needs to be levelled and when the meniscus lies on the line, the surface will be level.

* To make moving furniture over tiles easier, slip split tennis balls onto the feet of the legs.

* To remove resin build-up on a drill bit, spray it with oven cleaner, scrub with a toothbrush and rinse with water.

* To clean paint that has accumulated on the upper regions of a paintbrush’s bristles, soak it in clean, warm, soap, water and then brush the bristles vigorously with a welding brush from the base towards the tips. Do one side of the brush, then the other. The steel bristles of the welding brush should be stiff enough to penetrate between the paintbrush bristles to loosen the old, caked paint.

* Battling to pick up tiny nails for that DIY job you’re doing? Glue a small magnet to the end of your hammer handle and dip it in your nail container to make retrieval easier.

* When storing paint, place a cork in the middle of it (or a ball of cling wrap). The next time you use the paint, lift the cork out and it will neatly pull off the thick film that forms. If you don’t have cork or plastic, store the tin upside down.

* Turn a coffee tin into a seed spreader. Make a few holes in the base with a nail and put a spare plastic lid on to the bottom. Fill the tin with seeds and put another lid on the top. Remove the bottom lid and shake the can over your garden when you want to spread the seeds.

* To prevent a screw from working loose, carefully drive a staple into the wood so that the crossbar of the staple lies in the screw’s groove.

* To dry paintbrushes after cleaning, cut one end of a wire coat hanger so you can thread your brushes on it. Bend the end to form a hook so that the hanging arm can rest in it to prevent brushes from slipping off.

* Continually sweep the area where you’re working to eliminate the possibility of causing damage to existing finishes. Depending on the nature of the job, it could be worthwhile to cover any items that could get scratched with a clean, soft blanket or material such as underfelt, and then a protective board or plastic to keep out the dirt.

* If a hole you drilled is too big, or a dowel too thin, use a jack plane to pare off some slivers of wood from an off-cut and wind what you need around the dowel to get the fit you want. Then unwind them again, apply glue to the dowel, wind them back on and set the dowel in the hole.

* When you spread silicone along the edge of the bath, shower or kitchen sink, keep things tidy by running a potato wedge along the edge afterwards – it should pick up any unused silicone and at the same time clean the surface.

* To prevent a bit from slipping off-target when drilling into a tile, carefully scratch the surface with a nail or place masking tape over the target area to create a rough surface. This should prevent the drill bit from slipping as easily as if the surface were smooth.

* When replacing cracked glass, use a glass cutter to cut around the pane a centimetre or so from the frame. Place adhesive tape over the cracks and tap the glass gently from inside to separate one piece at a time. The tape will help to prevent the pieces from dropping out.

* Whenever you’re drilling into steel always try to use a slow speed drill as it will increase the torque. Remember to keep the drill bit cool by using a cutting liquid, spray lubricant or even paraffin. Remember the rule of thumb: the thicker the steel, the slower the speed – and always use a good-quality drill bit.

* If you haven’t used your stepladder for a while, check that its rungs are intact before you climb on it.

* To prevent a length of wood from bowing when it’s painted or varnished on one side, coat the reverse surface as well. You can help the process by resting the timber between two supports and placing a weight in the centre.

* When sorting left-over paint, mark a line on the outside of the tin to indicate how much is left in it and note the date on which you are sorting it to let you know how old the paint is. This makes it easy to gauge if you will have enough paint for the next job and whether or not the paint has expired.

* Trim fabric-softener bottles’ bottoms off and mount them upside down on your workshop walls. They make great holders for drills.

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I use bleach on most places like the shower but our rainy weather and the use of a breezeair system has mould popping up everywhere, handbags, shoes, the back of curtains etc.

I know Shannon Lush recommends clove oil to kill mould spores but then you are still left with the stain and my hubby hates the smell.

I used clove oil and methylated spirits to remove mould spots from a stroller.

Mould seems to be the bloody bane of my existence.

By the way, the boiling water on weeds on the path works, environmentally good too.

Keep the tips rolling- I love them

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You wouldn't have any tips for discouraging flies?

We can hardly sit outside for flies, fly bait, fly papers, fly spray and those pyrethrin infused stickers on windows are just not doing the job.

Edited by AndreaL
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Plant as much lavender as you can in the garden. Citronella also works to chase the flies away, so burn some citronella candles or oils.

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Plant as much lavender as you can in the garden. Citronella also works to chase the flies away, so burn some citronella candles or oils.


I have lavender, basil and a host of other herbs in the garden, use a citronella burner on the patio as it does help with the mozzies and regularly use essential oils throughout the house, when washing floors or clothes and even put lemon oil on the duster to deter spiders from maing webs- the darn Australian flies seem impervious to everything, including surface sprays.

I feel as if I am being taken over by moths, ants, flies, tree frogs, cane toads, geckos and stick insects at the moment!

I don't like to kill anything, but need to do something!

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