Your own tried-and-true household tips

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
SF members surely have numerous good shortcuts and tips that have worked for us but aren't necessarily well-known.

For instance, let's talk cockroaches (yeah, I know, why would anyone want to?). After years of cleaning diligently, employing professional exterminator services (sure it worked, but at great cost and included poisonous pesticides), trying Black Flag type bait stations and sprays that were mostly useless, about 5 years ago we stumbled over a truly effective way to eliminate those creepy crawlies. Borax powder, no kidding. Just put a line of it inside your cabinets, behind and under your fridge, or in whatever room you spot roaches. Google it.

The downside is that you have to live with a light dusting of borax for a couple of months, but for my money, it sure does beat turning on the kitchen or bathroom light and seeing those ugly things scurry across the floor.

When a single roach is spotted in my house or garage, we break out the borax again. One that you see represents hundreds that you don't.

So that's my tip for the day. Please share your own wisdom - let's not make this about links we find on Facebook or other Internet sites unless it's tried and true for you.

This thread was inspired by (https://www.seniorforums.com/threads/cleaning-supplies.43810/).
 

PVC

Well-known member
Location
Southern AZ
We have very hard water here in Tucson, it clogs up just about everything that gets water often. I have a glass pan with water outside for the birds (glass is easier to clean and does not disintegrate with the high Tucson temps). But after a while it got crusts all around the inside. So did my drip pan under my dish drainer on the counter. I sprayed them with the toilet hard water cleaner and it got clean and washable again without that white hard calcium surface.
 

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
Original Poster
We have very hard water here in Tucson, it clogs up just about everything that gets water often. I have a glass pan with water outside for the birds (glass is easier to clean and does not disintegrate with the high Tucson temps). But after a while it got crusts all around the inside. So did my drip pan under my dish drainer on the counter. I sprayed them with the toilet hard water cleaner and it got clean and washable again without that white hard calcium surface.
Is that like Lime-Away?
 

PVC

Well-known member
Location
Southern AZ
Is that like Lime-Away?
I forget what brand it was but I couldn't find it again, may buy Lime-Away next time. It was for hard water stains in toilets.

Where do you buy the Borax? Is it pet safe? I just bought some Diaphomous (spell?) Earth so will try that for a while, it's pet safe and gets rid of critters with the hard shells, hope it works on both roaches and scorpions, they both come from outside under the front door flap.
 

Aunt Bea

Well-known member
Location
Near Mount Pilot
Using ammonia to clean years of accumulated baked-on gunk and grime from casseroles, baking pans, grill parts, etc...

Toss the dirty items into a plastic bag dump in a half cup of ammonia and seal the bag. Wait for 24-48 hours wash the items in hot sudsy water and watch the gunk slide right off.

I used that trick to clean several Pyrex items that I was too embarrassed to donate to the local thrift shop. After I cleaned them I held back a pie plate and a brownie pan because they looked so nice!
 

PVC

Well-known member
Location
Southern AZ
Using ammonia to clean years of accumulated baked-on gunk and grime from casseroles, baking pans, grill parts, etc...

Toss the dirty items into a plastic bag dump in a half cup of ammonia and seal the bag. Wait for 24-48 hours wash the items in hot sudsy water and watch the gunk slide right off.

I used that trick to clean several Pyrex items that I was too embarrassed to donate to the local thrift shop. After I cleaned them I held back a pie plate and a brownie pan because they looked so nice!
Hmm, my dark cookie pans have baked-on gunk, I will try your method
 

Lizzie00

New member
Location
Central FL
How to remove soap scum in your shower without scrubbing....

Mix one cup Dawn dish detergent with one cup of vinegar in a spray bottle.
Spray the shower and wait two hours .
The soap scum can just be rinsed away.
(No exaggeration, my shower stays looking like new.)

(The vinegar smell is strong but I find that letting a Yankee candle burn for the 2-hour ‘wait’ period eliminates the bulk of the odor....and within a couple more hours the smell is totally gone.)
 

Keesha

Playful Scamp
Location
Canada
Dusting/Sweeping;

Pancake air compressor
50' hose

and wunna these
View attachment 77806


I'm still trying to convince the wife, but it worked in my bachelor days
'Course I didn't have many knickknacks

...or furniture

...or a broom
I’ve got to second the air compressor for quick dusting. It blows dust out of the most detailed places with ease. Great for cleaning the flutes out of greenhouse polycarbonate greenhouse windows.

For hard to remove stickers I use peppermint oil.
Put a few drops on the label or sticker, let it sit for a while and then remove with ease.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
Using ammonia to clean years of accumulated baked-on gunk and grime from casseroles, baking pans, grill parts, etc...

Toss the dirty items into a plastic bag dump in a half cup of ammonia and seal the bag. Wait for 24-48 hours wash the items in hot sudsy water and watch the gunk slide right off.

I used that trick to clean several Pyrex items that I was too embarrassed to donate to the local thrift shop. After I cleaned them I held back a pie plate and a brownie pan because they looked so nice!
Good tip but I can't buy ammonia here anymore. So I do the same thing outside with oven cleaner spray. Easpecially stuff like broiler parts.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
A wet and dry shop vac is a handy item. Small ones are inexpensive. They are powerful.
If you drop something on a rug. Use rug shampoo. And then use the wet vac to suck up the moisture. Blot with paper towels and put a fan on to dry it.
I attach a broom handle on the hose and clean the area over the ceiling fan without having to get a ladder. Use the brush accessory for this.
Great for picking stuff up in tough spots. You don't have to bend down to pick up the beans.
 

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
Original Poster
I forget what brand it was but I couldn't find it again, may buy Lime-Away next time. It was for hard water stains in toilets.

Where do you buy the Borax? Is it pet safe? I just bought some Diaphomous (spell?) Earth so will try that for a while, it's pet safe and gets rid of critters with the hard shells, hope it works on both roaches and scorpions, they both come from outside under the front door flap.
Did you buy diatomaceous earth? I just googled it and apparently it works the same way as borax (which can be purchased on the laundry soap aisle or in a hardware store. (I know what this stuff is because we use it in our swimming pool filter and have to change it out once a year.)

Please let us know how it works - remember it will take a few weeks before you start to see serious results.
 

Camper6

Well-known member
Did you buy diatomaceous earth? I just googled it and apparently it works the same way as borax (which can be purchased on the laundry soap aisle or in a hardware store. (I know what this stuff is because we use it in our swimming pool filter and have to change it out once a year.)

Please let us know how it works - remember it will take a few weeks before you start to see serious results.
I have used both. Diatomaceous earth works outside really well because what it does is scratch the coating of the insect so it gets infected as they come up out of the soil Also known as fossil flower. We used it on our evergreens when we had an outbreak of budworn invasions.
Borax works because the insects get it on their feet and they lick it and it's poisonous to their system.
Borax is better indoors. You can also use boracic acid powder from the pharmacy. It's not as coarse as Borax.
Also good on ant hills. It's an ancient disenfectant for humans.
 

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
Original Poster
I have used both. Diatomaceous earth works outside really well because what it does is scratch the coating of the insect so it gets infected as they come up out of the soil Also known as fossil flower. We used it on our evergreens when we had an outbreak of budworn invasions.
Borax works because the insects get it on their feet and they lick it and it's poisonous to their system.
Borax is better indoors. You can also use boracic acid powder from the pharmacy. It's not as coarse as Borax.
Also good on ant hills. It's an ancient disenfectant for humans.
Wow! Good to know!
 

Aunt Bea

Well-known member
Location
Near Mount Pilot
If you make a mess clean it up immediately don’t procrastinate.
Along the same lines, when you start cooking fill the sink with hot sudsy water and clean up as you go along instead of waiting until you've finished and are facing a mountain of dirty dishes.

I started doing this out of necessity when I was starting out because I didn't have duplicates of many items that I needed to use more than once when preparing a meal. Now that I've been downsizing it's gone full circle and I'm back to about where I started.

 

Lc jones

Well-known member
Location
Florida
Along the same lines, when you start cooking fill the sink with hot sudsy water and clean up as you go along instead of waiting until you've finished and are facing a mountain of dirty dishes.

I started doing this out of necessity when I was starting out because I didn't have duplicates of many items that I needed to use more than once when preparing a meal. Now that I've been downsizing it's gone full circle and I'm back to about where I started.

Cute ☺😃
 

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