Caught in the Web

Household Tips at Your Fingertips

by Laura Emery, Field Editor

There’s no way to avoid the mishaps of life that come your way when you least

expect them. But knowing what to do in the face of life’s little emergencies can make a world of difference. For example, what do you do if you spill grease on your new blouse? If you can’t get to a store, how do you ward off ticks with common household ingredients? How do you perk up soggy lettuce? How do you open a jar that doesn’t seem to want to open?

The World Wide Web is many different things to many different people, but if you know where to look, the Web can make your life a whole lot easier. The following Web sites are filled with interesting household tips and tricks. Disclaimer: All of the tips contained within these Web sites are not absolutely guaranteed to work, but if one might save you some time and headaches, then it’s worth a try.

AngleFire.Com (www.angelfire.com/de3/freebiejeebies/householdtips.html) is loaded with a variety of tips to make your life a little easier. It has been divided into sections to help you more quickly find the tip you need. There are ideas for keeping your bathroom sparkling clean, tips to help with your beauty routine, tips to help in and around the garden, tips for all kinds of stubborn stains, tips for your furry friends, and much more. Sample tip for stains: An easy way to remove dried wax from carpets, clothes, and even tablecloths —- take a couple of paper towels and a hot iron. Iron the paper towels on top of the wax and the paper towels will soak up the wax as it warms up.

The Hometips Web site (www.hometips.com) is a one-stop resource for help with home improvement, remodeling houses, home repair, decorating, and buying appliances and other home products. This Web site includes home safety tips, as well as heating and energy tips.

The Fun Place (www.thefunplace.com/house/tips/hhtips.html) has a number of extremely useful tips for everything from mouse control to how to put out a grease fire. For a sampling of what you’ll find, here are a few household tips worth remembering. Freezers run more efficiently when they’re three-quarters or more full. When provisions drop, fill milk cartons or jugs with water and put them in the freezer to take up empty space. Also, to keep your extension cords from getting tangled, insert them into empty toilet paper rolls to store. Refrigerate candles for several hours before lighting; there will be fewer drips. Lemon extract will remove scuff marks from luggage. Never use disinfectants to clean the fridge; foods will pick up taste and odor.

Handy Household Tips (http://householdtips.org) is another source for household tips. For example, this site tells you how to determine whether an egg is fresh. To tell if your eggs are still fresh, immerse one in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh; if it rises to the surface, throw it away. Another tip: Potatoes will take food stains off of your hands. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water. Also, this Web site suggests you stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips. Or, if you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's cooking, drop in a peeled potato — it absorbs the excess salt for an instant “fix up.”

Do It Yourself Network (www.diynet.com) has a section on household tips that range from combating closet clutter and washing windows to mattress maintenance and taking care of your tiles. Go to the main page, then click on “Living,” and then click on “Household Tips.” To get rid of water and heat marks on wood furniture, this Web site recommends applying a little mayonnaise (not salad dressing) onto the spots. To get rid of spots on the wall, dab the corner of a white rag in baking soda and rub gently on the mark.

Discover hundreds of cooking tips to make life easier in the kitchen. E-Cookbooks.Net (www.e-cookbooks.net/tips.htm) is filled with tips for everything from food safety to making your own spice mixes. Here are a couple of tidbits you can find on this site: To avoid “curly” bacon for breakfast, dip it into cold water before frying. Also, try thawing fish in milk for fresher flavor.

Foodgeeks.com (http://foodgeeks.com) has a good-sized collection of tips and tricks. For example: Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful, glossy finish. Or, to make your dishwasher sparkle like new, run one normal washing cycle using Tang, instead of detergent. (The dishwasher should be empty when doing this.) Repeat every 3 months or so. Also, to keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.  

 

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