Tips at Your Fingertips
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.
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.