Fun and Clever Ways to Use This for That Recently, as I was half way out the door, car keys in hand and on the way to the home improvement center, I remembered that I might already have what I needed. Cooking spray! That's it. I'd heard that it just might work. It did, and quite perfectly, …Read more. How to Buy a New Car with All Cash I wouldn't walk across hot coals for the fun of it. But if I could be shown how a short, painful walk would do away with a lifetime of worry, frustration and the fear that comes with constantly being broke, I'd do it. While the method that follows …Read more. Tricks Retailers Use to Get Us to Spend More Who knew that the male brain is hot-wired to believe if a price tag is printed in red, it's a bargain — even if that item's not on sale and it's just the regular price? I didn't, but I don't doubt the Oxford University study that found men …Read more. Letters From my Readers Dear Mary: I wanted to tell you the secret of sticking to a budget on our family vacation — something we've had a hard time achieving in the past. This year, we let our teenage daughter plan the vacation. Seems too simple. We told her the …Read more.more articles
Spring Cleaning on My Mind
I am getting impatient. It's been a long winter, and I am so ready for spring. Can you identify? I am not complaining because I know that compared to many who have endured a very long and bitterly cold winter, I've had it easy. Still, I can hardly wait. I promise; spring is coming! And just the thought makes me want to throw open the windows and start cleaning!
Today I have a collection of formulas to help you with just about every cleaning task -- solutions that really work well and will not break the budget.
ALL-PURPOSE FLOOR CLEANER. Mix 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar (depending on how tough the situation is) in a bucket of very hot water. Apply with a mop to any type of floor, including hardwood. No need to rinse, but you will want to wring out the mop often and remove as much liquid as possible to speed the drying time.
CLEANER FOR PAINTED CABINETS. Make a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of white vinegar, and 1 gallon of warm water. Press a hot, damp cloth against grease deposits on painted kitchen cabinets until they soften. Wash cabinets with a sponge and this solution. Rinse off with a clean sponge and water. Wipe cabinets completely dry.
WINDOW, GLASS AND MIRROR CLEANER. Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into 2 quarts of very warm water. Fill a spray bottle. Rub the mixture on the window using a soft cloth. Follow with a clean, dry cloth to dry and shine the windows.
CARPET FRESHENER AND DEODORIZER. Sprinkle the carpet liberally with baking soda. Allow it to sit overnight. Vacuum it thoroughly in the morning. Your carpet will be fresh and sweet-smelling with no overpowering "perfumey" smell. Hint: Start with an empty vacuum bag or receptacle because it's going to fill up fast.
WALLS. Combine in a large spray bottle: 1 tablespoon of borax (20 Mule Team Borax is one brand that you will find in the laundry aisle), 3/8 cup of white vinegar, and 1 quart of very hot water. Use this to clean just about anything around the house, including walls and woodwork.
TUB AND TILE CLEANER. Fill 1/4 of a spray bottle with original blue Dawn dishwashing liquid, and add white vinegar to fill the bottle. Shake the bottle to mix it. Spray it on the tub and shower floors and walls. Allow it to sit for up to 1 hour if you have a great deal of soap and scum buildup. Scrub as necessary, then rinse well. Be prepared to be amazed.
I have hundreds more recipes for household cleaners, health and beauty tips, and garden and craft solutions, too. I've compiled them into a booklet called "Cheapskate Solutions." To get a copy, send $6 to Debt-Proof Living, Dept. CS, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. I'll send you a copy right away!
Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 17 books, including "Debt-Proof Living." You can e-mail her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.