Carpeted Stairs Challenge and Old Furniture Rescue Dear Mary: I am going to have to buy a new vacuum cleaner soon and wanted to know your thoughts on the new Shark Navigator with the lift off container. — Wanda Dear Wanda: Oh, my, you could not make a better choice than a Shark Navigator …Read more. Five Moves to Simplify Your Spending I know what you're thinking: "simplify" and "spending" in the same sentence? Ha! Like that's even possible when we have credit cards, bank accounts, bills, bill-paying options, fees, penalties and interest rates to keep track of. How can we possibly …Read more. On Culinary Lore and Exceptional Marketing Quite possibly one of my favorite aspects of writing this column is the mountain of reader feedback it produces. I have the best readers in the universe, too. Nearly every letter turns into a love fest, which of course charges my batteries, making …Read more. Six Ways Money CAN Buy Happiness I believe it's true that money cannot buy happiness. Think about all the miserable people you've read about or know personally — celebrities, professional athletes, perhaps friends or family — who happen to be rich. If money could buy …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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.