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Readers Weigh in Bananas, Buttons and Brown Sugar Readers Weigh in Bananas, Buttons and Brown Sugar Not long ago, the produce manager at my supermarket noticed me putting a bunch of bananas in my cart and offered this bit of handy information: When you get home from the store, separate the bananas …Read more. Everything is Negotiable What I know about the art and science of negotiating I learned as a matter of survival. Driven to save myself and my family from financial ruin, I jumped into the deep end of the real estate industry. I knew nothing about negotiating. All I knew was …Read more. Danger Signs You're Headed for the Debt Trap Debt. It's a four-letter word and certainly not ideal under any circumstances. Being debt-free is always better than being in debt. But not all debt is created equal. Generally, debt comes in two flavors: Secured and unsecured. Secured debts are …Read more. Insuring Youthful Drivers Dear Mary: Our 15-year-old daughter recently got her learner's permit. I called our auto insurance agent about how to handle this and she told us to add our daughter to our policy, which we did. Then we got a bill for an additional premium and paid …Read more.
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Spring Cleaning on My Mind

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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.

They will sparkle for days!

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 mary@everydaycheapskate.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.
COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

1 Comments | Post Comment
Dear Mary, I wanted to know the name of the rug cleaner that you recommended. I remember that it was a Hoover brand but am unsure of the rest of the name of the style of rug cleaner. You recommended using very hot water instead of soap when using the cleaner. Please inform me as I would like to purchase one for my home. Thank you. Sincerely, Deb Loucy
Comment: #1
Posted by: Debbie Loucy
Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:10 PM
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