Tips and Tricks

Cleaning Tips
I share this with you because this is my primary way to clean and has been for many years and low and behold, someone wrote it all down for me. Enjoy!

From RVing Tip of the Day (http://rvtravel.com/rvdt867/ )

Clean thoroughly for peanuts!

By Bob Difley
Before buying those high-priced, fancy-packaged, specialized cleaning supplies, try these two items you probably already have in your rig. Even if you don’t have them already, they’re readily available in any grocery store – and you may be pleasantly surprised at their versatility.

What are these magic ingredients? White vinegar and baking soda! Don’t believe it? Try this on your oven – one of the toughest cleaning jobs – to convince yourself. Prepare a solution of 1/2 cup each of vinegar and baking soda with 3 cups of water. Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin and apply with a kitchen towel or sponge. Allow the solution to stand for a few minutes, then wipe off. You will only need to scrub the very toughest burned-on food.

How about windows? Wipe solution on with a sponge then wash off with a hose (outside, of course!) and enjoy your new sparkling, streak-free windows. Use vinegar mixed with 3 parts water (you can vary this mixture based on the difficulty of the cleaning job) for less difficult jobs. Here are some more cleaning tips:

Vinegar
Remove stick-on hooks from painted surfaces by squeezing a few drops of vinegar behind the hook.
Price labels will come off by coating the label with several coats of white vinegar and let soak. After several minutes the label will rub off.
Lime deposits around faucets can be softened for easy removal by covering the deposits with vinegar-soaked paper towels. Leave the paper towels on for about one hour before cleaning. Leaves chrome clean and shiny.
Vinegar removes deposits which clog your metal shower heads and sink aerators. Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and one-quart water and submerge the shower head or aerators and boil 15 minutes. Or put the mixture in a plastic bag, secure to the shower head with a rubber band, leave on for about an hour, then remove the bag and turn on the water to rinse.
For a homemade anti-fogging glass cleaner try 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water.
Remove rust stains and hard water deposits by applying vinegar full-strength until spot disappears, then rinse.
Mix vinegar with salt to create a paste for a good surface cleaner.
Remove stubborn hard water sprinkler spots and streaks on glass with undiluted vinegar.
Clean teapots by boiling equal parts of vinegar and water for several minutes and let stand an hour. Then rinse with plain water before using the tea kettle.
Baking Soda
You can cut the amount of chlorine bleach used in your wash by half when you add 1/4 cup to front-loading washers and 1/2 cup to top-loading machines.
The baking soda will also make your clothes smell clean and fresh.
Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1-quart warm water for a general cleaner.
Use baking soda on a damp sponge to clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
A paste of baking soda and salt will clean baking dishes – enamel, ceramic and glass – and coffee stains from cups or countertops.
It is a great soap scum remover.
For sluggish or clogged drains pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and cover the drain. Let sit for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of 6 or more cups of boiling water down the drain to flush it. The combination of baking soda and vinegar breaks down fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash down the drain.




Floor Cleaner
Homemade Floor Cleaner For All Types Of Floors
It is easy to see I have had some extra time lately by the bent of my posts. I have based them on conversations I have had lately with people on various subjects and this one falls into that category.
Tried and true homemade floor cleaner. I have used this mixture for several years now. I mix it up and divide it into two spray bottles. One for the Motorhome and one for the tiny house. Sometimes I make a half batch. It is a great all-purpose cleaner and sanitizer. Read all the directions for best results. Common sense, so don't over think it.

How to make homemade floor cleaner from HousewifeHowTos.com
You probably already have all of the ingredients needed to make your own homemade floor cleaner — one which gets your floors just as shiny clean as the commercial stuff.

So, why would you want to? Because it’s for your own good.

Commercial cleaning products contribute greatly to indoor air pollution. For people with allergies or asthma, indoor air quality is critical to good health.

Now, add in pets or young children who spend a lot of time on the floor. Do you really want their paws or pacifiers having that much contact with harsh solvents?


If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: it costs just pennies to make enough homemade floor cleaner to clean your floors for months. That’s right: pennies. Why shell out $3 or more for a commercial cleaner that’s bad for you and your family when you can whip up your own with ingredients you already have?

You only need this one homemade floor cleaner to clean every hard flooring surface in your home. It works on laminate. It works on hardwood. It even works on vinyl, linoleum, and tile. Yep, you can use it on marble or granite: the vinegar used in the recipe is so diluted that it won’t damage them. It even works on cement!

Have I mentioned that, after powering through grime, it also leaves a gorgeous shine?


How To Make Homemade Floor Cleaner
Ingredients:
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol 
3 drops liquid dish soap (See Note below)
5-10 drops essential oils (optional)
Important notes: We all like to swap things around in DIY cleaning recipes, but before you do there are some things you should know:

• Don’t use a dish soap that contains moisturizers, antibacterial ingredients, or “oxygen bleach”. I use Dawn Original (Classic), which is similar to Sunlight or Fairy in the UK.

• Do NOT swap Castille soap for the dish soap — it’s an oil-based soap and will, therefore, leave streaks and smears.

• If you use essential oils be sure they aren’t compounds (i.e., those with fragrance added to grapeseed or some other form of oil).

• You CAN use this on granite, marble, and natural stone floors. I’ve been doing it for years without a problem. The reason is that the vinegar in this solution is diluted by the water and other ingredients, so it doesn’t remain acidic enough to cause etching.

How To Use Homemade Floor Cleaner
Follow the recipe above. This works equally well regardless of whether you use a bucket or spray bottle to dispense your floor cleaner as you mop. Of course, you’ll have to dump out what’s left in the bucket after use, while anything left in the spray bottle can be stored in a dark, cool place for future cleanings.

So now what will you do with those different bottles of cleaning products taking up space on your shelves? Use them up if it bothers you to have spent money on them, or get rid of them now and make the switch to homemade floor cleaner. Just, please, dispose of them properly.


Going old school for TV
On more than one occasion we have been asked about how we get by without satellite or cable TV. I found this website that would be very helpful for anyone considering it.

Before determining what type of antenna you will need, find out how far away you are from the TV stations you want to watch.

I used this site " www.channelmaster.com/Antenna-Selection-a/134.htm" to get an idea of the stations close to me. I soon realized that most of the stations were 43 miles from my location. In total, I had around 29 channels at my disposal. 

What I loved about this site is that it gave me feedback about the signal strength for each channel in relation to my location. Also, it recommended the location of the antenna for the best channel reception.
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Car Keys

Put your car keys beside your bed at night.


Tell your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your parents, your Dr's office, the check-out girl at the market, everyone you run across. Put your car keys beside your bed at night.

If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies.

This tip came from a neighborhood watch coordinator. Next time you come home for the night and you start to put your keys away, think of this: It's a security alarm system that you probably already have and requires no installation. Test it. It will go off from most everywhere inside your house and will keep honking until your battery runs down or until you reset it with the button on the key fob chain. It works if you park in your driveway or garage.

If your car alarm goes off when someone is trying to break into your house, odds are the burglar/rapist won't stick around. After a few seconds, all the neighbors will be looking out their windows to see who is out there and sure enough, the criminal won't want that. And remember to carry your keys while walking to your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there. This is something that should really be shared with everyone. Maybe it could save a life or a sexual abuse crime.

P.S. I am sending this to everyone I know because I think it is fantastic. Would also be useful for any emergency, such as a heart attack, where you can't reach a phone. My Mom has suggested to my Dad that he carry his car keys with him in case he falls outside and she doesn't hear him..... He can activate the car alarm and then she'll know there's a problem.

Please pass this on even IF you've read it before. It's a reminder.


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Bug Battles!!!
Colleen does this to keep bugs out of her house in Florida and I have written it down so I will remember. She assures me she doesn't have bugs in her house. If this keeps them out in Florida it should certainly work here.
1. Borax all around the outside of the house.
2. Bay leaves in kitchen cupboards.
3. Fresh Rosemary sprigs in the remainder of the house.

I plan to follow her formula. I am so tired of fighting insects in my house.
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The Amazing Tea Tree Oil Mold and Mildew Killer


If you're sick and tired of treating mold and mildew in your space, DIY this antifungal spray that keeps it from taking over damp spots. Although this helpful cleaner won't get rid of existing stains, it will keep the nastiness from coming back. Tea tree oil is naturally antifungal, making it an eco-friendly option for keeping your space clean.
What You'll Need:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
20 drops tea tree oil
Small spray bottle
Directions:
  1. Mix together the vinegar and water in a small spray bottle. Vinegar is naturally antibacterial, which gives a bit of a cleaning boost to this spray. Now add the tea tree oil, and give the bottle a little shake.

To use, simply spray over tiles, tubs, showers, and sinks with lurking mold or mildew, and walk away. If the areas have existing mold or mildew stains, it's a good idea to treat them with hydrogen peroxide to naturally bleach away marks.
Stash in your bathroom, and use daily for best results.


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Homemade Mosquito Trap
A user's photo.

WITH WARMER WEATHER COMES MOSQUITOS! WITH SUMMER APPROACHING I THOUGHT I'D SHARE THIS .
This is a homemade trap to help keep you and the kiddos from being a blood donor!!!
HOMEMADE MOSQUITO TRAP:
Items needed:
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 gram of yeast
1 2-liter bottle
HOW:
1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
2. Mix brown sugar with hot water. Let cool. When cold, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
3. Add the yeast. No need to mix. It creates carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle, taping them together if desired.
5. Wrap the bottle with something black, leaving the top uncovered, and place it outside in an area away from your normal gathering area. (Mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black.)
Change the solution every 2 weeks for continuous control.

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