Archive for the ‘laundry’ Category

Dear Readers,

This is the final installment of tips from Maureen’s e-mail.  I hope you find all of them informative and useful.

1.  Goodbye Fruit Flies:  To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass and fill it 1/2 inch with apple cider vinegar and 2 drops dish washing liquid.  Mix well.  You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

2.  Get Rid of Ants:  Put small piles of cornmeal wherever you see ants.  They eat it, take it “home”, and can’t digest it so it kills them.  It may take a week or so to take effect, especially if it rains.  But it works and you don’t have to worry about small children or pets being harmed.

3.  Info About Clothes Dryers:  The heating unit went out on my dryer.  The repairman said he wanted to show me something.  He went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter.  It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.)  He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it.  (The line filter is made of a mesh material.)  The hot water just sat on top of the mesh.  It didn’t go through at all.  He told me that dryer sheets produce a film over that mesh and that’s what burns out the heating unit.  You can’t see the film, but it’s there.  It’s what is in the dryer sheets that make your clothes soft and static free.  You can actually feel this waxy film on the unused dryer sheets.  It builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen.  This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn your house down!  He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time and to keep your electric bill lower is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water, using an old toothbrush.  Do this at least once every six months.  He said that will make the dryer last twice as long.

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

The “Ask Heloise” column in the November, 2009 Good Housekeeping magazine had a couple of interesting tips for homemakers.  The following is quoted directly from the article:

“Question: I’ve had it! How do I keep our bedsheets from balling up in the dryer?  They all come out in one bunch, and portions of the sheets aren’t dry.  What can I do? – Patti Berg, Spokane, WA.

Tangling occurs because most dryers only spin in one direction (newer models with a reverse-spin feature can be pricey).  Solution:  When you take the sheets out of the washer, particularly a top loader, shake each one out and untwist it before putting it into the dryer.  Then do a load of only the sheets, nothing else.  Stop the dryer about halfway through the cycle and shake the sheets to unbundle before putting them back in.  If the sheets are king-size, you may need to redistribute them twice during the cycle.

Question:  I burned tomatoes in a large pot – they now seem glued to the bottom.  How do I remove this awful mess?  – Seena Stern, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Fill the pot with water, add a drop or two of dish soap, and mix.  Put the pot on the stove, bring to a boil, and turn off the heat.  Let it sit, with the lid on to contain steam, until it cools;  scrub away the burned-on gunk with a plastic or nylon scrub brush.  To boost cleaning, sprinkle the bottom of the pot (until it’s covered) with salt or baking soda, which will act like an abrasive but won’t scratch the pot’s finish.”

Hope you find these tips helpful.

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

In the interest of full disclosure, this tip did not originate with Mimi but came from a dear friend, Sue, who thought it may be a good topic for this blog.  I wholeheartedly agree and am going to quote verbatim from her informative e-mail.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this past week trying to figure out how to get the mothball smell out of my winter clothes – both cotton and wool.  I hadn’t used mothballs for a long time because I thought I was somehow immune to this plague.  Then I wore a favorite brown cardigan over a blue top last winter and someone pointed out that they could see blue through the moth holes in my sweater; boy, was I embarrassed.

This summer I was conscientious again and used mothballs; but when I opened the drawers in the dresser this fall, the smell was overwhelming.  I tried leaving the drawers open, hanging the clothes on the line (though not for a long period of time), all to no avail.

I finally googled for answers this weekend and found the answer.  Following information I found on various websites, I bought dryer sheets (which I otherwise avoid on the theory that fewer chemicals are better.)  I put the clean, dry clothes in the dryer on the “delicates/knits” setting with 3 dryer sheets and gave it a full cycle.  Everything came out smell-free.

I bought Seventh Generation dryer sheets because they seem to be reasonably “green” and because they have no perfume”.

Thanks, Sue, for this great tip.  I’m sure the readers will find it very helpful and remember to

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Was recently reminded that the last week of March is National Cleaning Week.  Mimi would be falling down on the job if she neglected to mention this as a “motherly tip”.

Years ago every spring about 3 or 4 weeks were devoted to housecleaning our entire home and I do mean “entire”!  Life is too hectic now to invest that much time in cleaning!  But if you are in the mood to tackle one room at a time, I have some tips.

Today we’ll concentrate on spring cleaning a bedroom (the easiest room).  Future blogs will highlight other rooms.  Wouldn’t want to overwhelm you with too many hints!

Always clean from top to bottom.  Attach a clean rag, preferably an old tee shirt onto a dust mop or broom and dust the edges where the ceiling meets the walls and down each corner where the walls meet.  This removes any cobwebs.  This is a good time to get a ladder and thoroughly dust the ceiling fan.  You’ll be surprised how much dust is on the blades.

Make a mild solution of Mr. Clean and water to clean all the woodwork, including the doors and frames.  Next wash windows and window sills.

Wash blankets and mattress pads.  Sheets should be laundered weekly.  Rotate mattress.  If possible, lift up box springs and vacuum carpet under bed.  It will be extremely dusty, trust me.

Thoroughly endust all furniture and wipe off lamps and doodads sitting on the furniture.

Use edge attachment on vacuum to completely clean edge of carpet and then vacuum entire bedroom floor.

If you’re really ambitious, straighten out drawers and closets.  Give away old clothes.  Dust off shoes.  Refold underwear and sweaters in drawers and dust inside of drawers.  All of this should really be the first thing you do before you clean the room.

If possible, hang mattress pads and blankets outside to dry.  They will smell so fresh on the bed.

Happy Cleaning and as always,

Keep Smilin’!

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Another Laundry Tip

Dear Readers,

A close friend recently suggested that Mimi write a blog about sorting clothes for laundering.  So here’s my take on the subject.

White Clothes:  Sturdy whites such as athletic socks, men’s tee shirts and underwear and men’s handkerchiefs can be washed in hot water on a regular cycle.  Add a little bleach now and then to keep them white.  Oxyclean is also a good whitener.

White dress shirts and blouses and women’s tops can be washed in warm water on a perma-press cycle.

White delicates such as lingerie should be washed on a delicate cyle with either warm or cold water.

Light pastel colors can be washed together with warm or cold water, using a perma-press or delicate cycle, depending on the type of clothing.

Medium color clothes can be grouped together using the same procedure as pastel colors.

Dark clothes such as jeans, dark socks and sweatshirts can be combined using cold water on a regular cycle, if they are made of sturdy fabrics.

Towels of like color can be laundered in hot or warm water depending on color on a regular cycle.  (Read an article once that stated hot water is best for ridding clothes of bacteria.  I tend to agree with this but I also realize that some fabrics can’t tolerate hot water.)

Most sheets can be washed in warm water on a regular cycle.

Red is a very tricky color, when it comes to laundering.   I always wash red clothes in cold water in a separate load.  Red tends to bleed no matter how many times it has been washed.

Black is another tricky color and can also bleed, although after a few washings, this usually stops.

Checked my washer manual for more tips and came up with this:  “Sort lint givers (towels, chenille) from lint takers (corduroy, synthetics) to prevent lint”.

Always check pockets for kleenex because it can create havoc in the washer!!!  If you miss one, just shake kleenex residue off wet clothes outdoors, clean inside of washer tub and remaining kleenex will come off in the dryer.  Don’t forget to clean the residue off the lint filter.  And don’t worry, we’ve all had kleenex catastrophes, even Mimi!

If any reader has any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment.

And as always,

Keep smilin’!

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“Three Sheets to the Wind”

Dear Readers,

Maybe you’ve heard of the expression “three sheets to the wind” used to describe someone who has imbibed too much alcohol.  Well, Mimi has a new twist on this phrase:  “three sheets in the wind”.  Yes, I’m talking green here!

What better way to save electricity than hanging “sheets in the wind” on a clothesline.  Seriously, just think how you could help Mother Earth by hanging just one load of sheets a week out to dry.  The sheets will smell wonderfully fresh and the process won’t take long.  Give it a try!

The word “clothesline” reminds me of my Mom hanging up wash every Monday.  She hung her laundry like a work of art:  all the socks lined up with the heels pointing the same way, blue jeans arranged together inside out (the denim doesn’t fade as quickly and it dries quicker this way), and all the same type of clothes placed on the line together.  Her whites were the whitest – she was a “Tide” woman!

Mom had an unusual way of determining if the laundry was hung outdoors or in the basement.  She would look up at the sky and tell us that “if there was enough blue to make Johnny a pair of pants”, there would be no rain that day!  It usually worked, too.  But my sisters and I always wondered just how large was Johnny???

Keep smilin’!

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