I love things that make housekeeping easier and prolong the life of my stuff. These are some my favorite household tips and tricks, gathered over the years from a variety of sources.
When my split shag carpet was installed I asked the installers how best care for it. I was advised to buy an outdoor leaf rake for inside and rake the carpet weekly so the nap would remain fluffy. That is something I never in a million years would have thought to do on my own, but it works. There is even a rake specifically made for carpet maintenance.
Furniture Nicks & Scratches
From the owner of a used furniture store, I learned a black Sharpie marker is the absolute best way to cover small nicks and scratches on wood furniture. I have used it on all shades of wood successfully. It works best by going lightly against the grain of the wood with the marker, then wipe gently with a paper towel quickly before it dries. This helps to blur the definition of the marker line. You could use a finger to wipe it (preferably your own) if you don’t mind having Sharpie stains for a while.
Kicking Ready-Made Mixes Up for Homemade Flavor
From a caterer friend, I learned a secret for making ready-made mixes taste a little more homemade. For sweet mixes like cake, brownie, or cookie add a bit of vanilla when mixing. For savory gravy mixes add a shake of poultry seasoning and black pepper. It really makes a difference.
Getting Rid of Stubborn Carpet Stains
From a professional carpet cleaner I learned equal parts hydrogen peroxide and ammonia make an unbeatable stain remover. That chocolate milk stain I thought we would be living with forever, gone. Only mix what you will need because after twenty-four hours it loses all effectiveness.
Magically Remove Water Marks
Magic Eraser sponges will take water marks off your table. I kid you not, rub very gently or the varnish might be damaged and use some furniture polish afterward, if you don’t it leaves a dull spot. I learned this one by the tried and true trial and error method. The sponges also work great for removing crayon marks from painted walls.
Lighting Candles or Sparklers
Use an uncooked strand of spaghetti to light candles on birthday cakes or sparklers at holiday time. It works wonderfully, no burned fingers from holding the lighter’s button down.
What are some of your favorite household tips and tricks?