Household Hints


  • To clean crystal, soak in water, vinegar and a little salt.
  • The interior of your microwave oven can be cleaned without scratching the finish by using a little baking soda on a wet cloth.
  • Clean sticky oil bottles with 1/2 cup (125 ml) vinegar, 1 Tbsp. (7 ml) soda and 1 cup (250 ml) hot water. Shake well.
  • To clean windows, mix together 4 cups (1 L) lukewarm water and 1/4 cup (75 ml) cornstarch. This mixture is not to be heated. Apply with cloth and wipe dry quickly. Do this preferably on a cool and cloudy day.
  • To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove-top. Your skillet will be much easier to clean.
  • Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces. You won’t have any more stains.
  • If you have a problem opening jars try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
  • Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.


  • The secret of all egg cooking is low temperature.
  • Prevent cooking odors by boiling a little water with vinegar on stove while cooking.
  • Juice of a lemon in your pastry will make the texture finer.
  • A teaspoon (5 ml) of baking powder in your bread pudding mixture will make the pudding lighter and fluffy.
  • Shake salt into the fat when frying fish. The fish will retain its shape and not break up.
  • Apple pie has better flavor if a little salt is sprinkled over the apples before putting on the upper crust.
  • You don’t have to spend a lot on gourmet coffees—you can make your inexpensive coffees by adding cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla or any other flavors your like.
  • Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
  • Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispie treats in the pan; the marshmallow won’t stick to your fingers.
  • When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead.  You won’t have a white mess on the outside of the cake.
  • Brush beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
  • When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn’s natural sweetness.
  • Use a meat baster to “squeeze” your pancake batter onto the hot griddle for perfectly shaped pancakes every time!

Food storage

  • Frozen butter can be spread by slicing with a potato peeler.
  • To keep grease from splattering, sprinkle a little salt into the fat
  • Loosen grease or crust from boiled-over pies in the oven by placing a cloth saturated with washing ammonia in the oven and leaving for a few hours.
  • Serve pineapple in any form when serving beans or cabbage to prevent bloating.
  • To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
  • To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.
  • Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it back up.
  • To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water.
    If it sinks, it is fresh. But if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

Clothing and personal care

  • To remove ballpoint ink from leather or vinyl, try rubbing with milk.
  • Before working in the garden, rub your fingernails over a piece of soap. Dirt can’t get in, and soap comes out easily when washing.
  • Soak tired feet in hot water to which vinegar has been added.
  • Remove salt and sand stains easily by washing with water and a little vinegar.
  • Corduroys will stay brighter (and lint-free) if you add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
  • To cure headaches, take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing feeling will go away.
  • When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
  • To get rid of the itch from a mosquito bite, try applying soap on the area for instant relief.
  • Ants, ants, ants everywhere…well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. You’ll see for yourself they won’t cross the line!
  • Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.

Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer:

  • Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action cleans vitreous china.
  • Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka-Seltzer tablets.
  • Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
  • Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka-Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).
  • Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

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