Saturday, September 15, 2012

15 Ingenious Uses for Baking Soda, Beyond the Kitchen!
Baking soda is great for cleaning Ever find yourself searching for secret tricks to get something clean? Well, I do. I found myself wondering a few weeks ago how to get the metal smell off of costume jewelry and how to get the stains off memory foam mattresses. In my searching I ran across secret formulas using baking soda as the cure-all. I gave both recipes a shot and to my surprise my problems were solved. So I hit the world wide web to find out what other uses good ol’ baking soda had. Here are some ingenious uses that have me wanting to load up on baking soda. Here’s the kicker … it’s green! 1. Removing the Metal Smell From Jewelry Add ¼ cup baking soda and hot water to a medium-sized mixing bowl and soak jewelry for 24 hours. Smell is gone and jewelry has a new shine! 2. Removing Urine Stains From Mattresses Add ¼ cup baking soda to 1 quart hydrogen peroxide. Add one squirt of dish soap to a bowl. Mix gently to avoid creating bubbles. Pour mixture into a squirt bottle and spray mattress stains. You don’t need to scrub: as the solution dries, your stains disappear! We tried this trick on our memory foam mattress after failed attempts to scrub with various cleaners. 3. Polish Silver Using three parts baking soda, one part water, and a clean sponge, rub mixture onto your silver and flatware. Rinse and dry thoroughly. 4. Coffee Pots and Tea Pots Use ¼ cup of baking soda in 1 quart warm water. Soak or scrub coffee/tea pots, cups, and machines to remove build up and stains. Nothing like a fresh (and clean) cup of coffee! 5. Remove Crayon From Walls Sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge and gently rub on walls. Can also be used on furniture to polish and remove grime … and it’s nonabrasive. 6. Enhance Laundry Detergent Add ½ cup of baking soda to your washing machine along with your normal detergent for an extra boost in cleaning, freshening, and brightening your clothes. 7. Oil Stains on Concrete Remove light oil spots in the garage or driveway by sprinkling baking soda and scrubbing with a wet brush. 8. De-stink the Sports Gear Using ¼ cup baking soda and 1 quart warm water, you can deodorize sports equipment. Rub or squirt mixture on and rinse thoroughly. 9. Deodorize Almost Anything Sprinkle or place open box of baking soda in refrigerator, freezers, lunch boxes, shoes, closets, drains — you name it — to help remove unwanted odors. 10. Carpets Help eliminate the odors and freshen the carpet. Sprinkle liberally and let sit for as long as possible — hours or overnight — then vacuum. Try this on your kids’ mattresses, too. Just sprinkle and vacuum! 11. Toothpaste Boost Sprinkle baking soda on your toothpaste before brushing for an extra boost, or just brush with pure baking soda to help whiten. 12. Body Scrub Use three parts baking soda and one part water for a gentle exfoliator on your face and body in the shower. 13. Hair Cleanser Add a pinch to your shampoo once or twice a week to remove product buildup. 14. Drain Unclogger Pour ½ cup baking soda and ½ cup vinegar down a clogged drain, cover with a wet cloth, and wait five minutes. Then flush with steaming hot water. 15. Linen Closet Freshener Store a box or two of opened baking soda in your linen closet to ward off the mustiness caused by time. These are just a few of the many uses for baking soda beyond the kitchen. I’m always curious to hear about more. What cleaning secrets do you have?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

7 Things Parents Say (You’ll Say Them, Too!) You will be surprised at what comes out of your mouth sometimes Before I became a parent, there were so many things I swore I’d never say to my child — many of which I’ve already uttered, even though my child just barely turned two. Below is my list of clich├ęd things parents say, coming soon to a home near you
1. “Mommy loves/wants/would like you to” etc. Ah, yes — speaking in the third person. It’s not just for Bob Dole anymore. 2. “See, that’s why I told you not to…” Because after-the-fact rationalizations are so effective with a toddler. 3. “Do you want apple juice, orange juice, or grape juice?” This one is a two-fer in that I always swore that a) I wouldn’t give my children oodles of choices about what to eat and drink, and b) I would largely keep them away from the intensive sugar delivery system that is a sippy cup full of juice.
4. “Do you want to pick up your toys now?” Shockingly, the only answer I ever get to this one is “no.” 5. “We don’t hit.” I guess I thought I’d get a perfectly behaved child for whom this admonition wouldn’t be necessary — or maybe that I’d just hypocritically smack her across the bottom if she smacked someone else. Not sure, really, but this statement is part of my repertoire now.