Simple, cheap solutions for around your home

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Want to juice without a juicer? Clean windows and unclog drains cheaply and greenly? Read on for some simple and inexpensive solutions to everyday home challenges…

Get rid of those black spots (mold) on your plastic liner easily and cheaply. Toss it in the washing machine with 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and a tennis ball. Launder as usual. The ball’s friction scrubs off grime and the vinegar kills mold.

I especially like doing this when we have large gatherings and serve food on paper plates, which tend to fill up the trash bag quicker and then it slides down inside the trash can, creating messy spills inside my can. Snip the waistband off an old pair of pantyhose and stretch it over the folded-over bag. Position the waistband right under the lip of the can. The bag won’t move, even when heavier items get tossed in and no mess. Take off when emptying the can and reuse. If you don’t own a pair of pantyhose, you can pick up a pair at the dollar stores and only be out a dollar.

For a super inexpensive way to hang necklaces so that you can easily see them, use shower-curtain rings. I picked mine up at the Dollar Tree for a dollar. Open the shower-curtain ring for necklaces that don’t have a clasp and slide it on or for necklaces with clasps, simply clasp it on. You can hang these from anything but for those tight on space, hook the curtain-ring on a hanger and store in your closet.

Here’s an inexpensive, natural and effective way to clean your windows and make them crystal-clear…Mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a 24 oz. spray bottle. Fill with warm water and shake well. The cornstarch actually makes this thicker than your typical window cleaner but it helps keep it from dripping. The vinegar and rubbing alcohol will remove smudges and dirt from the glass.

We all know to clean out our lint trap on dryers (and if you don’t, clean out your lint trap), but can you get it even cleaner? There can actually be an invisible film over the lint trap. The easiest way to check is to remove the trap, place it under the faucet and turn on the water. If water collects on the top, it needs to be cleaned. Just use a toothbrush with warm, soapy water and scrub. This will make your dryer run more efficiently, which saves money and helps prevent fire hazards.

We have lots of cool shelves throughout our house, including really high ones and different shaped windows with nice wide ledges. They would look even better with beautiful vases, glass pieces and even pictures that leaned instead of being hung. And they would except for the fact that we have 4 cats who like to jump. Nothing is out of their reach because they are all fearless and curious and obviously, not disciplined. The cats chase each other on every space so anything that can break, well, it doesn’t get to be displayed. But someone just told me their solution to that problem and it’s so easy and inexpensive. Apparently there’s a product called Museum Putty that you can apply to the base of your breakable decor (or anything you want to stay put.) You roll the putty into pea-size balls and then apply to the base of whatever. Press down lightly, twist to secure and voila…it can’t be knocked over.

If you want to juice but don’t have the bucks to buy a juicer, or just don’t want to make a commitment to one without knowing if you’re ‘really’ use it, use a paint-strainer bag along with your blender. Add your fruits/veggies to the blender, along with some water and blend until smooth. Pour the juice through the strainer into your glass. The paint-strainer bag is durable and perfectly strains with its tight, nylon mesh. When you’re done, rinse it out and reuse. If you like the “juicing” results, you can invest in a juicer and if you don’t like it, you’re out a couple of bucks.

My husband just went to the store and bought a BIG pack of drain cleaner, which I hate to use because of all the chemicals. A friend of mine, who lives in an older home with old plumbing, swears by her grandma’s natural recipe for clearing drains. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar down the drain. After 10 minutes of sitting, run very hot water down the drain. Supposedly the baking soda reacts with the vinegar’s acid that creates a bubbling gas, which will loosen the clog. I haven’t personally tried this because I didn’t have a clog to clear and wasn’t going to clog it on purpose. If you’ve tried this or do try it, let us know how it worked for you.

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