Monday, July 05, 2004

Helpful household hints (for the lazy) from Imogene

I'm working on gathering a few of these... I'm no Heloise, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

How to keep a copper bowl clean
I have this beautiful copper bowl that my brother gave me for my birthday a few years ago. If I leave it unused for any period of time, it of course becomes tarnished, but I found that the best way to keep it looking clean and right is to use a few tablespoons of white vinegar and some kosher salt and scrub in circular motions around the area of the bowl.

How to soften butter for baking
A man with clean trousers and shorts comes in handy here, a boyfriend busy in front of the computer screen ... or you can do this yourself. Put the sticks of cold butter in your pockets and walk around the house for a bit. This method cuts the softening time by half. I don't recommend dancing around the house to Prince while carrying butter in your pockets.

Keep your wooden floors dust-free and clean
Keep a cloth or string dust broom in two to three strategically chosen closets around your home. When you're en route to the bathroom or any other place around the home pick up the broom and sweep in the direction you're going. Use the bathroom or do your business where your at and sweep back to the other room you were in making sure to pick up the spots you may have missed going the other way. Put the broom away in the closet.

How to iron your clothes without lifting a finger (except to put them on a hanger)
Before you take a shower bring your clothes into the bathroom on a hanger. Make sure the windows are shut and the exhaust fan is off. Shower away, and your clothes should look a little better than then did when you picked them up off the floor or hopefully from the clean laundry pile you forgot to fold a week ago. Note, this doesn't work so well for linen clothing. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to actually plug in the iron and use it for these. Also, don't forget to air out your bathroom when you're done by turning on the fan or opening a window to prevent a mold garden from growing in your bathroom.

How to make a fruit pie?
This is for my own reference mainly, but there are some excellent hints on this page for pie-making.

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