It’s been a little while since my last Helpful Hints post and I’ve got some new ones just in time for Spring!
I hate these little “buggers” getting into my house. Where there’s one, there’s an army of millions. I’ve posted before that they don’t like to cross a trail of CINNAMON, and that usually works for me to help keep them out. But what if they are already in the house. I had a recent problem with ants in my dishwasher! Yes, imagine! They were either coming from the pipes or just attracted to the water. Freshly washed dishes were covered in ants. You can’t use chemical bug killers in the dishwasher either (um, hello poison!), so a little research turned up VINEGAR. Just pour some white vinegar into the dishwasher making sure to get all possible entry points for the ants (drains, places water comes out) and let it sit. Overnight should be fine. Then run the dishwasher (with no cleaner) on the hottest setting you have. It may take a few treatments of this to fully get rid of them. Outside the dishwasher, you can kill/clean up the ants with any regular HOUSEHOLD SPRAY CLEANER. Make sure to thoroughly wash down any trails they are using. Then follow up by rubbing down the area with some PEPPERMINT OIL. They hate the smell and won’t use that trail or go near it again. Also, the vinegar trick works for sinks.
After a very overzealous run this morning, I was battling some pretty bad nausea. Usually GINGER (ginger ale, ginger flavored candy, etc.) will do the trick to settle the stomach. But I didn’t have that luxury at my disposal. I put out the call on Twitter to find a remedy. An well-known trick is to sip some SPRITE, which was very helpful. You can also eat some BLAND CRACKERS if you think your stomach can handle it, which I wasn’t so sure would work for me. I was also told to sniff some RUBBING ALCOHOL. I actually had this handy in our first aid kit at work. As crazy as it sounds, it actually works because it confuses the receptors in your brain that cause the nauseous feeling. I also got advice to either sniff LEMONS or drink LEMONADE, both of which were not immediately handy. I am assuming this works on the same principle as the rubbing alcohol, and lemon flavor can also help settle your stomach too (just be careful not to get too much of the citrusy acid).
Crumbly Play Doh
Ever pull out an old (or even not that old) jar of Play Doh and it’s all dry and crumbly? Either you’ve got kids, you only occasionally play Cranium, or you’re just a crafty kid-at-heart. But it’s the worst and there’s nothing you can do with this worthless glob. Actually it can be salvaged. Just wrap the dough in a DAMP PAPER TOWEL and MICROWAVE for five seconds. If it’s not doughy enough for you yet, add another 5 seconds until it is just right. (Just be careful on how long you nuke it, you don’t want to bake the dough.) Ta da!
I hate when a salt shaker gets all crusty from the salt, or the salt clumps together and you just can’t season your food properly. Enter RICE grains. Just place a few grains of dry rice into the shaker. It not only helps keep the salt grains separated, but it acts as a dehumidifier and helps keep the moisture out that causes all that clumping and crustiness. If you’ve every wondered why some restaurants have rice in their salt shakers, that’s why. It’s not because some creepy person was putting their food into the salt shaker.
Ever buy some asparagus or celery or kale and after only a day or two in the fridge it gets all wilty? Have no fear, the veggies have not gone bad, they’re just in desperate need of a drink. Place the veggie with the cut stalk or root end down into a glass or bowl of COLD WATER. I prefer to use a large glass if I can to help stalks stand up, but as long as they are getting the water they will perk right up! I have also heard you can put veggies in a bowl of ice water and salt for a quicker perk up, but you have to be careful about the amount of salt you use. I usually just let them sit overnight in the fridge and they’re good to go the next day.
It’s amazing how something so very tiny can cause so much disturbance. If you pick at it you could either push it further in, or even worse cause infection. And then there’s the dreaded needle solution most people don’t have the nerve to take on. Sometimes splinters will work themselves out, but not without prolonged discomfort. The safest way to remove a splinter promptly is with GLUE. Just place a drop of glue on the location of the splinter. Once the glue has dried, carefully peel it off of your skin. The tip of the splinter will stick to the glue and pull right out. Be sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the location after the splinter has been removed to avoid any infection. Please note that this will only work with a splinter that hasn’t been pushed too far under the skin and with glue that will actually peel off of the skin (i.e., super glue may just lock it into place or risk pulling on the skin too hard if you try to peel it).
Do you have any tried and true remedies for these little issues?