Category: cleaning

TMR Frugal Living Tip #91

oxycleanToday’s thrifty living tip is to use OxiClean to get out old stubborn stains. I used to sell clothes that I would buy and resell on Ebay. I came across clothes that would have set-in stains which is hard to get out. I would make a paste of OxiClean with a little water in a plastic bowl and just spread a little onto the stain. I used this on colored clothes, and it never left bleach stains. I used the regular OxiClean since the color safe version didn’t exist. I would let it sit for 30 minutes and just throw it in the washer. It always got out the stains.

I also used another trick for whites and light pastel colors. I would boil water and pour into one of those plastic tubs (the free ones from the hospital), and dissolve 1 tbs of OxiClean before adding the stained parts of the garments. I didn’t leave too long in this mixture, and usually let the garments soak for about 10-20 minutes. I made this batch when I had several garments, and the water stayed hot for a while. It was extremely rare for neither process to remove a stain.

I still like the other stain removers for new stains, but this Oxiclean method was the best I found for removing old or set-in stains. What is your method of removing old stains from clothing?

TMR Frugal Living Tip #88

babywipesspotcleaner
Today’s thrifty living tip is to use baby wipes to spot clean your clothes. I know they have the Tide fabric wipes, but baby wipes do the same job and cost less to buy. Baby wipes are very effective at cleaning up spilled food or drink. I keep a small pack of wipes in my purse. They have the hard case or you can buy the small pack of samples. I also receive free wipe samples from time to time in the mail. My little one is a tween, but I still keep a box of baby wipes in my house to use for many things as they are so versatile. You can even use them as makeup remover especially for your eyes.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #86

First I have to comment I never post two frugal living tips in a week so consider this a nice bonus for the end of 2011. I don’t have any pictures to show for this daily tip so I apologize for cleaning it so quickly.

Today’s thrifty living tip is to clean or fix appliances before replacing. I know this seems pretty logical, but many people get discouraged by older appliances and distracted by new shiny ones. My Kenmore gas dryer is 14 years old. I already replaced the washing machine a couple of years ago with a front loader. That was a great decision which has saved me money in water and electricity. I just want to say it wasn’t worth fixing so it was time to replace. The dryer works great, and works less as my clothes are drier when they come out the washing machine. I do like to line dry which also helps extend the life of the dryer.

Lately it’s too cold and rainy to put it on the line. I’ve been a little too busy to keep up with laundry because of the holidays. We noticed all these scuff marks inside the dryer while doing laundry this past weekend. It wasn’t getting on the clothes so I wasn’t too concerned. Hubby mentioned maybe it was time to replace it with our income tax refund next year. He tried to clean it but said the marks weren’t coming out.

I looked at it again today as I needed to do laundry. I pulled out my Mr. Clean magic eraser, and viola! The marks were coming out quite easily. I did take a wet dish towel to wipe it out a couple of times to make sure no residue is left. I wiped it with a dry towel afterwards, and over 90% of the marks are gone. I’m not sure what caused them, but now they are all gone. I have dried a load of towels and all looks good. No marks on the towels or the dryer. I will keep an eye on the dryer, but I’m hopeful I can get a few more years of service. I will also start a new appliance fund just to be on the safe side.

Relax This Holiday Season


The holidays are fast approaching with Thanksgiving almost here. Thanksgiving is the signal that Christmas will be here in a month. Oh no! I still have to buy the turkey and trimmings, clean the house for the guests, then start decorating for Christmas, buy the presents, wrap them, and send out cards. Whoa! Slow down and take a deep breath. Do the opposite and take time for yourself this holiday season.

While this tidbit sounds great in theory, didn’t you just see all of the things I still have to do. Believe me I understand, but take your finger off the panic button and relax. I’m going to list a few tips on how to take time for yourself and learn how to relax which will make the holidays even more enjoyable.

Make a Plan:
Everyone needs a plan of action. Make a list of all the items you need to make for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. Make a list of all the people you buy presents for or make treats. I realize I’m a little late planning this post as I wanted to write this last week, but this is still useful for Christmas. I always make a list of the people we buy presents for, and I always buy a couple of extra items for those last minute gifts. The plans are also good for cleaning or maybe with traveling.

Delegate:
I realize some of you are probably laughing, but I want you to delegate that list to others. Get your husband involved, the kids (if they are old enough), friends, and other family members. If someone asks if they can bring something for Thanksgiving, then tell them yes. It could be soft drinks or desserts. Maybe they make a wonderful side dish that everyone enjoys. You aren’t superwoman so stop trying to act like one.

Indulge Yourself:
I am very serious. As women we try so hard to please everyone else, that we neglect ourselves. I know I’m not useful to my family if I’m stressed out and snapping at them over trivial things. When I start to feel my breaking point, then I take a deep breathe and lock myself up away from everyone. You don’t have to make a dramatic exit, but just excuse yourself for a few minutes. I realize some moms don’t have as much time to get away, but honestly even five minutes of peace and quiet makes a huge difference in your attitude and well being. Below are some things I like to take time to do for myself.

  • Take a bubble bath. (I have occasionally brought a glass of wine to sip while soaking).
  • Do some reading. (It could be as simple as thumbing through your favorite magazine).
  • Do a craft. (If this truly relaxes you then go for it).
  • Enjoy a glass of wine or beer by yourself. (Maybe a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate instead).
  • Pray or meditate. (I know I feel more at peace after saying a prayer or two).
  • Eat a piece of chocolate. (Seriously I love a piece of dark chocolate and just savoring it).
  • Go for a walk. (This really helps to clear your head).
  • Exercise or dance. (Along the same lines but it really does help to soothe frazzled nerves).
  • Listen to music. (I even do this while taking a hot bubble bath).

I think you get the idea. There are times I just lock myself up in my room for a few minutes. My latest guilty pleasure has been writing. I find it really enjoyable to put my thoughts down on paper. It has proven to be quite therapeutic and relaxing for me. Please take some time for yourself this holiday season. A few minutes to yourself daily can make quite the difference in your attitude.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #79- Use Card to Scrape Paint off Wood!

paint-scraper

Today’s frugal living tip is use old credit or debit card when removing paint off wood floors. It could also be an old gift card and some people have used CD’s to scrape. I found the old card to be much easier and didn’t scratch my wood floors as they are not finished but waxed.

You should really use a drop cloth when painting. But if you forget then this technique works well.

So I I really like to use Citrasolve cleaner. Spray a small amount and then use the card to scrape the paint gently.

I find the Citrasolve smells great and polished my wood floors making them look new again. I did try Goof Off, but it didn’t smell nearly as nice. It also didn’t work well at removing the paint. I had to really rub to get any paint up. I gave up and switched to the Citrasolve, and all those paint marks were cleaning up easily.

The credit card was great at removing tiny and big paint drops. I then used a damp sponge mop with warm soapy water to wipe up the Citrasolve.

In the future, I can say I will use a drop cloth when I paint my rooms.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #75

Today’s thrifty living tip is use cloth napkins and dish towels over paper napkins and paper towels. This will save you lots of money over your life. I still use paper towels from time to time, but a super sized pack will last me for months. I usually buy one or two of those 8 roll packs on sale at CVS yearly. I have the same pack of napkins I got on sale over two years ago. I just rarely use them. I would much rather use my cloth napkins and towels.

I buy the dish towels on clearance and stock up. I make my own napkins by cutting out the size I need and serge the edges so it doesn’t ravel in the wash. These napkins will last for years. If it’s a big spill then I find the dish towel will clean up the spill quicker, and I don’t have to waste several paper towels. When they get to a point that I can’t use them in the kitchen, then they become cleaning towels. I really try to use them up as much as I can before discarding. We all know it’s better for the environment, but it’s also much better for my pocket book.

TMR Frugal Living Tip #72: Cut Face Wipes in Half!

Today’s thrifty living tip is to use a paste of baking soda to get stains out of plastic containers. It will also get out some funky smells. I use cold water to make a thick paste and let it soak overnight and rinse it out in cool water. You may need to do a second soaking but it usually gets out the stain on the first go rounds. Using hot water sets in the stains just like it will on your clothes. I wash it in warm water if the stain is out or mostly out.