Clean and Organized

The heart of housekeeping

Shining Stainless Steel Counters

I am having a problem. We just moved into a house where all the counter tops in the kitchen are stainless steel. I can get them shiny for the most part. I have rust spots all over though, like where something wet was set on there or the kids spilled something and didn't clean it up or mention it!

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Make Your Own Natural Dishwasher/Scouring Powder

For some time now I've been experimenting with making my own dishwasher powder. I've tinkered with the basic formula, even at one point adding Kool-Aid to it (for the citric acid--it turned out to be a crucial step in figuring the formula out). In further experimentation I've discovered it makes a decent no-scratch scouring powder as well, more like Bon Ami than Comet.

What I've discovered is that it doesn't work as well as some of the commercial detergents; however I have found that it works just as well as the major " green alternative" dishwasher detergents, if not a little better, and at a fraction of the cost. If you don't like scraping your dishes and rinsing them off, you won't like homemade powder; I found you had to be diligent about getting all food particles off your dishes because the dishwasher powder will not do it for you. Of course, many dishwashers require you to do this anyway, but oftentimes people are lazy. Like, uh, me. But this is so much easier on the environment and the pocketbook it's worth taking the time to properly prepare the dishes I've found.

The formula
Here, after much experimenting, is the formula for dishwashing powder...

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What Is Your Favorite Household Chore?

Dishes
0% (0 votes)
Vacuuming/Sweeping/Mopping
13% (3 votes)
Grocery Shopping
17% (4 votes)
Cooking
17% (4 votes)
Cleaning the Bathroom
0% (0 votes)
Picking Up Clutter
4% (1 vote)
Garbage Detail
0% (0 votes)
Paying Bills/Paperwork
13% (3 votes)
Laundry
35% (8 votes)
Dusting
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 23
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What Is Your Least Favorite Household Chore?

Dishes
8% (2 votes)
Laundry
24% (6 votes)
Vacuuming/Sweeping/Mopping
20% (5 votes)
Grocery Shopping
0% (0 votes)
Cooking
12% (3 votes)
Cleaning the Bathroom
4% (1 vote)
Picking Up Clutter
4% (1 vote)
Garbage Detail
4% (1 vote)
Paying Bills/Paperwork
20% (5 votes)
Dusting
4% (1 vote)
Total votes: 25
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Scuff marks on white shoes

From TNH Reader Anna Daley:

I have a pair of white dress shoes, and the first time I wore them, they became "scuffed-up". I've tried white shoe polish, but it didn't help. How can I get rid of these scuff marks?

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Removing playdough from surfaces

From TNH Reader ok1:

how do I clean plastelina (like play dough) from a painted wood surface?

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Mold on Wallpaper

From TNH Reader squiggyoh:

How can I remove mold on a wallpaper surface?

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Lighting Oil Stains

From TNH Reader Kimberleyn2:

How do I get oil from an oil lamp out of furniture?

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Hairspray in Clothes

From TNH Reader BrAnDiLeE1026: I work at the local hockey games in town, and for work i have to wear a hockey jersey. Well over the months my jersey got a buildup of hairspray and I cannot get it out! I was wondering if there is anything i can do at home to get it out besides just washing it which did not work.

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Paint on Clothes

My son got paint (latex, I believe) on his brand new swim trunks. Any suggestions on getting it out without harming the fabric? They are 100% polyester.

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Cellar Smells

It has been very humid and rainy here for about 2 weeks now with another week to come. My cellar has started to have a very strong musty smell. I searched for a source, but I can't find one, I think it's just the humidity.

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Gasoline in Clothes

How do I get gasoline smells out of my clothing? I was pumping gas yesterday and afterwards my clothes and shoes smelled like pure gasoline. I let them soak in the washer over night, but the smell is still there.

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Soap scum on fiberglass

How do I get the soap scum and water stains off of our shower bathtub walls? I've tried everything any suggestions?

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Rug cleaner solutions

I am going to clean the rugs in my house with a 'Rug Doctor'. The machine is great but the cleaners are so expensive! Are there any recipes for cleaners I can use in it? I'm guessing maybe something with vinegar or ammonia.

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Ants: Non-toxic solutions

Our dogs have their own room with a linoleum floor. I've noticed the tiniest ants in their food dishes. Obviously I need an idea that's safe around dogs. Any thoughts?

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Your Kids Can (Want to) Help!

Ever wish you had two extra pairs of hands to help with the dishes and the dusting? You do have them! They are not attached to your body (at least not now) and they do not belong to your husband.

They are your children! But how does one get them to pitch in?

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