Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Uses For Basic Things

I've been using a lot of old-fashioned things for unusual uses lately.  Like vinegar - for example - is great for cleaning out drains when you mix it with bi-carb soda.  That bubbling effect is fantastic!  I love how it fills the whole sink and looks like something that'll take over everything; and yet it disappears down the drain and won't harm the environment.  My plumber has even told me that vinegar and bi-carb are the only things you should be putting down your drains as they don't eat away your pipes.  
Vinegar is also great for washing floors.  Well, okay, not just  washing your floors.  Use the Handy Andy, but once that's done, get a hot bucket of water, throw in some vinegar and give your floor another going over with it.  This makes sure your floor is easier to tidy up when you drop something that might stick - like cheese.  And believe me, I've tried it and it works!  It's great.
I also throw vinegar into my laundry instead of softener; as I'm allergic to ordinary clothes softener.  That stuff just makes my skin itch like no tomorrow; so I asked Mum what Grandma used to use and she told me vinegar.  And once I began using it about 5 years ago, I didn't stop.  Then, when my washing machine began to grind and I had to get the maintenance guy out to fix it (to put in what he called 'goop' to keep me from having to replace the gearbox), took the whole tub out and was amazed there was no build-up.  He said my machine was nice and shiny and asked what softener I used - if any - and I said vinegar.  He grinned and said that I was the first young person to figure out that washing machines aren't built to take all the build-up from the softeners.  And you know, my clothes are as soft as anyone else's, and they don't stink of anything like apples; just nice and clean.  
And I use Earth Choice washing liquid... great stuff that.  But be sure to read the instructions and not just throw it all onto your clothes.  The stuff can't come in direct contact with your clothes or you'll end up with white spots all over them.  I've seen somebody borrow some of it off me, not read the back of the container and wreck her housemate's washing - and his clothes weren't cheap.
The best thing I've found lately is to throw in a quarter cup of Bi-Carb Soda into my wash to make my laundry liquid work harder.  And it works!  I've done it a few times and there's no build-up and it works well with the vinegar too.  The best thing is that there's no smell to Bi-Carb Soda; and it soaks up bad smells too. 
In my last post, I told you that one of my drink containers made my milk taste like garlic.  Now, through washing up and using the same scourers on other things as well, the strong herb got into the container and permeated into the milk.  It was the most disgusting thing I had ever tasted and made me want to puke!  I told a friend about it last night; and she had read it in my post.  She advised me to get some Bi-Carb of Soda and fill the container up with it - dry - and leave it overnight.  Then, toss it out and rinse out the container in the morning.  So, once we finished our conversation, I did just that.  And this morning, I took it out of the cupboard, tossed out the Bi-Carb and took a smell after washing it out - and the smell was gone!  Brilliant stuff this Bi-Carb!  I also have a box of it in my fridge; hiding away in the back of it somewhere to absorb the smells of anything that's gone off or mouldy.

So, what things have you found work wonders around your house, but have been around forever?  Are they the most basic things and you've been using for years?  Or is it something you've just figured out in recent times?  Yep, it's sharing time!  Leave a comment about old-fashioned remedies for things that have been around forever and where you got them from.  Until my next post, take care, keep safe and warm and remember, I'm always here.   


  1. Hi...great tips ! and I will add try washing soda sprinkled in with your wash, it is a softener and sud extender wonderful for wool esp blankets and towels, you get it in the wash section of Woolies. I too use Earth's Choice, do you use hot water ? because you must, it is so much better for you esp if your skin is sensitive, it gets clothes cleaner and softer and it kills the bugs germs and disperses the dead flaky skin and dust mite.
    I have been reading your posts with great interest for a while now and I must say I admire you very much, I admire how even though your finances are limited and you live with a debilitating disease your life is full and rewarding.
    Cheers Stell

    1. Hey Stella,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I haven't had a comment like yours ever; and it's lovely when I read that somebody like you drops by and reads my words. I'm a writer and artist and I also have a book review blog as well - which is a lot more popular than this one - and it shows my passion for collecting books. I have another one on where you can find bargains in charity stores... and most of those are coin purses and handbags.

      Yes. I live with Epilepsy and it's not one of the best diseases to have, but it can be controlled. I'm thankful that my doctors found the right medications to help me earlier in my life (in around April 2004) and I have been in good health since. I always find that with something like this, you have to have a glass half full attitude to life; then you get to see the real beauty of the world around you. :D

  2. You know, you should have had a comment like mine.....long ago he he.
    Your blog is a real marvel....honestly
    There is so much work gone into it !! your dedication to it is beyond wonderful, its a real shame others have not stumbled across you like I did.
    I have seen all your other blogs...and you go girl....
    Your blogs are inspiring because of your enthusiasm for what you do.
    I came across your purse blog first, as you can tell I am a collector of nearly all things...I adore Op Shops, and I love to read of others finds.
    I also realize your Epilepsy is well and truly in check...well done !
    You are talking to one of the biggest readers ever, all my life I have been a big reader, but now days I read mostly Bio's or Autobio's, I get a lot out of reading about how others live or have lived...without books in my life, I would go mad I think.
    Totally agree with your thoughts on the glass half full attitude.
    Please don't ever give up with your blogs, your writing, or your collecting, a women can NEVER have too many handbags !
    Talk soon
    Stell :]
    PS Send me a link to your book club, I always have a ton of books to give away

    1. I tried to e-mail you, but it didn't work...

  3. I am here.... haven't looked at my email yet today will check now.

  4. Not getting email from you ? no idea why my email is stellacollector@gmail.com

  5. has heard about Bi Carb tips! Never knew about the vinegar in the washing machine.