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Tips for Easier Housework


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A new study by sociologist Chloe E. Bird suggests that once married, women do about twice the amount of housework as their spouses, which increases the women's sense of anxiety, depression and worry.


Magazine Recipe/Article Labels
Ever tried to find that special recipe or article you read in a magazine and can't remember which book or magazine it was in? I found that address labels work wonders. Simply place the label on the outside or inside cover and note the page number of the article or recipe you liked. Better yet, tape a piece of paper to the cover for a more thrifty way of keeping track. Then, when you want to find the article, you have a quick reference.

Cheaper Kitchen Towels
I never buy kitchen towels in the housewares department. Go to the automotive section of your department store and get the white terry cloth towels. A package of 12 in my area costs under five dollars and they don't shed or wear out quickly. They're great in the kitchen and for cleaning around the house. I also hang a fresh one in my waistband or belt loop when I'm cooking to wipe my hands on.

Clean And Dry Floors Fast
 But I can't do that for every cleaning so I came up with a way to get a nearly comparable result. I wash my floor in sections, using a regular mop. But instead of futilely trying to sop up the dirty water, I toss down an old bath towel. I then push the towel around with my feet over the floor. It works great and is fast! Usually when I mop, no matter how much I rinse, a dingy film remains. This way the towel soaks up all the dirty water so the floor really shines. Plus, it keeps the bucket water cleaner so I don't have to change it before I finish. An added bonus is the towel also dries the floor. By the time I'm done with the last section, the floor can be walked on!

Save on Costly Kitchen Towels
Instead of paying upwards of three dollars each for kitchen towels that don't last long, buy bar towels. These are available from restaurant supply stores and sometimes can cost approximately one dollar each. In addition to being inexepensive they are more absorbent than regular kitchen towels and hold up well during repeated washing and drying. I bought two dozen of these towels about four years ago and they still look good.

Lampshade Cleaning
I have fabric lampshades with very fine pleats which are hard to clean. So I remove them, take them outside and brush them with an old baby hair brush. The bristles get between the pleats to remove the dust and dirt, but they are soft enough so as not to crush or damage the pleats. My shades look like new.

Toothpaste--a Versatile Cleaner.
Want to remove a stain without damaging the smooth surface of furniture and countertops? Use toothpaste. The extra mild abrasives in toothpaste remove stains without scratching the surface. I have used toothpaste to remove water stains on finished furniture and stains on kitchen countertops. It also works on small rust stains. Simply rub a dab into the stain for about 30 seconds and wipe it away.


Paper Towels
When cleaning mirrors with paper towels save the paper towels for several more mirror cleanings. After I clean my mirrors I 'wad up' the paper towel and stick it under the trigger on the bottle. By the time you are ready to clean your mirrors again, towels have dried and are ready to be used again. This has saved me from buying paper towels so often.


Electrostatic Cleaner Pads
The electrostatic cleaners are great but the refill pads are pricey. I've been using washcloths (old ones or cheap new ones) for dry dusting and picking up hair. I spray a dry cloth with Endust on both sides and when one side's dirty I turn it over and use the other side. For wet mopping add a little ammonia or dishwashing liquid and 1/2 cup of water to an empty baby wipe container and put five or six washcloths in for ready to use wet pads as needed. Throw dirty cloths in wash as needed. Never by replacements again. Even cut old towels to fit and use the same way.


Clean Kitchen
Mix one teaspoon of vinegar with 2/3 cup of water and place in microwave for one to two minutes. The vinegar prevents the water from boiling over while making the microwave a breeze to clean, including the splatters from tomato based sauce. Once the water cools slightly use it to clean the kitchen countertops. It will sterilize the countertops for a lot less than expensive cleaners.


the Cleanest Windows 
The best way to clean windows and mirrors to a sparkling smear free shine is to spray on a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water and buff dry with newspaper. No smears even when the sun shines.


Free Hangers
I've stopped buying hangers since I discovered most department stores are eager to give away their excess hangers! I always ask for the hangers with my purchases and as needed, request any extras behind the counter. Usually, my requests are met with literally bags of plastic, swivel-neck hangers. I especially like the large hangers from the men's department for my husband's garments and the small clamp-type pants hangers from the children's' department for hanging everyone's wet trousers bottoms up (wrinkle free!).


Don't Throw Away Junk Mail Use It!
Junk mail can be a great and cheap stuffing material if you need to send a delicate item via postal service. Just put it (catalogues, newspapers and so on...) through a shredder and voila, no need to buy expensive peanuts!


Another Use For Used Dryer Sheets
I save my used dryer sheets for a lot of reasons. This week I found another use that is really a labor saver. Take a used dryer sheet and cut it to fit inside your air vents. The sheet acts like a filter thus reducing the need to dust and run the vacuum so much. Just change them as needed

Cheap And Easy Oven Cleaner
A great way to clean your oven with no smell and little money is to mix baking soda and water to form a paste. At night I put on a pair of disposable latex gloves and smear it all over the inside of my oven. Then throw away the gloves and go to bed. (leave the oven door open) The next morning when it is dry, simply use a wet sponge to remove the dried mixture, and all that icky oven stuff comes right of with it!


Window Cleaner

I buy the gallon size windshield washer fluid instead of Windex to clean my windows. For about 1.29 or less it doesn't streak, is a great refill size, and is so much cheaper.


Clean House Fast and More efficiently! $9.95


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