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I always am interested in lists that offer domestic suggestions (household hints), and I even have a few of my own that I found in a 1964 cookbook at my mothers. However, the best I acquired were from our neighbors, Ida & Luther Myrick. Ida & Luther lived across the street from where I grew up and were from the hills of Kentucky, in or near Barbourville. Luther, a retired coal miner, had been the “caller” for the Jellicoe, Tennessee hoedown which is still very popular these days. They were the neatest couple and always had a ton of humor and old stories to share with our family.

A former student whose children also studied piano with me, is a mystery writer with a twist – her investigator also solves “household mysteries” and the books are a hoot. Sharon has a ton of household hints on her website and she has shared a few with me:

Ida offered these – and I know that they DO work!!!

For an ear ache or infection, take a piece of cheesecloth and put ground pepper in it, twist it, dip the end in caster oil and then dip it into the ear.

For afresh cut – pour, dip or brush turpentine on the new/fresh cut. Do not put it on an old cut – in Ida’s words, “You will have to pee like a race horse.”

For bad chest colds – drink a shot of whiskey.

Some I learned through the cookbook:
Clean a microwave oven/oven – slice a lemon, place it in a bowl with water and boil it in the oven without covering the bowl. Immediately wipe down the oven. I twill also smell fresh. Then pour the lemons down the disposal.

Ice in the garbage disposal will sharpen the blades.

Use a can of Cocoa-Cola to clean your toilet stains.

Dilute hydrogen-peroxide with half water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on a stain and dab with a white cloth. This is great for furniture.

Baking soda on carpet will freshen the carpet. From Sharon Short.

Baking soda in the drains will freshen the drains.

For kidney or urinary tract infections: take a half-teaspoon of baking soda and stir into a tall glass of water. Drink. Repeat every 20 minutes for an hour.

Dab Milk Of Magnesia on your face and let it dry. Then wash. This is great for black heads and oily skin.

For ink on carpet or fabric – use hairspray. Flyer, as a puppy, chewed my favorite aqua blue pen right on the beige carpet. Mother said to use Aqua-net hairspray – wow!


Budweiser beer conditions the hair.

Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish.

Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 minutes.

Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it will also condition your hair. (Hope I don’t need this!)

Elmer’s Glue – paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads if any.

Shiny Hair – use brewed Lipton Tea.

Sunburn – empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water. (That’s a lot of tea…isn’t it?)

Minor burn – Colgate or Crest toothpaste.

Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it!

Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect stings too.

Bee stings – meat tenderizer (Mix with water to make a paste…works! Have used this many times!)

Chigger bite – Preparation H

Puffy eyes – Preparation H

Paper cut – crazy glue or chap stick(glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals).

Stinky feet – Jello!

Athletes feet – cornstarch

Fungus on toenails or fingernails – Vicks vapor rub

Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff)

Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won’t hurt them if they eat it!

Peanut butter- will get scratches out of CD’s! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper.
Sticking bicycle chain – Pam no-stick cooking spray.

Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage for your hubby.

Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls.

When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on.

Heavy dandruff – pour on the vinegar!

Body paint – Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice!

Tie Dye T-shirt – mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak.

Preserving a newspaper clipping – large bottle of club soda and cup of milk of magnesia, soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!

A Slinky will hold toast and CD’s! (Will get right on the toast! Can you imagine when you take a piece of toast…brrrrrronnnnngggg!)

To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste. (Works, but leaves a film!)

Wine stains, pour on the Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt.

To remove wax – Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel.

Remove labels off glassware etc. rub with Peanut butter!

Baked on food – fill container with water, get a Bounce paper softener and the static from the Bounce towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight. Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets, soak overnight!

Crayon on the wall – Colgate toothpaste and brush it! (Gets black marks off floor, also! Toothpaste & baking soda are good for cleaning…non-abrasive!)

Dirty grout – Listerine

Stains on clothes – Colgate

Grass stains -Karo Syrup

Grease Stains – Coca Cola, it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from car batteries! (Works!)

Fleas in your carpet? 20 Mule Team Borax- sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours.
Maybe this will work if you get them back again. (Have ant problems…mix borax/sugar… put in shallow lid (from ice cream pail). Place where ants are a problem… works great! (Put down ant hills, also…they be gone! Had some big red ant hills last summer & this got rid of them! I use borax in laundry to whiten clothes!)

To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox, or 2 Bayer aspirin, or just use 7-up instead of water. (Never heard of Clorox…other 2…yes!)

When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you “squeeze” for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Each day has a different color twist tie. They are:
Monday = Blue
Tuesday = Green
Thursday = Red
Friday = White
Saturday = Yellow.

So if today was Thursday, you would want red twist tie; not white which is Friday’s (almost a week old)! The colors also go alphabetically by color Monday through Friday.

A drop of Visine will quickly take the red out of a pimple or mosquito bite.

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January 2006
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