If you’ve ever experienced the heartbreak of shrinking your favorite pair of jeans to a length that would make them perfect to wear in a flood, you’re going to be particularly fond of today’s first great reader tip. And like me, you’re probably going to wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that!”
NO MORE HIGH-WATERS. While doing the laundry one day, I got to thinking that if cotton shrinks it probably stretches, too. I decided to experiment on my kids’ jeans, thinking that if I could make the legs longer we could squeak out more wear. After washing, I folded a pair of wet jeans in half lengthwise and laid them on a beach towel on the floor. Then I stood on the jeans and grabbed the hem of one of the legs. I carefully, but forcefully, began to pull up. I could feel the fabric stretching compared to the other leg. I flipped the pants over and did the same thing to the other leg. When I was done stretching the legs, I hung them up to dry. After they were dry I tossed them in the dryer for a couple of minutes to take away the stiffness. Jeans come out a couple of inches longer with this method than if I simply toss them in the dryer. Sandy, Minnesota
FROM EYELASHES TO KEYBOARDS. I cleaned an old mascara wand with dish soap. It makes a good brush for cleaning and dusting in small spaces. Ann, North Carolina
BABY POWDER FOR SPOTS. Baby powder is a great clothing saver. I use it to remove oily spots from silk and cotton sweaters. I cover the spot with baby powder and let sit overnight. In the morning, I brush off the powder with a towel. I have had several colorful silk suits last for years, thanks to this trick. And I always pack it when I travel. Darcy, email
CAP THE BOWLS. When I stack bowls or kitchen equipment that I rarely use, they end up getting dusty before I use them again. To prevent this from happening, I take a shower cap and stretch it over the top of the items. The cap protects my bowls from dust. Christy, Oregon
SHAPED EGGS. When I’m making eggs for my grandkids, I pour the egg into a metal cookie cutter that I’ve spritzed with PAM and sat on the hot frying pan. The egg cooks in the shape of the cookie cutter and the grandkids love it! Margie, New York
HERB CUTTER. When chopping herbs like basil, cilantro or parsley, I use a pizza cutter instead of a knife. It cuts a large amount of herbs quickly. Sharon, Idaho
FRYING THE BEANS. Like Mary, I roast my own coffee beans. But I’m not ready to invest in a coffee roaster and I don’t have an air popcorn popper. So, I roast my beans on the stove, in a cast iron frying pan (with the windows open and lots of ventilation!). Not only is the coffee delicious, but the frying pan loves it. The oils in the beans give my pan a beautiful, smooth, seasoned finish that it had never had before. Rosie, Arizona
Do you have a tip to share or a comment on one of the tips above? Get heard in the comments section below.
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