How to Clean a Bathtub Anti-Slip Bottom

If you have a bathtub with a slip-resistant bottom that no matter what you use to clean it, it still looks dingy, grungy and downright grimy, today I have really good news and at least one sure-fire solution that will bring even an older tub bottom back to clean, like new!

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, all bathtubs must be manufactured with some type of anti-slip bottom. Kohler porcelain tubs come with its patented Safeguard Slip-Resistant Surface, which has a very distinctive look and seems to be the most prone to this ugly problem.

The problem is not only with Kohler tubs but with any manufacturer who etches the tub’s bottom to provide the non-slip feature. That causes the oil from your feet to start staining the tub’s bottom, then for some it’s like these stains get embedded and locked in forever.

I’ve heard from many readers who have tried everything they can think of to remove these stains, without success. In fact, all of those efforts seem to do just the opposite, eventually making the problem even worse.

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Why 15 Cents Matters

I used to think that small amounts of money didn’t matter. What difference could $5 here or $10 there make when we were more than $100,000 in debt (not counting the house and cars)?

So what if I increased our debt by such a small amount—it wouldn’t really matter because we already owed so much. I used the same argument for not paying anything more than the minimum monthly payments on our credit cards because that too would make no difference.

Boy, did I have a lot to learn. The truth is that we five-and-10-dollared ourselves to death. It was the little things that added up to create a huge monster. Thinking that the little things didn’t matter freed us to think $2, $5 or $20 didn’t matter … then $50 didn’t matter, and on and on it went.

Ironically, it was the little things that turned us around, too. Sending an extra $2, $5 or $20 every month to rapidly repay the debt we were targeting helped us find a way to make the payment $22, then $35 and soon a $100 payment became standard.

I’ve had people look at me like I was a little weird when I suggested they should not use a first-class stamp on a postcard. I mean, does 15 cents really matter? I think it does, not so much for the dime and nickel, but for the attitude. You see, if you casually throw 15 cents away when it comes to a postage stamp, it’s much easier to begin thinking slightly larger sums don’t matter, either. And soon you’ll be on your way to thinking $20 is not a big deal. Then you’ll be headed for trouble.

Yes, my friends, 15 cents does matter. If you understand that, then $1.50 matters and $15 will matter even more, and on and on right up to $15,000.

Some wise person once said, “Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves.” I have proven that to be true and I hope you can, too.

Here are three easy ways to stash cash:

Coins. Don’t spend them. Save them, instead. Every evening, empty your pockets, purse and wallet of all coins. Even if the bill comes to $4.05, hand the clerk a $5 bill and stash the difference. When you accumulate $25 or so, roll, wrap and send them off to your savings account.

Windfalls. No matter how small, make it a habit to bank all coupon savings, rebate checks, refunds and other “found money.”

Save an extra 10 percent. Stash 10 percent of your pocket money, grocery money and any other “walk around” funds you control in your secret savings spot. Chances are you won’t even miss it. But soon you’ll discover that $2 here and $4 there really adds up.

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Great Recipes Know No Season

My mother-in-law, Gwen Hunt, was a very organized woman. She had file folders for everything you can imagine including one containing lists of her most valued possessions along with the name of the person who would fall heir to that item upon her passing.

Among the items I received are two three-ring binders, filled with magnetic scrapbook pages into which she had carefully placed hundreds of handwritten and newspaper-clipped recipes. Next to them are little handwritten notes about the recipes. She includes each recipe’s origin along with other tidbits of information she undoubtedly believed I would want to know, like for example, how many cookies she baked for her parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration on April 27, 1950 (10 dozen each of six different recipes, neatly arranged on facing pages). Many of the recipes are dated 1942 and, she notes, were in her original trousseau collection.

I stuck these binders away in a closet after we settled the estate and sold the house. I guess I just wasn’t ready to admit that her many years of cooking and mothering were over. Until this past week.

Going from one page to the next has been like sitting down with her over tea, once again. Oh, how she loved to recall names, occasions and “lovely times” with her friends and family. Each one of the recipes reminds me so much of her, and in that I’ve found comfort.

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Ask Me Anything: Oven Door, Window Air Conditioners, Hardwood Floor Cleaner

I’ve been accused of thinking I have an answer for everything (you know who you are, my dear husband), and that kinda’ makes me laugh because I have to admit that maybe I do think that. I do love to reach into my inbox to find so many letters from my readers,  many of which do include questions.

Truth be told, when you send questions to which I do not have reliable answers, I set them aside pending further research. They say that “teaching teaches the teacher,” and I couldn’t agree more!

The self-cleaning function on my oven works great for the oven itself, but doesn’t get the glass door clean. I’ve tried to clean, but nothing works to remove the baked-on crud. Do you have a solution? 

While you should never use oven-cleaning products on the self-cleaning oven itself, the best way to clean the glass window is with oven cleaner! I suggest Easy-Off Fume Free Oven Cleaner. Unlike other oven cleaners, this one works on cold surfaces. Spray it on liberally, then leave the door open and allow it to sit for several hours. That should soften everything that has become baked-on, allowing you to wipe all of that away with a scrubbing sponge. I’ve used this product to remove stubborn hard-water marks from shower doors and other glass surfaces. I’m hopeful this will be great solution for your oven door.

Do you have a Best Inexpensive Window Air Conditioner recommendation for us? Please!

Since I don’t know the size of the space you need to cool, here are two options, both of which are great little workhorses: For a small space of up to 150 sq. ft., the Frigidaire 5,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner about $130.

If you need to cool a larger space, up to 350 sq. ft., the Frigidaire 8,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner will be the model you need, about $240.

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Keep Your Cool in the Heat of Summer

As I write, it’s the first day of summer and a scorcher here in Northern Colorado—103F. But, it’s a dry heat—only 10% humidity.

I know, you’re laughing, as if 103 dry is any more tolerable than a more humid 103. Actually, it is—or so the weather experts tell us.

Now that the summer heat is bearing down on cities across the U.S., millions of window-mounted air conditioners are getting a real work out. Chris Hall, president of  RepairClinic.com, says his company is ready for the seasonal spike in questions from consumers who are wondering why their A/C unit isn’t working properly. In many instances, he says, consumers can rectify the problem themselves–if they have the right advice.

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Stop Whining!

As the mother of two young world-class whiners, the behavior modification techniques described in the booklet—more like a pamphlet—appeared too simple to be taken seriously.

In desperation, however, I decided to give the anti-whining program my best shot.

Day One: Whenever one of the boys whined I did exactly as prescribed. I got down to his level, looked him straight in the eye and said in a firm-yet-gentle manner,

Stop whining! I cannot listen to you when you whine because it gives me a headache.

Next, I imitated what he said and the way he said it, right down to his nasally, high-pitched, sing-song tone. Then I restated in a grown-up voice what he said, using a better choice of words and required him to repeat it without whining, blaming or complaining.

I did this no fewer than 397 times before bedtime on Day One.

Day Two: The second day was similar to the first except after my demonstration of the correct way to communicate, I had to turn away and ignore the child until on his own he restated his need or situation without whining, blaming or complaining.

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How to Remove Latex Paint Stains from Carpet or Just About Anything Else!

Want to get latex paint out of carpet, upholstery or any other kind of fabric―even if it’s old and dried up? No problem!

Saturate the stain with any brand of lacquer thinner (not paint thinner, not mineral spirits or anything else you might be tempted to substitute), applied with a clean white cloth, so there is no chance of transferring the color from the cloth to the item to be cleaned.

Allow the lacquer thinner to sit for a few moments to soften the paint so you can scrape, blot and or scrub it out with the application cloth.

Depending on how old the paint stain is, you may have to repeat a couple of times, but it will come out without leaving a bigger problem in its wake.

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No More Bad Hair Days

A recent post in which I wailed and whined about my very bad hair day started it. You may recall how I mentioned volumizing, styling techniques and a great can of hairspray. That brought an avalanche of desperate queries, suggesting to me that perhaps I’m not the only one dealing with an occasional bad hair day!

Which volumizer? Hairspray? What? Where?!

Not long after we visited the world of shampoos and conditioners. That stirred up lots more questions and very specific ones as in exactly which products?

So today, I’ve decided to tell. Exactly. Specifically. And trust me when I say that  I’ve tested many—none of which are sponsored, all of which I buy myself.

(From time to time I see these products at stores like Walgreens, King Soopers, Target, Walmart, but never all of them at the same time in the same place—except on Amazon. I am convinced that overall, Amazon consistently has the best prices.)

1. SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER. Currently, I’m using  Tigi Bed Head Moisture Maniac Shampoo and Conditioner because I got them on a terrific sale. My hair is dry, I live in a dry climate, my hair is (surprise!) color-treated and both are very gentle. These bottles are huge and since I get at least 4 days out of a hairstyle, they will last me a very long time. About $30 for both.

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