Put Denture Tablets to Work Around the House

I have a long list of reader questions that I’d intended to answer today. But I got so taken away with Sandy’s question, I used up all the space! I promise to get to the rest of the list real soon.

Can I use my Polident Denture Cleanser to soak/clean my mouthguard for several days in a row, or is it really necessary to start with a new tablet each morning? Sandy

You can, but I wouldn’t. Here’s the reason. Once that denture tablet hits the water it becomes activated to both clean and sanitize. It will fizz and bubble for a while as it cleans. But it loses steam slowly so that 24 hours later it won’t be sufficient to give that mouthguard another go round of cleaning and disinfecting. That may or may not concern you, but it would concern me. So my answer is no to your question of re-use. By I have some things you can do with that solution while it still has a bit of useful time remaining. Denture tablets are great little workhorses for all kinds of jobs around the house.

16 Facts and Uses for the One Cent Piece That are Worth Every Penny

For some people, pennies are so annoying, they don’t even bother picking up strays that end up on sidewalks and streets. Then there are those who eagerly collect the copper coin, living up to the Benjamin Franklin quote that a penny saved is a penny earned.

Assuming that the rest of us fall somewhere between those extremes, today I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few facts and uses for the lowest value coin in the U.S. currency lineup—the lowly penny.

Four, no more. Carry four pennies with you at all times so you always have just enough to avoid paying the odd cents when you make a purchase. This way you avoid getting pennies back in change. Serious “change savers” save other coins but want to get rid of the pennies as quickly as possible. This method will do it.

Tons of copper. Since its beginning, the U.S. Mint has produced more than 288.7 billion pennies. Lined up edge to edge, these pennies would circle the earth 137 times. The average penny lasts 25 years.

Big waste. It now costs more than one cent to produce a penny. In 2007, the U.S. Mint lost $31 million in making 6.6 billion new pennies.

Turn Your Dishwasher Into a Workhorse Plus More Great Reader tips

The dishwasher in my house is a workhorse. It does a great job of cleaning dishes of course, but also baseball caps, waste baskets, and de-crystallizing honey* (yes, you read that right). Now I can add cleaning refrigerator shelves to the list.

SPARKLING CLEAN SHELVES. When I clean my refrigerator I put all the shelves, including the door shelves, in the dishwasher. I run the short cycle, which saves time, and the shelves come out sparkling. Emma

DOG HAIR-REMOVAL GLOVES. My Labrador Retriever frequently goes places with me, traveling in the back of my car. Needless to say, lots of dog hair gets stuck on the carpet. I’ve tried everything to remove it including sticky roller tape and special sponges, but nothing has worked. Finally, I tried my gardening gloves. The palm of the glove has a rough, rubbery texture and they work beautifully. I put on the glove and run my hand palm down along the carpet. The hair piles up in my glove. Kathryn

Going on Vacation? Make Your Own Plant Nanny Plus More Great Reader Tips

Every day I get loads of mail including wonderful notes, letters, and email messages from my awesome readers.

Tucked into many of those messages are tips, hints, tricks and great ideas for the ways you save time and money every day. I’m pretty sure I have the best job on earth!

PLANT NANNY. When I go on vacation, I fill bottles with water and push them upside down into my plants—houseplants and outdoor plants as well. The water keeps the plants moist for days! Sophia

I’ve been using Sophia’s tip for several months now, only I’m not on vacation! I fill bottles every couple of days in addition to regular watering. As you can see from the photo above (this is a $12 Walmart plant bowl that was tiny and pretty sick looking when I got it in May), constant watering must be the trick! Especially in the super hot Colorado sun.  -mh

Clever Ways to Use This for That

What a great idea!

For anyone who has had to deal with a child in pain, it can be a painful experience for everyone regardless the age of the child. That’s why as a parent and now a grandparent, I appreciate hints and tips that will help me be even more resourceful.

BABY ORAJEL NOT JUST FOR BABIES. Our teenage daughter badly stubbed her toe and we needed to clip the nail. Unfortunately, she wouldn’t let us near it because of the pain. My wife found a tube of Baby Orajel and covered the area using a cotton swab. It was like magic. It numbed the area well enough that I was able to take care of things. I would never have thought to use Baby Orajel this way. Randall, Texas

DAWN FOR SPONTANEOUS CLEANING. I keep a bottle of Dawn, an automotive detailing brush and an old toothbrush in my shower. Dawn cuts the soap scum and does not leave a gritty residue. Just don’t overdo it since it can get pretty slippery! Laurel, email

SHOUT OUT THOSE STAINS. I found the best cleaner for my dirty golf shoes: Shout laundry stain remover. It works like a charm, getting down in the creases and crevices to get out the ground-in dirt. My golf shoes are leather, and it has not hurt them or the color. Brenda, Michigan

ERASE THE RED POLISH. Red fingernail polish accidentally spilled on my carpet, making a long red streak. A friend told me to use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The polish had already dried, but with a little elbow grease and several erasers, it all came out of my carpet. This is a wonderful product! Carolyn, Tennessee

LOOK OFFICIAL TO GET ATTENTION. Take a clipboard with you when you’re shopping. You’ll get waited on quickly, since sales associates will think you’re either a mystery shopper or you’re snooping for the competition. LaVonne, California

PEROXIDE CLEANS UP. I use a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle to clean just about everything in my house. It works great on windows using newspaper, and it freshens my wooden cutting boards. On the lip of my sink, it foamed and cleaned up what I thought was rust. And the best part is it’s cheap. Carol, Illinois

FOAMING BUBBLES AROUND THE HOUSE. I took my foaming bath cleaner out of the bathroom and started using it on my walls, floors, patio furniture, kitchen basically, anything and everything. It cleans it all. When we removed the carpet in the hall, the old vinyl flooring underneath had seen better days. After using the foam on the floor, the dust and carpet fibers came up, and I didn’t have to replace the flooring right away. For most things, just spray, wait a few minutes and whip away the dirt. And it disinfects, too! Jennie, email

Share your own tips in the comments section below, or HERE. Include your first and last name and state.

Clever Ways to Make Sure Nothing Goes to Waste

Sometimes I wonder how Everyday Cheapskate readers discover their handy ideas. I mean, who would have thought something that cleans brake parts would also remove stains from clothes? Go figure!

Buttons

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NOTHING GOES TO WASTE. Our town has two thrift shops that accept worn-out clothes. They remove the buttons and sell those. Then they bag up the clothes and sell them to a “rag man,” who gives them 7 cents a pound. So really, nothing has to go to waste. Mary

No More Flabby Celery Plus More Great Reader Tips

If you suffer the heartbreak of flabby celery, asparagus, and fresh herbs despite your best efforts to keep them fresh and lovely at least as long as it takes to use them up—one simple change in the way you’re storing them could make all the difference. That and so much more in today’s post, all courtesy of your fellow EC readers!

Photo credit: DomesticSoul.com

FRESHER LONGER. You are right about treating asparagus (celery, fresh herbs) like cut flowers to preserve them, but you left out the step I learned during a brief spell in the floral trade: Trim the bottoms of the stalks first. Even when the bundles have been sitting in water at the grocer’s, they were left dry in transit and will have dried up enough at the cut ends to close off a lot of the capillary passages. Trimming to fresh green lets more water be pulled in to keep the stalks alive. I usually do that as soon as I get them home; this helps to revive any stalks that have gotten a little flabby. Will (The exception to this is green onions, aka scallions, which should be stored in a plastic bag in a refrigerator crisper drawer. -mh)

ROUGH IT UP. Instead of spending time and money to replace and install new automobile wiper blades, renew them: Hols a piece of sandpaper between your thumb and forefinger. Now run the sandpaper along the edge of the rubber blade, first on one side then the other. This will renew the surface so it efficiently wipes the windshield. You can do this two or three times before a wiper blade is completely spent, requiring replacement. Walter

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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