Hand with microfiber cloth cleaning car headlight covers.

How to Remove Cloudy Film from Headlight Covers Plus More Great Reader Tips

Well, you’ve done it again! You clever readers have come up with another batch of fabulous ways that all of us can save time and money doing stuff like cleaning the annoying, cloudy film from your car’s headlight covers—and lots more. 

Hand with microfiber cloth cleaning car headlight covers.

Car cleaner

I make a paste of baking soda and water to clean away the cloudy film on my cars’ headlight covers. Works great! I apply with a damp rag, rub it all over the cover then rinse it off. It even works on the grill and chrome work. Leaves no residue or odor and won’t harm the paint. I just make a paste with baking soda and water, clean away and just rinse off. Works better than any commercial product I’ve tried. Bud

Leaky logic

I used to have to clean some messy leaks from meat that I stored or thawed in the refrigerator. Then, I put a plastic shoebox-size container in the fridge, and I put my thawing meats in that container to catch any spills. When leaks occur (they often do), I run the box through the dishwasher. Pam

Baby the food budget

When I can get baby food for free with coupons, I buy it even though my babies are all grown up. I buy the applesauce and use in my baking or for a snack. I also use it and other fruits to flavor plain yogurt. The puréed vegetables are excellent to add to soups or to add to yogurt or sour cream for a savory dip. The jars are conveniently packaged in 1/2 cup portions. I got 2 cents back from the cashier and a 10-cent Ibotta rebate with this purchase. Judy

Custom floor mats

I wanted floor mats for our mini-van so I stopped by our local car dealership. Boy, was I floored (pardon the pun). I checked a discount department store and while their mats were priced more reasonably, they didn’t fit well. I found a perfect solution by buying clear plastic runner material that is available by the yard at the home improvement center. Using a utility knife I customized the fit around the seat hardware. This saved a lot of money and works beautifully. Judith

Shiny stain-free sink

For an easy, cheap, and green way to clean my classic, white cast-iron enameled kitchen sink, I scrub with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and rinse it away. After rinsing, I add the stopper to the drain and pour hydrogen peroxide into the sink to cover the bottom. I let this sit for 15 to 20 minutes and use a sponge to clean the sides of the sink as needed. Any stains disappear and this leaves the sink super shiny. There’s no odor and it’s non-caustic. Juli

Summer bubbles

Bump up your non-toxic bubble solution by adding a few drops of your favorite extract before those bubbles fly! If you add lemon or peppermint extract, you get the added benefit of bug and pest repellant in the air as well as where they pop. They leave a pleasant whiff in the air, as well as an improved taste if they happen to hit an open smile. Mernico

Good to the last drop

Don’t dump the leftover wine.  It can be a great seasoning agent in your cooking. Just a little splash will add great depth and flavor to a dish, sauce, or salad dressing. Adding just a small amount of wine to sauteed veggies or poached fish adds a huge flavor boost. Cathy

Fridge deodorizer

Used coffee grinds can eliminate even the worst refrigerator odors. I store kimchee (Korean pickled cabbage with a distinct odor) in my refrigerator regularly and I don’t smell it anymore! Simply take out the used coffee filter with the coffee grinds in it and place it in your refrigerator in an open container. It works better than baking soda or any other commercial remedy. I’ve tried them all. Just replace the coffee grinds when they dry up. Jay

Free Unique gift wrap

You can create unique gift packages and help the environment by recycling!  Before tossing old road maps into the trash (which are FREE to AAA members), use them to wrap gifts.  The maps are colorful and may also be a conversation piece (especially if the recipient has been to the area of the map).  Simply add a colorful ribbon for an exquisite presentation! Marsha

Grill mats for toaster ovens

I found that nonstick grill and mesh mats, when cut to fit, work great in my toaster oven. If you trim the mesh to allow for a little overhang in the front, you can pull it out by the two outer edges (it cools super quick) and slide the items right on to your plate, no tongs needed.

Life beyond pickles

I save the liquid from all my jars of pickles, olives, and artichokes. These liquids are great for pickling or marinading other veggies. I also toss them into homemade salad dressings or into mayo-based salads like potato, macaroni or pasta recipes. However, one thing to remember is to be careful about mixing different liquids in the same recipe. Sweet pickle juice and Kosher dill pickle juice really don’t mix well. Luann

Curb hunger first

I am a grocery store checker and trust me when I say never do your shopping when you are hungry! I can easily pick the hungry shoppers from the rest. Not only do they buy more stuff when they arrive hungry, but their carts are also full of junk food. If you can’t eat before you get to the store, grab a roll or cookie from the bakery before you start your shopping. Candi

Hide the scratch

Here’s a great way to hide scratches on wood furniture. First, soak the scratch with a bit of water to open the wood, then wipe it dry. Select a crayon that is as close to the right color as possible. Apply the waxy substance to the scratch; rub it in well with a soft cloth and then buff.

Campus healthcare

Part of most college student fees goes toward student health services. The service can include unlimited visits with doctors, nurse practitioners, and nurses, routine lab work, x-rays, pharmacy, health education, orthopedics, HIV and STD testing. Low-cost services include travel immunizations, flu shots, discounted prescriptions, and CPR and First Aid classes. Have your college student check out their campus student health services. Kathleen

It’s the spice

I keep a bag of frozen chopped spinach in the freezer. I add a handful to spaghetti sauce, ground beef, pizza sauce, fettuccine, etc. I tell my kids it’s spices. They eat it up as long as I’m careful not to overdo it. They actually miss the “spices” when I forget. Laura


More from Everyday Cheapskate

Frozen food in the refrigerator. Vegetables on the freezer shelves.
Lightbulb and crumpled white paper balls on black background. Successful solution of problem. Think outside the box. Business motivation with copy space. Genius idea among failing ideas metaphor.
sink drain unclogged with clear water running freely
kitchen hack uses two glasses of water to test if eggs are rotten or fresh
high gas price, arm and leg
Stainless steel kitchen faucet and sink. Modern kitchen interior
hand cleaning car interior

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8 replies
  1. Kat says:

    Last week my husband was filling our water jugs at the grocery store when a man asked him if he would trade some water for his overheated car for clean headlights. Our 2nd car is an older car with very yellowed headlights. I had just mentioned the week before that we really needed to do something about them. My husband said sure and the man came back with a can and rag. He sprayed the headlight and wiped the rag across it and it was totally clear. Turns out he used a carburetor cleaner spray on them and they came instantly clean. My husband said it was like watching a magic trick. I went out to look at the lights and couldn’t believe the difference. Amazing.

  2. Sheri B. says:

    Non Stick any cooking wear is Toxic. When it is heated up that is when it’s Toxic.

    I would rather use Coconut oil or Avocado spray that I have in different spray container that I bought off of Amazon (something that can take the high heat).

  3. Judy Mc Kenzie says:

    Thank you for your column, I’ve shared the email newsletter with many friends.
    I was surprised that the leftover wine tip did not include freezing them in ice cube trays to use later for cooking or to add to a glass of wine (I have friends that prefer ice cubes in their wine).
    I also make ice cubes of leftover juices (like juice drained from a can of pineapple, etc.).
    Also, I eat dairy free, but do not drink milk alternatives, just use them in cooking and baking, so I freeze a full 1/2 gallon of “milk” in ice cube trays, storing them in zip bags for later use.

  4. Diana Brooks says:

    I love lining and sachet in drawers. I use fancy bags department stores bag their goods in and paper perfume samples inserted in magazines to add a nice fragrance to drawers. Recycling is my thing! Currently on a spending diet, I love your column and my Shark machine! Thx.

  5. Mary Beth Crowley says:

    I had seen a suggestion once for a spray to use on clothes to remove wrinkles. I neglected to write it down at the time, so I need it repeated now. Thank you.

    • Nana Mary says:

      I make my own clothinv wrinkle releaser. I use 1/8 cup of my favorite liquid fabric softener like Downey, put in a empty 32 oz spray bottle and fill the spray bottle with the softener to full with Distilled Water only. Distilled water does not leave a water ring on fabrics. Shake up and spray on wrinkled clothes, then use your hands to gently smooth the fabric. This works well on the knees of pants or shorts you want to wear a second time because I only had them on an hour.

  6. Cat Nap says:

    Great tips today. I have one idea to add to the car mat alternative. My brother showed me how to recycle one of those huge political signs you see roadside during election season. He cuts it to fit the floor of the back of his van to protect it and make it easy to slide things in and out. Once the election is over, the politicians are usually very slow to take
    them down, so recycling them is a bonus for all of us.


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