No Shortage of Clever Reader Tips

The texture of food can certainly affect one’s tastebuds. If only changing the texture of things we don’t like was as easy as our first reader suggests. What a clever idea!


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DE-STRING THE CELERY. While celery might be a dieter’s friend, the strings are a nuisance. My husband suggested using the vegetable peeler to remove the strings, and it worked. Not only does it vastly improve the taste and texture of the celery for snacking, it makes chopping a breeze. Carol, Oregon  REFRIGERATOR WHITE BOARD. Our new refrigerator has a smooth finish, and we started using the top area as a dry-erase white board, keeping track of our shopping list and writing notes. Somehow a permanent marker got used, but I didn’t know it. I tried just about everything, but nothing worked to erase the marker stain. Finally, I grabbed the bottle of liquid Bar Keeper’s Friend that we use for the glass on our wood-burning stove. It took a few applications, but it worked! We still use the fridge as a white board, but I’ve hidden all the permanent markers. Pamela, New York

RIP OFF THE CELLOPHANE. When trying to open a cellophane wrapper on an item, I use a seam ripper. It works better than using a pair of scissors. Joy, Virginia 

DAWN RISES ON STAINS. I discovered recently that Dawn with bleach alternative removes many stains. I spilled red wine on a new yellow top and it had dried before I was able to treat it. I put the top in a bucket of cold water with a squirt of the detergent and let it stand overnight. Voila! No more wine stain. Laurel, email 

COMPACTOR BAGS REALLY SAVE. The Space Saver Bags that are advertised on TV are nice, but they don’t last long. Within a year, the bags began to break down and tear. I found that plastic trash compactor bags are a great replacement. I put my items in the bag (making sure nothing sharp is sticking up), wrap the opening around the vacuum hose and vacuum the air out. I twist the hose and bag as I pull out the hose, and tie the bag closed with twine. These bags are thicker, hold up longer and cost a lot less. DebbiSu, West Virginia 

NO STICKY MESS. I really like coconut macaroons, but they are too sticky to work with. I spray a 1/4 cup measuring cup with Pam, pack it half full of dough, turn it upside down and tap it onto the parchment paper. Perfectly formed macaroons and no sticky mess. Nancy, Wisconsin 

TIDE FOR THE TOILET. We have well water, and I have tried everything to clean my toilet, but nothing cleaned to my satisfaction. Out of frustration, I tossed in the solution of Tide detergent that I had left over from cleaning my deck. Imagine my surprise when the Tide left a sparkling clean bowl behind. Mary, Pennsylvania

Do you have a tip to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

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20 replies
  1. Lora
    Lora says:

    When I fix celery to snack on, I take a paring knife and score around the stalk just enough to cut the strings, about 1/2 to 3/4 inches apart. and each bite still has the strings on but are not hard to bite off.

  2. savingsouthernmom
    savingsouthernmom says:

    In an attempt to cut our family’s waste, I have installed a large plastic container in our refrigerator freezer. When we have small leftovers, not enough for one or worse, a fight over it, the left over (meat, rice, pasta or veggie) goes in the bowl. When the bowl is full, I add some mixed veggies and other fixin’s and put it all in the crock pot for some wonderful homemade soup. The kids call it “garbage soup”, but it’s hearty and healthy. If it’s too hot to eat right now, it goes into the freezer for a quick dinner when it’s fall or winter. We are saving money by utilizing what we have into something else we can use. Yum!

  3. ladyofthelake318
    ladyofthelake318 says:

    Another way to get off permanent marker is to use hair spray — be sure and wipe while it’s still wet.

  4. Oveeda Dowd
    Oveeda Dowd says:

    I like the Oxyclean for the toilet bowl, it cleans everything else,why not THE BOWL, I am going to try it.

  5. Barbara Pirie
    Barbara Pirie says:

    What is the name of the plastic trash compactor bags? Where do you buy them? I have never seen them. Also I have never seen liquid Barkeeper’s Friend. I live in South New Jersey near Atlantic City. Maybe someone would tell me.

  6. Glenda Williams
    Glenda Williams says:

    I chop celery up and freeze it if I am not going to use it right away. I also do bell peppers the same way. Just wash, chop, and freeze! I have removed ink stains with alcohol before. Thanks for all the tips. I will be trying them soon!

  7. Melodi
    Melodi says:

    I’m a teacher and have found another way to remove permanent marker from surfaces. Use nail polish remover. Just be sure that the nail polish remover won’t damage your item. It works great on laminated surfaces, even laminated posters!

  8. MED
    MED says:

    I also had spilled red wine on a new shirt while at a friends. She suggested a cap full of hydrogen peroxide mixed with a drop or two of dawn. I tried it after I came home hours later. I was shocked & impressed. It works wonderfully!

  9. Billee Wesner
    Billee Wesner says:

    Well, reading these comments has made me recall something from many years ago….Inexpensive Aquanet hair spray will remove ballpoint ink and felt tip maker ink frrom clothing but it is a great grease and oil remover from clothing as well. BGW – Spokane

  10. Guest
    Guest says:

    Now if only someone could make peanut butter with a different texture. I can’t stand it, so lose out on that quick and easy protein source

  11. Priscilla
    Priscilla says:

    We have used the dry ink pen to remove permanent ink pen from our dry ink board many times. I don’t know if it would do the same on a refrigerator, however.

  12. Lynn Hagan
    Lynn Hagan says:

    Further to permanent marker on actual whiteboards – a rubber eraser works also, but requires a certain amount of “elbow grease”.

    Seam rippers are also quite useful and removing the bad mats a long haired cat can develop – safer than a pair of scissors and less likely to freak out the kitty.
    Lynn, Alberta

  13. Hansenclan
    Hansenclan says:

    I like that TIDE in the toilet bowl idea. Of course, we have no TIDE, but now I’m wondering about the SUNLIGHT laundry detergent we have, or maybe OXYCLEAN?

  14. Lynn Carrell
    Lynn Carrell says:

    To clean permanent marker off of white boards or ink out of clothes, spray with hairspray. Works every time.


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