bird house in bottle

Rehab is for the Birds and More Great Reader Tips

If you’re planning a home rehab—or in the throes of that right now—just imagine how wonderful it would be if all it took to make the place like new was a spritz or two of our favorite odor-eliminating and cleaning spray. That’s all it took for some very lucky birds!

bird house in bottle

Fresh home

I have another use for Nok-Out. I have a gourd birdhouse and I thought it was getting too full of nesting material so I cleaned it out thinking the birds would start over the next spring building a nest in it. I was wrong. I went two years and still no bird nested. I decided to spray it with Nok-Out because maybe a bird could smell the prior resident, so to speak. I sprayed it; let it dry in the sun, hung it back up and now I have a new resident. Love your column. Kathy

Nok-Out is an amazing product, and proven safe for all things aviary! Something else amazing? -mh

Cash iron restore

Just read your article on cast iron pans. These are better than any non-stick cookware on the market. An easier way to get rid of rust on an old cast iron pan is to fill the pan or pot with Coca-Cola and boil it. This will take the pan down to bare metal and ready to be properly seasoned. Jim

Great laundry stain remover

I read your article about Soilove Laundry Stain Remover. It isn’t available in Minnesota but we do have Greased Lightning Super Strength Cleaner and Degreaser. It works great as a laundry stain remover as well as many of the other uses that you mentioned for Soilove. Greased Lightning is especially effective on greasy or oily stains on clothing, even items that have gone through the dryer. I’ve rescued many articles of clothing from the rag bag with Greased Lightning. I don’t know how it compares to Soilove but I’ve been very impressed with the results. Cindy

Pick it clean

I hate deboning a roasted chicken or Thanksgiving turkey. Seemed to take forever, until I put on a clean pair of rubber gloves and instead of utensils, used my hands to pull everything off. Roasted chicken takes about 10 minutes to pick clean. The gloves are tacky enough to grip, and I don’t get my hands slippery and messy. I can get every morsel—Fast, no frustration, and simple. Kay

Make it Greek

Create your own Greek yogurt by folding a full-size paper towel into quarters, placing it on top of plain yogurt and it will absorb the sour-tasting whey. Replace the towel when soaked or each time you eat some yogurt. The more often you replace the towel, the tastier the yogurt becomes. We buy the larger size tubs and after a couple of towels, it tastes a lot smoother and less tart. Be sure to buy yogurt that is stiff and not runny or the towels will stick. KC

Auto cleaner

Use plain old baking soda on a damp rag to remove bugs, tar and anything else from your vehicle. Works great, even 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. This method even cleans away the cloudy film on headlight covers. Bud

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. With a utility knife I customized the fit around the seat hardware. This saved a lot of money and works beautifully. Judith

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

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, their carts are 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 a 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. Jo-Ann


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7 replies
  1. Ann N says:

    Re: Don’t go to the grocery store hungry…..

    Might I add don’t go to the grocery store, hungry, don’t take husband and don’t take children!!!

  2. ROBERT SMITH says:

    I wanted to add the same point about the whey in the yogurt. That is where most of the protein is, I get Greek yogurt and stir the whey in. I love it, and sometimes add blueberries and puffed quinoa ( sells it). Very delicious!

  3. Sherry Suffridge says:

    I use a de-greaser called SPRAY9 and it’s available in the auto department at Wal-Mart! I often put a fourth of a cup in each load wash that has oily items. It is wonderful to use when washing sheets! It gets rid of body oils that can make your sheet look dingy. I also use Color Catchers in each load of laundry I do. I start with a new sheet in the light colors and then the same sheet as I wash down to the darker colors! Sherry

  4. ABC says:

    Re: paper towels to make Greek yogurt: Don’t paper towels have lots of chemical residue left over from their manufacturing process?

  5. Susan says:

    Whey drained from yogurt is a precious item. I use a few spoons of it in soaking water for grains and beans. It can be used to start veggie ferments. It is full of the good organisms that our guts need. I just drained a quart of yogurt to get a supply of whey. Don’t toss the stuff!


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