Just a few little household and cooking tips that I have picked up over the years.
1. Reduce Microwave Splattering
To reduce spatters in the microwave, place a clean coffee filter in the bowl to absorb the splatters. I use this all the time when heating spaghetti, chili, hotdog sauce, etc. Just slide it into your bowl like you would into the coffee pot filter and when you are done, simply throw it away. It doesn't blow off the top of your bowl like napkins will.
2. Grease a cake pan
I do not like the spray oils for greasing a cake pan. It doesn't bake the cake as evenly as greasing your pan with Crisco or other shortening. But yet, I don't like the mess Crisco makes. I bought a small pastry brush that I use just to grease the pans. I dip it in my Crisco shortening and then simply "paint" the bottom and sides of the cake pan. It makes it easy to get in the corners as well.
3. Removing price stickers from metal or glass
There are actually two ways to do this. On some items, simply holding a hair dryer on it to loosen the adhesive and then pull it off. But sometimes, you still have that gooey residue. I keep a box of Cutex Nail Polish Pads on hand (non-acetone). You wouldn't want to do this on wood or anything that could discolor, but it works wonders on glass products. Simply wipe the nail polish pad across the area and then wash the area and rinse it. No more gooey residue.
4. Dusting in hard to reach corners
I keep a can of spray air (like you use to clean computers) on hand for those hard to reach corners on shelves. Simply aim the wand into the corner and shoot a touch of air. The dust will blow out of the corner onto the shelf where you can wipe it up. This also comes in handy for dusting collectibles that can't be washed.
5. Cleaning costume jewelry.
Some jewelry cleaners are not good on costume jewelry since soaking them can cause a chemical reaction to turn it green. The one thing I have found to keep my costume jewelry sparkling is Prell Shampoo. I keep a toothbrush for just that purpose. Squirt some Prell on the brush (soft bristle) and gently scrub the jewelry. Rinse in cold water for a real shine. Gently dry with a soft cloth.
6. Runny cake or cookie glaze
Do you ever make a glaze with confectioner sugar for your cake or cookies and get it too runny. But you don't have any more confectioners sugar to thicken it up? Simply use some corn starch. The corn starch does not have any flavor and will act like a thickening agent. If you are using any flavoring such as lemon or vanilla or anything, you may have to add a touch more flavoring as the corn starch increases the volume which decreases the power of the flavoring.
7. Cheap Chip Clips
I find that spending money on those chip clips in the chip aisle can be costly. They don't always close tight enough and can snap into very easily. I invested in a bag of the spring loaded clothespins. These are perfect and at the low cost, if one breaks you still have plenty on hand. By the way, I pack a few of these when we go on vacation. We always buy chips and would end up with no way to keep the bag sealed. So now clothespins get packed for every trip.
8. Picking up around the house
I have posted this one before, but it really works. When I clean house, there are always things in rooms where they don't belong. I take an empty clothes basket and start in one end of the house. I walk through every room and do a "once over" and simply pick up things that don't belong and put them in the basket. When I get to the end of the house, I start cleaning. I go through the basket in each room as I clean and put things back where they belong. By the time I get back to the other end of the house, every room is clean and everything is where it belongs.
9. Unloading the Dishwasher
Some of you probably already do this, but it bears repeating. When I unload the dishwasher, I stack everything that belongs together into stacks on the counter. Then, I shut the dishwasher and simply carry each stack where it belongs. Putting up a stack of plates one time beats putting up individual plates 6 or 7 times.
10. Clean and fresh Laundry
My husband has severe dry skin so a lot of laundry detergents break him out. We have switched and tried many different ones. Finally, we found that any that are called Free and Clear don't seem to bother him. But then we just have laundry that smells free and clear. I miss that fresh smell of other detergents. I have found that if I put a scoop of Arm and Hammer Powder Detergent. It helps neutralize in lingering odors and gives an extra boost to the laundry.