How To


One would think that the interior of a washing machine would be the cleanest place in a home since it’s continually being filled with soap and water. However, over time the interior of your washing machine can build up hard water film. Additionally, it can harbor mold and bacteria.

To remedy these problems, pour a quart of white vinegar into the wash tub and run the machine through a hot wash cycle. Do this about every three months to keep the tub of your machine in tip top shape.

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal
– Beauty thru fiber art

Grocery stores often have special sprinkler systems over their produce bins that periodically mist the vegetables to keep them crisp and fresh looking. Our refrigerators tend to dry things out, which leaves us with veggies that appear to have given up the ghost.

To revive your wilted produce, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a pan of cold water. Soak the veggies for about one hour and they should be good to go. (You can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar.)

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal – Beauty thru fiber art

This tip is for homes with small children (or grandchildren). Although it doesn’t technically fall under the rubric of timesaving advice, I think it’s such a great home safety tip.

Whenever you have a plastic bag that needs to be disposed of, immediately tie it into knots so that no harm can come to small children before or after the bag reaches the trash can.

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal – Beauty thru fiber art

Washing your blender after use can be time consuming and risky considering the sharpness of those little blades.

Here’s a tip on how to clean your blender safely and efficiently. Fill the blender with hot water until it is half full. Add a generous amount of dishwashing liquid, cover, and push the on button. The blender will clean itself in no time.

If there are food particles stuck to the sides, add a few ice cubes to the mix before turning on the blender. (Make sure the cover is attached securely.)

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal – Beauty thru fiber art

Since most American homes have some degree of hard water, mineral deposits build up in coffee makers over time. Here is a safe and effective way to remove deposits. Fill your coffee maker with equal parts white vinegar and water. Run this solution through one brew cycle and then run plain water through one cycle.

Do this every few months to keep your coffee maker working efficiently.

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal – Beauty thru fiber art

List

I live by lists. I have a weekly grocery list. I have a “To Do” list. I keep a list of ideas that come to me at odd moments so that I don’t lose the thought. I make a list while sitting at the computer and working on my business, jotting down things I need to remember as I move from one task to another. Occasionally, I don’t add something to my list, thinking that I will surely remember it because it’s important. BIG MISTAKE.

Lists are our friends. They save us incredible amounts of time and help to keep us organized. Here is an example of how I organize my grocery/errand list. Every time a family member says we are out of something, it goes on the list. Whenever someone says, “Next time you’re at the store. . .” it goes on the list. Any items I need for our family meals that week go on the list. Some people group their grocery list according to location of items in their particular grocery store. I like that idea.

My errand list goes on the back of my grocery list. Usually it includes the bank, some specialty stores, the post office, etc. Before I leave the driveway, I take a pen and put numbers next to each item in order of their location. By doing this ahead of time, I know that my errands will flow in the most time efficient manner.

Where you keep your lists, whether they’re color coded, and other such considerations are a matter of personal choice. Since I spend so much time at the computer, I usually keep most of my lists at that desk. I prefer hard copy lists for most things, although I do keep business items in a software organizer that can be printed out when needed.

We lead busy lives. Trusting our memories can be a risky venture, especially when so many items compete for our attention in any given 24-hour period. Keeping lists is a great way to save time, keep in the flow of things, and reduce the stress level so many of us experience on a daily basis.

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal – Beauty thru fiber art

Dawn

Some household products do double-duty, performing beyond their intended purpose. Dawn dishwashing liquid is one of those products. (Other brands do not work as well.)

Mixed half-and-half with tap water, Dawn becomes a powerful stain remover for clothing. Simply mix in a small spray bottle and use on stains, especially greasy ones. I like to keep a mixture in the laundry area and treat stains immediately. Give it a try.

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N. Rene West
Fembellish Journal – Beauty thru fiber art

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