Pennywise shares carpet cleaners and spot removers sent in by readers.

Carpet cleaner #1:

1/3 cup powdered Borax (20 Mule Team is one brand)
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
4 gallons of water

Mix, place in carpet cleaning machine and clean the carpets. Rinse well with ¼ cup of white vinegar mixed with 4 gallons of water. This removes any residue from the cleaner and the carpet will stay clean longer.


Carpet Cleaner #2:

1/8 cup of Whisk laundry liquid detergent in the amount of water called for by the particular machine you own. Follow the cleaning with the vinegar rinse above and let dry.


Upholstery Cleaner
Use the cheapest shaving cream you can find to use as a foam carpet or upholstery cleaner.  Spread the foam over the surface with your hand and follow with a scrubby sponge. Rinse in the vinegar solution and let dry.


Carpet Spot Remover
1 Tablespoon household ammonia
1 Tablespoon liquid dish soap
1 quart of hot water

Apply to the carpet with a sponge, scrub with a small fine brush and then blot with another sponge or a dry rag.

Votive Candle Holders

A lot of us burn candles in our homes, and I sometimes like to shield the candle flames. The ceiling fan light covers work perfectly for this and they are heavy enough so they won’t tip over.

(submitted by SK, MN)

Lipstick Saver

A reader writes: “ If you put your lipstick in the refrigerator it will last longer and go on a lot easier.”

‘Orange Light’

A friend posted this hint online and I was skeptical but decided to try it just because I had a couple of oranges on hand.

Cut an orange in half and carefully take out the sections leaving the little white center core in place. (It took a couple of tries for me before I managed NOT to break the core off.)

You now have a small orange ‘bowl’. Take some salad oil and pour it in the orange shell, leaving part of the white core exposed and then light the core. 

It took a couple of tries before I could get the core to light, but it finally did and made a nice little candle for the table. I set mine in a little dish just in case the table got bumped – didn’t want to risk an oil fire! The candle burned for several hours before going out by itself when the salad oil ran out.

Glass Glue 

A reader sent this to us; I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s inexpensive to say the least:

Mix 2 Tablespoons plain gelatin, 2 Tablespoons cold water, 3 Tablespoons skim milk and a few drops of oil of cloves.  Heat on the stove until hot and use to glue glass to glass. 

(submitted by Alexa L, no state given)

(Pennywise says: I am assuming this glue is meant to use for some kind of craft where one would glue the flat glass marbles or other bits of colored glass to a cylinder, such as a clear glass vase.)


Ticks Away

It’s almost tick season here, and already may be where you live. All you need to do if you find a tick fastened on a child, dog, cat, or even you or your spouse is to soak a cotton ball in some liquid soap. Put the soap filled cotton ball over the tick and let it set for 20 – 30 seconds. The tick will let loose and you can find it in the cotton ball and dispose of it.

This is a great idea because I’ve seen where kids have pulled the ticks off, but the head remains under the skin. These can get really sore until you get the head out, and could even become infected enough to require medical attention.

(submitted by RS, ND)


Easy, Cheap Grout Cleaner

7 cups of plain water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/3 cup lemon juice concentrate
1/4 cup white vinegar

Mix the above in a half-gallon jar, pour some into a spray bottle and spray over the stained grout.  Let it set for a couple of minutes and then scrub with a brush. You will be amazed at how well this mixture works on dirty grout. Rinse with clear water and enjoy the sparkling grout and tile!

(submitted by MKS, SD)

Sports Special

To deal with grass stains and ground in dirt on baseball, soccer and even football uniforms:

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and your favorite liquid laundry detergent.  Rub into the stains really well and let the garment(s) sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes before laundering.

I’ve used this on football and baseball uniforms with great success.

(submitted by AK, IL)

Canning Jars?

Instead of buying new canning jars for about $1 each, why not ask your neighbors if they have any jars they no longer use, or check out the yard and thrift sales going on throughout the summer months. I’ve obtained several boxes of canning jars for just 25 cents PER BOX at yard sales, and some neighbors have just given me their ‘no longer used’ canning jars. The neighbors were glad to see someone else learning how to save on their food bills and keep the art of home canning alive. 

Your local extension office has all kinds of information about canning and the latest on the proper timing.

(submitted by Angie S, MO)


Clean Produce

To make sure there are no ‘bugs’ in that nice head of broccoli or cauliflower you just cut in the garden, fill a pan with cold water and then put in a few drops of vinegar. Put the broccoli or cauliflower in enough water to cover and just wait a couple of minutes. Any little ‘buggy friends’ will paddle for the surface like mad and you can dispose of said critters before making your salad!

(submitted by OF, NE)

READERS: If you have tips or ideas to share, send them to Pennywise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543 or email them to [email protected]

P.S.: Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond!