A Camper’s Special

A great gift for someone who love the great outdoors is camping gear of any kind. Anything from sleeping bags, camp stoves, tents and other kinds of gear are always appreciated.

I usually take a weekend and do a walk-though all of the various yard sales going on in the spring before I hit a retail shop. I’ve found brand-new, still-in-the-box sleeping bags, camp stoves, cooking sets, backpacks and even walking sticks for super cheap. You really can get more for your money.

(tip submitted by BR, WY)

Clog-Free Drains

Save yourself some big money and keep your drains running free and clear without any chemicals of any kind simply by pouring a big pan of boiling water down the drain a couple of times a week. The boiling water dissolves any grease or gunk that might be sticking to the sides of the pipes and gets any grease washed away before the 'gunk' can accumulate.

I usually use the boiling water from cooking pasta or even potatoes in their jackets to rinse out the insides of the pipes. Haven’t had a clog in years!

(tip submitted by MS, IA)


Bug Killer, the Easy Way

You can make a disposable fly/bug trap for all of the creepy, crawly, flying types of critters that abound during the summer months. All you need are some plastic jugs of some kind (gallon milk or vinegar jugs work well), and a piece of heavy twine or rope if you want to hang it in a tree or on a fencepost.

In addition to the jug, you will need the following items:

  • Banana skins (I freeze these ahead of time so I can make up several jugs at once)
  • A little sugar     
  • Some sweet pickle juice or some vinegar

I take the jug and poke a few holes around the top of the jug and then tie a piece of rope to/through the handle.  Tie a doubled up piece of heavy twin or a lightweight rope around the top of the jug or through the handle.

Then, I take about three banana peelings and chop them up real fine. Then add about ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of vinegar, stir it up and then add some water. Pour it in the jug and then finish filling the jug half-full of water.  Set these outside, AWAY from doors and windows or hang them on a tree branch.  In a few days, the stuff will ferment and attract wasps, flies and other crawlies drawn to the sticky juice. They get stuck and drown. When the jug gets to looking really 'icky’, just toss it away and make up another jug. I’ve used these in my fruit trees to keep the bugs that put holes in my apples away.

I have a son who is severely allergic to wasps and these really help around the farm shop and other outbuildings to keep them under control. There is nothing in this concoction that would harm a child or a critter in case of any spills. And, they are so easy to replace as needed.


Recycle That Old Lunch Box

There comes a time when the character lunchbox is passé and said kiddo wants something more up-to-date. What to do with the old, yet still serviceable lunch box? One reader suggested turning it into a portable first aid kit to go in the tool box of a 4-wheeler. Bandages, ointment, tweezers (for stickers from cactus), adhesive tape and some of those pre-moistened disinfectant wipes in individual packages are in mine. It’s saved the day several times!

(tip submitted by KJ, NM)


Bunny Coolers

To keep my bunny rabbits from getting overheated during the hot summer months, we fill one- and two-liter soda bottles almost full of water and then freeze. We take a couple of them out when the weather is over 80 degrees and set them in the corner of the hutch. The bunnies cuddle up next to the bottles when it’s really hot and have their own little ‘air conditioners’.  We change them out a couple of times a day when it’s close to 100 ° and they get along just fine (they are well shaded anyway, but this is just a little extra to add to their comfort).

(tip submitted DB, NE)


Homemade Fly Spray

Mix up equal parts of dish soap, white vinegar and water and pour into a spray bottle.  Spray down the horses, dogs, cats and even the kids and it will keep those biting flies off them. If you add about 10 drops of citronella oil, it will chase away the most of the ‘skeeters too.


Crazy Idea, But It Works…

For the teenagers in the house, to take blackheads and dead skin spots off of your face, use a small brush and paint some white school glue on the spots. Let it dry and peel off the glue. The dead skin cells and a good share of the blackheads will come right off too. Crazy, yes–but it works!

(tip submitted BN, UT)


Painting ‘Helps And Hints'

  • Wash that paintbrush when you are done for the day in a gallon of warm water mixed with ½ cup of cheap fabric softener.  The softener takes all of the paint residue off of the bristles and out of the inner part of the brush!
  • If you can’t take the hinges off of a door to paint it, coat the hinges with rubber cement, paint away and when it’s dry, peel away the rubber cement! The hinges are clean and paint free.
  • A really easy way to keep paint off window glass is to use a super-cheap tube of lip balm and run it around the edge of the window pane, paint the wood and wipe off the lip balm and any paint dribbles after you are finished.

by Paula Vogelgesang

Do you have any tips or ideas you would like to share? Email them to Paula at [email protected]  

Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond.

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