One of the hazards of warmer weather is dogs, cats and even kids getting too close to skunks. This ‘Skunk Off’ recipe was shared with me years ago, and I consistently get requests for this concoction.  Works well, and doesn’t cost much.

4 cups (2-pint bottles) of 3% hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup plain baking soda
One teaspoon liquid hand soap (dish soap works well too)

Wet the offending pet/person all over and then shampoo with the ‘Skunk Off’ mixture.  (Be sure to keep it out of eyes and mouth.)  Let it set for a few minutes, then rinse well with lots of warm water. I’ve been advised if you take a “direct hit,” it may take more than one application to eliminate the smell.

Paula says: When this recipe was first printed in PennyWise, I was told about a dog and a 7-year-old boy who had both tangled with skunks, and this solution worked great for both families.  The little boy’s mom told me she had an old washtub in the yard she was going to use as a planter for flowers someday. Instead, she said she was able to use it for the ‘cleanup,’ and decided to hang the tub up just in case this happened again.

Years ago when people got sprayed, they’d dig a hole and bury their clothing for a few weeks in an attempt to get the ‘stink’ off. I have also used this solution to rid the ‘stink’ from the car after getting too close to the critters.

Stain Remover Ideas

BLOOD: Presoak stains in warm or cold water for at least 30 minutes.  If that doesn’t work, put three tablespoons of household ammonia in a gallon of lukewarm water and soak for 30 minutes, then rinse. If any stains remain, work in some laundry soap and then wash the garment.

RUST: Soak in lemon juice and salt for at least one hour and then wash.  If you use one of the commercial rust removers, be careful not to allow children around when using it. Make sure you keep it away from the washer and dryer – the chemicals can damage the finish.

INK: If it comes from a ballpoint pen, pour some denatured alcohol through the stain and then work in some petroleum jelly, and rub in thoroughly. Sponge with non-flammable dry cleaning solvent, and then soak it in a solution of your preferred laundry detergent and fabric-safe bleach.

GREASE: Use powdered chalk or even cornstarch to absorb as much of the grease as possible.  Pretreat with your detergent, let it sit for a good 20 minutes and then wash in the hottest water and soap safe for your fabric.

Paula says: These tips were sent to me, but I haven’t tried them yet. If you use any of these tips, please drop me a line and tell me your results.

Free Winter Bird Feeder Seed

I’m saving the spilled grain that lands in the yard as the guys fill the drills for seeding the summer crops.  I’m going to keep it to fill bird feeders this winter instead of buying birdseed at the store. I’m using old gallon milk jugs to store the seed, and only putting in grain spilled from the shovels filling the drills. I’m also saving my bacon grease in plastic containers and freezing it (well marked of course). I plan to use the bacon fat instead of suet when I fill the feeders next winter. I have a couple of old metal pie tins nailed to some fence posts and use them for part of my feeders.

The birds like them, and cats and other ‘critters’ can’t prey on them while they are eating.

Free Compost

I put the old leaves from last fall in the bottom of my big pots. They make the pots a lot lighter, and over time the leaves turn to compost. When fall comes around, I dump the pot and the contents onto my big compost heap to ‘simmer’ over winter for next year.

Edible ‘Landscaping’

In some areas, any vegetable garden in the front yard is prohibited. My sister-in-law came up with a solution; she plants lettuce among the flowers, puts a couple of tomato plants in with the zinnia’s and a pepper plant or two among the marigolds. She doesn’t keep all the food plants all in one spot. They’re just scattered among the ‘pretties’ in her front yard, and her family can still feast on fresh vegetables. Her kids love picking a tomato and just eating it right from the plant.  They don’t raise a traditional garden, per se. Instead, they go to the ‘pick your own’ places for vegetables such as corn, bushels of tomatoes, etc. for canning purposes.

Creative Use of Old Sponges

I never toss my old kitchen sponges in the trash. I cut them into chunks and put them in the potting soil in my big pots for summer flowers. The bits of sponge absorb the water I pour on the plants and holds it for a few days.

This saves me some time watering, and the plants do very nicely.