After canning season is over with and you wash and put the empty jars away, put a bit of crumpled up newspaper inside each of the jars before you put the lid on. It will keep them from having that musty smell when you use them again.

(tip submitted by JH, MN)

Electric Savings

We recently bought a new home closer to our work; it’s a beautiful place to live, but we noticed ALL of the light fixtures had at least four bulbs in each of them.  We promptly unscrewed two or three of them – leaving the bulbs in place – just disconnecting them from the power source by loosening them.

Our motto is, “If one light will do, then don’t use two – or more!”  Our bank account thanks us.

(tip submitted by KT, WA)

Hydraulic Oil Remover

A friend asked how to clean a pair of jeans that was badly stained with hydraulic oil.   He’d been working on a piece of machinery, and the jeans were soaked in oil.

My solution for him was simply to pour undiluted dish soap on the stains, let soak a while and then scrub the daylights out of the stains with an old toothbrush.  Then follow up with straight vinegar, rinse, and then wash alone.

(tip submitted by FM, SD)

Camp Cooking Hint

If you coat the bottoms of your cast iron pots and pans with a bar of hand soap before you put them on the fire grate, the ‘black stuff’ will wash right off. To clean rust off of cast iron, wet the skillet or kettle with plain vinegar and then use salt as a scrub to remove the rust of the ages.

To make a cast iron skillet useable again, coat all over with cooking oil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at 300°.  Repeat several times until you have a good coating of the seasoning. I usually do this about 5 or 6 times to make sure that the oil has soaked into the iron to seal it against moisture.

When I finish using a cast iron skillet at home, I clean it well and then put a fresh coat of oil all over on the inside of the pan and heat it on the stove for about 5 minutes to get the oil good and hot so it can soak into the iron to seal it.  When it’s cold, wipe the excess off with a paper towel and it is ready to use, or put away.

(tip submitted by CF, MN)

See Them, Right Away!

School has started again and many of the children in our town walk to school.  Sometimes the little ones get off of the sidewalk and walk on the edge of the street. It’s OK, as long as we can see them. I think if the parents would dress their children in an article of really bright clothing, for example, bright red, blue, green, orange, drivers could see them better.

Some of us ‘older folks’ can see well enough to drive, but a darting child in a drab coat is hard to spot. The children dressed in bright clothing would also stand out in a snow storm, and would be spotted more easily.

(tip submitted by AR, NE)

Curtain Hint

If you make your own curtains, you can stretch their usage by putting bigger hems in both the top and the bottom. This way you can reverse the curtains every time you wash them and they will wear more evenly.

(tip submitted by WH, MN)

Grass Stain Removal

This is a great tip for parents with children playing football: To get grass stains out of clothing, rub molasses on the stain and let it set for about 15 minutes and then wash.

(tip submitted by AH, SD)

Recycling Detergent Bottle Lids

My husband saves the bottle lids from large detergent jugs, washes them well and then screws them to a board in his shop to hold the smallest screws and nails for his wood-working hobby.  We’ve already paid for those lids and didn’t have to go buy another ‘gadget’.

(tip submitted by PA, TX)