A friend of mine posted a tip about dollar store dish soap on her facebook page the other day, and it got me thinking…how many tips and tricks do we all use daily? I’ve compiled a list below (mainly because I love lists). What tips and tricks would you add?

From my FB friend: Dollar store liquid dishwasher detergent rocks. If you burn (and I mean burn) anything in your pots or pans or anything sticks to them, pour some of that detergent in the pan/dish/pot, mix with water and let it sit. It comes right off. (She does warn us to use gloves if you are using this stuff on dishes because it’s tough on your hands…which makes sense if it is so good at removing burned foods!)

More suggestions:

  1. If you have sticky price tag residue on a hard surface (even a hardback book cover, as long as the paper is slick, not matte) – use antibacterial hand wipes or baby wipes to rub the sticky residue off, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Paste (not gel) toothpaste gets ink off of your hands.
  3. If you don’t have time to wash your hair and don’t happen to have any dry shampoo around, sprinkle baby powder along your part and along the underside of your hair. Brush out and then blow dry just a little a bit. Good as new!
  4. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes. (I wish I had remembered this one last week.)
  5. To get the smell of garlic or onion off your hands, rub them on stainless steel or coffee grounds.
  6. If you have hard water stains or a ring in your toilets (sounds gross, I know) – either rub on cream of tartar with a soft toothbrush, or use a pumice stone like you’d use for a pedicure to rub the ring away. Both items are softer than the porcelain and will remove hard water scale without scratching your toilet bowl. (Another toilet top – drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait 20 minutes, then flush.)
  7. Wine and deodorant stains can be removed from clothing by rubbing with white distilled vinegar, then washing as usual.
  8. Grandma always salted her water before boiling her eggs, and now I know why: To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.
  9. If you really want all of your pancakes to be the same size, use a meat baster to suck up the batter and then dollop it on to your griddle.
  10. Lipstick removal – from lips, clothing, rug/furniture: take a clean, white cloth and moisten it with alcohol. Then, blot the lipstick stain and it will disappear. Another home remedy is dishwashing detergent because most are formulated to fight grease. For this method of lipstick stain removal, dab on a little detergent, let it set for about 10 minutes, and then gently begin working on the stain from the outside edges inward.
  11. Don’t throw out all that leftover wine (What? Leftover? Anyway…) Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
  12. Use air-freshener to clean mirrors: It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine. (Do not, however, use this to clean the kitchen table or the floor…just ask my older sister, whose mother in law did her this favor a few years back. VERY slippery.)
  13. Spray your Tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before storing tomato sauce, soup, etc, and you won’t get the weird orange stains in the bowl.
  14. Celery stores for weeks in the refrigerator if you wrap it in aluminum foil first.

And the final tip, a special bonus from Martha Stewart herself (which I never, never think to do) – put a mini marshmallow in the bottom of your ice cream sugar cone to keep melted ice cream from dripping.

What are your favorite household tips, and where did you learn about them? Share with us in the comments area below!