cleaners http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12105/all en-US Absolut Repurposing: 17 Uses for Vodka http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/absolut.jpg" alt="Girl with vodka bottle" title="Girl with vodka bottle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In college, I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia. In a place where you can buy a liter of some of the finest vodka for only $3 and street stands sell bottles of the drink for 50 cents, it's no surprise that I came across some odd uses for the vodka while abroad. Here are ways (besides drinking) to make the most of it. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cocktail-time-great-budget-liquors">Cocktail Time: Great Budget Liquors</a>)</p> <h2>Household Cleaning</h2> <p>Did your in-laws just call giving you a 10-minute warning that they're on their way over &mdash; and you're all out of cleaning supplies? For the following remedies, mix one part vodka to three parts water in a spray bottle for any of the following cleaning methods. Then let sit and wipe clean with a damp cloth.</p> <p><strong>1. Shine and Polish Most Surfaces and Jewelry</strong></p> <p>Porcelain, glass, chrome, stainless steel, and most metals can be polished with the help of vodka. (Always be sure to test an out-of-sight spot on any surface you're unsure of.) And don't try to clean any sensitive jewelry, like pearls, opals, and porous jewels with vodka.</p> <p><strong>2. Remove Soap Scum</strong></p> <p>Whether it's on your bathtub, shower, sink, or faucet, soap scum can be easily removed with vodka.</p> <p><strong>3. Clean and Kill Mildew</strong></p> <p>You know the pink mildew that builds up on your bathroom caulk? The vodka's alcohol will kill it.</p> <p><strong>4. Clean Mirrors and Windows</strong></p> <p>Vodka works wonders in removing everything from toothpaste to hairspray from your mirrors and things like kids' fingerprints and dog-nose prints from your windows.</p> <p><strong>5. Remove Glue (and Other Sticky Stuff)</strong></p> <p>When the price tag glue on your newest purchase stubbornly refuses to budge, dab a bit of vodka on it and let sit for a few minutes before rubbing off with a wet washcloth. It even works on bumper sticker adhesive.</p> <h2>Plants and Pets</h2> <p>Vodka is useful for cleaning and killing problems caused by plants and pets.</p> <p><strong>6. Kill Weeds</strong></p> <p>Dandelions can be killed with the help of vodka. Mix a half a cup of vodka and four cups of water in a bottle and thoroughly spray the weeds in your yard. Make sure the sun is bright; the alcohol and sun will work to dehydrate the weed and kill them for good.</p> <p><strong>7. Kill Pests</strong></p> <p>Next time you trap a bee in your windowsill, spray some vodka/water on it to kill it. And aphids can be killed on plants by spraying the plants with a well-diluted vodka solution (one teaspoon of vodka for each cup of water is best).</p> <p><strong>8. Remove Pet Odors</strong></p> <p>If your cat or dog stunk up your carpet, spray the spot with one part vodka to four parts water, and let dry.</p> <h2>Laundry</h2> <p>Vodka dries without an odor and is extremely useful in doing your laundry. Here are two ways it helps.</p> <p><strong>9. Remove Stains</strong></p> <p>Treat ink, lipstick, and grass/plant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-homemade-stain-removers-that-kick-butt">stains</a> with a bit of vodka. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before throwing in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry.</p> <p><strong>10. Clean Mildewy and Moldy Towels</strong></p> <p>If your bath towels, washcloths, and kitchen towels are smelling a little rank, put a half to full cup of vodka in with your regular wash to remove the smell.</p> <h2>Personal Hygiene</h2> <p>You probably don't feel the most hygienic after drinking too much vodka, but the alcohol can actually be used in several hygienic ways.</p> <p><strong>11. Use as a Toner</strong></p> <p>Most toners contain a large percentage of alcohol. So, if you're in a pinch, apply vodka to your face with a cotton ball before showering.</p> <p><strong>12. Cure Dandruff</strong></p> <p>Cleanse your hair with a mixture of rosemary and a few tablespoons of vodka to prevent and cure dandruff.</p> <p><strong>13. Make Mouthwash</strong></p> <p>This <a href="http://ecosnobberysucks.com/2011/04/simple-tasty-home-made-mouth-wash-recipe/" title="mouthwash recipe">mouthwash recipe</a> calls for vodka, baking soda, water, Stevia, and herbs. I've also seen similar recipes that omit the baking soda and Stevia, and instead use cinnamon, vodka, and water. Try experimenting to find the best proportions for you. Just be sure to avoid swallowing.</p> <h2>Medicine</h2> <p>These are at-home alternative medicine treatments. Always consult your physician before trying to treat an ailment with a non-prescribed treatment.</p> <p><strong>14. Treat Earaches and Toothaches</strong></p> <p>In Russia, mothers used to put vodka in their children's ears and mouths for earaches and toothaches. I would never try this on my kid, but if the dentist can't see you until tomorrow, vodka treatment might be worth a try.</p> <p><strong>15. Treat Cold Sores</strong></p> <p>Supposedly, by treating your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-and-treat-cold-sores">cold sore</a> with a bit of vodka, the alcohol will dry up the sore.</p> <p><strong>16. Relieve Jellyfish Stings</strong></p> <p>If you're at the beach and would rather avoid a <a title="Friends: &quot;The One With The Jellyfish&quot;" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUwFfadp00"><em>Friends</em> moment</a>, grab the vodka and pour it over the sting instead.</p> <p><strong>17. Relieve Poison Ivy</strong></p> <p>If you've brought vodka on your camping-trip-gone-awry, use it to remove the plant's oils that cause the reaction.</p> <p><em>Have you ever used vodka for something other than drinking? What for? And did it work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/absolut-repurposing-17-uses-for-vodka">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-money-saving-uses-for-mouthwash">19 Money-Saving Uses for Mouthwash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons">25 Alternative Uses for Lemons</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Home alcohol alternative uses cleaners laundry vodka Tue, 24 Jan 2012 11:24:24 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 875789 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Clean Silver Naturally http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-clean-silver-naturally" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/silver_sale.jpg" alt="Silverware at a flea market" title="Silverware at a flea market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Part of the fun of shopping at thrift stores and estate sales is that I almost always find a beautiful piece of vintage silverware that is black with tarnish but just waiting for a little cleaning to reveal the diamond in the rough underneath! From vintage silver platters and bowls to candlesticks, coasters, and coffeepots, there are so many heirloom silver items out there waiting to be discovered. But how do you restore silver items to their former shining glory? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales">Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales</a>)</p> <p>Commercial silver cleaners are cheap, but they tend to be filled with harsh chemicals that I prefer not to use around the house. Fortunately there is a way to safely clean silver using common household products that you have in your pantry right now.</p> <h3>Cleaning Silver With Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda</h3> <p>Hurray for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">baking soda</a>! It is such a heavyweight when it comes to uses around the home. This method of cleaning silver works wonders even for heavily tarnished pieces as long as they can stand up to a little heat.</p> <ol> <li>First, bring a large pot of water to the boil on the stovetop. Make sure that the pot is large enough to fit all of your tarnished silver items. Don&rsquo;t overfill the pot (leave at least two inches of space at the top).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When the water boils, remove the pot from the heat. Place a piece of aluminum foil into the bottom of your pot, and place your silver items on top, immersed in the boiling water. Start shaking baking soda into the pot. It will foam and bubble, and you&rsquo;ll notice a sulfuric smell, like rotten eggs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The chemical reaction will (almost magically) remove the tarnish from your silver, as the tarnish will become attracted to the aluminum foil instead of your silver piece. Keep sprinkling in more baking soda until your silver is shiny and clean or until the liquid no longer foams.</li> </ol> <p>The water has to be really hot for this to be effective, but if you do it correctly, it works like a charm on tarnished silver. I&rsquo;ve actually found this to be the best method for removing tarnish from vintage silver, as it is more effective than many silver polishes I have used. It even gets into the nooks and crannies where you wouldn&rsquo;t be able to hand-polish the tarnish away.</p> <p>Once the tarnish is gone, wash the silver with gentle soap and water to remove the rest of the baking soda. If there are a few spots of tarnish left, they should wash off when rubbed gently with a soft cloth.</p> <p>If you have silver jewelry set with gemstones, I would hesitate to use this method, as it may cause damage to some gemstones. You might want to take your jewelry to a professional jeweler to have it cleaned. However, this method works well for silver platters, flatware, bowls, chains, serveware, and many other silver or silver-plated items.</p> <h3>Be Wary of Abrasive Methods</h3> <p>Many articles on the Internet recommend scrubbing your silver pieces with toothpaste, table salt, or baking soda. The reason toothpaste, salt, and baking soda work is because they are abrasives, but while they may scrub away the tarnish, they are also rubbing scratches into your silver, and in the case of silver-plated items, they may start to wear away the silver finish entirely, exposing the base metal.</p> <p>Nevertheless, I have been guilty of using a baking soda/water paste to clean a few inexpensive pieces of silver <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free">jewelry</a>. While professional silversmiths might be horrified, I find that it is worth it to me to have a clean piece of jewelry that I will actually wear rather than a tarnished-but-undamaged piece that sits in my drawer for years.</p> <p>Antique silver plate and good-quality silver jewelry may lose much of its value if cleaned improperly. If you have a valuable silver piece and you are in doubt as to how to clean it, it may be best to bring it to a professional.</p> <p><em>How do you usually clean your silver? Which method is the most effective?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-to-make-old-things-seem-new">18 Ways to Make Old Things Seem New</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living buying used cleaners jewelry Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:25:19 +0000 Camilla Cheung 599711 at http://www.wisebread.com