Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Household Hints - Knives - Don't Put Knives in the Dishwasher

Question: Can good quality knives be cleaned in the dishwasher?

Answer: Well...answers on this one can vary. For example, fine knife makers like Wusthof say right on their website that technically you CAN clean their knives in the dishwasher. BUT - handwashing any fine knives is always recommended. In fact, even if you only have regular old cheapy knives, it's still going to maintain a sharp blade far longer if you carefully handwash these in the sink with some soapy water.

Why? The high temperature and bleaching agents in the dishwasher detergent cause damage to the knife's surface. If you've invested in quality knives by Wusthof, Henckels or Global, then take the time to wash the knives in some soapy water - by hand. You'll be taking much better care of your investment.

I LOVE Kitchen Gadgets!
(Including fine knives...)
See my favorites at:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Household Hints - Cooking Hints - Freeze Leftover Stock or Broth into Cubes

Freeze leftover homemade stock or broth in an ice cube tray, and then transfer the frozen stock cubes into baggies for storage. This makes it so easy to add a little bit of homemade stock to recipes that call for stock or broth cubes - you can use your delicious homemade stock instead!

Make sure to label the baggies so that you know what type of broth you have frozen inside.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Household Hints - Easy Cheap Way to Clean Copper

For a cheap formula for cleaning copper, just make a thick paste of lemon juice and salt. It really is that easy!

If you prefer to spend a little money on a good cookware cleaner - Swiss Cleaner is the cleaner that I recommend. It's great on copper AND stainless.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Household Hints - How to Keep Brown sugar Soft and Moist

Keeping your brown sugar soft and moist (not one big, unusable hard lump!) is very simple. Try one of these handy household hints to keep brown sugar soft:

1. Use a brown sugar bear -- a small terra cotta disc (often in the shape of a bear or other decorative shape) made just for this purpose. You can find them in kitchenware shops for a few dollars. Simply moisten the terra cotta disc in some water, and then pop the disc into the sealed container of brown sugar. Voila! Gorgeous, fresh brown sugar.

2. Add a slice of bread or apple to the sealed brown sugar container. This adds moisture to the brown sugar for a really long time.

3. If your brown sugar has already gone hard, you'll find that microwaving a portion of it will soften it up instantly!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Household Hints - Change your Dishtowels Often

Here's another helpful household hint for you.

Change your kitchen towel/dishtowels often to prevent bacteria from growing. Changing your towel everyday is sufficient.

And besides, changing the kitchen towel means changing up the whole look of your kitchen! You can find some fun kitchen towels at my online kitchenwares shop - everything from stripes or polka dots, to palm trees -- kitchen towels are a lot more fun than they used to be!


Shopping Alert:
Freshen up your kitchen with our fun
range of Kitchen Dishtowels


On the other hand, if you're looking for the most PRACTICAL dishtowels, then definitely check out the Flour sack tea towels - they never leave lint behind, and are amazingly absorbent. And they're cute, too! :)

Uses for Fabric Softener (Bounce) Sheets - Prevent Thread from Tangling

Use a fabric softener sheet to keep your thread from tangling! Before you start to sew, rub the Bounce sheet along the thread - you'll find it much easier to work with.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Open Tough Jars and Bottles with a Rubber Glove

  • Open tough jars and bottles by putting a rubber glove on! That'll give you all the grip you need to open just about any stubborn bottle.

    I also find that using a nutcracker works great - again, it just gives you a good grip on the bottle, allowing you to open it easily.

    If you STILL can't open that jar...then try tapping the edges of the jar lid with a butter knife. Somehow it opens the jar seal and makes opening it much easier.

    Have another handy tip on opening stubborn jars or bottles? Please send it in, or just post it in a comment below!

Cleaning Tips - Use Club Soda to Clean up Glass

Did you know that club soda is a great way to clean glass and mirrors? It doesn't matter if it's fresh or stale, just pour some into a clean spray bottle with a fine mist setting and spray away! Use newspapers or microfiber cloths to wipe up, so that you don't leave lint on the surfaces.

Also try club soda to clean faucets and taps - it'll leave them sparkling!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Household Hints - Cleaning Hints - Making Your Own Natural Cleaners

Many families are making their own natural, organic cleaners to replace the harmful chemical varieties they've used for years. Why? Making your own simple cleaners is not only healthier for you, your family, and your pets, but it's better for the environment. Here are two of my favorite resources for natural cleaning recipes, and all of these are FREE recipes:


Included are all-purpose cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, natural air fresheners and much more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Household Hints - Microwave your Dishcloths to keep them clean (and no more stinky dishcloths!)

Keeping your dishcloth clean, fresh and sanitized makes your whole kitchen smell a lot nicer. (Isn't the smell of a musty dishcloth just AWFUL?) Here are two of my favorite ways to keep the dishcloths clean:

  1. Just clean the dishcloth in the dishwasher! All I do is leverage a bowl of cup against the dishcloth on the top shelf of the dishwasher and let it run as usual. Because the dishwasher gets so incredibly hot, it will completely clean and sanitize your kitchen cloth.
  2. Or...a few people have now told me to try cleaning the dishcloth in the microwave. Apparently you can put a thoroughly moistened dishcloth right into the microwave and heat on high for about 30 seconds or so. Be careful not to burn yourself when you take the dish cloth out again! Or...how about killing two cleaning chores with one stone? Try popping the above mentioned dishcloth in the microwave for 30 seconds or so, and then just let it sit in there for about ten minutes. Your dishcloth will get cleaned AND all of the accumulated steam inside the microwave will make it easy to clean - just wipe that dishcloth around the interior of the microwave and you've got a gorgeous, lovely, clean microwave now!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Household Hints - Use Shaving Cream to Anti-Fog Your Bathroom Mirrors

Here's a fun tip for the day: use foaming shave cream (not shave gel) to make your bathroom mirrors anti-fogging! No more foggy, steamy mirrors after a shower. Just use some as a cleaner on the mirrors and then wipe off.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Household Hints - Cleaning - Removing spilled Candle Wax from Furniture

I love candles, but I hate the pools of spilled wax that I sometimes find left behind on furniture. It's not as hard as you might think to remove the wax...here are a few tips to help:

1. Remove as much of the surface spilled wax as you possibly can. Use something that won't cause further damage to the furniture - something like a plastic spatula with a squared off edge will help you scrape off the wax.
2. Use a soft cloth to remove more of the wax - adding a little furniture wax will help.

Another handy tip - to get old bits of candle wax out of your favorite votive candle holders - just pop it in the freezer! After a few hours, the old bits of wax should pop right out, leaving you with a lovely, fresh candle holder just waiting for a new votive.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Household Hints - Haircare - Easy Homemade Conditioning Spray

From my Kitchen Crafts 'n' More Newsletter back in 2001!

Easy Conditioning Spray
Here's a super-simple idea that I like to use occasionally. When even
regular conditioning isn't enough, you can add a few tablespoons of
good hair conditioner to a spray bottle. Fill the bottle with water,
and shake well to combine. You can then use this as a leave-in
conditioner that will make your hair feel great.

Household Hints - How to Clean a Baking Stone

CLEANING Household Hints - Baking Stones
Thanks to our newsletter subscribers for these great tips on how to clean a baking stone! For more household hints and to join our newsletter, just visit Kitchen Crafts 'n' More's Website.

1. "To clean your pizza baking stone - sprinkle with baking soda & rub lightly with a damp cloth. Rinse well. Works great!"Submitted by Connie

2. " Scrape off as much as you can using the edge of of a plastic pancake turner or something similar. Don't worry about leaving a stain; as you use the stone and it gets older you''re bound to get more stains..It just helps to "season" the stone. The next time you use the stone give it a light spray of Pam.This may help with any discoloration and any stuck on food." Submitted by Paula

3. "I have one and it looks totally disgusting! But I understand from several sources that the more you use it, the better it works. And cleaning it only with warm water is against our idea of "cleaning." But if you use any soap or cleaner on it, it absorbs the soap and leaves that taste. So keep using, rinsing with water. The uglier, the better the food tastes. It's also good for baking french fries & onion rings (frozen), cookies & biscuit (I use parchment paper here)." Submitted by Ann

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Household Hints - Use a Fabric Softener Sheet to Dust With

Just use a used fabric softener sheet (such as Downy or Bounce sheets) to dust your electronics and all around your home! It works really well.

More fun cleaning tips all the time at http://www.happyslob.com - the Happy Slob's Guide to Housecleaning

Sunday, April 01, 2007

All of our Baking Soda Hints and Tips and Uses

P.S. If you're looking for all sorts of ways to use baking soda around the home, check out the list I've compiled so far at: Baking Soda Hints Database ...Enjoy!

Household Hints - Baking Soda Uses - For Bee and Wasp Sting Relief

Here's an email I just received from Renee...


Here's something you might consider adding in your Baking Soda Database.

For bee and wasp stings, make a thick paste and apply. Stops the stinging almost immediately.

I'm told it works for ant bites too but haven't tried it myself.

Love your website! Renée :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Household Hints - Free Sewing Tips - Sharpening Shears

You can't just sharpen your pinking shears as you would normal scissors. Instead, cut your pinking shears through coarse sandpaper to get them sharpened - just a few cuts will do the trick and you'll be surprised by how much sharper the shears will be!

Household Hints - Free Sewing Tips - Sewing on Buttons

Here's a handy tip on getting your buttons to stay on longer. The trick is to use nylon fishing line to sew the buttons on to the garment! It is far stronger than regular thread, and will keep your buttons securely attached to your clothes for a lot longer. Meaning: less buttons to sew on later!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Household Hints - How to get T-shirts and other clothes SUPER White and Clean - Laundry Tips

This one was submitted by Carol in my Kitchen Crafts 'n' More Newsletter way back in 2001.

Add 1/2 cup 20 mule team borax along with bleach and laundry detergent to keep white things white. Of course remember Hot water with whites whenever you're washing.

Household Hints - How to Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder Nectar

I have always made my own Nectar for the hummingbirds at a 3 to one ratio of water to sugar. For example 3 cups of water to 1 cup sugar, and then I boil the mixture to prevent it from spoiling.(This will fill 2 feeders).I have also seen recipes that call for a 4 to 1 ratio, but I prefer to make it with the 3 to 1 ratio. Do not use honey or artificial sweeteners it must be sugar. You will cause malnutrition with honey or artificial sweeteners.I always have lots of hummingbirds around who really enjoy this nectar. (I have heard that red food colouring will ruin their kidneys, I don't know if this is true or not so I do not add it to the nectar just in case it is true, I just make sure the feeder is red.)

Submitted by Cheryl

Monday, February 19, 2007

Household Hints - Removing Odors and Stains from Carpets

1 bottle hydrogen peroxice
1 T. baking soda
1 T. dish soap

Mix together, put on area where smell is. I rub it with a scrub brush and then blot with a towel.So far, I have had a great experience with it. And I used it on bright blue carpet and avocado green carpet, no problem.

Thanks to Laura for sending in this great tip on removing carpet stains and odors! For more natural cleaner recipes, visit http://www.happyslob.com

Household Hints - Cleaning - Microfiber Cloths to Dust

Use microfiber cloths for dusting and you don't even need furniture polish! They're also great for wiping fingerprints off stainless appliances as well as cleaning mirrors and eyeglasses.

Submitted by Laura

Monday, February 12, 2007

Household Hints - Make Your Own Flavored Microwave Oatmeal

Instead of buying those pre-made packets of flavored oatmeal, I just make up interesting flavors myself! I use regular, quick cooking oats (which are more healthful for you than the instant kind in those envelopes of pre-made mix), and experiment by adding spices like cinnamon, dried fruit (raisins, apricots, craisins - dried cranberries - dried cherries, etc) and even some chopped nuts.

All it takes is 1/3 cup of uncooked quick cooking oats with 2/3 cup of water. Mix together, and cook in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir well and add your favorite additions to the mix, and cook on high for 45 more seconds. Let sit for a minute or two to thicken up a bit. Delicious! It's cheaper and better for you - and it really does taste a lot better.

Other ideas to flavor your own oatmeal:

* Maple syrup or maple sugar add a lot of natural sweet flavor

For more fun ideas and household hints, visit my website: http://www.kitchencraftsnmore.net

Friday, February 09, 2007

Household Hints - Keep Fresh Herbs Fresher Longer

Here's a handy household hint that we tell people at the kitchenwares shop where I work. To keep your fresh herbs (that you buy at the grocery store) fresher longer in your fridge, just wrap some moistened paper towels at the bottom of the herbs, and place loosely in a plastic zipper-type baggie. :) It should keep your fresh herbs useable and lovely for longer - and tasting delicious for all your favorite recipes.

Household Hints - How to Clean CDs - Using Windex to Clean CDs

My sister-in-law uses windex to clean the DVD's and CD's.
Submitted by Charles

Friday, February 02, 2007

Household Hints - Pet Hair Removal - Getting Pet Hair off Furniture and Clothes

We love our pets, but we don't love the fur they leave behind all over our clothes and furniture! An easy solution: lightly mist a pair of rubber gloves with some water. (Some people also swear by using the Very Vinegar Solution all Happy Slobs know and love.)

Wipe the moistened rubber glove all over the clothing or furniture that you want to remove the pet hair from. The hair should collect up into a ball, and will be easy for you to pick off and remove from the surface.

Have any great household hints to share? Please send them to me (Christina) at christina@happyslob.com

Household Hints - Natural Cleaning Tips - Baking Soda Cleaner

One of my very favorite natural, non-toxic cleaners that you can find right in your own pantry is baking soda. Of course, there are many uses for cleaning with baking soda (many of my favorites are listed at: Baking Soda Uses on HappySlob.com) but one very easy use you can try right away is to replace your harsh, chemical powdered cleansers with good old baking soda.

It's especially great for cleaning out pots and pans, scrubbing the bathtub, or cleaning out sinks. Just sprinkle the baking soda on, scrub it with a scrubby sponge, and rinse away the gunk and goo. :) It'll look great!

Household Hints - Disinfect Surfaces with Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide

How to Disinfect Surfaces - Handy for in the kitchen or bathroom

To disinfect surfaces, spray with a mist of straight vinegar followed by a mist of hydrogen peroxide. Allow to sit for five minutes. Then wipe with a paper towel or clean cloth.

Submitted by Laura

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Household Hints - Cleaning Wood Floors - Simple Cleaning Tips for Hardwood Floors

I'm all about EASY cleaning and so I really loved this tip that Laura sent in about cleaning hardwood floors. Here's what she wrote:

Use only a damp mop to clean wood floors.

Not only is this (obviously) completely NON-TOXIC, but it's incredibly cheap and easy. Just be sure to use a lightly damp mop - you don't want to soak the hardwood floor. You just need enough moisture to pick up the dirt. A little spray of an essential oil such as lavender or mandarin would just make the floor (and the whole room for that matter) smell really great!

Happy Slob's Housecleaning Tips - FREE

Household Hints - Cleaning Tips - How to Clean a Coffeepot

Wondering how to get your glass coffee pot (carafe) clean and sparkling? If it's become foggy looking, this is a great tip on how to get it clean again. Sent in by Karen.

Swirl Ice cubes in pot. It does the trick and it’s easy. You could also put vinegar in it or lemon juice in with the cubes.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Household Hints - Substitutions - Substitute for Buttermilk in Recipes

Thanks to Carolyn for this handy household/baking hint:

When you need to substitute 1 cup of buttermilk, just use 2/3 cup of regular yogurt and 1/3 cup of plain milk. Mix together and use in place of the buttermilk called for in your recipes.