Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ideas for old or mismatched socks

Here are some ideas of things to do with your old socks. Several of the ideas I found on

1. Dusting. Old gym socks are great for dusting. Turn them inside out and slip on your hands. They are especially good for dusting the blinds, fan blades, furniture, etc.
2. Shining shoes (this works great and then you can toss the sock after using it a couple of times).
3. Sock puppets (lots of fun for kids).
4. Bean bags.
5. Heated rice bag. Fill a long sock with some rice. Sew the end shut. Then heat the sock in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds. This is great on sore muscles or around the neck as a portable heating pad.
6. Protect breakables when moving.
7. Cut the end off a pair of old socks. When painting, cover your shoes with the socks.
8. Cut off the end of a pair of old socks. When pruning roses or bushes with thorns, cover your arms with the socks. This will keep the thorns from scratching your arms. (Okay, I don't know if I actually would do this. It sounds like a fun idea if you like to look a little odd when doing yard work.)
9. Cleaning gross stuff. One good thing about old socks is if it gets really dirty from cleaning you can just throw it away. Using a sock on anything greasy or grimy (like stuff in the garage) is a good idea.
10. Hanging soap when camping. I've seen this when camping and it works really well. First, take an old pair of nylons and cut off one leg (or use a knee high stocking). Then put a bar of soap in the stocking. The stocking can be tied near the water spigot at the campground which makes it easy to clean your hands when camping. Plus you don't drop the soap on the dirty ground!

If you have any other good ideas for old socks, let me know! I'd like to try it out.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Clean Smarter Not Harder

(Top: Before Cleaning; Bottom: After Cleaning)

Since we have lived in our home (about 1 1/2 years) I have had a battle with the kitchen tile grout. When we moved in I thought the grout was this grey color until I saw underneath the refrigerator the actual grout color was ivory. Since then I have always know it was dirty and gross. I have spent hours on my hands and knees with toothbrushes and Mr Clean Magic Eraser Sponges to try to get it clean. All I got from that was a repetitive stress injury on my wrist from scrubbing. I was going to have the grout professionally cleaned and sealed. Yesterday I had a person come over to give me an estimate of the cost (it was more than $1 per square foot). I don't know if the person was just really nice that day, but he told me exactly how I could clean my own grout with minimal effort! And I did it today and it is great! He suggested phosporic acid mixed 50/50 with water and a nylon deck brush. You also need heavy gloves and a big sponge. He said it was all at Home Depot. I went to Home Depot and I didn't find the phosporic acid, but there was a professional grout cleaner with the active ingredient being hydrochloric acid. I bought a bottle for $6.50. I also got a nylon deck brush for about $7 and a pair of gloves for a couple of bucks. I squirted the cleaner on the grout, let it sit for 3 minutes and then lightly scrubbed with the deck brush. I then used my big tile sponge to rinse with clean water. The last step is to dry the tile and grout with a clean towel. It looks awesome! It was fast and easy to do!

Another suggestion for regular cleaning of tile by the professional cleaner. When you mop, rinse with clean water and then dry the floor, especially noting the grout lines. The dirty water tends to flow to the grout lines and if you don't dry it up then the grout will look dirtier much faster.

Thank you Mr. Professional Grout Cleaner Man! I appreciate your help!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sew a Dust Ruffle

I made a dust ruffle for my spare bedroom for only $7.00. I had an old flat sheet that I didn't use anymore. I was able to use this sheet for the material that goes under the mattress. It doesn't matter what color it is as no one will ever see it.

Then I bought a twin size flat sheet for $7.00 in the color of fabric that matched the bedding. I cut the old sheet 59 inches by 79 inches (the size of a queen bed is 60x80). For the flat sheet, I measured the length of the boxspring mattress to the floor and added about 3 inches to that length to allow for hemming and for gathering the top. Then I cut the flat sheet into strips of the desired width. I sewed the pieces together to have one very long strip of fabric and then hemmed the bottom. Next the top has to be gathered and sewn. I luckily was given a ruffle foot attachment for my sewing machine which made it very easy and fast to gather the top edge of the fabric strip. The gathered edge is then attached to the old sheet.
(Okay, I'm not so good at writing instructions. Hopefully from the photos you get the idea. It is a pretty easy project and now I can store stuff under the bed without having to see it.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

How to save money at the grocery store

The easiest way for me to save money at the grocery store is to NOT bring my son or husband. If I shop alone I don't get as many unnecessary items. For example, at Smith's grocery store on Wednesday I bought Mini Oreos for $1.00 and Gatorade for $1.00 for Daniel. I end up getting a treat and opening it up so he will sit in the cart and be patient while I shop. Once he had the cookies he got thirsty, hence the Gatorade. My husband is almost worse than taking Daniel along. He gets junk food for himself like chips, donuts, or cookies. I hardly ever buy those items myself. He also likes to go to the magazine aisle which is something I never purchase.