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Handy home tips and hints from everyday people.

Tell us your handy tip or hint, or read other peoples handy home tips and hints.

Tips can be anything regarding a home including, building, painting, cleaning, etc..

LAST UPDATE May 06, 2014

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Save on Freezer Bags.  What I do is use a cheap dollar store baggie first and then put the cheap baggie inside the freezer bag.  I re-use the more expensive freezer bags this way.

Keep flys away - We haven't tried this but it may be worth a try. Zip lock baggies half filled with water, each containing 4 pennies and pinned to a post and or a wall. These baggies kept the flies away! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, stand around on the window sill, and then fly out again.

Research found that the millions of molecules of water presents its own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it's like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner. When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won't take the risk of being around that much perceived action.

Norwex microfiber anti-bacterial cleaning cloths Ultimate way to clean windows using a microfibre cleaning cloth and water, that's it ... and using no chemicals or vinegar.
Norwex universal antibacterial cleaning cloths
are microfibre and anti-bacterial. You can buy almost the same thing at the dollar store located at the Vernon, B.C. Wallmart parking lot.  The dollar store cloths are microfiber and may not be anti-bacterial which the Norwex cloths states they are anti-bacterial.  The dollar store microfiber cloths do an excellent job of cleaning windows leaving no streaks and using no chemicals!  Norwex sells other products as well, mops, face care, etc.. The toilet brush and mattress cleaner use enzymes to remove bacteria. Norwex website states the enzymes will literally "consume" the bacteria and sanitize your home.

Lindsay Bayford - Norwex Representative
(250) 558-9915 recommends using these dollar store versions if you are not worried about bacteria as much.  When using the all-purpose cloth for windows, wet with water the one cloth to wash with and use a second dry cloth to polish up.  This makes the job of doing windows much easier than doing the job the old way using paper towel and glass cleaners or newspaper and vinegar!  You will have no paper towel lint on your window when you are done and you won't have to scrub as much.  You'll be amazed at how well these cloths work!  You will be done your windows in no time.

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Trisodium Phosphate box Trisodium Phosphate - but phosphate free TSP (two choices trisodium phosphate and phosphate free) - Around the house TSP is excellent for everyday cleaning chores, 1/4 cup per 2 gallons of water easily removes smudges from painted surfaces, soap scum from ceramic tile and tub enclosures, soot and grime from around fireplaces. Excellent for washing your homes siding, driveways, roofs, RV's, Mobile homes and boats.  Takes kids crayon marks off the wall like nothing.

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The Duke manufactured by Ducan The Duke - The Duke is a chemically activated concentrated all purpose cleaner and degreaser. We have used "The Duke" for cleaning plastics (vinyl window frames, deck chairs) and it does excellent work.  Takes shoe scuff marks off walls too.  "The Duke" is a concentrated cleaner you can buy at Canadian Tire for approx. $7.00.  You can mix it however strong you want for the job you are doing.  "The Duke" is made by Ducan who is based in Port Coquitlam BC.

Duca-sol - Powerful, concentrated all-purpose cleaner and degreaser. Dissolves all petroleum based products, dirts, grime, glue, soot, road film, brake dust and bugs. Vancouver Honda use Duca-sol on their mechanics bay floor.

Ducan multi-purpose cleaner Ducan - A low-cost universal concentrated cleaner. Do not use on glass.

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CLR - Calcium lime and rust remover  CLR - Calcium lime and rust remover.  Works good at taking that white calcium build up off around your kitchen and bathroom sinks, plus works good on toilets too.  You can purchase CLR for $7.97 at any Home Depot.  Instead of using more than necessary, you can cut down the amount you use by placing a paper towel over the spot you wish to treat and then pour the CLR on the paper towel and then leave it to soak for awhile if you have a large build up.  For your toilet, drain all the water and then place paper towels where the problem spots are and pour a little CLR on it and let it soak.  Using the paper towels helps you to use less CLR.

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George Foreman Grills: After removing the cooked food from the grill, place a paper towel soaked in water on each of the 2 cooking surfaces. Unplug the appliance, allow it to sit for 5-30 minutes (while you eat), then use the paper towels to effortlessly wipe out the grease and food particles.

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We found this tidbit interesting although we haven't tried it.  If you try it let us know how it worked.

Shower Doors: I have clear glass shower doors. I have tried everything from CLR, to Comet, to Clorox - you name it, I've tried it. Today I decided to try something different. I found a bottle of Resolve spot remover for carpet and fabric. I figured "Why not? I have tried everything else." All I did was spray the Resolve on the shower and with no effort ran a dish sponge over it and rinsed and every bit of the soap scum came off.

Resolve Carpet Stain Remover Triple Action manufactured by
Reckitt Benckiser Canada
1680 Tech Avenue, Unit 2
Mississauga, Ontario
L4W-5S9, Canada
Telephone: 1-905-283-7000

You might want to try A&G Supply Ltd. for resolve, but when we checked their online store we didn't see Resolve there and we can't seem to find it on a B.C. web using search.  Maybe A&G Supply Ltd. can order it for you or suggest another carpet spot remover product that may work.  We also checked Briteland online and don't see it there either, but maybe they can order it?

Carpet spot cleaner for blood:
Seek out a local janitorial supply store and purchase an enzyme based cleaner. (these are most frequently used in some carpet spotting cleaners for food stains, feces, etc).

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Gel Gloss - Okanagan Lake BC swears by this stuff to clean and polish fiberglass and acrylic shower stalls and tubs.  World's #1-selling cleaner and polish for cultured marble & fiberglass. Cleans and protects cultured marble, fiberglass, laminates, & acrylic. Recommended by manufacturers of cultured marble & fiberglass. Excellent for sinks, basins, shower doors, countertops, tubs, spas, RV's and boats. Removes hard water spots. Great on porcelain surfaces. Fantastic for the cleaning & protection of stainless steel. Non-abrasive cleaning agents will not scratch valuable surfaces. Carnauba wax protection lasts & lasts. Adds surface luster to expensive surfaces.  Gel-Gloss leaves a smooth, sealed surface that eliminates water-spotting and staining.  Use Gel-Gloss confidently on ceramic, chrome, stainless steel, porcelain and plastic laminate surfaces. Available in 8oz, 16 oz, 64 oz, and gallon sizes.

Manufactured by TR Industries

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Environmentally friendly way to help get rid of an ants nest is to pour lots of boiling hot water on it.  If you didn't kill them all, it might help to chase the rest away to find a new nesting spot!

Environmentally friendly way to help get rid of rats and moles Plug all holes in the ground that you can find by stomping on the mounds or stick something in the hole that they can't get out.  Stick a garden hose in the only hole left open and fill up their tunnels.  Be ready to either jump on a chair and scream if they come out of the hole your putting the water in or club them if you can handle that.  As well the vermin may also find their way out other holes you did not find at first.

To get rid of fruit flys:
Fill a small glass jar half full of white vinegar and add 2 tsp. of dry yeast and then add just one drop of dish washing liquid like Ivory or Sunlight. Do not mix, just let sit on the counter top.

Alternatives for household products: Helpful Hazardous Waste Reduction Hints


How to seal a plastic bag and make it air-tight!

Cut up a disposable water bottle and keep the neck and top,

as in photo.

Seal a plastic bag with a bottle cap.

Insert the plastic bag through the neck and screw the top – to seal.

The bottle is made to be air-tight, such that water will not leak,

the secret lies with the top and screw!

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