On this page you will find some handy every day hints and tips. I hope you will find them useful.

Salt:

In Roman times and throughout the Middle Ages, salt was a valuable commodity and often referred to as "white gold." The high demand for salt was due to its important use in preserving food, especially meat and fish.  The word ‘salary’ derives from it as does the word ‘salad’ with the early Romans salting their leafy greens and vegetables.  Being so valuable, soldiers in the Roman army were sometimes paid with salt instead of money and it was often used in exchange for slaves. This is where the expression “He’s not worth his salt” comes from, denoting that a slave was not worth what the master paid for him.
 

Salt and it’s many uses:

When you think of salt, a warm bag of chips might come to mind. But thanks to its granular texture, salt has the power to do a lot more than season and flavour your meals. When it comes to cleaning, salt is a natural and cost-efficient mineral that can help keep your home in pristine condition.

Clean the kitchen drain: Pour a mixture of salt and hot water down the kitchen sink to deodorize and prevent grease build-up.

Brighten your laundry:

Dip a washcloth in a strong saltwater solution, wring it out and briskly rub faded rugs and curtains to brighten colours.

Remove bloodstains:

Soak the stained fabric in cold saltwater; then wash in warm, soapy water. Boil afterwards.

Deter ants:

Sprinkle salt at windowsills, doorways and anywhere else you think ants might sneak in.

Polish copper or brass: Blend equal parts flour, vinegar and salt into a paste. Rub the paste on the metal and let sit for an hour, then clean with a soft cloth for a new shine. (Test on a hidden area of the item before polishing its more visible parts!)

Remove water rings:

Make a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil and use it to gently buff out any glass/coffee rings on wooden tables. (It’s a good idea to test on a hidden part of the table before using on the tabletop.)

Keep flowers fresh longer:

Add a pinch of salt to the water in your vase to keep cut flowers fresh longer.

Clean spoons: with a mixture of salt and water. Mix into a paste and apply with a cloth.

Use as a weed killer: To ensure your pets remain safe, sprinkle a little salt on weed leaves and between patio slabs.  Do not use salt to kill weeds on your lawn.

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Salt

Gardening:

This is the time of year when some of us like to get our fingers dirty. The growing season is here and it is a good time to keep busy during this pandemic. Most of our common vegetables etc can be purchased at Garden Centres as young plants and potatoes can also be planted at this time.  You can also sow seed outdoors for beetroot, carrots, summer cauliflower, lettuce, leeks, radish, turnip, spring onions and peas in well-prepared soil.

 

The weather in April can be hit and miss and we still have to be careful as we can have cold and frosty nights and our plants may need protection.  Raised beds are a neat and tidy way of raising plants, they can easily be constructed using timber or bricks and it will be a lot easier on your back.

 

Composting is a good way of turning your leftover vegetables into garden manure. It is probably best to purchase a good composting bin to stop mice or rats from invading your garden and munching on your garden waste.

 

You can use leaves, plant cuttings, (grass clippings small amounts), fruit scraps, tea bags, eggshells, wood chips, old potting soil, cut flowers, napkins and paper towels.  Aim to have a mix of veg and food scraps, grass etc all high in nitrogen. Wood chips napkins and leaves are high in carbon. To create ideal conditions for composting, try to include roughly equal parts of both and mix the materials in your pile on a regular basis. Do not use cooked food waste, meat, fish, fats dairy products, cat or dog waste.

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Compost Bin.
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Raised wooden bed using scaffold planks 9''x 2'' inches with 2''x 2'' inch corner supports.
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Using bricks butted together, looks neat and tidy.

Olive oil.

Apart from cooking it's natural health benefits, Olive oil has many other uses, such as cleaning garden tools, moisturizing wood furniture and shining brass.

 

Lubricate door hinges with a few drops of oil.
 

If your jacket's zipper pull is sticking, try rubbing the teeth with a cotton swab dipped in olive oil. It should help ease it back on track.

 

You can even use it for shaving cream.

 

Shine a stainless-steel sink. A light coating will make your sink gleam again and prevent future water spots.

 

Remove paint from hair. If your home-improvement weekend leaves your head matching your freshly painted wall, use olive oil to ease the paint out of your hair.

 

Do not use Olive oil on rubber, or on leather shoes as it may affect colour.

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Ladder bumpers:

You could buy special rubber bumpers for the tops of your ladders to protect your walls.  A pair of old runners and a little duct tape will do the job.

Double up on stubborn nails:

Nails can be a pain to remove, especially trim nails with small heads and any nail when the head breaks off. The trick is to use two tools together. Grab the nail shank with vice grips and use a pry bar to lever the nail free.

Water pump pliers:

Use pieces of garden hose or other tubing to soften the jaws of water pump pliers so you can grip plated surfaces without damage. You can slide them up the handles to keep them handy.

Hammer cushion:

Convert your hammer into a mallet by placing a rubber chair leg protector over the head.

 

Hairpin nail holder.

There is no need to risk hammering a finger when working with tiny nails or in tight quarters. A common hairpin makes a great nail holder and keeps your fingers at a safe distance. Once the nail is started, remove the hairpin and continue hammering.

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Toothpaste.

Before toothpaste, people cleaned their teeth by forming a paste using eggshells, ash and salt. It was only in 1824 after an American Dentist named Peabody started adding soap to his paste, that things started to change.  In the 1850s John Harris added chalk and in 1873, Colgate started to mass produce their soap-based toothpaste in jars.  The first “tube” of toothpaste was invented in 1886 when an American Dental Surgeon Doctor Sheffield, introduced his Crème Dentifrice toothpaste.  Following suit, Colgate then jumped on the collapsible tube idea and also started selling their toothpaste in tubes. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Fluoride was added toothpaste.

 

 

Toothpaste has many uses, here are some ideas you can use around the house:

 

  • Remove strong odours from your hands such as garlic, onion or fish by washing with a little toothpaste

  • Place some toothpaste on a sponge to clean taps, mirrors, tile grout and rinse off with water

  • Use toothpaste to polish car headlights and taillights by applying with a paper towel

  • Place in some toothpaste on a paper towel in unobtrusive area in your car’s interior to remove any odours

  • Polish silverware by applying with a soft cloth

  • Remove scratches from watch faces, CDs, DVDS, mobile phones and sunglasses by applying a very small amount gently with a soft cloth

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Tips for drilling wood & metal.

A few simple tips when drilling into wood.  As drill bits tend to wander, use an awl or a nail to mark and punch your exact location.  For precise drilling, use a pilot or skinny bit to make your mark and then use the exact size bit using high speed without putting too much pressure on the drill.  If you are not sure what size drill bit to use for your screw, match your bit against the screw first, the drill bit should cover the shank of the screw but not the threads.

 

Drill a perfect 90-degree hole in a piece of timber without a drill press. Take a piece of scrap wood and cut a corner out of it at 90 degrees from the end and align the drill bit up against the shoulder. Drill using a standard power drill. 

 

For drilling metal, again start with a centre punch to mark your location, then use a pilot or skinny bit. It's a good idea to drill through metal using a slow speed. To drill large holes, use a sequence of sizes as this makes for quicker drilling and allows each bit to cool between uses. Hard metals like steel and larger drill bits will require even slower speeds - use a drop of oil to reduce friction and heat build-up. Ensure that the drill bit is the exact size for your bolt fixing and does not bind on threads.

 

Have you ever struggled to locate your drill bits because they have been scattered in a drawer or a box and you can’t find the right one for a job around the house?  If so, then here is a simple storage idea.  Find yourself a block of wood and just drill holes into the block using different size drills to sort and store

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WD-40.

Water displacement.  Norm Larsen, founder of Rocket Chemical Company in Calafornia is considered the original founder of WD-40 in 1953 after the 40th attempt.  Larsen aimed to develop a line of rust-prevention solvents and de-greasers for use in the aerospace industry.

Most of us have a tin of WD-40 in our garage or shed. Here are some tips you can try. 

Lubricate almost anything, penetrates to release stuck parts, protects metal from rust, Removes chewing gum from hair/jeans/shoes/concrete. May remove crayon stains from walls, spray a little and wipe away. Great for cleaning toilets, stainless steel and door smudges, keep water stains off shower screens. Use around areas where ants are entering the home.

Waterproof your shoes or boots. 

If it’s wet outside, give the tops and sides of your shoes or boots a coat of WD-40 before you head out the door. WD-40 acts as a barrier so moisture can’t seep into your shoes and get your socks wet.

Clean Carpet Stains.

Don’t let ink or other stains ruin your fine carpet. Try a small area of carpet first. Spray the stain with WD-40, wait a minute or two, and then use your regular carpet cleaner or gently cleanse with a sponge and warm, soapy water. Continue until the stain is completely gone. 

Self Selecting Key.

Were you ever struggling for the right key in the dark. Solution drill a second key ring hole near the edge of your house key and it will stand out from the others. No more fumbling with your keys in the dark.

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Trunk Bumpers.

Keep a couple sections of pipe insulation or pool noodles in your boot to protect both the car’s paint and your over-sized luggage.

Long Reach Shears.

Having difficulty pruning tall shrubs and trees, slip PVC pipes over the handles of your pruning shears and tape them in place to extend your reach and clip high branches without a ladder.

Pull-Tab Picture Frame Hook.

If you’re hanging pictures and run out of picture hooks, just grab the nearest empty Soda can. Bend the pull tab back and forth until it breaks off. Then screw it to your picture frame. Bend the free end out slightly and hang the picture.

 

Tip. If you are using D-rings or single hook as in the picture, mark the hook with a small portion of toothpaste to determine where to place screw or nail in your wall.

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Disclaimer:

Much of the information on the Class of '59 Society website should be considered for entertainment purposes only.  Products/ideas/tips on this website are not guaranteed by The Class of '59 Society. Apply at your own risk.