Here are a few enviroment-friendly tips, common homemaker knowledge and typical Italian make-do-with-what's-in-the-house practical philosophy.
- To expunge foul smells in the refrigerator (main culprits usually are lemons, cut onions and cheese that have gone off), place a glass filled with baking soda in a back corner of the middle section of your refrigerator. Revive its beneficial odor-absorbing qualities by stirring weekly.
- Every day wear and tear can cause your alluminum-clad pots and pans to blacken. A natural remedy to help them regain lustre is boiling apple skins and rhubarb leaves in the pots. Results are surprising.
- The best way to avoid your potatoes from budding is putting a Granny Smith apple in their basket.
- Vinegar can break the lime build-up around the faucets in your sink, and maintaining your iron’s pressing performance.
- To polish your wood surfaces, blend 1 cup raw linseed oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 10 drops lemon essential oil; and store in a clean glass bottle. Shake well and apply to all wood surfaces with a soft rag. Acts as a fabulous dust magnet too!
- I don’t use chemicals to wash my windows, I instead spritz them with a solution of hot water and lemon juice, and then dry them off with old newspapers.
- Did you know that the acidity in curdled milk that’s gone bad is excellent to shine silver? Or that yougurt passed its expiry date works perfectly to buff brass? Just rinse surfaces very well after polishing!
- Worried about your child handling engineered chemicals when playing Matisse and leaving lovely handprints all over your walls? Make your own paint! Mix together 1 cup cornstarch, with some cold water to dilute. Add this to 3 cups of hot water, stirring swiftly to avoid lumps. Boil until thick and clear and then add desired food coloring and an optional tablespoon of glycerin (for gloss). Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator!
- I go on and on about garlic's medicinal properties in Love Letter to the Bulb.
- Honey is a natural moisturizer, skin nutrient and excellent scar tissue ointment.
- Rub your gums with a fresh sage leaf, this will prevent gum bleeding and strengthen the dental collar around your pearly whites.
- Nature’s best skin care antioxidant against free radicals? Extra virgin olive oil! I began using it scrubbed with a soft brush on evening skin before bedtime; and I’ve never suffered T-zone oiliness since!
- Cleanse the house from toxins and poisons with plants. Certain plants are even capable of absorbing air pollutants and electromagnetic fields! Combat formaldehyde (commonly found in household foam insulation, modern sofas, carpets, floor coverings cleaning agents and cigarette smoke) with plenty of Poinsettia, Lattuce, Chrysanthemums and Philodendron around the house. You can reduce Benzene absorption (responsible for ear, nose and throat mucus membrane irritation, and nerve and skin sensiblity) by scattering potted Peace lily, Sweetpea, English ivy and weeping fig in every room. Place a large cactus or a bowl of prickly pears near your computer to minimize the devastating effect of electromagnetic fields generated by electrical equipment, power sockets, power cables, and elecrticity meters. We web and iPhone addicts should beware. Purportedly these could be the cause of thumping headaches, menstrual disorders, infertility, miscarriages, skin rashes and depression...
What are your best food-employing tips?
Image credits: Shutterstock - The Knot