Did You Know???

Welcome to Happy Helen's Handy Helpful Hints! This page is a list of general household tips and information. As always, we do advise that you use good judgment and common sense despite what Helen says.

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home," can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and Leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of Your car .

When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such As peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel Roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily. Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers,Put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not Get through wet newspapers.

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in A microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food Moist and help it reheat faster. Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes With the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Easy Develed eggs Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.

Reheat Pizza... Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low And heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on The cooking channel and it really works.

Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply Chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them In a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 For 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste Of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints In double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.

To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to Pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Did you know you can remove permanent marker on appliances/countertops (like store receipt BLUE!) by using rubbing alcohol on a paper towel to wipe it away?

A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.

Use empty toilet paper rolls to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

To melt the ice on your door steps, put a small amount of Dawn dish washing soap in warm water and pour this on the icy areas. Not only will this melt the ice, they won't refreeze.

Did you know...to remove old wax from a glass candle holder, you can put it in the freezer for a few hours, then take it out and turn it upside down...the wax will fall out?

Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S. pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. Now a box of S.O.S. pads last me indefinitely! You may even notice that your scissors will be sharper!

Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little Hydrogen Peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time!

Did you know you should use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows? This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean.

Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb before you turn it on. It will create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on.

Did you know if you put dryer sheets in your dresser drawers you can retain that newly washed smell in your clothes for several weeks? This can be done in your linen closet as well.

To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet , simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.

Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.

Did you know you could wrap celery in aluminum foil before putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks?

When boiling corn on the cob, did you know adding a pinch of sugar or a teaspoon of honey will help bring out the corn's' natural sweetness?

Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

To stop the itch from insect bites, try dabbing some soap on the area for instant relief.

Do you have problems with ants? The wives' tale says that ants never cross the chalk line. So, draw a chalk line across the floor or wherever you see ants marching. See if it works for you!

Did you know you could use air-fresheners to clean mirrors? It does a good job and, better still, leaves a lovely scent.

Use a strand of uncooked spaghetti to test a cake for doneness when a toothpick isn't long enough, or if you don't have any toothpicks in the house.

Did you know you should use a hot knife blade for cutting fresh breads and a wet one for cutting soft cakes?

Try dampening a cloth with club soda to clean stainless steel appliances. This method will clean without leaving spots or streaks.

Metal cookie cutters double up nicely as unique napkin holders for special dinners. If you want, spray paint them to match the decor.

To help stop meatloaf from sticking to the pan, put one or two strips of bacon in the pan before the meatloaf.

Did you know you can remove the adhesive left behind from stickers placed on glass by rubbing the area with vegetable oil dabbed on a soft cloth or paper towel and then washing?

Stuff newspaper in shoes - the paper absorbs odor and perspiration - also keeps shoe shape.

Foggy mirror? A blow-dryer will clear it!

Frozen fish can be thawed in a small amount of milk in the refrigerator. This eliminates any fishy taste.

Pan size is measured from the top, not the bottom.

To prevent rust from forming on your steel wool pads, place the used pad in a Ziploc bag and store it in the freezer.

Trouble putting the lid on a plastic container? Run the lid under hot water for 20-30 seconds and it will close easily.

Fruit will be more flavorful if ripened at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator.

Glass tabletops will sparkle if you rub gently with lemon juice or with vinegar, then dry with paper towels and polished with newspapers.

Substitute for sour cream - mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 cup cottage cheese, 1/3 cup buttermilk. Blend in a blender or food processor for 2 minutes.

One lemon will yield between 2-1/2 and 3-1/2 tablespoons of juice.

To cut dried dates, apricots, figs, and other dried fruit, gumdrops, or marshmallows dip your kitchen scissors into hot water frequently.

Did you know that you can get twice the amount of orange juice from a orange if you hold it under hot water before you squeeze?

To remove meat juice stains, scrape with a dull blade. Pre-soak the item in cold or luke warm water for at least half an hour then wash as usual using detergent and bleach.

To get mildew stains out of clothing, moisten the spots using a mixture of salt and lemon juice then place the article of clothing out in the sun for bleaching. Rinse and dry and then launder as usual.

A dash of salt in the laundry starch keeps the iron from sticking.

Popcorn left in the cupboard? Place 1/4 cup of popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag. Fold the top over a few times. Place paper on its side and microwave on high until the popping slows.

Brew your coffee with bottled spring water; you will have better tasting coffee and no mineral deposits.

To make slicing meats into thin strips easier for you, (i .e., Chinese meals) partially freeze the meat before slicing.

Meats with the bone in it cook quicker than boneless meats. This is because the bone transmits the heat to the interior portion of the meat faster.

Did you know a fork should never be stuck in meat while frying or grilling? This is because the fork punctures the meat and causes the juices to escape. Use tongs instead!

Instant potatoes are a good thickening for stews.

Juicier burgers: add one stiffly beaten egg white to each pound of hamburger. You could also make patties with one tablespoon of cottage cheese in the center.

Bacon that has been fried and drained can be frozen in foil; reheat in toaster oven to crisp.

Did you know that dipping your fingers in water when making meatballs will prevent them from sticking to your hands?

Tired of your drawstrings slipping through the casings even after double knotting? Give this simple solution a try! Sew a medium-size button on each end of the drawstring and it won't slip through again.

Did you know that baking powder will remove tea or coffee stains from china, pots, cups, etc.?

Remember...if it grows under the ground (i .e., potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.) begin the cooking process using cold water. If it grows above the ground (i .e., cauliflower, corn, green beans, etc.), begin the cooking process after the water has come to a boil.

Canned cream soups make excellent sauces for vegetables, fish, etc. Celery with lobster, black bean or onion with cauliflower, tomato with lamb chops.

Use vinegar and hot water to clean dried on insects off the windshield. Doesn't leave any film.

Keep disposable wipes in your car. Clean up spills, dirty hands and they keep the inside smelling nice.

When moving to a new location, unpack your computer and let it stand at room temperature before using.

Yellowed perspiration stains can really ruin T-shirts and dress shirts. Add 4 tablespoons salt to 1 quart hot water, and sponge the fabric with the solution until stains disappear.

Mothballs work very to repel moths. You can use herbs, however, and get the same effect, and will even smell better. Try using wormwood, lavender, patchouli, or cedar in with a tiny portion of cloves, rosemary, tansy, or cinnamon; any of these will work well. Mix your favorite combination and put in the toes of a stocking. Tie it off and use as a sachet or hang it in your closet.

Moths do not eat wool - they eat the food stains and perspiration left on clothes or blankets. Keep wool items clean and stored in sealed plastic bags or containers.

Bloodstains can be among the toughest stains to remove from clothing and fabrics. Soak the stained clothing or cloth in cold saltwater, then launder in warm, soapy water.


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