REMOVING RED WINE STAINS by Vickie Kline

red wine stainMy neighbor was recently telling me about a wine tasting he attended. Not only did he taste some great wines, but there was also an informational session offered – such as how the flavor of wine changes in a glass with a different bowl shape and how to remove red wine stains. I found the removal of red wine stains very interesting and wanted to share…

One of the best ways to remove a red wine stain is with white wine. Who knew?? But before we talk about removing a stain, let’s talk about why red wine is so hard to remove in the first place. Red wine contains a pigment found in grape skins, which is part of a family of food-coloring chemicals called anthocyanins, similar to fabric dyes. This chemical quickly and easily attached itself to fabrics and fibrous items.

So, in order to remove this dye-like product, we go to a valuable resource — white wine. White wine counteracts the red wine and makes it easier to remove the original red stain. While the stain is still fresh, pour a small amount of white wine over the red stain and blot with a clean, absorbent towel. Once you have blotted as much of the stain as possible, the remaining stain may be treated as any other stain with fabric or carpet cleaner.

baking soda pasteIf you have a stain that is dry and has really set, soak the red wine stain in white wine — then cover with a thick baking soda and water paste. Leave for a few hours, periodically moistening the solution with water. Finally, wash the fabric as normal.

There are commercial wine stain removers, such as, Wine Away. This is an industry specific red wine stain remover that ranks among the best on the market. It is also free of bleach and safe for kids and pets. Spray it on the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes, then launder as usual.

General tips for wine stain removal:

1. Blot, don’t rub

2. Never apply heat, such as putting a garment in the dryer, until stain is fully removed

Other products for removing red wine stains:

1. milk

2. vodka

3. shaving cream

4. peroxide

5. salt

More investigation is in order. As I try some of these, I’ll report on results. Yes, I am one of those unpredictable wine drinkers who often slurps, spills, or sprays. Invariably I have on white…

Strive to be healthy!

Information shared courtesy of Red Wine Stain Removal

Image shared courtesy of How To Get Red Wine Out Of Your Carpet and Swiss Diamond Cookware

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OTHER WAYS TO USE SALT by Vickie Kline

Salt is an inexpensive item that can be used in many ways other than flavoring our food. Use it as an air freshener, a cleaner, or even to help keep your favorite bottle of wine chilled. Here are some ideas:

1. To help remove odors from your garbage disposal, pour 1/2 cup of salt directly into the garbage disposal. Run the disposal as usual and the odors will disappear.

2. If you’ve been cleaning fish and want to remove the odor from your hands, simply rub them with a lemon wedge dipped in salt. Rinse with water and all is fresh.

3. Use salt to make homemade air freshener. Cut an orange in half and remove the pulp (hopefully you eat this). Fill the peel with salt and experience a fresh scent easily placed anywhere in your home.

4. In a hurry and forgot to chill the wine? For a quick chill, place bottle in ice bucket or other tall plastic container. Add a layer of ice on the bottom and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of salt. Continue to layer ice and salt until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Then add water to ice level. Within 10 to 12 minutes you’ll have the perfectly chilled bottle of wine.

5. To perk up the flavor of your morning coffee, add a pinch of salt to the coffee placed in the basket of your coffeemaker. This works by helping to remove some of the acid taste.

6. In addition to number 5, if you’d like to remove coffee stains from the inside of your glass coffee pot, add four teaspoons of salt, one cup of crushed ice, and one tablespoon of water. Gently swish until clean… then rinse.

7. Looking for a way to remove rust from scissors or tools? Add one tablespoon of salt to lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the paste to rusted area with a dry cloth and rub.

8. I love to wear white. I love to drink red wine. Well, as you know, the two don’t always mix. When I splash a bit of wine on my white shirt, I immediately pour enough salt on the stain to soak up any liquid. Then, immerse in cold water for approximately half an hour, and launder as usual.

9. Let’s not forget the healing properties of salt. To alleviate a sore throat, gargle several times per day with a mixture of 1/2 cup warm water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Or to simply relax after a long day – prepare a salt water bath for your feet. Use 1-1/2 gallons of warm water, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/4 cup baking soda. Soak feet for up to fifteen minutes and feel the day soak away.

Salt will do more than flavor your food, it’s a good item to keep on hand for everyday uses.

Strive to be healthy!

HOUSEHOLD TIPS by Vickie Kline

Here are a few good tips for using household items in different ways:

If you’re interested in removing rust or stains from the inside of your dishwasher, try using 1/4 cup powdered lemon or orange drink that contains citric acid. Place in the detergent cup and run a regular cycle.

While staying in a hotel, don’t hesitate to pick up the extra shower caps in the room – they can be used in many ways. If you need to protect your shoes while traveling, wrap them in the shower cap prior to packing. Also, when you water plants, stretch a shower cap around the bottom of the hanging plant to catch water that may drip on the floor.

Toothpaste is for more than brushing your teeth. It does wonders to shine sink fixtures. Rub over faucets with a wet sponge. If you have trouble removing cooking odors from your hands, rub a little toothpaste on them. Toothpaste has also been used to get rid of pimples. Place a small dot on the pimple when you go to bed. Or, try putting toothpaste on a mosquito bite to relieve the itch.

Use leftover coffee grounds as fertilizer in flower beds. Any acid-loving plant, such as, azaleas and rhododendrons will love this. Place used coffee grounds in a plastic container with holes poked in the top and place in refrigerator to help absorb food odors.

Have some baby wipes sitting around? These are great for a quick clean-up on phones or dirty hands. You can use baby wipes to quickly clean-up sinks and faucets too (not safe for marble or granite). They’re great in the garage when you’ve finished a messy job and need to clean your hands.

If you have other unusual tips and tricks for common household items, please don’t hesitate to share.

Strive to be healthy!

Information shared courtesy of Goodhousekeeping at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/

CLEANING SHOWERS by Vickie Kline

Nobody likes scrubbing the bathtub or shower walls, and yet it is something that has to be done.

Here’s a tip to help make it easier: Apply car wax to the shower walls and glass doors. Because fiberglass and glass are porous surfaces, the car wax will seal the pores, making future cleaning easier. Water will simply run off and help reduce water spots, which will keep your shower clear, bright, and squeaky clean. This can be applied twice per year. (Be sure not to use car wax on the tub floor. It will become dangerously slick…)

To keep the shower doors sparkling and decrease buildup, use a squeegee or wipe down after each use. Something else that helps is to check the soap you’re using. Certain bar soaps contain talc, which adds to buildup and soap scum. It is still necessary to clean regularly, but the spots are easier to remove with natural products, such as, Mrs. Meyer’s, Kiss My Face, Burt’s Bees, and Zum Bar. (Curious what’s in your current soap? Check out Crunchy Betty.)

A good way to help stay ahead of buildup and soap scum is to use an orange citrus-based cleaner during regular weekly cleanings. This works well on the tub floor, helping break down the buildup and give the whole area a pleasant scent.

Strive to be healthy!

CLEANING EYE GLASSES by Vickie Kline

I don’t know what made my husband try this in the first place… it’s one of those questions I’ll never know the answer to. And, maybe it’s better that way… just sayin’.

He cleans his eye glasses with effervescent denture tablets, the kind that fizz and make all kinds of bubbles. Use a glass large enough to hold the eyeglasses. Fill the glass with water, place eye glasses in, and then drop in a couple of tablets. The fizz and bubbles will clean your glasses until they sparkle. My husband has used this on metal and plastic frames. (The only time it is not recommended is if you have special coatings, such as, anti-reflective treatments or prescription sunglasses).

After considering this, I was curious and did more research on denture tablets. Here are additional recommendations from Reader’s Digest:

1. Has your diamond ring lost its sparkle? Drop a denture tablet into a glass containing a cup of water. Follow that with your ring or diamond earrings. Let it sit for a few minutes. Remove your jewelry and rinse to reveal the original sparkle and shine.

2. Fresh flowers often leave a ring on your glass vases that seems impossible to remove no matter how hard you scrub. Here’s the answer. Fill the vase with water and drop in a denture tablet. When the fizzing has stopped, all of the mineral deposits will be gone. Use the same method to clean thermos bottles, cruets, glasses, and coffee decanters. (Maybe this concept is why it works on eye glasses…)

3. Hard water leaves mineral deposits in the tank of your electric drip coffeemaker that not only slows the perking but also affects the taste of your brew. Denture tablets will fizz away these deposits and give the tank a bacterial clean-out too. The tablets were designed to clean and disinfect dentures, and they’ll do the same job on your coffeemaker. Drop two denture tablets in the tank and fill it with water. Run the coffeemaker. Discard that potful of water and follow-up with one or two rinse cycles with clean water.

4. Looking for a way to make the toilet sparkle again? Porcelain fixtures respond to the cleaning agent in denture tablets. Here’s a solution that does the job in the twinkling of an eye. Drop a denture tablet in the bowl. Wait about 20 minutes and flush.

5. Stains on enamel cookware are a natural for the denture tablet cleaning solution. Fill the pot or pan with warm water and drop in a tablet or two, depending on its size. Wait a bit — once the fizzing has stopped, your cookware will be clean.

6. A slow drain got you down? Reach for the denture tablets. Drop a couple of tablets into the drain and run water until the problem clears. For a more stubborn clog, drop 3 tablets down the sink, follow that with 1 cup white vinegar, and wait a few minutes. Now run hot water in the drain until the clog is gone.

Pretty interesting, huh? I’m always amazed at the many ways a product can be used. I love the idea of using denture tablets in many areas of my life and hope I never really need them for dentures!

Strive to be healthy!

DEODORIZING YOUR HOME… NATURALLY by Vickie Kline

If you dislike using purchased products to deodorize, try some of these neat tricks. These are natural ways to keep your home and surroundings smelling fresh all year-long:

1. Deodorize Clothing: You’ve taken clothes out of seasonal storage and they have a musty smell. Solution: Spritz garments with a small amount of vodka – be sure to spot-test first. Straight vodka kills bacteria, but doesn’t leave a scent. Hang clothes to dry in a well-ventilated area. Then, just to be safe, take a swig!

2. Deodorize Kitchen Sink: If you notice a foul odor in the kitchen, it may be your garbage disposal. The disposal will process food, but very often hang on to the odors. Solution: Use baking soda and vinegar. Pour about a cup of baking soda into the disposal, and then pour a good amount of vinegar on top. This will create a foam that will get in all pieces/parts of the disposal and deodorize. Then, give the disposal something significant to devour, such as, orange or lemon peels. Mmmmm, smells great!

3. Deodorize Freezer: Does your ice have an unidentified, interesting flavor that you’d rather not have in your tea? Or something that’s making your frozen meals taste generally funky? Solution: Wipe the freezer down with a cotton pad dampened with pure vanilla extract. Odor gone and ice tastes clean!

4. Deodorize Car: Is your car carrying odors from the last fast-food joint you visited or remnants of a trip to the vet or recycling center? Solution: Drop a potpourri wax tart into a cup holder. Remove prior to outdoor  temperatures rising or you’ll have a second mess to deal with!

5. Deodorize Food Storage Containers: We love our leftovers, but sometimes the smell of our favorite spice or herb is too much for our plastic storage containers. Solution: Soak containers in warm water and baking soda overnight. Ready for the next night of leftovers!

6. Deodorize Carpet: Carpets tend to hold unpleasant odors, particularly in high traffic areas and spots where pets like to sleep. Solution: Mix one 16-ounce box of baking soda, 20 drops of lavender essential oil, and 10 drops of lemon oil. Sprinkle mixture on carpet, allow to sit for 10 to 20 minutes, then vacuum. Not only clean, but fresh-smelling!

7. Deodorize Pet Bedding: Your pet’s bed is another place that tends to hold odors more than you may like. Solution: Toss bedding in the dryer on medium heat for about 30 minutes with a home-dry-cleaning bag and cloth from Dryel. Your pet will be impressed!

8. Deodorize Basement: Musty smells in your basement causing problems? Solution: Cut an onion in half, place on a plate, and leave in the basement overnight. Once the onion smell evaporates, you’ll have fresh air again. The onion absorbs odors and leaves only the good stuff!

Using these natural deodorizing remedies will help keep you and your family healthy year-round. These ideas came from REAL SIMPLE magazine, where you can find a lot of natural solutions for health and home.

Strive to be healthy!