Thursday, July 12, 2012

Everything old is new again

Well, not everything, but my washing machine looks like new again.  My washer had gotten GRUNGY. Dirt in the lid, dirt in the bleach dispenser, and soap scum all over the agitator.  It needed a facelift.  I filled the washer with water and 2 cups of vinegar and let it sit for an hour. Then I got out my trusty scrub brush and went to town on the agitator. I removed the bleach dispenser and soaked it in vinegar. Then I broke out the Q-tips and detailed the rest of the machine. I drained the machine, rinsed it with plain water, then refilled it with water and 2 cups of bleach and let it sit another hour.  After rinsing it one final time, it looks like new again!
(notice the nastiness in the lip of the lid and in the bleach dispenser, and the scum on the agitator)


I even used the Mr. Clean magic eraser to get off the scuff marks that were on the front near the bottom, but I couldn't get a good picture of it.
Now that I have a new-looking machine again, I don't want to use it!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I like to give the teachers something they can use and reuse every year. This year I found these cute insulated cups.  I filled the cups with different berry flavored drink mixes, added a bow around the straw, and hung the strawberry shaped tag off the top.  These little gifts come together really quick, and I think it's something they will actually get some use out of.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Economical Charcoal/Fire Starters

I'm always looking for ways to save money and recycle things around the house. My husband uses a chimney style charcoal starter for his grill, but since we don't get a newspaper, we never have any paper to use in the chimney. That's where this project comes in. By using things found around the house, I can make charcoal starters that work even better than the newspaper. You only need toilet paper or paper towel tubes, dryer lint, and wax.  I use Gulf wax now, but when I first started making these, I used half-burned taper candles that were just taking up space in my cabinet. If you have old candles to use, that makes this project completely free! 

First, cut your tubes into sections that are approximately 2 inches long:

Next, fold down two sides of the tube like this:

Now fold down the other two sides:

You have now made a cup shape:

Fill this cup with some of your dryer lint:

Arrange all of your cups on a piece of wax paper. The paper will protect your work surface if any melted wax seeps out of the bottom of your cups.

After all of your cups are filled with lint, it's now time to melt your wax.  I use an old can in a water bath on the stove.  I have read from several different sources that you can melt wax in your microwave, but when I tried it, it started a fire in my microwave.  I don't recommend it.

After the wax is completely melted, pour it over the lint in the cups.

 When the wax is completely hardened, your fire starters are ready to use!