MagPad Dinner Table

MagPad Dinner Table

Friday, April 27, 2012

Vinegar: (Almost) the Only Cleaner You'll Ever Need

Kristine volunteered to clean my kitchen floor and asked where the floor cleaner was.  We are all out, so I googled: vinegar water cleaning solution and got this site called:  The New Homemaker.

Tip # 7 had the recipe for the solution Kristine used to clean the floor.

7. No-wax floors can be cleaned with a solution of 1 cup vinegar per gallon of water for a shinier surface.

 I also use tip # 25 to every load of laundry I do.  My clothes are brighter since I started adding vinegar to my rinse cycle of my laundry.

25. To make your "brights brighter", add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.

Vinegar: (Almost) the Only Cleaner You'll Ever Need

Cleaning with vinegar is powerful, natural--and cheap!
by Noël-Marie Taylor

Most cleaning products fall into one of two categories: toxic or expensive. While both types will clean almost anything (or at least, anything within their limited range of capabilities), there's a third option. It's inexpensive and not at all poisonous to humans. It's multi-purpose as well--one container will take care of laundry, kitchen cleaning, even bugs and weeds. This "miracle cleaner" is vinegar.
Vinegar is a weak form of acetic acid that forms through the fermentation of sugars or starches. It is completely edible, and cannot harm your stomach. And luckily for us, many things can be cleaned using it.
The uses of vinegar are nearly endless. In addition to cleaning, it is an excellent item for cooking and for home science experiments (remember the vinegar-and-baking soda volcanoes from grade school?). The health benefits are many as well.
In this article, we are focusing on the uses of vinegar as a cleaner. For information on some of its other uses, see the links at the end of the article. Note: plain white vinegar is the best for the following uses; cider and other vinegars may have unwanted side effects. Vinegar is used in 100% concentration unless otherwise specified.
Your Vinegar Spray Bottles
In addition to your regular bottle of vinegar, a really useful item is a spray bottle. Ideally, you want two--one with pure vinegar, the other with a half vinegar, half water combination. Having vinegar in a dispenser of this type makes its use much simpler in many cases.
All Around the House
1. To remove stickers that have been used to "decorate" furniture and other surfaces, moisten with vinegar. Let sit for at least ten minutes, then remove.
2. For persistent room odors, place a bowl of vinegar in the room overnight.
3. For spills on carpet, use a sponge or cloth to soak up as much liquid as possible. Then spray with a mixture of half vinegar, half water. Let stand for about two minutes, then blot with towel or sponge. Repeat as needed.
4. For more persistent stains, use a mixture of 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, and 1 cup warm water. Proceed as suggested above. When finished cleaning, dry using a hairdryer set on low.
5. To clean windows, spray with half vinegar, half water. Wipe clean with either newspapers or cloth.
6. To clean silver, pewter, copper, or brass, dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in one cup vinegar. Add flour to create a paste (1/4 cup or more). Apply the paste to the metal item, and let stand for at least fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water and polish with a soft cloth.
7. No-wax floors can be cleaned with a solution of 1 cup vinegar per gallon of water for a shinier surface.
8. To clean wood paneling, use a mixture of 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Apply to paneling with a soft cloth. Dry with a clean cloth.
In the Bathroom
9. To remove corrosion or chemical build-up from showerheads, soak in vinegar overnight.
10. Remove stains from the toilet bowl by spraying with vinegar and spraying.
11. To remove soap build-up from faucets, clean with a mixture of 1 part salt to four parts vinegar.
12. Spray shower walls and shower curtain with vinegar to help prevent mildew.
In the Kitchen
13. To keep ants away, spray vinegar along doorways, windowsills, countertops - anywhere that ants are likely to appear. If you find an ant trail (path that ants use repeatedly), clean it with vinegar.
14. To remove odors from the sink or garbage disposal, pour in a cup or more vinegar. Do not rinse out again for at least an hour.
15. For a clogged drain, first pour in 1/2 cup baking soda. Then add an equal amount of vinegar. When the mixture finishes bubbling, rinse with warm water. (Note: some garbage disposals do not react well to this cleaning method; check with the manufacturer first.)
16. Wipe your hands with vinegar after chopping. It will remove strong scents like onion and garlic, as well as stains from fruit juices.
17. To clean wooden cutting boards, wipe with vinegar.
18. Remove strong odors. Rinse jars with a half and half mixture of vinegar and water to remove garlic or other strong odors. Boil water with several spoons of vinegar to remove the smell of burnt food from your kitchen.
19. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner for all kitchen surfaces - counters, refrigerators, stovetops.
20. To clean your microwave oven, put a microwave-safe bowl of 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in the oven, and cook long enough to boil. In addition to removing any lingering odors, this will loosen any baked-on food from the microwave's walls.
21. To remove coffee or tea stains from china, clean with a mixture of vinegar and salt.

In the Laundry
22. To keep colors from running in the wash, soak in vinegar before washing.
23. To decrease lint on clothing, add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
24. Many persistent stains can be removed with vinegar: coffee, chocolate, ketchup, jam, cola, wine. Gently rub stain with vinegar, then wash.
25. To make your "brights brighter", add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle.
26. For fresher cloth diapers, add one cup distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle. This will break down uric acid and remove both lingering stains and scents.
27. To remove scorch marks from an iron, rub with a mixture of vinegar and salt.
28. To remove soap residue from the washing machine, run an empty (no laundry) cycle with one cup vinegar added.
29. To remove the smell of smoke from clothing, add a cup of vinegar to a tub of hot water. Let clothing hang in the same room for several hours.
Pet Care
30. To keep cats off windowsills or other surfaces, spray with vinegar. This will also keep them from scratching upholstery (spray an unnoticeable area of the fabric first to make sure the vinegar doesn't cause a stain).
31. To keep dogs from scratching their ears, clean with a soft cloth dipped in diluted vinegar.
32. If your dog should have a run-in with a skunk, vinegar will take care of the smell better than even tomato juice. Using vinegar diluted 50% with water, rub the dog's fur. Rinse with warm water. Repeat as needed.
Noël-Marie Taylor is a freelance writer located in Columbia, Maryland. Her work has appeared in many magazines, including PC Magazine and The Mother Is Me. A stay-at-home mom to two children, she is also the designer of several cross-stitch kits for children.

Click here  to see the web site:  

As long as we're talking vinegar, click here to see a web site that talks about:   25 Clever uses for Vinegar in the Garden.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Chicks Deviled Eggs

  • 2 dozen eggs
  • your choice of type of mustard
  • Mayonnaise or use yogurt if you like
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Celery Salt
  • Paprika
  • Part of a can of black olives and carrot slivers

Hard boil a couple dozen eggs (or adjust for the size of the group to feed). I always put them in cold water after boiling and then put in the fridge for at least 10 minutes - makes them easier to peel.

Mix together the mustard, mayonnaise, pickle relish, and celery salt. Taste and adjust as needed. Sprinkle some paprika on last. The pickle relish is my secret ingredient and makes them very flavorful - really - try it.

Cut the Tops off the eggs and stuff with mixture. Use black olive pieces for eyes and small slivers of carrot for a nose. Stick the top back on at an angle like a hat to make the eggs look like chicks.

I found this on the Internet and it looked like a fun recipe to post.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Peeps Sunflower Cake

1 pkg (18 1/4 oz.) yellow cake mix
2 cans (16 oz. each) chocolate frosting*
19 yellow chick Peeps candies
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions using 2 greased and waxed paper -lined 9 inch round baking pans.** Cool for 10 minutes before removing layers from pans and placing on wire racks to cool completely; carefully remove waxed paper.
  2. Level tops of cakes. Spread frosting between cake layers and over top and sides.
  3. Without separating Peeps and curving slightly to fit, arrange chicks around edge of cake to form sunflower petal. For sunflower seeds, arrange chocolate chips in center of cake.
*I would make my own chocolate frosting. You can find the recipe here.
**I would just spray my pan with Pam and not use the waxed paper.

If you are my kids, you would know that I adore Peeps. So of course I love this recipe. I got this recipe out of the April 2012 Reader's Digest Magazine. The article says you can get more Easter recipes by visiting:

I just read a review from here and someone posted this suggestion in case you want to make this cake this summer: If you want to make this in the summer, buy the Peeps and freeze them.A few days after Easter you will get them for 75% off!

5 minute Chocolate Cake

I got this from the May 2012 Reader's Digest Magazine under the article: 5 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Your Microwave.

#5 Here's one more feat of microwave magic: a gooey mug of cake, sized just right to satisfy and after-dinner craving.

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
2 Tbs. whisked egg
3 Tbs. milk
3 Tbs. oil
3 Tbs. chocolate chips or broken-up candy bar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Chocolate sauce or ice cream
  1. Mix first four ingredients together in large coffee mug; add egg and combine until paste forms. Stir in milk and oil, then chocolate chips and vanilla.
  2. Microwave on medium for 3 minutes, until cake starts to crown over top of mug. Remove, top with chocolate sauce or ice cream if desired and enjoy.
I did another post about making a cake in a mug using a boxed cake mix. Click here to see it.