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Helpful household tips

Stinky humidifier: A reader writes, I run a humidifier year around because it’s so dry where I live (Arizona). Once in a while things will get to smelling a ‘little bit off’ so I dump lemon juice in the tank—just a couple of tablespoons to clean the air. The acid in the lemon juice will kill any mold spores and the air smells good again. I do wash out the tray every week with hot, soapy water and that usually does the trick, but once in a while I do need to use the lemon juice. It’s cheaper than any of the additives in the store and works just as well.

Clean those toothbrushes: To clean and deodorize your toothbrushes, simply put the bristle ends in a small jar and cover them with peroxide. Let set for a few minutes and then place the cleaned toothbrushes in a clean cup till time to use them again. The peroxide kills any bacteria that might be hiding in the bristles.

Be sure to put those cleaned toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet or a closed container of some kind. It is a fact that when you ‘flush the john,’ the bacteria in the waste is airborne and can land on toothbrush bristles.

Gum in the hair remover: If your child gets gum in their hair and you have no peanut butter in the house, try using an egg white slightly whipped with a fork. Rub it into the hair and the gum will loosen enough to remove it. A reader wrote, my daughter is allergic to any kind of nuts so the peanut butter idea would not have worked for her at all. I was lucky a co-worker shared this idea with me.

Time saver: If you are always looking for a paper and pen to write down a message or phone number—here’s an easy fix. Just take a few sheets of scratch paper and staple them to the inside cover of you telephone books and clip a pen to the top of the page. When you get that important message you can record it right away!

End coat struggle: I’d completely forgotten this idea until a couple of weeks ago when my 2-year-old granddaughter was here. When they got ready to go home, there was a huge fight to get her hands and arms into her coat sleeves.

My husband came to the rescue by giving her a coin to ‘hold tight’ in her hand, and then we were able to get her hand and arm into that sleeve! The secret is that a kid will clench their fist to hold something small and then you can stuff that arm into the sleeve without them getting their fingers in the way and possibly hurting them.

If you have hints or ideas to share, send them to PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543; or e-mail them to If you send me your name and address, I’ll send you a FREE copy of the PennyWise Newsletter. Please mention the High Plains Journal when you write.


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