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Helpful household tips

Banana tips: If you buy a bunch of bananas, remove each of them from the stem so all are singles—they will last longer. Something about being connected makes them all ripen faster and I can’t use them fast enough.

(Absolutely spot on! I gave this a go and it works. The bananas were fresh until the last one was eaten by a grandson instead of getting tossed in the freezer for someday banana bread!)

Pepper that pest: If you have squirrels chomping on your spring flowers and plants, sprinkle them with powdered cayenne pepper. You can buy it at the grocery store. You will have to re-pepper the plants when it rains, but it does keep the critters away.

Barricade the drive: If the kids are wanting to play hopscotch or just draw some pictures on the driveway with chalk, lay an extension ladder at the end of the drive as a barrier for getting out in the street or alleyway. Make it very clear that there will be consequences if they stray beyond that ladder.

‘Spoonin’ tie backs and cupboard handles: I was visiting a friend and noticed she had used the inexpensive ‘dollar store’ teaspoons as tie backs for her kitchen curtains. The handles were held out from the wall and the spoon head was bent back to hold the curtains open. I have also seen the handles drilled and screwed to the cupboard doors as handles. (I’m thinking that one could use the odds and ends of silverware found at yard sales and flea markets.) A clever way to recycle the odd silver pieces.

Marker remover hints: To remove permanent marker ‘decorations’ from places they don’t belong—give these a try.

For clothing—use hand sanitizer straight from the bottle. Rub in really well, let set a while and then rinse in the sink. Repeat if necessary.

On the walls of a newly painted bedrooms—Try hairspray or toothpaste. Spray the wall and wipe it away. The toothpaste will need to sit for a while before washing off.

Woodwork or wooden furniture (like Great-Grandma’s rocking chair)—Try rubbing alcohol on a piece of terry cloth (an old washrag will work too).

Carpet—White vinegar will work most of the time. Sponge the vinegar on the stain and then blot to take out the ink stain.

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


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