Uncle John Helps Out Around the House

July 21, 2016

Uncle John has been collecting strange household hints and bizarre cleaning tips for years. He can’t promise that all of them actually work, only that they’re weird…and fun to read.
Uncle John Helps Out Around the House

  • Having a copper-polish emergency? Look in the fridge: Ketchup eliminates tarnish from copper.
  • It’s really gross to find mealworms in your cereal bowl. Keep them out of the cupboard with a few sticks of wrapped spearmint gum on the shelf. They hate the smell.
  • To repel ants, find where they’re coming into the house and spray the area with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. They hate the smell. Bonus: It’s non-toxic.
  • Besides being great on steak, Worcestershire sauce makes an excellent brass polish. It also repairs scratched wood.
  • If you’ve got a dirty toilet bowl and you’re all out of cleanser…try Tang.
  • Emergency shaving cream substitutes: whipped cream (not Cool Whip) or peanut butter (not the chunky kind).
  • Over time, a thermos will absorb the stains and odors of whatever you put in it. To undo the damage, pour in a tablespoon of uncooked rice and a cup of warm water. Then shake it up and rinse it out.
  • Need to paint a room, but hate the noxious fumes? Add two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract to a gallon of (waterbased) paint. It neutralizes the odor.
  • Been pruning branches or chopping down trees and now your hands are covered in sap that won’t wash off? Try rubbing half a jar of Miracle Whip (not mayonnaise) on them—it makes the sap rinse right off.
  • If you have stains on your golf balls or piano keys, erase them—with an old fashioned pink eraser.
  • Did you spill coffee on the carpet? Sop it up with a baby wipe. It won’t even stain.
  • Fill stinky sneakers with kitty litter (unused kitty litter) and leave them overnight. They’ll smell fresh the next morning.
  • To prevent tools from rusting, keep a charcoal briquette inside the toolbox. It absorbs moisture.
  • Don’t use paper towels or rags to clean windows and mirrors. They’ve got lint on them. Instead, use coffee filters. They’re lint-free.
  • Attention cheaters: Lipstick stains on a collar go away with a dab of petroleum jelly.
  • Ink is one of the hardest substances to get off of skin. If a pen leaks on your hand, rub shortening on it to help remove the stain.
  • If you’ve got a nasty sunburn on most of your body, soothe it with a bath…in iced tea. Dissolve a jar of iced tea mix in a tub of warm water.
  • Hard-to-remove price stickers can be taken off with a dollop of corn oil.
  • Denture-cleaning tablets don’t clean just fake teeth. Dissolve one in water to polish diamonds…or hubcaps.
  • Toothache? Apply a dab of Tabasco sauce to the gum.
  • If there are holes in your car’s radiator, try adding pepper. It sinks to the bottom, lodges in holes, and expands to fill them.
  • When a metal shavingcream can gets wet and rusts on the bottom, it can stain a shelf or countertop. To prevent this, apply a coat of nail polish to the bottom of the can and let dry.
  • If static cling is making your pants stick to your legs, rub a dab of lotion into your hands until it’s absorbed, then rub your hands on the clingy clothes.

Uncle John's Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader

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