Off-grid pantry planner

Combat some common household problems with this informative list of unique uses for the ordinary things you already have in your home by Mark Miller.

Does your refrigerator stink?

Something’s Rotten in the State of Your Refrigerator

You’ve thoroughly cleaned your refrigerator, tossing out anything that even started resembling a science experiment. Yet there’s still some funky smell coming from it. What gives? Is it possessed? Perhaps you’ll never know. But at least you can take care of the problem fairly easily. Simply dampen a cotton ball with vanilla extract and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Not only will the bad smells be gone; a good smell will have taken its place — something almost vanilla-like!

A Marriage Made in Heaven: Dishwashers & Baking Soda

Let’s say you have a dishwasher full of especially greasy, messy dishes. How do you deal with it? Most people would add extra detergent. Don’t do it! Those extra suds can clog your dishwasher, substantially reducing its effectiveness. Instead, save your detergent and grab your baking soda. Before you run your dishwasher, sprinkle ½ cup of the baking soda on the bottom. The baking soda will cut the grease, enabling your detergent to work more effectively. You can even use baking soda to deodorize your dishwasher. Add a cup of it to the dishwasher when it’s empty. Run the machine through the rinse cycle and shut it off. When everything’s dried, you’ll have a fresh-smelling machine.

Sour Cleaner Gets Your Microwave Looking Sweet

Is the inside of your microwave looking nastier than a teenage boy’s bedroom? Help is at hand for all that dried grease and caked on food bits. Easily eliminate all the gunk without having to use harsh, abrasive cleansers and superhuman effort. Simply mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into 1 ½ cups of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes. The steam will condense on the inside of the oven, allowing you to wipe off the softened food.

Check out the following helpful tips.

Simple Way to Remove Excess Salt From Your Recipes

A high salt diet has been shown to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, stomach cancer, hypertension, and kidney stones. Most doctors and health professionals recommend either eliminating or drastically reducing its use. So, what to do when you find you’ve over-salted that soup or stew? Don’t despair; help is nearby. Simply drop a few apple or potato wedges into your pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove the wedges — which will have absorbed a good deal of the excess salt.

Make Baby Oil Your Kitchen Friend

Stainless steel sinks needn’t look dull when it’s so easy to bring back their glowing shine. Add a few drops of baby oil to a soft, clean cloth and massage into the sink. Wipe dry with a towel and if necessary, repeat. Same technique works wonders on removing stains from the chrome trim of kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures. Thank your baby and enjoy your glowing home.

Pantyhose Fridge Duster

Filled with shame and humiliation when your friends and neighbors comment on the dust bunnies beneath and alongside your refrigerator? Don’t they have anything better to do with their time than pointing out flaws in your kitchen appliances? No matter. Your days of embarrassment are over. Form a pair of old pantyhose into a ball. Attach it to a broom handle, yardstick or coat hanger with a rubber band. Any dust and dirt will then stick to the nylon like teenagers to french fries. It’s even reusable — simply wash it off before its next dusting adventure.

Foul-Smelling Air Conditioner? Baste It!

Isn’t life difficult enough without having to put up with your room air conditioner’s musty odor? What is causing that foul aroma? Could it possibly be a clogged drain hole? Probably. Your mission: unclog it. But first, you have to locate it. Simply unscrew the front of the unit. You’ll most likely find the drain hole either under the barrier between the evaporator and compressor — or beneath the evaporator. Two ways to clear out anything plugging up the hole: Bend a wire hanger and use it to clear out the hole. Or, flush it clean with a baster. The baster can also come in handy to remove any water accumulated at the bottom of the unit, blocking the drain.

WD40 — So Much More Than a Lubricant

Could WD40 be the most versatile substance on the planet? Its legendary number of uses is mind-boggling. So, if you’re just using it to take the squeak out of that sliding door, it’s time to really put it to work. Here are just a few of its additional capabilities: keeps most tools rust-free, removes remnants of duct tape, cleans roof racks on cars, removes black scuff marks from kitchen floors, removes bug “corpses” from your car’s grill, loosens zippers. Not bad for a humble, smelly liquid, eh?

Mark Miller has served in a number of marketing communications positions for a variety of industries including appliance, accounting, real estate, law, mortgage, direct mail, non-profit, national membership associations, media and entertainment. He is currently Communications Director for which serves the do-it-yourselfer with over one million appliance parts and 500,000 parts photos and diagrams, allowing people to easily match theirs.