Home & Family


The unofficial start of summer is just days away YEAH!!!! So it’s time to get a couple of our most visible and used areas in our outdoor oasis preened ‘n cleaned and share a few easy money saving remedies for getting rid of some of summer’s most some stains.


An iconic home feature that once upon a time symbolized the American dream. Nowadays the good ole wooden ones have been replaced with PVC which are much easier to clean…thank ye lord! Here are a few quick n easy tips that even Tom Sawyer might have used if he and Huck were around:

  • Get a power nozzle for your hose and use the mega power button so dirt wont stand a chance. BTW this is a great activity for kids so you can chill for a bit!
  • For stubborn stains, fill a spray bottle with either a 2:1 ratio of vinegar and water or a 3:1 ratio of clorox bleach and water. Spray it on, use a long handled microfiber mop so you don’t have to bend and watch stains disappear.
  • For Lawnmower scuffs and tire marks, bring out the mayo! Squirt mayo direct from the jar onto the marks and wipe with a rag.
  • Another great way to clean the fence without sacrificing your manicure is 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner (http://www.30seconds.net/) Just spray it on and let it sit there for 30 seconds, hose it off and viola your fence will look brand spanking new!
  • And to keep your fence pristine all summer long, apply automotive wax spray.It will stop dirt from piling up and protect it from UV rays-its like sunscreen for your fence so it doesn’t discolor.

LAWNMOWERS-HOLY MOW-LY! Cutting your grass is a necessary summer evil, but grimy lawnmowers and grass stains don’t need to be. Here’s a manicure friendly safe way to have a pristine green cutting machine:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug so you don’t accidentally start it
  2. Turn it on its side
  3. Use an ice scraper to dislodge dirt and grass buildup underneath-be sure not to touch the blade!
  4. Use a power hose to wash the remaining yuck away
  5. For the filter, bang it on the ground or use a computer air compressor spray. You can also rinse it out with water, but make sure it is 100% dry before putting it back.

And, should you or your kiddies find ‘playing in the grass is a gas’   . . .

GRASS STAINS-GIVE THEM A SHOT OF VODKA! Using a shot of vodka you can forget all about those stains. No, not by drinking the problem away, but instead by using a toothbrush dipped in vodka to scrub at the stain until it’s just a hazy memory. Another quick trick is to use an eye dropper filled with hydrogen peroxide to spot treat your clothing. Then launder as usual.

WOODEN FURNITURE-TAKE AIM! Your wooden furniture looking a bit dull from winter’s wrath? No problem! Just take aim with your favorite cooking spray and apply. Use a clean cloth to buff and viola you’re wooden furniture will be rejuvenated and will have a healthy, protective shine.  Crisco also works!

GRILL-OLA COLA! A fun summer BBQ can turn into a nightmare when trying to clean up afterwards. Let the grill cool a bit then try using a ball of aluminum foil dipped in coca-cola instead of your regular brush. This unusual trick will break down anything left on the grill and make clean up a breeze! Scary to think what cola might be doing to our insides, but that’s a topic for another day!

…and if you and yours miss your mouth or are over zealous with those condiment and you’re wearing them, there’s no need to stress out.

KETCHUP STAINS- LEMON–AID! For a ketchup stain scrape off any remaining, rinse it in cool water, then use lemon juice and the rind of the lemon as a cloth to scrub out the stain. Then launder as usual.

MUSTARD STAINS-FIX IT n FORGET IT! If mustard is the problem, remove as much as possible, then rinse in cold water. Then soak the stain in Fixident Denture Cleaner for at least 30 minutes. It will be gone in no time.

Julie Edelman aka The Accidental Housewife is the go to gal for easy; real life time, money, and energy saving tips that maintain our home, family and manicure. She appears regularly on the Today Show with Kathie Lee ‘n Hoda, Rachael Ray, and The Doctors.  She is a New York Times best-selling author and her next tome for the home: The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean Enough House is the sanity saving editor forBeautiful Design Made Simple Magazine; has a webisode series for Fox News Magazine, and hosts her siteJulie’s Tips with her goal to empower, educate and engage fellow housewives along with a daily sanity saving libation.

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