No. 920


About 20 years ago, my late wife Viola and I moved from Mayflower to Conway and built a new home. It is a most unusual home because we built it using landscape timbers. A part of the move involved building me a home office, where I could record my daily radio program and where I later began this newspaper column. A part of the design was building the office above the garage, and this meant having outside steps because Viola made it clear that she did not want the office in the house. Not being too smart back in those day (I’m still not), we did not cover the steps that we have to use going back and forth several times a day. They look good and they work well during fair weather, but during those few times when we have snow and ice, well, that is another story.
If you have ever felt like you were taking your life in your own hands, you can picture me going up and coming down those steps, hanging on to the rail, trying to keep from breaking my neck and wishing I had bought some salt pellets to put on the steps before the ice came. This past year I tried to find some salt at Walmart to put on the steps in the event ice came, but they had sold out. These past events flooded my mind when a friend sent me a whole plethora of great tips that can come in handy in all sorts of ways.
Here is the very first tip and you will see why I have taken the long way around. “For Icy Door Steps in Freezing Temperatures: Get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won’t refreeze.” I do take some comfort here because I am not the only one who didn’t know this tip. The person who offered this tip said, “Wish I had known this for the past 40 years.”
Without further comment here are some of these tips:
Crayon Marks on Walls: Take a damp rag dipped in baking soda and they will come off with little effort. Blood Stains on Clothes: Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a sweet-smelling scent when the light is turned on. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen. Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least three hours prior to burning.
To easily remove burnt-on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting it in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks. To get rid of the itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief. When you get a splinter, reach for the cellophane tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the tape over the splinter and then pull it off. Cellophane tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill it with water and drop in two effervescent cold tablets. To polish jewelry, drop two cold tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.
To clean a Thermos bottle: Fill the bottle with water, drop in four tablets and let soak for an hour, or longer if necessary. To unclog a drain, clear the sink drain by dropping three tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes and then turn on the hot water. And here is the author’s final thought: Makes you wonder about ingesting those effervescent cold tablets, doesn’t it?
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)