Long before today’s barrage of cleaners were available, our homes were kept clean and bug-free by the use of simple products. Now we wade through the aisles of chemical-laden products at the supermarket to find an easy solution to rid our homes of ants or to clean our toilets with ease. An American home in the 50s was healthier in terms of chemicals that we have now, even with all of our technology and knowledge of the harmful affects of these products. Back “in the day,” it was kept simple. It was basic. It was good.
Taking the cleaning process back to the earlier years, when elbow grease and warm, soapy water was used to keep our homes clean, we can find the answer to a safer, healthier home today. Products we have in our pantries today we use for cooking purposes, when we used to rely on them for great homemade edibles, but also cleaning, ridding our homes of critters and even bathing.
Most people want that smell, that “clean” aroma after a job well done in cleaning their home. The basic cleaning of a home takes care of any foul odors by merely killing off the bacteria that causes odor. After cleaning, there are far too many wonderful scents to make your home smell great, without adding to the toxicity of a home. Between wax melts, candles and essential oils, there is no need for chemicals that smell good for a few hours but adds toxic chemicals to the environment. Just dumping the bucket of mop water with cleaning chemicals will kill off marine life.
Taking us back to the basics, there are items you have lying around the house that provide ingenious ways of repairing, cleaning and making our lives easier. For example, a regular roll of adhesive tape can often help us throughout the day in ways we never dreamed of.
Adhesive tape has a range of uses besides wrapping up grandma’s birthday gift or fixing the homework the dog gnawed on. Here are some of the uses for a roll of adhesive tape:
Spring is the time for ants to begin their march into your home in search of food and water. Placing a strip of adhesive tape is an easy way to prevent the little black army from swarming that banana nut bread you spent hours making. Spread adhesive tape around the kitchen counters and table to stop ants dead in their tracks. If they happen to cross the tape, they will stick and it will put an end to their kitchen investigation.
You ever have one of those tiny annoying splinters pierce your skin? They’re difficult to remove with tweezers simply because they’re so small. Use a piece of adhesive tape to remove the splinter with ease. Place the sticky side down and press it to your skin where the splinter rests. Pull up to remove. You may have to try it once or twice to get the splinter out. This method works well with children who may have a fear of what you are going to do with a needle or tweezers.
Have lint on your work suit? Use tape to remove the pieces of lint. Fold the tape in half, with the sticky side out. Press it against your clothing and lift to take off the lint.
There are times when we have hats that we love but they rest a bit awkwardly on your head because they are too large. Run adhesive tape around the inside of the hat, along the sweatband several times. Press it down smoothly. The tape will fill in the excess space inside the hat to make it fit snuggly.
After several uses of a comb, we find lint and hair in between the teeth. Press tape along the teeth of the comb to remove the debris. When the dirt and crud is gone, sanitize your comb by dipping it in alcohol and water or use hot, soapy water to clean.
To keep chairs from leaving marks on your wood or laminate flooring, cover the casters with adhesive tape. Cover the bottoms of chairs without casters, tables legs and other furniture with the tape. This protects your floors and won’t damage your furniture.
Tubes of various products typically take up room on your workbench and in your utility room. Rip off a long piece of adhesive tape and fold it over the bottom of the tube. Leave at least an inch or two at the bottom, where the fold lies. Punch a hole in the loop and hang the tube on a nail or screw. This keeps your tubes hanging to save space and will allow you the ability to see what is in each tube.
If a container of pins or needles spill on the floor, use a wad of adhesive tape to pick them up. Throw the whole piece away once they have been collected or pick them off the tape to save them in their container.
Before removing a sheet of glass, use adhesive tape to protect yourself from shattering glass. Place the tape in a large “X” across the glass to prevent the glass from shattering into small shards if it should break.
Use adhesive tape to wrap the handles of screwdrivers to give them a better grip. Wrap tape around your garden tools to protect your hands from splinters if they are made from wood.