I recently had an invasion of tiny flying insects and I started a thread asking for help how to get rid of them. Sure enough, you Dopers proved to be a great source of knowledge and I am especially grateful to Davidm for suggesting the winning technique of pouring a pot of boiling water down my sink drains several times per day for several days in a row to stop their breeding cycle. A neighbor suggested I add one tablespoon full of bleach to each pot just before I poured. It worked great.
It ocurred to me that it might be valuable to find other household tips, tricks and techniques and put them into a thread or organize them somehow to make a resource. I tried to search TSD for other household tips but they were somewhat difficult to find. So I decided to start this thread to ask you to post your favorite household techniques and tips so they may be of value to other people who frequent this forum. Here is a link to the thread that describes my insect infestation and the help I got:
Please feel free to post your favorite household tips and techniques here. I will post the tip that helped me get rid of my insect problem here now:
I recently suffered an infestation of tiny flying insects in my home. I had never seen these kinds of bugs before. They were about one tenth the size of an average household fly and I searched the net to try and determine exactly what kind of bugs they were. As best as I can tell, they were either gnats or fruit flies. But I doubt they were fruit flies because when one of them would land on my arm, I would try to swat it. But they were too fast. So fast, I never killed a single one until I sprayed the room with Raid and then a few minutes later, they slowed down considerably and I was then able to swat them. Fruit flies are just not that fast.
Davidm suggested I pour a pot of boiling water down my sink drains several times a day and to do that for several days in a row in order to disrupt their breeding cycle. I started doing that when a neighbor suggested I add one tablespoon full of household bleach to the water just before I poured it down the drain. That did the trick! After adding the bleach, a few days later, they were all gone. It has been almost a week now and I have not seen a single bug in the past 4 days.
Please post your favorite household tips and techniques here?
I’m not sure if these are household tips but they are cooking tips that I do in my household!
I no longer boil lasagna noodles before constructing the lasagna. I just layer them right from the box. I’ve never had an issue with them not cooking. Trying to handle hot, slimy noodles that would sometimes fall apart was always a pain.
Another pasta tip: I just recently started cooking pasta in the microwave instead of on the stovetop. Just put the pasta in a large microwave-safe bowl, put in enough water to cover the pasta, add 5 minutes to the stovetop cooking time and done. No more steamy kitchen from all of the boiling water and it takes a little less time because you don’t have to wait for the water to come to a boil before you put the noodles/pasta in the water.
buy a cheap block of melamine sponges on ebay, they’re only about ten cents each if you buy 50 or 100. They help with cleaning the bathroom and kitchen, and you can throw them out when done.
microfiber cloths are superior for cleaning dust (well known, but important)
baby wipes are superior to napkins when cleaning your face and hands. Best to use both though, wipes first and napkin second.
remote control outlets are nice. I use them to turn on and off air purifiers, christmas tree lights, regular lights and fans. They seem to max out at five outlets, but thats about all you need usually.
I’m not tall and easily forget to clean the top of things like the stacked washer/dryer. When I finally remember, it’s an unholy mess to clean up.
Now I stretch cling wrap across to cover the entire top. Carefully fold back any bits visible from below. Now when I am remembering to clean it, it’s as easy as changing the cling wrap. Genius!
This also works for regular flies and other flying insects. But houseflies are so fast you need to spray the area where they will be, not where they are now. If you see a fly sitting on the counter, spray above it so it will fly up into the fog of Windex. If you spray directly at the fly, it can often pop away before the Windex gets to that spot.
Cutting the ends off of onions, celery, and such for cooking? Rinse the ends and peels well and keep them in a bag int he freezer. When you are making broth toss all the ends into the pot and simmer on low overnight. Strain and you’ll be left with delicious vegetable broth. You’ll save yourself a ton of chopping and make incredibly good soup.
If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.
Or seriously: Rinse your drinking glasses when done with them, before putting them into the dishwasher; prevents odors (especially milk glasses).
OR: write down your wi-fi password and put it someplace visible. Eventually you’ll buy a new device or have to reset a router, and struggle to remember the password. If it’s inside your house, there’s no privacy concern (unless your snoopy neighbor has a good telescope).
You don’t even need the vinegar unless you’re trying to get rid of odors at the same time ( in which case adding lemon juice to the water works much more pleasantly). Just boil water for about 5 minutes, then let it sit for another 20 minutes before you open the microwave door, and everything will wipe clean.