Check out this article at Louise’s Country Closet for the super easy instructions
A friend of mine shared this on Facebook. (Thanks Christina!) It’s an incredible list of uses for such an incredibly inexpensive product.
Coffee filters …. Who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing even the large ones.
1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome… Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.
3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.
4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.
7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
11.. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters..
13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. It soaks out all the grease.
14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great “razor nick fixers.”
15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.
16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.
18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.
19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.
20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies.. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.
21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.
22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.
23. Use them to sprout seeds.. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.
24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in phone book..
25. Use as a disposable “snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc.
Thanks to our friends at Homestead Survival, we found this amazing recipe for an organic, home-made congestion rub that apparently works better than the Vick’s type brands. It is made in a crock pot. The process takes a while. But the reviews are amazing.
‘Tis the season where spiders start to come inside in droves. Some of us like spiders. But there are those out there that can’t stand them. Before you run out to buy some chemical deterrent have a look at this.
A natural DIY spray to repel spiders:
Peppermint, Lavender or any natural soap.
1 ounce of Neem Oil
1 to 5 drops of any Essential Plant Oils to 1 Quart of water – Catnip Oil, Citronella Oil, Lavender Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Peppermint Oil, Citrus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, or other essential oils.
Add 5 tablespoons of the soap per quart water. Add one ounce of the Neem oil to the water which you have added the soap and label it. Shake well and spray inside house where spiders are seen. Test for strength. May be done as often as needed. This is not a long term solution but will provide you immediate help. Oils may stain some fabrics or light coloured furnishings, test first.
Spray outside the house: Use the same formula to spray the foundation, eaves and soffits, and the areas around doors, windows and crawls space, or attic vents, or any area where you see spiders congregating. Spray around the outside of the house or where spiders congregate.
Here is a great link to an article about safely providing water to bees.
Because it’s affordable, non-toxic, and it reduces static cling, a cup or two of white vinegar in the washing machine is our fabric softener of choice. Tip: Get the feeling like straight vinegar isn’t working for you? Try adding 1 cup of baking soda for every 6-7 cups of vinegar; then add a cup of that mixture to your rinse cycle.
Another fun idea for fabric softener in the dryer is to use a homemade fabric softener sachet.
And here’s how:
1. Make a simple pouch — one that measures 5 in. x 5 in. or 4 in. x 6 in. — it does not have to be fancy at all. To make this one I used this tightly woven hemp muslin fabric. And then I went outside to pick a handful of lavender and rosemary.
2. Gather the ingredients…
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/8 cup arrowroot powder
- a handful of lavender petals and rosemary leaves
- a few drops essential oils (in this case lavender and rosemary)
…and begin by mixing the baking soda, arrowroot powder, and herbs.
3. Add the mixture to the sachet.
4. Then add the essential oils.
5. Tie up the pouch tightly.
Now it’s ready for the dryer!
-Refill the sachet as needed. If you mostly hang your clothes to dry on the line, and rarely use your dryer, this sachet should last quite a while.
-Don’t have the herbs? Leave them out
-Other great herbs and essential oil combinations for the laundry include:
- Rosemary and thyme
- Patchouli and cedar
- Peppermint and eucalyptus (especially good when some one is sick)
- Sweet orange and lemon
- Tea tree
-A tennis ball or a wool dryer ball are also great additions to the dryer for softness.
Reposted from our friends at frugallysustainable.com
One of the disadvantages to mouse traps is that they all need to be reset once you’ve caught a mouse. This means if you have lots of furry intruders you’ll need to have several traps or just build this version using a 5-gallon bucket, an aluminum beverage can, a small piece of wood, and a wooden dowel or sturdy metal wire.
This design for a self-resetting mouse trap can be either lethal or no-kill:
Drill holes on opposite sides of the bucket and in the two flat sides of the can. Insert the dowel through the bucket and can holes. Bait the trap by adding peanut butter to the beverage can and add a ramp for the mice to climb to the edge of the bucket.
The mice won’t be able to climb out and you can relocate them at your leisure.
Mosquitoes have complex methods of detecting hosts and different types of mosquitoes react to different stimuli.
It’s no secret that mosquito bites can transfer a number of diseases to humans and animals, the most common of which are malaria, dengue fever, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Most mosquitoes are active at dawn and dusk, but there are also mosquitoes that seek hosts during the day. You can avoid being bitten by making sure you aren’t attracting mosquitoes, using attractants to lure mosquitoes elsewhere, using a repellent, and avoiding actions that diminish the effectiveness of the repellent.
Before you whip out a can of mosquito-repelling spray the next time a clan of biting insects are after your blood, you should know that many conventional brands contain DEET, a powerful pesticide that has been linked to a number of health problems such as skin rashes, dizziness, and even seizures.
Carbon Dioxide (you exhale CO2)
Lactic Acid (in perspiration fluid)
Floral or Fruity Fragrances (perfumes)
There are natural alternatives to DEET, made primarily from plant essential oils, that can protect you in less threatening circumstances. Although there is no natural repellent as effective as DEET natural repellents do help ward off mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, and fleas, and they may provide some protection against ticks.
Natural Homemade Mosquito Repellents
Citronella Grass Oil – a natural plant oil that has been registered as a natural insect repellent in the United States since 1948. The oils from the plant are used to make lotions, sprays, and candles.
Catnip – is an herb that is most commonly used to stuff in toys or feed to cats for their enjoyment. However, the oil from this plant has actually been found to be more than ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Planting this plant near your patio or deck will help repel mosquitoes.
Fennel – A small study by researchers at Seoul National University in Korea found that a spray mosquito repellent containing 5% fennel oil was 84% effective after 90 minutes and a repellent cream with 8% fennel oil was 70% effective after 90 minutes.
Rosemary – this garden herb also has an oil that repels mosquitoes. While they are attractive plants that both repel mosquitoes and can add interest to your cooking, they are truly tropical plants that are not hardy in cold climates. You can, however, grow rosemary in a pot and take it inside in the winter.
Thyme – In one study, carvacrol and alpha-terpinene, two compounds derived from the essential oil of thyme, were found to have significantly greater repellency than a commercial DEET repellent. The researchers suggest that a spray made with 2% alpha terpinene is a promising natural mosquito repellent. However, don’t try to make a thyme oil repellent at home- it is too irritating and strong-smelling to be used at effective concentrations above 25%.
Marigolds – have a particular smell that many insects and humans find objectionable. They are a good plant for repelling mosquitoes as well as insects that can attack vegetable plants and aphids. Marigolds are annuals with bright flowers that range from lemon yellow to dark oranges and reds.
Clove oil – Two studies have found that undiluted topical clove oil is active against mosquitoes. However, like thyme oil, clove oil should not be applied undiluted to skin as a homemade repellent.
Lemongrass Oil – also a natural plant oil that has long been used in tropical and subtropical regions as a natural insect repellent.
Celery extract – A Thai study compared 15 mosquito repellents with a topical extract from celery. The researchers found that the extract did not irritate the skin or cause a burning sensation. It was found to be active against a wide range of mosquito species comparable to a 25% DEET formula.
Peppermint Oil – has also long been used as a natural bug repellent, and is particularly good for keeping mosquitoes away.
Neem oil – An extract from the tropical neem tree, neem oil has insecticidal compounds called azadirachtins.
Vanillin – not artificial vanilla, but the real stuff that we know acts as a natural bug repellent.
Vitamin B1 – Vitamin B1 is often taken to help repel mosquitos but one study suggests this remedy may be useless. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin study tested B1 with a larger sample of human subjects and found no effect of vitamin B.
Garlic – There is a long history of using garlic to get rid of many insects, from slug to mosquito. In particular garlic has a reputation for protecting people from mosquito bites – some think that this could be the origin of the belief that vampires are scared of garlic. There are a number of commercial garlic sprays on the market, these effectively coat an area and produce a natural mosquito barier.
Make Your Own Natural Insect Repellent
Combine the following essential oils to make a natural insect repellent:
1/2 ounce citronella oil
1/4 ounce lavender oil
1/8 ounce pennyroyal oil
1/8 ounce tea tree oil
1/8 ounce jojoba oil
Do not use this blend undiluted on your skin. Follow these instructions for diluting:
To make an insect repellent oil that can be used on your body, add 16 ounces of jojoba or almond oil to the base oil mixture and blend thoroughly. For an insect repellent spray, add 16 ounces of vodka to the base oil mixture, pour into a spray bottle, and shake before using.