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Ask the Miserly Mom: Housecleaning tips

Looking for ways to handle tough household jobs in a safe and economical fashion? This month Jonni McCoy, the "Miserly Mom," shares her frugal -- and natural -- housecleaning tips.

Shower Cleaner

Q: My shower gets a mineral build-up and I'm looking for a homemade shower wall cleaner. Any suggestions?
- Ms. Kusmaul

A: There are a few things you can try. First, spray vinegar on the build up and let it sit a few minutes. It will help dissolve the minerals. Then create a paste with baking soda and salt (equal parts) and rub it over the affected areas with a damp sponge. Rinse well.

To avoid future build up, use a squeegee after each showering.

Removing ink stains from clothing
Q: How do I get ball point ink out of a pair of cotton/polyester-knit pants? - Cindy

A: The best way I have found is to spray the spot with hairspray that contains alcohol. The alcohol in the hairspray dissolves the ink. Plain rubbing alcohol will also work, as long as it is isopropyl alcohol.

Homemade window cleaner
Q: What is the best homemade window cleaner? Thanks!
- Barbara

A: The best solution that I have found is half water, half vinegar. The commercial cleanser manufacturers are bottling this! Spray in on the window and wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel. If it streaks the first time that you use it, then you have a build up of cleansers. Keep cleaning and it will disappear. Never clean a window in direct sunlight; the heat dries the solution too quickly and leaves streaks. Removing wax from carpet
Q: How do I get wax out of a berber carpet? I love candles and got a little carried away! - Jill Mooney

A: When I get wax in a carpet, I first pick away whatever pieces I can. Then I cover the rest with a thin cotton towel, a sheet of tin foil, then another thin towel. I then heat up the iron to it's highest heat, and place it on the top of these towels. The heat will melt the wax, and the pressure of the iron will draw it into the towel. Keep doing this until all wax is removed.

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