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Open secret

Open secret
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When her handheld can opener gets stiff, Ruth Brennan says she uses a toothbrush, hot water, and dishwashing detergent to clean it. “After cleaning, lubricate the opener with vegetable oil and set it aside for a while. Wipe off the excess oil and it will work like new.”

A nutty solution

A nutty solution
The Family Handyman

To colour in nicks or scratches in furniture, cabinets, wood trim, etc, reader C. Clingingsmith of says, “Rub them with a pecan nut. The oil of the nut will ‘re-stain’ the wood.”

Get rid of glue

Get rid of glue
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Reader Mary Yoder has a solution for sticky situations. “When you must remove a spot of glue, use vinegar. It’s a good glue thinner or remover.”

Fizzy flatware

Fizzy flatware
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Stainless steel lost its lustre? Pat Peters says, “Place your flatware in a pan with bubbly carbonated water, soda water, club soda or seltzer. Let set until the fizz has fizzled. Your stainless steel will shine like new!”

Here are more chemical-free ways to clean your home. 

Brush away dirt

Brush away dirt
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Do you have a tough time cleaning wicker items? Reader Sherry Hearn says, “Just spray your favourite furniture polish onto an inexpensive paintbrush. It makes getting to the hard-to-reach spots easier and takes a lot less time.”

Invisible ink

Invisible ink
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Don’t freak out when the kids’ artwork goes beyond the colouring book. Reader Claire Utt says, “Rubbing alcohol easily removes ink from clothing and crayon marks from woodwork and wallpaper.”

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Gum be gone

Gum be gone
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To remove gum from fingers or hair, reader V. Walston says, “Rub creamy peanut butter or vegetable oil into the gum. Wait a few minutes. The gum will come right off. Then wash your hands or hair as normal.”

Handy soap

Handy soap
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When your hands are dirty from the garden, reader Marjorie Little has a great tip. “Tuck a bar of soap in the toe of a nylon stocking and tie it to your outdoor water tap for fast garden clean-up.”

Clean up concrete

Clean up concrete
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Perk up your patio with this suggestion from reader Ann Norstram. “Rust stains from outdoor furniture can be removed from concrete by using lemon juice and rubbing with a soft linen cloth.”

Here are the spots you should never skip when spring cleaning. 

Grease-free barbecue

Grease-free barbecue
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Keep your grill looking great. Nancy Merica says, “Lay a barbecue grill rack on the lawn overnight. The dew will combine with enzymes on the grass to loosen any burned-on grease. Try it with messy oven racks, too!”

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