Fall Fix Ups

Published July 20, 2012

For some of us, September is the beginning of our year. The kids are back to school, fitness routines are set, sporting activities are under way and its time to  begin the summer clean up. At this time of year, I like to do an annual household tips column where I can share many of the little pointers my friends and colleagues have shared with me during the last twelve months.

These are great ideas to share with your friends or keep a list of in your laundry room or pantry.

We all struggle with red wine stains. Some of the quick fixes work and others don’t. Here’s one that I really like and works with most red wines. First of all, get to it fast. Do not leave it to set. Soak the stain with ethyl alcohol (available at hardware stores and paint stores). Then, rinse it with white vinegar to remove any residual spots. This combination works very well with delicate fabrics. If you have a stronger fabric, then coat the stain with salt and let it sit for 3-7 minutes. Stretch the fabric over a pot or bowl and pour boiling water over the stain from a distance of 6-12 inches. Let dry.

Would you like your linen cabinet to look like Martha’s? Then here’s a great idea to keep all those matching sheets together. Fold your fitted and flat sheets and coordinating pillowcases to the same dimension. Then take one of your pillowcases and place all matching sheets inside the case. Fold over the edge and place on your linen cupboard shelf. This way all sheets are together when you are in a hurry and ready to go.

Waxing your antique furniture is a great way to keep it looking fabulous through the years. Many of the modern pieces today already have a protective coating on them that does not require waxing. However, the older pieces require constant maintenance on their surfaces to protect them against dust, moisture and other stains that may occur over time. Before you wax, be sure to clean the surface with a mild solvent. Start with a good wax such as Clapham’s Beeswax Polish. I love this wax because of its paste-like texture. Cover your furniture piece with a thin layer of wax and then let dry for 30 minutes. Buff with a dry, clean cloth for best results.

Don’t throw those half-used wax candles away. For sticky, wooden drawers that won’t slide out easily, try rubbing a wax candle on the top and bottom edges of the drawer and any other sliding surfaces.

Lastly, unused paint cans make wonderful storage bins.  Use them in your workshop or office to store letters, bills and other items in a neat and tidy fashion.