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Every Friday we will be bringing you Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

14 Little-Known Ways To Reuse Aluminum Foil

“Americans throw away about three pounds of aluminum foil annually. It will take roughly400 years for aluminum to break down naturally in the landfill. Some landfills incinerate aluminum, which releases toxic metals and gas into the atmosphere..” Source: Earth 911

Aluminum foil is pretty much 100% recyclable, but before you do give it a second, third or fourth life with one of these reuses for it.

Sharpen Scissors
Fold up aluminum foil into a square and cut it about 8-10 times. This will help to sharpen the edges of your dull scissors.

Shim
Have a table or desk that’s a bit unsturdy? Put aluminum foil under it to help balance it out.

Regulate Your Lotion Dispenser
Wrap aluminum foil around the pump dispenser of your soap or lotion to control how much comes out. Not only will you be reusing the aluminum foil, but you’ll also extend the life of your soap or lotion.

Scrub Your Gas Burner
Scrunch up that aluminum foil and use it the caked on grease that’s on under your stove top. You can also use it on your pots and pans, but be careful when using on non-stick surfaces.

Painting
When you are painting, instead of using tape to block off door knobs and other fixtures, reuse aluminum foil. If you have kids, give it to them when you are done so they can use the aluminum foil for their art projects.

In Your Garden
Protect your young plants from pesky insects by putting an aluminum foil collar around its base.

Eliminate Static Cling
If you are having problems with static cling on your clothing, add a piece of aluminum foil to the dryer next time you do a load. It will help to reduce the static cling.

Keep Your Silverware Shiny
Lay your silverware on top of aluminum foil to slow down the deterioration of it.

Remove Tarnish From Your Silverware
If your silverware is already tarnished, you’ll need some aluminum foil, baking soda and water to help get it shiny again. In a bowl add all of the products and allow it to sit, rinse and dry.

Keep the Mice Away
Have a mouse hole? Crumple up aluminum foil and stick it near the hole. The jagged edges of the aluminum foil will deter the mice.

Extend the Life of Your Bar Soap
Instead of letting your bar of soap sit in a puddle of water, lay it on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Soften Your Brown Sugar
Your brown sugar all hard and clumped together? Wrap it in aluminum foil and put it in the oven at 300 to help break it up.

Cut Down Your Ironing Time
Put a sheet of aluminum foil under your ironing board. It will help to reflect the heat and iron both sides at once.

Keep Your Pie Crusts From Burning
When baking a pie, cover the crust in aluminum foil during the final minutes of baking to keep them from browning.

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How To Fold A Fitted Sheet!

They was a lot of chatter on my blog yesterday on how to fold sheets, here is how to fold like us at C’s…

HERE YOU GO!

Fitted sheets are great on the bed, but can be tricky to fold. Here’s how,

Turn the Sheet Inside Out

Hold up the sheet, inside out, and slip your hands inside the top two corners. The wrong side of the fabric should be facing you and the right side should be touching your hands.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Spread Out the Sheet

Carefully lay the sheet down on a large, flat surface — such as a table, or the top of a bed — so it is spread out smoothly. Fold the sheet right side together, slipping the top corners gently inside the two bottom corners. Arrange the corners neatly.

Woman Folding a Polka Dotted Fitted Sheet

Fold the Edges to the Inside

Fold the sheet edges to the inside. The flaps of fabric that hug the mattress should be neatly folded down in line with the corners, making a large rectangle with all loose edges tucked in smoothly.

Fold Fitted Sheet

Fold the Sheet in Half

Fold the sheet in half, stacking all four corners on top of one another and encasing the folded sheet sides. The curved edges should be tucked down to create a (more-or-less) smooth rectangle.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Create a Long, Narrow Strip

Fold the sheet in half again to create a long, narrow strip. The tighter and smoother the folds, the less likely it is that the sheet will become wrinkled — or balloon to an enormous size in the linen storage area.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Make a Rectangle

Fold the strip in half, then (depending on the sheet size) in half or in thirds to make a compact — and wrinkle-free — rectangle. Match the fitted sheet with its flat partner (and any pillowcases), and tuck away neatly in the linen closet or linen storage area. If linens aren’t in active use, refold them once or twice a year to avoid fiber damage along the creases.

Compact Folded Sheet
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How To Fold A Fitted Sheet!

There was a lot of chatter yesterday on my post on how to fold sheets and how yours don’t look like mine!

SO HERE YOU GO…..

Turn the Sheet Inside Out

Hold up the sheet, inside out, and slip your hands inside the top two corners. The wrong side of the fabric should be facing you and the right side should be touching your hands.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Spread Out the Sheet

Carefully lay the sheet down on a large, flat surface — such as a table, or the top of a bed — so it is spread out smoothly. Fold the sheet right side together, slipping the top corners gently inside the two bottom corners. Arrange the corners neatly.

Woman Folding a Polka Dotted Fitted Sheet

Fold the Edges to the Inside

Fold the sheet edges to the inside. The flaps of fabric that hug the mattress should be neatly folded down in line with the corners, making a large rectangle with all loose edges tucked in smoothly.

Fold Fitted Sheet

Fold the Sheet in Half

Fold the sheet in half, stacking all four corners on top of one another and encasing the folded sheet sides. The curved edges should be tucked down to create a (more-or-less) smooth rectangle.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Create a Long, Narrow Strip

Fold the sheet in half again to create a long, narrow strip. The tighter and smoother the folds, the less likely it is that the sheet will become wrinkled — or balloon to an enormous size in the linen storage area.

Folding Fitted Sheets

Make a Rectangle

Fold the strip in half, then (depending on the sheet size) in half or in thirds to make a compact — and wrinkle-free — rectangle. Match the fitted sheet with its flat partner (and any pillowcases), and tuck away neatly in the linen closet or linen storage area. If linens aren’t in active use, refold them once or twice a year to avoid fiber damage along the creases.

Compact Folded Sheet
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It’s Halloween ….BUT…..Let’s Keep the Spiders OUTSIDE !!!

Once the weather warms up it is common to find your house has become a spider habitat. Alternatively when the weather starts to get a bit colder they seek refuge and the issue arises. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing because spiders are very useful in eating bugs. So unless the spiders that have taken up residence in your house are of the dangerous variety like the Brown Recluse or the Black Widow it may be wise to just live and let live. By trying to eliminate spiders from your house you may just be making it a more hospitable place for numerous other creepy crawlies.

That being said this is a tough situation for me personally because I am borderline arachnophobic after being bitten eight times by Black Widow spiders when I was a child. I won’t go into the heinous details but it was not a very pleasant experience. I am less then thrilled when I see spiders in the house so I am very sympathetic tothose who do not want to share their house with eight legged friends. I like to leave the web spinners alone but I usually will try to get rid of hunter spiders, like the Brown Recluse. If you absolutely cannot live with them or they pose a danger toyour small children here are a few natural ways to get rid of spiders.

1. Clean house! Spiders like cardboard and clutter, so clean up all cardboard and make sure closets and underneath beds are clean and without places to hide. And do not leave clothing, towels, and other debris on the floor where spiders can find refuge.

2. Clear out unwanted vegetation from around your house, including Ivy or other vines, which are a haven for them. Seal all cracks that may lead spiders indoors.

3. Keep trash bags and bins away from the house where spiders will lay in wait for bugs that are attracted to the garbage.

4. Cover pet food.

5. Use natural deterrents wherever you see spiders (spiders HATE them!):

  • Orange Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Eucalyptus leaves
  • Hedge Apples or pieces of Hedge Apples, also called Osage orange
  • Pennyroyal on a scrap of cloth
  • Baking soda

All of these remedies are cheap, easy, and effective.  Mix up the essential oils with some vinegar or soapy water and put inside a spray bottle. Spray liberally in the areas where you see spiders (ie around their webs and along walls and corners). You can also mix the EOs with the baking soda and then sprinkle it where you see spiders. Good luck!

Natural deterrents for other pests:

Ants: Bay leaves, cucumber peels sprinkled with salt, Cayenne pepper, chili pepper, dried peppermint, paprika, cinnamon, dried sage.

Flies: Whole or ground cloves in a small muslin teabag, flypaper made with honey.

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Our Best Secrets on the use of Lemons!

This Natural  Fruit Does More Than Garnish A Beverage!

Tip #1: Substitute Lemon Juice for Bleach

Adding a cup of lemon juice to your laundry replaces chlorine bleach and does an even better job of whitening. It also leaves a refreshing, lemony scent on your clothing. Doesn’t that make you happy just thinking about it? Plus, which would you rather accidentally spill on yourself – lemon juice or bleach? Exactly!

Tip #2: Clean Shower Doors

Cutting through hard water deposits is easy with lemon juice. Simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over your glass shower doors to remove gunk and build-up. If you prefer, you can also squeeze lemon juice directly on a sponge and then scrub the tough spots.  Adding a bit of Borax to the sponge or surface of the cut lemon helps scrub away those really stubborn, hard water stains. Rinse with warm water and your doors will shine and smell wonderful!

Tip #3: Shine Your Faucets

You can use the other half of that cut lemon to clean and shine chrome faucets and knobs on your sink, shower, and tub. Rub the cut lemon directly onto the faucets until spots and stains are removed. Your fixtures will look bright and shiny!

Tip #4: Deodorize and Clean the Dishwasher

Does your dishwasher have a funky smell to it? Lemon juice can take care of that. Add one cup of lemon juice to a coffee cup or other dishwasher safe container and put on the bottom rack in the dishwasher. Run the rinse cycle. Once finished, your dishwasher will not only be deodorized but clean, too! That lemon juice will do double duty on your dishwasher.

Tip #5: Boost Your Dishwashing Detergent

Not only can lemons clean your dishwasher, but simply adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to your dishwasher’s detergent compartment will boost its cleaning power. Try adding the lemon juice in the small dispenser reserved for additional detergent. Fill the larger dispenser with detergent as usual and run the cycle as you would normally.

The same idea applies to hand washing greasy dishes. Add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to your sink of sudsy water and the lemon will help cut through the grease and grime on even the toughest pots and pans.

Tip #6: Create Your Own Furniture Polish

Why not make homemade furniture polish for just pennies? Not only is this a money-saving choice but it’s a healthier option, too. Avoiding the chemicals in manufactured furniture polish is always a good idea.

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for homemade furniture polish:  Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, ½ cup olive oil (or vegetable oil). Mix well. Add this mixture to a spray bottle. Use the fine mist setting on the bottle to spritz on furniture. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.

Tip #7: Clean Glass Surfaces

Just like the furniture polish, glass cleaner can also be made from lemons. This safe, non-toxic cleaner is a good alternative in any home but especially one with kids and pets.Here’s the easy formula to follow:  Mix 3 tablespoons of lemon juice with ½ cup of rubbing alcohol. Pour into a 24-ounce spray bottle. Add water to fill. Use this mixture to clean glass and mirrors and to disinfect kitchen counters and other grimy surfaces

Bonus Lemon Cleaning Tips

If you do decide to use a lemon to help with your household chores, here are a few more tips to remember:

To get the most juice from a lemon, roll it on the counter under the palm of your hand. Then microwave it for 10 seconds. This releases the most juice

*  When using a lemon half as your scrubbing tool, remove the seeds first. Use a small, sharp paring knife to pry out the seeds so they don’t scratch your surfaces.

* The lemon rind makes a great scrubber. If you use the lemon to scrub a sink or shower stall, use both sides. When scrubbing with the skin side, the oils are released to give an even stronger lemon smell to the area.

* When you’re done cleaning, don’t just throw out the used lemons. Grind them up in your garbage disposal to freshen and deodorize it!

* Buy lemons in bulk. Most grocery stores have bags of lemons at a much lower price than buying them individually. You can typically get 8-10 lemons for under $5.

I hope you give some of these cleaning techniques a try. Cleaning with lemons is an amazing way to tackle some of the biggest messes in your home while still staying true to green cleaning….and your house will smell fresh and clean!

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Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

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For a small fee, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.

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Your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. Energy Star says the fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).

This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings — and it might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.

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Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets.

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Mow your leaves instead of raking them, say studies at the University of Michigan and Purdue. The trick is to cut the leaves, while dry, into dime-sized pieces that will fall among the grass blades, where they will decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter.

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Before you burn the Yule log, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.

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YUP SORRY TO SAY IT’S COMING 😦

Don’t wait for the first winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, such as salt or ice melt. If you can’t abide a snowblower’s roar or the back-breaking workout of shoveling,

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