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Before you throw out that old kitchen apron, stash your essential spring-cleaning supplies in the pockets and use it as you go from room to room. It will leave your hands free to scrub and polish and you won't have to lug a heavy cleaning bucket around the house.
To create storage compartments, turn up the bottom 12 to 18 inches of a long apron. Determine pocket widths by using the size of your cleaning supplies as guides. Stitch vertically using a sewing machine
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Cleaning Powder Trick
Next time you peel the seal from a canister of cleaning powder, take it off only halfway. Keeping some of the holes covered gives you better control of the flow, so it won't come pouring out.
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This simple chemical reaction causes tarnish to disappear naturally.
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To protect books from dust, crisp lengths of linen can be hung from shelves.
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Better Bottle Washing
The drudgery of cleaning small-necked decanters and antique apothecary bottles can be avoided. One easy solution: Fill the bottles with water, drop in a tablet or two of a denture cleaner such as Efferdent, let stand overnight, then scrub with a narrow nylon brush.
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Candlelight may be romantic, but there's nothing lovely about prying or scraping melted votives out of their holders. Not only is it ineffective; you also risk scratching or breaking the delicate glass. Instead, try this trick: Place the glass candleholders in the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, the wax will shrink just enough to pop right out.
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Furniture Moving Trick
To avoid scuffed floors when rearranging heavy pieces of furniture, fold two clean towels (dirty ones can scratch floors), place one under each end, and slide the piece across the floor.
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When it comes to mildew, prevention gives you the upper hand. So be sure to keep surfaces clean, improve air circulation, and reduce dampness (for example, don't bunch wet towels). In poorly ventilated basements, install open shelving, use a dehumidifier and fan, and store items in airtight plastic containers with desiccants (such as silica gel). In musty closets, leave an incandescent lightbulb on to dry the air, or hang packets of desiccants.
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Here's a bright idea: Keep your fabric lampshades dust-free with an adhesive lint roller. Hold the shade steady, and pass the roller over the exterior.