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“Hipsters” to the Rescue: Share Your “Hip” & Frugal Tips on Stain Removal, Cleaning, + More

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191 Comments
HOT! Getting Toasty! Lukewarm Starting To Melt Ice Ice Baby
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Check out this email I recently received from reader Linda:

[h2s_box]I don’t know if you want to [check out my] hip ways to save…For example, with bar soaps in the shower, they would always “melt” away so quickly. I put mine on a sponge and it seems to last forever! The sponge soaks up the water so it doesn’t get slimy and it doesn’t melt away. Great $ saver!

I also unplug all the appliances I’m not using and it was a noticeable reduction in my electric bill (I unplugged my toaster when not in use, etc.). I saw that tip on the Oprah show years ago too, so unplugging the humidifier or phone chargers when not in use, really does help!

I’d love to hear other people’s tips too – on stain removal, cleaning tips, how to get products to last longer, etc![/h2s_box]

Join The Discussion

Comments 191

  1. Nora

    I use VO5 Moisturizing Milk Shampoos as hand soap in a foaming pump. You will need to add water and experiment to get the suds to the level you like. VO5 can be purchased for under $1 and goes a long way. Body wash will work as well.

    I always look for cleaning products that can be diluted. I purchase Spic and Span from Dollar Tree and have done some experiments with diluting the product to stretch it while also maintaining cleaning strength.

    If you buy powder detergent switch the measuring cup out for one that is smaller. It is easy to fill the cup up to the top and use more detergent than necessary. If you use liquid pay close attention to the measurement lines. The tops are so big but more than likely you only need to use half of the top or less.

  2. lj

    One of my favorite tricks i just learned is how to clean those spots on your smooth top stove. Simply sprinkle some baking soda on it and lightly scrub it. Comes right off with less scrubbing than with the stove top cleaner. No more 3.00-4.00 cleaner for this girl! I’ll just get a .59 box of baking soda thank you.

  3. Pad

    My son has scribbled with ball point pen and pencil on walls. The pencil marks were gone with the magic eraser dipped dish liquid. I tried different methods to remove the ball point mark using baking soda, tooth paste and dish soap with MR.clean eraser, nothing worked. Does anyone have a better tip, please share with me.

    • Sarah

      I know milk gets ink pen out on clothes. I don’t know if it will work on a wall, but it might be worth a try!

    • maofthree

      My kids have done this too! Use hairspray. It works!! Spray directly on ink- let sit for a min and wipe with a sponge. Good luck!!! Soooooo been there!!!!

      • hmbroadw

        I wait tables, and don’t always remember to take my pens out before doing the laundry. I use Lysol and a washcloth to remove a lot of the stains, but really anything with aerosol will help take ink stains out of clothes.

    • Jaclyn

      Hairspray! ;). We have used hairspray on ink that’s on clothing for years!

    • Lynn

      Rubbing alcohol works great on ink stains. Probably used 2 or 3 bottles of it when a fountain pen leaked on the carpet. Just kept pouring it on and blotting it out with a rag, it removed it all.

  4. Frank

    I just found out that the meter that measures how much voltage an appliance is giving off can be taken out at your local library instead of buying one. This will tell you which appliance are really costing you the most money ( e.g. toaster, microwave ,chargers etc )

  5. Moe

    I use hair conditioner to shave my legs and under arms and it works like a charm! πŸ™‚

  6. kacee

    Okay, this isn’t related to spots ans stains but offers frugal and safe advice to mamas of children/babies with cradle cap…instead of using baby oil, which has nasty chemicals, use Breastmilk (obviously only applies to those who have it or access to.it)..rub it on the scalp, let it sit for 5 mins and then.comb out the cradle cap:)

    • Kelly

      Also, Dr Bronners soap (all natural) works great for this if you have it around the house (also can be used for many other things as well)….You have to be really careful to not get in their eyes, but I put a tiny bit on my finger and rub it in the cradle cap and then take a soft bristle baby hairbrush and “scrub” it lightly. It clears up right away.

      • Em

        Coconut oil works well too!

  7. VictoriaBF

    Thank you, everyone for great tips! Tons of useful and valuable information. Thanks Collin for this post πŸ™‚

  8. Jaqueline S.

    Got a squeaky window or a sliding back door that isn’t easy to open/close? Rub an old candle on the area. Candle wax I also rub on the back of my ankles when breaking in a new pair of heels.

  9. angela

    My favorite cleaning “trick” is my steam cleaner. A lot of stains don’t even need the soap, just the steam gets them out. Works wonders for cleaning couch, carpets, upholstery.
    And I almost never use papertowels. Once old shirts or towels get torn/stained I cut them up. The rags made out of tee shirts are awesome for cleaning glass as they are streak free cloths!

  10. karen

    If your of a low income family, your city/state may have a heating fuel assistance program. Here in Mass they offer this program to low income families to help pay for heating and give a discounted rate on your landline phone and electric bill.

  11. Melissa

    Does Anyone Know how to get Pen out of Creme Leather Sofa?

    • kacee

      Hair spray or dawn dish soap.

    • Angela

      I’ve used hand sanitizer on the leather seats in my car~worked!

  12. Coleen6000

    If you have leftover wine, put it in ice cube trays, and use for sauces and stews. (I rarely have LEFTOVER wine, lol)

    Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut in half and rub on your forehead, the throbbing will go away. You can use this tip after all that wine from the night before!

    Candles will last longer if they are placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours before using.

    Use peroxide on blood stains–it’s amazing

    Wrap celery in foil in the frig…it will stay crunchy longer

  13. cheap cheap goes the mommy

    I use those free or cheap pantiliners and maxi pads on my swiffer to clean up messes! Saves me tons and I bought a mop with a reusable terricloth pad that you just put in the washer for bigger messes. Saves so much money!!!

  14. Danna

    Friend told me about Barkeepers Friend. Works great on rust stains in your sink.

  15. Pam Howard (@phoward336)

    I use Essential Oils for TONS of cleaning uses. They are a bit expensive to purchase, but one little bottle lasts quite a long time. Here is a recent post I did with 5 household uses for Lemon Oil: http://behealthybehappywellness.com/2013/03/lemon-oil-recipes/ . Another great use for it is to put a drop or two on a greasy stain, wash as usual and then if necessary repeat. Does a great job with grease stains.

    • Erin D.

      My friends went on vacation for a week. they thought it would be a great idea to cut off the power to the garage so their electric gate wouldn’t open up in case someone tried to break in. Bad news they forgot about the frozen turkey in the extra fridge/freezer in the garage. When they came home they discovered a rotting bird that smelled horrible. they used orange oil to clean the freezer and get rid of that rotten smell. Worked wonders.

  16. Ann

    I am due with baby #2 in about 10 weeks. When I got out all of my older son’s baby clothes, the majority of them were stained! They were definitely not stored this way…. Any suggestions on how to get these old stains out gently?

    • vicki

      formula stains? they’re the worst!!! they’re often not visible after laundering before putting in storage and then they re-appear after they’ve sat awhile-no lie! its horrible. my sister said she’s had luck with putting htem out in the sun to literally sunbleach it out but i’ve never had any luck with any cleaners i’ve tried and nothing i’ve read online works either.
      my guess is its related to the iron added to formula, but i dont know that for sure, you could try an iron removing product to see if that works; my daughter had too sensitive of skin for me to try those so i just went to more rummage sales:)

      sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings. good luck. maybe someone else will pipe in with a tried and true method.

      • Ann

        They actually would have been from breast milk, but they were definitely not visible when I stored the clothes. I have heard vinegar in a fabric softener ball, so maybe i will give that a whirl.

    • tanya

      hello, I have the exact same problem. I am heart-broken that all these clothes seem ruined. If you find a solution, please email me at tanyak1128@yahoo.com. Thank you so much.

    • Jocelyn

      wash them then set them on the grass outside in the sun to dry,I had this happen to a keepsake outfit after my first and it was white, after this it was bright white not one stain. I have done this for years and I am about to have baby #4 has worked everytime.

      • tanya

        thank you. I will try this!

    • Sarah

      I am actually in the process of dealing with this myself because I am having my 3rd child in May (a girl after 2 boys) and some of the clothes that have been handed down to me from other people, some of the neutral clothes my boys had, and some of the dresses that I had as a baby had those yellowing stains. I found on Pinterest that someone said to soak the clothes overnight in the washer with 2 scoops of Oxiclean (I used my tub because I have a front load washer so soaking in there isn’t an option), and then wash in COLD water with white vinegar in the fabric softner compartment. Check each item before you put in the dryer to make sure the spots are gone. If the spots aren’t gone, try soaking again and then using stain remover before the next washing. If the spots STILL aren’t gone after the second washing then she suggested putting it out in the sun. I have only had one item that needed to go a second time and I am about to find out if the second time worked. πŸ™‚ This is the link that I found the instructions on: http://www.supermommoments.com/2011/03/preparing-baby-layette/

  17. Beth Cravens

    While serving overseas our family had a house fire. All our belongings were covered with soot (especially from the plastics that melted). We were in an area that didn’t offer ANY type of cleaning supplies except basic products like Mr. Clean. I found that toothpaste will do wonders on almost anything! I cleaned everything (except clothing) with it. It works especially well on enamel-make sure to use the whitening type to get everything nice and white! I know the nationals at the village store probably talked about that “crazy American” buying so…much toothpaste! It is now my go-to cleaning product if I have a difficult stain.

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