Book offers recipes for homemade cleaners
Whether you’re worried about the ingredients in commercial cleaning products or just looking to save some money, “Homemade Cleaners” can help.
The book is written by Mandy O’Brien, a biologist, and Dionna Ford, a lawyer and natural parenting advocate. They provide recipes for natural cleaners formulated for a range of household chores, along with explanations of why they believe such alternatives are better. Most of their recipes rely on common ingredients such as vinegar, borax and hydrogen peroxide, as well as essential oils.
O’Brien and Ford also make suggestions for green choices, such as using cloths instead of paper towels and drying clothes on a line or rack instead of in a clothes dryer.
“Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy, Toxic-Free Recipes” is published by Ulysses Press and sells for $14.95 in paperback.
Animal-repelling sprinkler gets gardeners’ approval
An unexpected spray of water is an effective and humane way to keep unwanted animals out of the garden.
That’s the method used by Havahart’s Spray Away Elite II, a sprinkler animal repellent. It recently won the Golden Shovel Readers’ Choice Award from the website Gardening Products Review, based on a nationwide vote by the site’s readers.
The motion-activated sprinkler holds water in a 3.5-gallon basin, so it doesn’t need to be connected to a garden hose and can be used wherever it’s needed. Solar-powered, infrared sensors detect an animal’s movement and heat up to 35 feet away, prompting the device to emit a sudden blast of water and produce a startling noise and motion.
The product sells for $179.99 at www.Havahart.com. Shipping is free.
Removing a candle stain from wood
Question: I placed a dark red candle on our oak kitchen table for a day or so, and it left a round ring stain from the red dye. Other than refinishing the table top, is there any way I can remove the stain?
Answer: You may be able to remove the stain if it hasn’t penetrated too far into the finish, the Hardwood Information Center says.
Try rubbing it with a soft, dampened cloth and either toothpaste, baking soda, creamy white appliance polish or non-sudsing ammonia. Or use a mixture of boiled linseed oil and either pumice or rotten stone, a fine abrasive limestone powder found in hardware and paint stores.
Apply the abrasive material to the cloth, not directly onto the wood, and rub in the direction of the grain. Dry the spot, and then apply paste wax to another clean cloth and use it to buff the spot.