One of our grandmothers always told us: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Then the other one took us aside and said: "Actually, if you want to catch flies, the best way is to put a little dish soap in a jar with some vinegar, poke some holes in some plastic wrap, put it over the top of the jar with a rubber band, and set it out on the counter... clears fruit flies right up!"
Our grandmothers are not the only font of useful, beautiful, ingenious wives-taleish information, not by a long shot. On a recent lazy Sunday, our dear Heather put this question out in the ether of the Foundry-Universe (aka the internet):
Do you have any HOT TIPS for Ruby? Little homemaking tips and tricks maybe your grandma taught you, or your funky uncle, or your neighbor down the street?
And the answers poured in. Our minds were blown! With joy and wonder and cleaning possibility! The major takeaways: 1) vinegar can cure basically anything 2) if vinegar doesn't work, try alcohol, and 3) you guys are the. literal. best.
The responses are all saved here under "HOT TIPS" if you want to check them out in their glory, but here are our top favorites about from that first batch on CLEANING:
HOT CLEANING TIPS STRAIGHT FROM THE FOUNDRY-VERSE
- Clean wool by putting it out in the snow! Shake wool blankets out in subzero temps to move the chi and kill any mites or mold. (Foundry Note: we love any hot tip that also includes instructions for chi)
- Polish copper with ketchup! Use toothpaste to polish silver!
- To clean wood stove glass: dip wet paper towel into ashes, rub on glass. Easily wipes clean!
- Lift grease/oil stains out of anything by covering with a layer of cornstarch overnight.
- Hand sanitizer practically dissolves tree sap from hands and clothing.
- Get water rings/light scratches out of wood with Mayonnaise (southern grandma hot tip!). Mayonnaise can also get liquid stains off of leather.
- Rubbing alcohol gets permanent marker out of upholstery (and apparently vodka gets red wine out of carpet: fighting fire with fire!).
- Save old toothbrushes, they're excellent for targeted deep cleaning everything! Tile, dishes, laundry...
- "My mom was a Home Ec teacher back in the day.... she can get nearly all stains out! My favorite trick of hers is for berry stains—for a natural fruit stain (probably beets too? but not sure)—boil a kettle of water, lay the garment in the sink, and pour the hot water onto the stain from 16" high. She's always so specific about the 16 inches. The pressure + the hot lifts the stain from the fibers."
Getting all of these messages has felt like a troop of wise aunties and grandparents came to our house to just sit around and chew the fat like a good old-fashioned quilting bee, slinging gossip and laughing over the infinite joys of mundane problem solving. What a true delight in this time when all we want to be doing is just that.
Also, if you have a burning HOT TIP to share and didn't get a chance to share on the original post, drop it for us here in the comments! We're collecting useful favorites for future necessary reference!
Want more? We've got some longer-form how to's/tips + tricks right this way...