Old Holey Socks

I am fortunate enough to have two older sisters who have eight kids between them.  That equates to a lot of hand-me-down clothes for my kids.  When Natalie was a tiny baby and just outgrowing her 3-6 month sized clothing, my sisters delivered the toddler sized girl clothes.  As I packed away the outgrown newborn things and made room for the larger sizes, I was a little shocked at how, well, um, used they appeared in comparison.  The tiny clothes we had received as gifts were pristine as they had hardly been worn before Natalie’s rapidly growing little body had them busting at the seams.   I remember thinking that my sisters must be raising animals to have put such obvious wear and tear on the clothes I was adding to my daughters dresser.  I would always take much better care of my kids’ things.  Haughty and naïve?  Yes, without a doubt.

Fast forward five years and two more kids later.  Now I know that indeed it wasn’t my sisters’ kids who were animals.  It’s kids in general.  Now we have more socks in our house that look like this

than socks that wouldn’t embarrass their mother if my kids had to take their shoes off in public.

So what is a mother to do with all those holey socks?  Well the obvious answer is to make rags out of them.  They are perfect for washing windows, dusting furniture, polishing silver, saddle-soaping boots, and probably countless other things.  Problem solved right?  Nope because the little buggers kept ending up back in the sock drawer after I had evicted them to the rag basket.  So here’s my quick tip for you today.

Quick Tip:  Snip the top of old socks with pinking shears to differentiate rag socks from those that are still wearable.

I’m sure that you could use regular scissors of course but the pinking shears seem to help keep raveling at a minimum.

Now next time I don’t have to cringe (as much) when I see my kids kick their shoes off at the McDonald’s Play Place.  At least I know they’re not wearing rags on their cute little animal feet.

My fear in posting these quick tips is that someone is going to think, “Gosh what’s she going to teach us next week, how to turn on a light switch?”.  Remember, I would love to get quick tips from my readers!

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Shine On

I have mentioned before how much I adore the FLYLady. (You can read about that here.)   As part of the evening routine I developed through the FLYLady’s program, I always start the dishwasher right before I turn out the lights to go to bed.  I love the thought of any chore being done while I’m sleeping!  Thank heavens for modern technology!

But you know what I do not love?  I do not love to wake up in the morning and open the dishwasher only to find dishes that are not sparkling clean despite a being run through a full cycle during the night.  This has been happening a lot lately.  We have very hard water and I don’t own a top of the line dishwasher but I still expect it to do its job.  I went through countless different types of detergent, added rinse aid of every variety, and even tried doing a more thorough job of pre-rinsing but the spots and leftover residue would not go away.  But never fear!  I have discovered the solution to the grubby dishwasher dilemma!

Quick Tip #4:  Run a dishwasher cycle with regular vinegar in place of dishwasher detergent to remove spots and residue buildup.

Simply fill your detergent dispenser with plain old white vinegar and run the cycle as usual.  Voila!  Sparkling clean dishes and a nice tidy dishwasher that will run spot free for many cycles depending on the hardness of your water.  I usually use the vinegar trick about once a week.

I’ve used this method with everything from glassware only to very soiled dinner plates with the same squeaky clean results so it is a good tip to keep in mind if you ever run out of regular dishwasher detergent.

Happy Fat Tuesday!