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Useful Kitchen and Household Tips

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Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a travel enthusiast.


These are some of the household tips I learned over the years, some with my own experiments, some through my own research and some through my friends and associates. These were written and kept long back and now I decided to share them with my hub page readers, hoping that you may find at least some of them useful to you.


How to Get Rid of Ants

  • To stop ants entering the sugar tin- Place some cloves in the sugar container.
  • To keep ants away from kitchen shelves and cabinets- Add 5 drops of neem oil to half cup water. Mop them once a month with a cloth dipped in 'neem' oil and water mixture. Neem (Azadirachta indica).
  • To get rid of cockroaches and ants - Sprinkle common salt in every nook and corner of the kitchen and kitchen cupboards.
  • To get rid of ants- Another method is to sprinkle a little turmeric powder over the area infested with ants.
  • If you are faced with problem of ants entering the sugar tin or any such eatable things, keep the tin in a plate where little water is kept.
  • To rid your home of ants- Sprinkle powdered coffee seeds, dried peppermint or chilli powder whenever and wherever the insects enter your home.
  • Draw a line with chalk, especially Laxman Rekha, (if available) to prevent ants entering.
  • Spread some ground cinnamon on the way where ants come in to the house.

How to Get Rid of Cockroaches

  • To get rid of cockroaches, mix wheat flour with water, one egg, 3 1/2 tsp. sugar, 2 tea spoons boric acid in a bowl and keep the bowl overnight in the kitchen. They can also be used as small balls and keep them in the kitchen where the cockroaches visit.
  • Placing a few cucumber slices in spots frequented by cockroaches will make them beat a hasty retreat.
  • To get rid of cockroaches, leave stale beer in an open narrow necked bottle in the kitchen overnight. The morning after, the bottles will be full of drowned pests.
  • Do not throw away Good Knight mats after use. Burn them together with coal/coconut shells. Cockroaches will come out of their hide outs.

How to Remove Stains

  • To remove oil stains from the ground, sprinkle powdered wheat or husk on the ground. Sweep well after 15 minutes and mop with warm water.
  • To remove stubborn stains from plastic buckets and mugs, scrub them with soap powder and a little commercial hydrochloric acid.
  • To remove oil stains from the carpet, sprinkle some baking powder over it and clean it the next day.
  • To remove dirt from coir carpet, spread baking soda on its surface and brush the surface after15 minutes. The dirt comes off on brushing and the soda leaves a glistening shine behind.
  • Black stains on bulbs or mirrors caused by flies can be removed by scrubbing them with lemon juice.

Cleaning Vessels in the Kitchen

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  • When washing delicate chinaware or precious glassware, place a folded towel at the bottom of the sink to prevent any possible breakage of delicate glassware while washing them.
  • While cleaning copper and brass utensils, add two to three tsp. of citric acid powder to the cleaning powder. The utensils will shine like new.
  • Polish your glassware by scrubbing with common salt and water and then rinsing with water.
  • To remove stubborn labels, stickers or any gummed paper from new glassware, rub them with kerosene.
  • To remove ugly tea stains from melmoware cups, curdle milk in the cups.
  • Before washing the milk utensil, kneed the dough in it, to get a softer dough and cleaner utensil.
  • To keep the aluminum utensils sparkling, rub with salt sprinkled sliced lemon, then wash it in hot water and polish with a cloth.
  • After cleaning the crockery, rinse it in salt water to get extra shine.
  • After cleaning fish, apply coconut oil to your hands to remove the fishy smell.
  • Use aluminum foil in which the tablets are packed to scrub tavas, kadais and milk and curd vessels. The vessels can be cleaned easily.
  • For cleaning brassware, rub it with turmeric powder in which a few drops of mustard oil is added. This is not only clean the brassware but also give it a shine.
  • To give a shine to your silver utensils, scrub them with rangoli powder and wash them with cold water.
  • Brass curios should be washed with tamarind before being polished with brasso.
  • To clean a greasy tava rub all over with a small ball of tamarind while it is still hot. Then wash off the tava.
  • To get crockery to sparkle and shine, leave them in the water to which a few drops of liquid bleach have been added.


lilliane on December 05, 2013:

i learn a lot from you thank you

Ghost Producer on September 26, 2011:

Very good tips.. i recently had a friend tell me he got rid of his roach problem using the info on your hub...

he now runs this site

lex123 (author) on August 20, 2010:

Thanks poetvix for your visit and I'm glad to know that you found some useful tips there.

poetvix from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. on August 20, 2010:

I found some very useful tips here, especially the one about getting an oil stain out of carpet... the pitfalls of tanning oils :(. Thanks bunches for the advice!

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