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7 Old-Time Solutions to Domestic Problems

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7 Old-Time Solutions to Domestic Problems

By†Brie Cadman, DivineCaroline

Something tells me that back in the day (say, pre-WalMart) people didnít just throw things away because of a slight imperfection or minor scratch. Whether it was the children of the Great Depression or the 1960ís back-to-the-landers, the self-reliant spirit took hold in the form of mending, fixing, and outwitting problems, without relying on fancy new items or chemically-concocted cleaners.

Although superstores offer everything we need and more, there has been a resurgence of do-it-yourself repairs, and the majority of them arenít new. In an attempt to try to unearth some of these†useful solutions, I went searching through my grandmaís book collection. Among her things (and she was a very resourceful woman) were the†Farmerís Almanac, a†Readerís Digest gardening book, and a book (circa 1950) on how to clean everything. In these tombs of knowledge I found some old-fashioned (read: practical and cheap) advice for fixing many modern day domestic problems. None of them requires darning or crocheting (two things Iíll never do), but they are easy, fast, and logically thrifty ways to cure common problems that arise in the domicile.

1. A Smelly Coffee Maker
Normally, an old coffee maker that starts to get a funky, burnt coffee smell would be reason to put it in the ďgive awayĒ box and get a new one. But just because a drip coffee maker starts to emit something other than coffee aromas doesnít mean it needs a replacement. Coffee-acid buildup is normal and can lead to a burnt bean smell that isnít very pleasant. According to the†Farmerís Almanac, an easy to way to get rid of it is to pour white vinegar where the water normally goes and run the machine through its normal brewing process with a filter in. Repeat, but this time let the vinegar sit in the chamber for about a half an hour. Run the cycle and then run it twice through with fresh water. It should smell fresh and clean.

(To clean your coffee pot, see 47 Smart Uses for Salt.)

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Read more: Green Kitchen Tips, Home, Household Hints, Natural Pest Control

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, theyíre discussing all facets of womenís lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

138 comments

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8:35AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

LOVE this read! So very helpful! Thank you!

12:46PM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Last summer the ants were really bad in my neighborhood, so the idea of using grits is ingenious. If they show up again next summer, I will definitely be trying this.

Thank you for posting.

9:23AM PST on Nov 6, 2011

Old fashioned is good. Thanks

5:27PM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

ty,i do use the hot vinegar on my weeds

11:45AM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

7 tips? could fit on 2 or 3 pages

10:51AM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

thnxs for the tips :)

2:02AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Many of these tricks, I learned from my grandmother and my aunt. But thanks, I didn't know a couple of them.

7:33AM PDT on Sep 21, 2011

Great Tips ! thanks so much!

11:19PM PDT on Sep 15, 2011

Oh yeah...coffee cup stains on the furniture? who sets a cup down without using a coaster? HELLO! oh, nevermind...I know someone who does that and it drives me NUTS!

11:17PM PDT on Sep 15, 2011

Thanks for the tips! Fortunately I don't have ant problems. I appreciate the clogged drain trick...I think that has worked for me before.

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