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Sat, Aug. 24

Bluhm: Household products have more than one use
Around the Bluhmin' Town

Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist

Judy Bluhm, Courier Columnist

What’s under your kitchen sink? You might have the cure, fix, solution or repellent that does just about everything. According to the author of “Magic Brands,” those household products in your cupboards have multiple purposes.

Dear Readers, we need to “think outside the box” . . . . of Alka-Seltzer, because it can not only get rid of your heartburn, but clean your toilets, polish your jewelry and soothe an insect bite!

In order to save money, we might want to start considering all of the many (not to mention weird) ways that we can use products. Senator Barry Goldwater claimed to have used Jiffy peanut butter (I hope not crunchy) as shaving cream when he went camping. Bounce isn’t just a laundry softener, it will repel mosquitoes (tie a sheet through your belt loop). Nestea is reported to tenderize meat and table salt sprinkled in your garden will keep slugs away.

Oh, and coca-cola cannot only remove rust and clean battery corrosion, it is reported to remove grease from clothes. Who knew?

Did I mention that pancake syrup is one of the most interesting bottles in your kitchen? Forget maple syrup as a top dressing for waffles, this “secret weapon” can prolong the life of a Christmas tree (mix it with the water in the tree stand).

Do you have a houseplant that looks anemic and unhealthy? Pour a few drops of maple syrup in the pot and watch it grow. If you have split ends or frizzy hair, work in a glob of syrup for a few minutes before shampooing.

Nothing can be beat a box of baking soda for being the most versatile product ever created. From soothing tired feet to deodorizing everything you can think of, it is a handy box to keep around. Evidently, sodium bicarbonate (first used in 1860) could conquer the world (well, at least our refrigerators). A box of baking soda can be found in nine out of ten refrigerators in America!

Enough already! My head is spinning with too many ideas that make me nervous. I like having one product with one use! Imagine the complete chaos and disaster that could result if we got confused!

Am I supposed to extend the life of fresh flowers with a little bleach, or was it club soda? Or, do I clean my jewelry with the club soda? I am certain of one thing – I’m not about to start shaving my legs with peanut butter. Nor will I ever pour pancake syrup in my hair. Hmmm, I read that if I pour a little Tobasco sauce on my shrubs it will keep the rabbits away. (Or was that chili pepper?) Dear Readers, do NOT try any of these experiments at home. Who knows what strange and horrible things could happen?

Stay safe, and until next week, please read labels and follow directions. Oh, but if anyone knows why tea bags buried next to rose plants make excellent fertilizer, drop me a line.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at

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