Helpful household hints

Towel gift wrap—A subscriber writes: For a wedding gift wrapping try using towels. Bath towels and washrags will cover a good sized gift and dish towels are also a wonderful wrapping idea. I wrap my gift in a couple of dish towels and then use an oven mitt and some measuring spoons as the ribbon and tag holder. I watch for those “once a year” sales and pick up the towels for up to 70 percent off.

Just put a bag on it—Back when I was a kid, we couldn’t afford any kind of wrapping paper so my mom would have us children use our crayons to draw and decorate plain brown paper grocery bags to be used for gift giving. Now, one can purchase all kinds of beautiful paper bags in all colors, sizes and shapes—all that is needed then is a card or a tag with the string on it. I use the string on the tag to close the top of the bag before giving.

(If the children need something to keep hands busy on a hot summer day, why not let them get out their school colors and decorate some plain brown paper bags to be used as handmade/unique gift bag.) Some of these young folks are quite gifted artists and a hand decorated bag would be a treasure.

“Free” cleaning towels and rags—A reader writes: I never buy cleaning rags. I will go to a yard sale and look in their “cheap bin” for old t-shirts for my kids to wear to work during the summer. By the time fall rolls around, the shirts have been “worn to death” and then I cut them up into rags for cleaning, dusting, etc. Since we live in the country any t-shirt that gets a hole in it gets cut up at once. No chance of anyone getting caught in machinery this way.

Check that lint trap—Summer is here. Some of us that have clotheslines are loving being able to hang things out in the sunshine and fresh air. So now is the time to take apart that dryer vent and thoroughly clean it out.

I take mine apart from the top down. My dryer is in the basement and vented out above ground, meaning there is about 6 feet of pipe and two elbows. The elbows are where the lint tends to collect so I use a long handled brush to knock the stuff out of the pipe. I got a wastebasket full of “lint” out the other day. If it would have caught fire, I probably would have lost the house and everything in it. Check that vent now.

Machinery line savers—Keep a box of those heavy duty plastic bags with the zipper type closing in the tool box of your tractors. If you have an oil line or a fuel line leak, you can take it apart and slide a bag over the open ends of the lines and keep the dirt, oil and “stuff’” out of them until the repairs can be made.

If you have hints or ideas to share, send them to PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, South Dakota 57543; or email them to [email protected]. If you send me your name and address, I’ll send you a free copy of the PennyWise Newsletter. Please mention High Plains Journal when you write.