Helpful household tips

Fire ant killer—Mix 2 ounces orange oil, 2 ounces blue dish soap and 1 gallon of water together and pour down the fire ant hills. This combination will kill the ants and not hurt the ground.

De-bug the wiper blades—A friend shared this idea with me. If you use straight vinegar on a rag, wrap it around the blade and let it soak a few minutes and then wipe the blades clean. I couldn’t believe the amount of stuff that came off of the blades and I didn’t need new ones! I also laid a vinegar-soaked rag over my headlights for a few minutes and they wiped clean too. Cheap fix!

Bird feed for winter—I’m saving my bacon grease to mix with the grain I set out for the birds in winter. The extra fat helps them to survive. (I put the “fat grain” in an old pie tin that is nailed to a fence post). The birds can eat and the cats can’t get to the birds.

Downsizing with a heart—An anonomyus reader shared this one with me. We were moving from our home of 40-plus years into an apartment and had many, many years of stuff. We moved what we wanted and needed to the new apartment, then told our children to come and take anything they wanted. After the kids had taken all they wanted/needed, my husband set everything else out on the curb and put up some “FREE FOR THE TAKING” signs and it was all gone in less than 2 hours’ time.

As my husband said, “We blessed several someones with things they needed or wanted and we didn’t have to have a yard sale or, best of all, haul anything to the dump!”

Algae killer in water tanks—My water tanks grow massive amounts of algae during the spring and summer months and I hate having to dip it out. I was using an old strainer and dipping out big chunks of the black slimy stuff every week until a friend of mine shared an idea with me.

She said to buy a bottle of plain peroxide and dump it in the tank once I had cleaned it out. Or, put one in right away in the spring when the stuff starts to grow. I experimented with one near the calving barn and it works. I dump in a bottle about once a month or so just when I see the stuff coming back again and it’s gone.

Peroxide is cheap and since it’s used for a mouth wash by a lot of people, I knew it would be safe for my critters because the tanks are those big tire jobs and hold hundreds of gallons of water so it would be diluted.

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.