More use­ful tips

Cecil Whig - - & & -

FOOL­PROOF BA­CON. What’s the eas­i­est — and mess-free — way to cook ba­con and get the least amount of shrink­age? Low and slow in the oven, at 365 de­grees Fahren­heit for 30 min­utes.

HEALTH­IER, GREENER HOUSEPLANTS. Whether you’ve got a green thumb or not, you prob­a­bly want your houseplants to thrive. It’s bet­ter to wa­ter plants with club soda than plain wa­ter, as club soda con­tains phos­phate and other nu­tri­ents that en­rich the soil and pro­mote growth.

CLEAN A WINDOWBLIND CORD. The pull­down cord on your win­dow blinds used to be white. Re­mem­ber that? Here’s a quick and easy way make it white again:

Raise the blind so that the max­i­mum amount of cord is ex­posed. Next, fill a strong gal­lon-sized zip-lock bag about half­way with a 50/50 mix­ture of wa­ter and liq­uid bleach (or liq­uid de­ter­gent if bleach makes your ner­vous). Gather up the cord and place it in the bag. Care­fully twist the top of the bag and close it over the cord us­ing one or two clothes­pins or clips. Let it sit in the bag overnight. In the morn­ing, care­fully re­move the bag and wipe down the cord with a dry towel.

Cau­tion: This is likely a two-per­son job. Make sure you cover the floor un­der­neath the win­dow in case of any spillage. This method is a lit­tle tricky, but it works so well that it’s worth the ex­tra ef­fort.

FREE FER­TIL­IZER. Used cof­fee grounds work well as a fer­til­izer and in­sect re­pel­lent in the gar­den. Plants that pre­fer acidic soils, such as rose­bushes, aza­leas, rhodo­den­drons, ev­er­greens and camel­lias, will es­pe­cially ap­pre­ci­ate the left­overs from your morn­ing cup of cof­fee — de­caf or reg­u­lar. Not a cof­fee drinker? Ask the baris­tas at the cof­fee shop down the street to save some grounds for you.

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