Tips and tricks
Dear Mary: I can’t thank you enough for telling us about your magic shower and tub cleaner. I live in an older home in moldy ol’ Florida, and I have a tile shower. Since using your magic formula, I only bleached once this whole summer. I squirt the shower down two to three times a week, and OMG! — Mike.
Dear Mike: I know so many readers are chomping at the bit to know more about the secret concoction that saved your life . I call it my Magic Tub and Tile Soap and Scum Remover. Pour 1 cup blue Dawn dishwashing liquid into a 32-ounce spray bottle. Add enough white vinegar to fill the bottle to within an inch of the top. Done. Shake the bottle, and then spray away. Spray the walls, floor, fixtures, glass doors, shampoo caddy and every surface inside the tub or shower.
If the soap, scum, mold and mildew are well-developed, leave the remover on overnight. In the morning, gently scrub with a sponge, Scotchbrite or brush. Once the area is clean, spray it down once a week or so. You won’t even have to scrub from then on; just spray, wait a few minutes and rinse.
Dear Mary: We are trying to frugalize every detail of our lives so we can live on one income. How do you recommend cleaning dry-clean-only clothing items like men’s suits and blazers? — Katy Dear Katy: While many clothing items marked “Dry Clean Only” can be hand-washed successfully, men’s suits and blazers are not among them. However, if you exercise good care these items can be professionally cleaned far less frequently than you might think.
Some fabrics like wool and cashmere must be drycleaned, but it is not good for them to be dry-cleaned often. Instead, every month or two you should hang those items — especially suits, sports coats and blazers — outdoors for several hours out of direct sunlight. That will refresh and renew those natural fibers.