kinda genius: banish hand odors with crate & barrel’s rub away bar

Rub Away Bar

Whenever I make my favorite, garlic-ridden hors d’oeuvres I glean the added benefit of protection from every vampire in the tri-state area courtesy of the garlic that inevitably stays under my nails for weeks. No matter how much I scrub, I can’t seem to conquer the smell. Rubbing your hands with salt or baking soda is a tried-and-true remedy, but for another quick fix, look no further than Crate & Barrel’s Rub Away Bar, $7.50. Incorporating simple chemistry, the stainless-steel bar reacts with odors on contact to banish them for good, and the clever soap-shaped design is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup. Stainless steel silverware will also do the trick, but as many happy reviewers note, the small investment might be a useful addition to any wedding gift. — Sarah C.

From our partners

remove stains from antique linen with denture tablets

denture

I was recently gifted the gorgeous Irish linen tablecloth that my great-great grandmother hand stitched. It’s flawless — no stains, no tears, no fraying in any bit of the meticulous handiwork. Though honored with the heirloom, I was hesitant to accept it, especially after my mom’s conditions for possession: I had to use it. I was dizzy envisioning the inevitable accidental splash of a latte or merlot, until my mom shared her secret for removing stains out of delicate vintage linens: denture tablets. Simply dissolve 5-10 tablets (depending on the size of the item) in a warm bath and soak your delicate fabrics until they are white and stain free. Rinse gently, air dry, and press, and it should be as good as new! It should be noted that this only works on white fabrics, please don’t try this with colors! I’m proud to report I’m enjoying the tablecloth and won’t let any fear of stains keep it hidden away anymore! — Megan B.

From our partners

when a neatness trick backfires…

stove

I had a moment of clarity yesterday that struck me as sort of funny. For the past few years I’ve been covering the drip pans underneath my stove burners with aluminum foil so, when liquid boils over or drips from a spoon, it lands on the foil and the burnt mess easy to clean up. What I discovered, though, is that because I know in my head I can just recycle the foil later, I’m less likely to thoroughly clean up the drips after they happen. I just wait until the foil is sufficiently dirty, take it off and put new foil on. Uh, that’s just laziness! It’s not like my burner pans are not doing the job… I just don’t want to clean them! It’s time to stop that nonsense and do a better job picking up after myself. Funny that in my effort to reduce cleaning effort, I just got lazy! Do you have neatness tips that have backfired on you too? — Rebecca F.

Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik

From our partners

post off: do you reap the benefits of a clean bedroom?

makethebed

Here’s the story: You’re working on a huge project at work and have been traveling more than usual. Those side projects are moving along as scheduled but your nights and weekends are suddenly mystifyingly busy and by the end of the week you open the fridge and the lay of the land is tipping the scales strongly in favor of condiments. Sound familiar? Well, this is my story right now, and in the ebb and flow of a busy period it’s easy to feel like your life, and by default, your home, is a mess. That feeling is amplified in my tiny bedroom, where life’s residuals seem to pile up even faster. And every time I have a week that has me crawling over a pile of stuff just to get into bed, I think of the many articles I’ve seen touting the benefits of going to sleep, and thus waking up, in a clean bedroom. An article over at Apartment Therapy served the latest reminder, and I have to ask: Do you make a point of going to bed in a clean room? Do you make making your bed a ritual? Sound off! – Sarah C.

In this photo: A gorgeous bedscape from the old but invaluable Apartment Therapy post 8 Tricks to Make Making The Bed a Habit.

From our partners

when a clogged drain comes along, you must zip-it

pACE-954650dt

Now Zip-it! Zip-it good! Sorry — as a big DEVO fan, I had to. But seriously, can we talk about how brilliant the Zip-it is? As someone who seems to shed her abundant long hair as much as our long-haired cat does, our drains slow down often, even with mesh traps and lots of careful cleaning. I’d even taken to unfurling a wire hanger and using it to fish out the nasty stuff that gets down in our shower drain. It took a while, and it seemed to only KINDA make it better. So when I spotted the Zip-it at my local Home Depot for about $3, I figured I’d give it a test run on our sluggish shower drain. Lo and behold, one rip of the Zip-it, and the scariest, grossest tangle of hair goo came up with it, and my drains have been clear ever since. Heck of a lot better than caustic chemicals! And if you don’t believe me, take a look at the many photo testimonials on the site (for those blessed with a strong stomach). Find them at your local hardware store, or online, at Amazon. — Megan B.

From our partners