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Alleviate discomfort when plucking your eyebrows: Smooth baby teething gel over the area to numb the pain.


Band-Aids: Removing them is easy if you soak a cotton ball in baby oil and rub it over the tape.


Blender: Cleaning your blender is much easier if you fill it about a third of the way with hot water, add a couple of drops of your dishwasher detergent, and then turn it on!


Cooking pasta: Add about 8 cups of water to a large pot. One tablespoon of salt should be added to the water as it begins to boil. If the salt is added too soon it can give off an odor, which can affect the taste of the pasta. If it is added immediately before the pasta, the salt may not have enough time to completely dissolve in the water. The salt helps bring out the flavor in the pasta and helps it hold its shape.


Brittle and flaking fingernails: Mix 2 level teaspoons of gelatin into half a glass of fruit juice or cold water. Drink at once and repeat daily for at least 6 weeks. You should see a dramatic improvement in your nails after about 2 months.

Brittle nails: To avoid, massage cod liver oil, which is rich in vitamin A, into cuticles and nails. After 3 months, nails will be stronger and cuticles smoother.


Broken glass: Use a piece of bread to pick up the fragments of broken glass.

Brunette or red hair: To add shine, after shampooing rinse with freshly brewed black coffee that you have let cool, followed by cold water.


Carry a water bottle with you at all times: Water flushes toxins in the body and also fills you up.

Celery: Prevent celery from wilting by wrapping it in foil before putting it in the refrigerator, and it will keep for weeks.

Chewing gum in children’s hair: Dab with a cloth soaked with eucalyptus oil. Gum should come out without tears.

Cockroaches: To repel, mix equal parts borax and sugar and place where cockroaches gather, e.g., under the fridge and dishwasher.


Disinfectant: Tea tree oil, added to cleaners or in the rinsing water, is a natural disinfectant.

Drains of your sink: To clean, put 1 tablespoon of baking soda down the sink followed by 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and let stand for 15 minutes, then flush with hot water.


Eyes: Relax your eyes at regular intervals when reading or using a computer by taking 5-minute breaks, or focusing at a distance of 5 yards away.


Fabric interior of your car: Use baby wipes to remove marks. Even the long-term stains will come off. Really!

Fish: It generally takes 10 minutes per inch of thickness to cook fish. To be sure it doesn’t overcook, start checking the fish at 7 to 8 minutes.


Flowers: Cut an inch off the bottom of the stems and place in water within 13 seconds (prevents inhalation of air). Adding a little bleach to the water will preserve your flowers longer, because the water is cleaner. Change the water regularly.

Fridges and freezers: To keep them smelling fresh, sprinkle a few drops of vanilla extract onto a damp cloth and wipe the interior walls and shelves. To dispel odors, place a small container of baking soda inside the fridge.

For an instant face-lift: Beat an egg white and apply it to your skin. Leave on for about 10 minutes and rinse off. Your skin will be tighter and appear firmer.


Green hair: Remove the green tinge from your hair (the result of swimming in chlorinated water) by washing your hair in 5 aspirin tablets dissolved in 1?3 cup of shampoo. Alternatively, put 3 tablespoons of vinegar in your shampoo.

Housework: Hire help or barter for help. If you can’t afford a weekly cleaner, employ someone to do the heavy cleaning once a month. Work this into your budget; it is worth every cent because of the exhilarating feeling that walking into a clean house offers!


Iron: To clean the soleplate, wipe it with a cloth soaked in cold tea. This will remove stains immediately.

Leather furniture: To clean, wash it with warm, soapy water using a nail brush and cloth. Allow to dry, then coat the cleaned area with Vaseline; rub it in with a cloth to get the residue off. This works better than most expensive cleaners. To revive, polish it with linseed oil and vinegar in a proportion of 1:2.


Lower back pain: To relieve, sleep with a pillow under your knees to take the pressure off your lower back and have a good night’s sleep.


Make-do hair spray: Getting ready for a big night out and realize you’re out of hair spray? Try dissolving 1 tablespoon of sugar in a glass of hot water, wait until it cools, and then put it into a spray bottle. It’s effective and environmentally friendly, too!


Mascara: As it gets older and starts to dry up, soak in a mug of hot water before using.


Meat: Remove meat from the fridge about an hour before grilling. Your meat will be more succulent as a result.

Minimize redness of acne on your face: Soak a cotton ball in eyedrops and hold on the spot for 20 seconds.

Moths: Repel pantry moths by keeping an open packet of Epsom salts on the shelf.


Nail polish: It will last longer if you keep it in the fridge.


Nice-smelling car: Place a roll of fabric softener sheets under the seats (apple and lavender are particularly nice). The diversity and staying power of the scents are great and they work better than expensive car deodorizers.


Nicotine stains on fingers: Remove by rubbing with nail polish remover or by simply giving up smoking!!


Oven: Reduce the unpleasant smell left from oven cleaners by baking some citrus peelings on low heat.


Oven cleaning: To reduce the need, line the bottom of your oven with foil cut to size. The foil catches drips and grease and can be easily replaced when dirty.


Pearls: To clean your pearls, shake them in a bag of uncooked rice.


Puffy eyes 1: Soak 2 tea bags, then put them in the freezer for a few minutes, place on your eyes, lie back, and relax! Or grate a raw potato, mold it into a mushy pack, and put it on your eyes and lids for 10 to 20 minutes. The potato starch will help smooth the eye-area skin and ease away puffiness.


Puffy eyes 2: Try using some cold cucumber slices on your eyes at the end of the night to relieve tired eyes. An oldie, but a goodie.


Razor burn: Avoid razor burn after shaving your legs by moisturizing beforehand. While shaving cream is the most popular method, try prepping your leg with hair conditioner for a few minutes before shaving. It will hold moisture on the leg longer and provide a very smooth shave.


Remove baked-on stains from glass baking dishes: Soak them in a strong solution of borax and water.


Removing mascara: A cheap and effective way to do this is to use baby oil. Simply dip a Q? tip in, or cover a cotton ball with, baby oil and gently wipe over your lashes. The oil will also soften the skin around your eyes, so there is no need for eye creams, either.


Revitalizing eye gel: Keep your eye gel in the fridge to really soothe tired eyes or cool you down on a hot day.


Self-rising flour: To make, mix together 2 1/4 pounds all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and 1/4 cup cream of tartar. Sift well.


Sharp lip line and eye line: Put your eyeliner or lipliner pencil in the freezer briefly before sharpening to get a fine point.


Spaghetti: When cooking, add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil or 1 teaspoon of butter to the water in rice, noodles, or spaghetti. This will prevent the water from boiling over and the grains or strands from sticking together.


Stainless steel sink: To brighten, use a damp cloth soaked in vinegar.


Steak cooking times (depending on thickness):
Rare: 2 to 5 minutes
Medium: 8 to 12 minutes
Well done: 12 to 15 minutes


Strawberries: Purchase strawberries that are red all over. The redder near the hull of the fruit, the sweeter.

Stuck-on food in pots, pans, and baking dishes: Fill the pan with water and place a fabric softener sheet in the water. Allow the pan to soak overnight. The food will wipe right out!


Swollen hands: If you have a ring stuck on your finger because your fingers have swollen, soak your hand in ice water until the ring slips off.


Take the generic brand of prescriptions: Generics often come from the same company and are exactly the same as the full-priced version.


Tie a small bell to any door leading out of the house: You’ll be able to hear a small child making his or her escape!

Washing clothes: Hang clothes as soon as you can after washing to reduce creasing.


When giving distasteful medicine to young children: First, run an ice cube over the child’s tongue to temporarily freeze the taste buds.


When starting a new fitness regimen: Don’t over-commit yourself, as you will soon lose interest. Start with a little activity and increase as your fitness level does.


When traveling with a baby: Take some baking soda with you in a small zip lock bag. Should your baby be sick, simply sprinkle clothes with the soda. Brush off when dry, and the odor will have disappeared.


Whiten your fingernail tips: Soak your nails in lemon juice.


Wood floors: Floors that have been sealed can be cleaned with cold tea on a mop. A little vinegar in the bucket of water with the detergent helps to remove any grease from kitchen floors.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Rachael Bermingham is the energetic, dynamic, and proud mum of Jaxson and six-month-old twin boys, Bowie and Casey. She has written six best-selling books in the last four years and is regarded as one of Australia’s number one female author.

Kim McCosker is the proud mother of three boys (Morgan, eight; Hamilton, five; and Flynn, two), the lady who had the idea and who is now the coauthor of the internationally bestselling 4 Ingredients series, which includes 4 Ingredients, 4 Ingredients 2, and 4 Ingredients Gluten Free.