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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Cleaning Secrets Revealed

Cleaning Secrets Revealed

Crud on Phones, Keyboards, and Remote Controls
This is one of the most frustrating cleaning jobs because you can’t spray liquid cleaners on these electronics without risking damage. There’s an easy solution. Just lightly dip cotton swabs in isopropyl rubbing alcohol and wipe around the buttons, using as much pressure as needed. Used in moderation, the alcohol will evaporate before it drips into any circuitry.

Mildew on Shower Curtain Liners

Forget trying to spray liquid cleaners on a shower curtain liner to get rid of mildew and other gunk. Just take down the liner and put it in a washing machine with ordinary detergent. Add some chlorine bleach when laundering plastic liners and you’ll annihilate the mildew. Some liners have even been known to survive being dried in a dryer, but the best suggestion is to hang them on a line outside to dry.

Congealed Food on Interior Refrigerator and Freezer Surfaces
Because it’s cold in those places, it’s hard to use regular cleaners to remove stuck-on mess. The secret is to carefully scrape it off with a sharp single edge razor blade in a blade holder. Remember that handling unsheathed razor blades, even those with a blunted side, is a recipe for “filet o’ fingers.” Visit the hardware store instead and buy a holder.

Burnt Food in the Center of a Pot, Ruining Chili, Spaghetti Sauce, etc.
Food often sticks and burns in the center of inexpensive pots and pans or at other “hot spots.” Inexpensive heat diffusers–which fit between a burner and a pot–can solve the problem by evenly diffusing the heat. Don’t have one? You can improvise by using a “pan-in-a-pan” technique. If you happen to own a high-quality frying pan, fill that with water and place the cooking pot in the water. A cast iron grill placed beneath the pot will also work well.

Streaks on Glass
Again, isopropyl rubbing alcohol works, this time on glass. Remember, this is a flammable chemical, so be careful. Use a protective mask and definitely protective gloves.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.