Cleaning Windows, Cleaning Screens, and Other Bits of Country Lore

Readers submit methods they've discovered for cleaning windows without spotting, cleaning screens, deterring weevils, and protecting chickens.

cleaning widows - illustration of woman balancing a window pane on the door of an open dishwasher

"Non spotting" dishwashing detergent works exceptionally well for cleaning windows as well.

ILLUSTRATION: BILL LESSNER

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The end of winter marks the beginning of a new season of chores.

Cleaning Windows

I have a fast and easy way to clean the exteriors of windows. First, mix a handful of powdered electric-dishwasher detergent into a pail of hot water. (The secret is to use a product that advertises something like: "Leaves your glasses sparkling clean with no spots.") Wash the outsides of your windows with this mixture, using any method you prefer, and immediately rinse them with a strong spray from your garden hose. Just let them air-dry, and your windows should be cleaner and shinier (with fewer spots) than ever before.

Norbert Sanek
Nashville, Tennessee

Cleaning Screens

In the spring I take down all my window screens and screen doors and carry them outside. Then, with a pan of gasoline and a stiff brush, I scrub all the screening with gasoline. It removes all the dust and grease and makes my dingy screens look good as new. [Editor's Note: Remember that gasoline is very flammable, and also be careful not to breathe in the fumes.]

Mrs. J.E. Hansford
DeLeon, Texas

Weevil Deterrent

When I prune my sage in the spring, I place sprigs in the kitchen cabinet where I keep such staples as flour and cornmeal. Weevils and other bugs don't like the smell of sage, so they go elsewhere.

Brenda Milum
Batesville, Arkansas

Wire Rack Ground Barrier

We had a problem with dogs digging under the fence that surrounds our chicken yard. I started collecting discarded wire rack shelves made for stoves and refrigerators. (Junkyards are a good place to look for them.) When I had a good supply, I laid them on the bare ground around the fence, wiring them together and to the fence. Grass soon covered the grills, and I could mow right over them, but dogs (and other predators) could no longer dig there. It was just the thing for protecting chickens.

Charles Anderson
Doyline, Louisiana