Farming Advice and Folklore: Using Cooking Oil to Clean Hands, Shiny Windows and Grooming Dogs

Farming advice and folklore from MOTHER and her readers, including using cooking oil to clean your hands, using dishwasher detergent to shine up windows and using dog hair to scare critters away.
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editors
May/June 1988
Add to My MSN

We empty the bags of dog hair in our garden, scattering the hair throughout the plot. Since we started doing this, all the ground hogs, raccoons and other animals that used to vandalize the crops have gone elsewhere.
ILLUSTRATION: MICHAEL STORRINGS


Content Tools

Related Content

Girl Out of Water - Farmers

A description of farmers' even tempered dispositions.

Share Your Vision for a Sustainable Future

Don't miss this opportunity to change the future of American Agriculture!

Have You Heard? Country Living Ain't So Quiet After All

If you're pondering a move to the country and think your life will suddenly get blissfully silent, t...

Girl out of Water - Country Directions

Trying to follow directions out in the country can be challenging!

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including a variety of ways to use cooking oil to clean your hands, shining up windows with dishwasher detergent and scattering dog hair in the garden to keep critters away 

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

Soft Swab 

After using my string mop, I rinse the head in cold water and then soak it for an hour in a bucket of warm water into which I've mixed a capful of fabric softener. No more stiff and smelly mops for me.

—Amy L. Weber
Valdosta, Georgia
 

For Oil We Know  

When I work on my car, I invariably get grease all over my hands and under my fingernails. This is tough stuff, but every last bit comes off (the odor, too) with vegetable oil. After rubbing it in really well, I add a little dish detergent and water, rub some more and wash it off. The oil also gets rid of that sticky residue from adhesive labels.

—Barry Ginsbarg
Delano, California
 

Instead of turpentine or gasoline, I use cooking oil to take paint off my hands. It's much kinder to skin, and it also doesn't smell for a long time afterward like the spirits do.

—A. Hartley
Middletown, California
 

When spring cleaning involves getting behind and under such large appliances as the washer, dryer or refrigerator, they can easily be moved by rubbing some cooking oil in front of the casters and giving a little pull.

—N.M. McGee
Daly City, California
 

My spring cleaning includes the cast-iron woodstove. When the evenings are finally warm and the stove is cool, I shovel out the ashes and any debris, then wipe the exterior with a damp cloth. When it's dry, the metal is given a light coating of vegetable oil. This restores the rich black finish and makes the stove look like new. If you try this, remember to open the windows for a few minutes when you light the first fall fire, as any remaining oil will smoke a bit.

—Lorry Maras
Monticello, Minnesota
 

Spring Spruce-Up  

There's no need to buy a special product to touch up minor scratches on wood furniture and paneling. A teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in a teaspoon of water serves the same purpose.

—Nellie Chestnut
Glade, Kansas
 

Sparkle Plenty  

For the brightest, shiniest windows ever, wash them with the same detergent you'd use in an electric dishwasher. Just dissolve the granules in a little water, sponge off the glass, and wipe immediately with a wad of clean newspaper.

—Alice Terry
Interlachen, Florida
 

Ditch the Pitch  

I do a lot of woodworking, and I always hated stopping every so often to spend time cleaning the pitch off the blade of my radial saw. Then I found that the worst of this chore could be handled by oven cleaner. Just spray it on both sides of the blade, let it work for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a rough cloth. This is effective for almost any saw blade.

—Ted Clair, Jr.
Tonganoxie, Kansas
 

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow  

Every spring, after we groom our two large collies, we end up with bags of dog hair. We empty the bags in our garden, scattering the hair throughout the plot. Since we started doing this, all the ground hogs, raccoons and other animals that used to vandalize the crops have gone elsewhere.

—Chris A. Martin
Morgantown, West Virginia.
 


Previous | 1 | 2 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.