Uses for Car Jacks, Removing Ice, Kitty Litter Deodorizer and More

Readers' tips on everything from deicing windshields, using eggshells in the garden, cleaning up oil spills with flour and more.

| February/March 1993

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    Kitty litter is very useful for absorbing musty smells.
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 136-008-01

Don't Let the Ice Bring You Down

Last winter, the bare path between our porch and gate became slippery from the packed snow. We sprinkled grass seed over the icy areas, which provided traction (and attracted birds as well). It did not harm the existing grass, as salt can, and when spring came, we were treated to a soft, green path where the bare dirt used to be.

-John and April Adkins
Charleston, West Virginia
 

For years I struggled with scraping the ice off my windshield during the winter. Last winter, I finally found the perfect solution: I purchased four pieces of scrap Plexiglas (approximately 10" x 24") from the local hardware store for about three dollars. I simply slip the Plexiglas on my windshield, and then pick them off in the morning for a perfectly clear windshield.

-Cecil Monk
Bangor, Michigan
 



Jack of All Trades

Most of us drive around with a car jack stowed in the trunk. In the event of a flat tire, it's indispensable. But a car jack has plenty of other useful applications too.

When I first moved to Vermont, I wanted to remove three large stumps from my backyard. As I tried to dig and chop roots in the rocky soil, I realized why the previous owner had left the stumps. About two-thirds of the way around the first stump, I encountered a large root that ran straight out from the stump, just below the surface. It looked like a wonderful lever to pry the thing out of the ground.






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