Farming Advice and Folklore: Fireplace Smoke Stains, Vinegar Solutions and Clogged Sink Remedies

Farming advice and folklore from MOTHER and her readers, including fireplace smoke stains, vinegar solutions and clogged sink remedies.

| January/February 1988

MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers share their farming advice, fun tips and country folklore, including eliminating fireplace smoke stains with a whitewall tire spray, multi-uses for home vinegar solutions and clearing clogged sinks using hot water, baking soda and vinegar and machine shop vac remedies. 

MOTHER's Country Farming Advice and Folklore

We can't ignore the curse of winter chores.

I love sitting in front of a fireplace and was delighted that the house we'd just bought had one. Not so delightful, though, were the dark smoke stains on the brick and stone surrounding the opening. We found, however, that the stains could be removed with a spray-on cleaner for whitewall tires. Scrubbing with a brush got the cleaner into crevices. When used on the glass doors of our fireplace, the same product dissolves creosote and smoke deposits like magic. I just spray it on, wipe it off with newspaper and polish off the remaining streaks with window cleaner.

— Jan Cunningham
Crossville, Tennessee

Tire Tote  

I made a handy log carrier out of an old car tire. Using a utility knife, I cut away all but about 18 inches of the tread and the side walls, leaving an inch and a half or so of rubber around each rim. This gave me two full circles as handles, joined at the bottom with enough tire to support four or five splits at a time. An even better carrier can be made by using a 1 inch by 8 inch by 24 inch board as the bottom of the tote and cutting the rubber off in a straight line under each handle. Then screw each straight edge onto one long edge of the board. The board is longer, of course, than the diameter of the handles, so be sure to center it so your load will be balanced.

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