Fish Odor Removal, Paint Film Prevention, and Other Country Lore

This installment of an ongoing feature includes advice on a method of removing fish odor from hands and preventing paint film from forming in paint cans.

| February/March 1994

The following housekeeping tips and other bits of country lore were submitted by readers. 

Fish Odor Removal 

If you've ever handled fresh fish before, you know that it can be almost impossible to remove the stinky odor from your hands. After years of fishing, I have finally come up with an easy solution: toothpaste. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto your hands, moisten with water, and gently rub your hands together to create a lather. Then rinse the odor away.

-David Kelly 
Spokane, Washington

Paint Film Prevention

Here's a way to keep paint in good condition after you've opened the can. Before sealing the lid and storing the paint, take a good-size breath, hold it for a moment, and then breathe into the can. The carbon dioxide will displace the oxygen that causes skin to form on the paint.

-John W. Klase 
Fiddletown, California

Wood Rejuvination 

Here's a way to rejuvenate the wooden handles of old tools that have become dry and brittle. Remove the cap from one end of a 2.5" PVC pipe (approximately 4.5' long) and fill it up half way with boiled linseed oil. Then insert the handle of the tool (rake, hoe, shovel, etc.) into the oil. Tie the pipe to something sturdy (I use a post in my cellar) and continue filling the pipe with the oil until all of the wood is sitting in it.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!