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

  • 142 country lore - pest deterrent
    Ashes spread in her garden turned out to be an effective root crop pest deterrent.
  • 142 country lore - fish odor
    A dab of toothpaste lathered up in your hands will wash away fish odor.
  • 142-008-01-pix2
    Snow won't stick to a snow shovel blade if you coat it with a thin layer of wax.

  • 142 country lore - pest deterrent
  • 142 country lore - fish odor
  • 142-008-01-pix2

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.

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