Treat a Sunburn with Vinegar, Maintain a Car Battery and More

Reader's tips on keeping kitty out of the flowerbeds, recycling rubber, getting rid of flies and much more.

| August/September 1993

Look Before Jumping a Car Battery

Over the years I have jump-started many vehicles for friends and strangers. Unless the driver leaves the headlights on, the most common reason for jump-starting is improper care of the car's battery. In addition to heavy-duty jumper cables, I always carry a 1/2" wrench, a 10-mm wrench, pliers, a terminal puller, and a battery post—terminal cleaner. During warm weather I also carry a plastic bottle of distilled water and a metal pouring cup. I take a couple of minutes to check and refill the battery-fluid level with the distilled water. Then I remove the battery-cable terminals, clean the posts and terminals, and reclamp them. In many instances this is enough for the car to start. If it doesn't correct the problem, I jump-start the battery.

 D. Wayne Reed
Hyrum, Utah

Turn an Old Inner Tube into a Rubberband

Instead of throwing away old bike and automobile inner tubes, I make rubber bands out of them. I cut them into 3/8" to 1" bands, depending on the strength needed. Use large bands to hold up trash can liners in wastebaskets, or fill inner tubes with sand to make extra weights. Smaller tubes are perfect for tying cords and ropes together and for holding together tackle and toolboxes that have broken latches and won't stay closed. I've used these bands for dozens of different purposes—they last a long time.

Kevin W. Hill
Wheatland, Wyoming

Keep Drains Clear

I have two ideas I'd like to contribute to MOTHER. The first one concerns clogged drains: Now that we have plastic mosquito netting for window screens, it occurred to me that I could put a small circle of this netting in the bathtub drain to keep hair out. We tried it over a year ago and it works great.

The second tip deals with rusted caps that are hard to twist on and off of bottle tops (like those on vinegar bottles). I give the caps a light swipe with cooking oil, which lubricates them, and then I twist them on and off until smooth again. This may sound like a small problem, but in our country certain bottles and jars have great value.

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