Most people dismiss old wives' tales as stories born from myths that carry little truth. These ideas, passed on by parents, grandparents and friends, sound quaint and silly, making it difficult to believe that any of them will actually work. However, some of the wisdom handed down through the generations is actually grounded in genuine fact. These 9 household tips prove that old wives' tales can be much more than just tall tales:
1. Purify air with house plants
Like trees, plants can provide a home with added oxygen. Specific species are able to remove toxins from the air. Try adding plants like bamboo palm, peace lilies, gerbera daisies, philodendrons, rubber trees, ficus or corn plants to your home to purify the air.
2. Remove furniture scratches with walnuts
Walnut oil can repair wood blemishes. You need to shell the nut and rub it over any marks on the wood. The oils penetrate the wooden surface and go to work fixing any stains, blotches or scratches.
3. Keep sponges clean by microwaving them
Make sure your sponges don't become a breeding ground for germs with this tip. Take your dirty sponge and squirt a little lemon juice into it. Warm it up in the microwave for several minutes on high. The heat will kill the bacteria and you can use the sponge again.
Heavy furniture can leave dents in your carpet. Quickly resolve this by placing ice cubes over the divot. Let them melt and, soon after, the carpet will go back to being even. You can fluff the area with a toothbrush or fork to help expand the fibers if necessary. Finish by patting the carpet with a cloth.
5. Use Alka Seltzer to unclog drains
If your sink appears to be acting up, try this trick to unblock it. Drop four of these fizzy tablets down the drain, followed by a tablespoon of vinegar. Then flush the sink with boiling water. The drain should become unclogged and ready for use.
6. Clean windows with newspaper
Newspapers will do a more thorough job cleaning windows and mirrors because they have denser fibers than paper towels. Dense fibers allow the paper to absorb liquids used for cleaning. The density also makes them stronger, so they are less likely to fall apart in your hands.
7. Aluminum foil can help with ironing
Cover your ironing board with aluminum foil and then put the ironing board cover over the top of it. The foil will reflect the heat so you will be ironing both sides at the same time, without the need to flip the piece of clothing over.
8. Remove chewing gum with peanut butter
Chewing gum has a tendency to get stuck to your shoe and other places where it doesn't belong. Remove this annoying litter with a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter spread. Afterwards, you can use a wire brush to help scrub off any remaining bits of the gum.
9. Use soap to fill a hole in the wall
Nail holes and nicks can leave a wall blemished. Instead of filling a white wall with silicone, use a soap bar. Simply rub the bar over the hole in a circular motion until the surface is even.