Christy’s Simple Tips–How to Clean a Vacuum Beater Bar

Use a stitch ripper to clean a vacuum cleaner bar. | Simple Tips from The Simple Homemaker

When people find out that there are seven girls in our family of nine, they often remark to my son and husband, “Oh, you poor things!” Whatever. Wink.

The one who truly deserves the pity is our poor vacuum cleaner. The beater bar on the vacuum gets so wound up with girl and golden retriever hair that the beater bar becomes more of a carpet buffer.

No problem! With a few quick passes using a stitch ripper, the beater bar is as good as new. Just insert the tip in under the hair and slide the ripper through. Voila! (That’s vwah-la, for those of you who are pronouncing that vee-oh-la. Voila is French for “see there;” a viola is a stringed instrument. Get it? Got it? Good. Back to the vacuum beater bar.) It’s like new, and you didn’t break your scissors, slice a vital artery with a kitchen knife, or take apart the whole vacuum and forget how to put it back together again. Been there!

If you don’t have a stitch ripper, you can grab one at any craft or sewing store, or in the craft and sewing section of your local discount department store. They are also available online for a reasonable price. (This is an affiliate link. If you buy something through this link, a portion of Amazon’s profits go to us…so we can make cookies for the poor outnumbered boys in the family. Wink.)

Now go rescue your vacuum cleaners!

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Christy’s Simple Tips: Using Clothespins to Close Bags

Clothespins Pinnable

Instead of bulky, cumbersome chip clips or annoying little twist ties which were created only to aggravate parents of hungry children at lunch time, use clothespins to close bags in your kitchen. Simply fold down or twist the bag and attach a clothespin or two.

If the item belongs to one person in particular, use a permanent marker to write a name on the clothespin.

If you want to get really fancy (which is kinda the opposite of simple, but this is a great idea, so I’m going with it), paint the flat surface of the clothespin with chalkboard paint so you can write on it with chalk. Chalk is fun. Clothespins are fun. This is a win-win.

You could also spruce up your supply a bit by covering your entire house table with newspaper, setting out paints and markers, and letting your kids get in touch with their inner Monet and Picasso on your clothespins.

Snag a bag of 50 to 100 clothespins at most discount stores, department stores, or drugstores for only a buck or two. Some are better quality than others, but the cheapies are just fine for this purpose…even if they’re not sturdy enough for the job for which they were originally created.

I keep a small bin of clothespins in my “baggie” drawer where they don’t take up too much space.

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Christy’s Simple Tips: How to De-Core Iceberg Lettuce

Christy's Simple Tips: How to De-Core Iceberg Lettuce

I thought everybody knew this technique, so I never thought to mention it. About two years ago my grandmother told me to watch the neat trick my uncle had just taught her, and she showed me the iceberg coring method my own mother–her own daughter–had been using my whole life.

Apparently, not everyone knows this. But you will.

How to De-Core Iceberg Lettuce

  1. Take the iceberg lettuce in your hand.
  2. Locate the core.
  3. Slam the core down on a hard surface, like a counter–not like your head.
  4. It will loosen so you can slide it out.

Super duper simple!

Oh, palm the lettuce like this or with both hands on the sides:

Christy's Simple Tips: How to De-Core Iceberg Lettuce

Don’t hold it with one hand on the bottom by the core. Ouch.

Christy's Simple Tips: How to De-Core Iceberg Lettuce

This simple tip comes straight from Mom down on the ol’ homestead. Thanks Mom! Love you! OX

Special thanks to Elisabeth for coring this head of lettuce for all you. You have lovely hands, Elisabeth. Go practice your piano.

To see your favorite simple tips featured on The Simple Homemaker (including a link to the page of your choice), please submit it through my contact page or send an email (pictures are optional) to TheSimpleHomemaker at gmail dot com with SIMPLE TIP in the subject.

Christy’s Simple Tips: Capturing Ideas in the Shower

Keep a child's bath crayon in the shower to jot down ideas on the shower wall.

I have all my best, most brilliant ideas in the shower. I used to write my brilliant ideas in the steam on the shower door with my finger. That worked great, until I got out of the shower and the steam disappeared, along with my brilliance. I needed a better option to capture my brilliance, one that didn’t involve running naked through the house looking for a pen and paper and scarring my children for life. For life!

Enter the bath crayon. These handy little bath crayons are perfect for writing on bathtubs, shower walls, even bathroom mirrors, so you can capture your brilliant moments without scarring your kids.

They don’t rinse away, so you have time to transfer your brilliance to something a little more permanent. After you’ve recorded your brilliance elsewhere, you can wash off the crayon with a little soap and water, which, conveniently, you have right there in the shower. It’s almost like someone planned that or something.

Bath markers and crayons are available at craft stores, department stores, discount stores, drug stores, grocery stores…just about everywhere. They are also available online at Amazon. (This is an affiliate link. If you purchase through this affiliate link, Amazon shares a bit of its profits with me, so I can buy therapy for the children I scarred before discovering bath crayons.)

Contact me with your simple tips for future publication in Christy’s Simple Tips and for a link to your blog or website.