Once during college, some Christian yokel managed to cram a skinny pamphlet into my palm. Skimming over it later, I realized it was entirely useful. A how-to-guide for removing every stain imaginable. Unfortunately, I only recall one, how to get out blood stains, but to that, I add my list of non-toxic and vastly cheaper alternatives to packaged “green” cleaning products. Great if you have a dog that likes to lick every crumb and spilt drop off the floor….
Oh, and the punchline for this pamphlet was, How to remove the stain of sin. Of course, the only one who can remove that stain is—you guessed it—Jesus Christ our Savior.
Vinegar: cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up. Dilute with equal part water and use to clean countertops, floors, sinks and tiling. Use full strength for toilet.
Lemons: cuts grease, pleasant smelling.
Baking soda: scours, deodorizes, softens water. Gets stains out of copper. Use with vinegar for tougher stains.
Kosher salt: scours, tougher on stubborn stains. Pour some on a lemon (I like to save the lemon rinds from juiced lemons specifically for this purpose) and cut right through tough stuck-on grease stains on pots, pans and stovetops. Also great for scorched coffee pots.
Remove fresh blood stains with full-strength hydrogen peroxide.
Extensive list of tips for a lot more stains here.
December 31 gets all the hype. And all the anti-climatism. While drunken revelers stumbled into the new year, I'd already celebrated the underdog of holidays—the subtle sleeper of winter solstice. What once was only a minor blip on my radar now radiates a much keener hope that never fails to deliver. The hope of longer days, cold though they are. The hope of winter finally come and only spring to look forward to.
It's easier to stand the cold water if you're already in it. Not so, the dread.