Part two: Around the house
By Julia Siedlanowska, Staff Writer
Last week I shared my family’s best traditional Polish remedies for aches, pains, and sleeping problems. This week I will reveal the strange and fascinating world of beauty, housekeeping, and pet-care.
Sparkling silver. As far as cleaning concoctions go, this one is actually pretty awesome. Use white toothpaste to clean your silverware or silver jewelry. As a child I polished a few times imagining I was Annie or some other Cinderella type. In the future I’m going to have silverware just to make my kids polish it. Another option for cleaning silverware is wrapping it in a tinfoil-covered pan with salt and water.
Convenient stain remover. When you spill some red wine on your table cloth, quickly reach for the white and pour it over the stain. The white wine will act as a neutralizer. You can also cover it with salt to suck up the spill. Both of these are super convenient when you don’t want to leave the dinner table to fetch cleaning products.
Jewelry polish. Another great use for your white wine is to clean your jewelry. Just place your gold in a glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and watch it shine.
Mountain remedies. There are also some really bizarre cleaning prescriptions I recently found out about. Apparently a stale bread crust is the right tool for cleaning your suede shoes. For this, it’s important that the bread isn’t fresh, otherwise it will leave a smear. If you happen to have a sheepskin jacket (my Value Village junkies), the only way to clean it is rubbing snow all over it. And for my final cleaning recipe: dust your fur jacket with potato flour and then brush it out. The flour takes the dirt out with it.
Hair and face mask. Before the Internet was clouded with millions of homeopathic beauty recipes (in fact, before the Internet even existed), my grandmother was using this very hair and/or face-mask, and I offer it to you as some simple beauty advice:
Mix together 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp honey, and 1 tsp lemon juice and put it on your hair and or face as you would a face-mask. Let the mixture sit for half an hour then rinse off with cool or cold water. This is a simple recipe that will help add moisture and elasticity to skin, and moisture and shine to hair.
Although I have never lived on a farm in “the old country” as some of my hilarious Canadian friends might like to say, I have inherited some great tips on caring for animals. (These are obviously limited to household pets.)
Cure a dog’s upset stomach. If your puppy is feeling sick, for example, some plain yogurt will do the trick to settle its upset tummy. This regenerates the good bacteria in their stomach, and is worth a try before spending hundreds of dollars on vet fees.
For dog or cat lovers. One time my tabby cat came home with some street gunk in her fur. The sticky substance looked like it would never come out, but my mother offered me this simple solution: rub some butter on it. My cat’s fur got greasy enough that whatever the horrible substance on her foot was, it just came off.
As holistic medicine gains in popularity, no doubt your grandma’s homeopathic remedies might come into style again. Although some might seem ridiculous, others have been proven by science in one way or another. Some are natural chemical reactions, and some may rely on the power of belief. In any case, they are most often helpful, all-natural, and kind on your pocket.