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Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy & inexpensive tips for getting you and your home ready for holidays!

Baking, cooking, cleaning, crafting, laundry….it’s a busy time of year! As I set out to tackle the holiday season I find myself more and more reaching for an unexpected resource.
I hadn’t really noticed before how much I rely on the stuff. It’s like baking, cleaning and me time magic.
I first discovered the power of the ARM & HAMMER™ magic several years ago (more than I’ll admit), when I was a waitress. I worked for a very well-known restaurant chain; my uniform included a white dress shirt.  
Waiting tables in messy business; I struggled often to keep my shirts crisp. The tyrant I worked for didn’t play when it came to his staff looking sharp either. I made a habit of keeping a back of shirt in my car because to be honest the man scared me. If you got a dribble or even a speck of dressing, grease or sauce on yourself, he’d make sure you heard about it. I obsessed myself crazy trying to save my cloths and my money. I had a reoccurring dream (more like had sweaty night terror) about a combination of marinara pulp, garlic butter, and scampi sauce dripping from my head to my feet and him screaming at me about what a mess my life must be…true story.
You can only imagine my horror when I discovered that a red crayon had made its way into the dryer. The red molten wax muddle had ruined every white dress shirt I owned. I was flat broke and couldn’t afford to run out and buy a new one for my shift that night. I was a blithering mess when I called my grandmother (she was my google in those days)
After she stopped laughing at me, she told me to make a paste of ARM & HAMMER™ baking soda and rub it into the stains, let it sit for a bit, and then wash in hot water. I had my doubts but did as instructed, for good measure I dumped the rest of the box into the wash and waited for an eternity.
I couldn’t believe it! All signs of the red mess were gone…poof, magic. Not only did the crayon come out but all evidence of my life in the kitchen had been washed away. The shirts looked better than before the ordeal had even begun. I've kept a stash by the washing machine ever since and have continue to find more and more uses from the yellow box as time goes by.
Everyday cleaning ~
A sprinkle of ARM & HAMMER™ cleans counter tops, stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, microwaves, wooden spoons, oven tops, range hoods and anything else that needs to shine without harsh chemicals  Just be sure to rinse thoroughly and then dry.
In the trash~
I also keep my kitchen garbage can and bathroom wastebaskets fresh by adding a sprinkle of ARM & HAMMER™ to the bottom of each canister.  Though I have been known to go all out and wash them in a solution of ARM & HAMMER™ adding 1 cup gallon of water.
Fresh fruit and fluffy smashed potatoes~ 
ARM & HAMMER™ is the food-safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables too and makes fluffy mashed potatoes, just throw in a pinch of ARM & HAMMER™ while mashing.
Fizzy drinks~
Your days in the school science lab can finally pay off in a very grown up way by adding a dash of ARM & HAMMER™ into your holiday drink concoctions to add some fun holiday fizz.
It’s no secret what the deodorizing properties can do for a funk filled refrigerator and there are 101 amazing baked goods that call for a smidgen of the ARM & HAMMER™ magic but if you’ve limited yourself to just the kitchen, you are seriously missing out!
Let the kids discover Santa’s Footprints Christmas morning by leading the way to holiday gifts using a footprint stencil and ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to create a trail of footprints on the carpet. After opening up gifts, simply vacuum up the baking soda for easy party prep. As an added bonus your carpet will smell fresh and clean….a sprinkle of ARM & HAMMER™ followed by a vaccuum works to freshen upholstery too!
Polish jewelry with 3 parts ARM & HAMMER™ to 1 part water. Rub on gently, then rinse and buff with a soft cloth. Shine platinum jewelry by buffing with dry ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda. 
With all we have to do this season it’s the perfect time to discover all one yellow box can do.
Of all the things we do for the holidays don’t leave yourselves out of the equation.  Women are notorious for taking care of others, by the time we get to ourselves there isn’t much left. For me, it’s the time and money factor. I’d love to get my hair done, a facial, or submerge myself in a bath full of skin softening agents. Not only do many of those things require a trip to the salon but can run up a pretty hefty tab. All the more reason to reach for my ARM &HAMMER™:0)
Some regimens include~
Making a tooth polish for Pearly White:
Just sprinkle baking soda into your palm, dip a damp toothbrush into it, and brush*. For a refreshing mouthwash, use 1 teaspoon baking soda in ½ glass of water. Swish the solution through your teeth and rinse.
** Do keep in mind that *ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda does not contain the anti-cavity ingredient fluoride. Use it where water is fluorinated or when non-fluoride toothpaste is desired for adult use or as directed by your dentist of physician.
A skin softening bath soak:
Add ½ cup of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to your bath for a refreshing soak. Your skin will feel silky smooth
A cuticle cleaning and brightening manicure:
Make a paste of 3 parts ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to 1 part water. Dip your nail brush into the mix and scrub nails and cuticles. Rub in a gentle, circular motion over hands and fingers to exfoliate and smooth. Rinse clean with warm water and apply polish as usual :)
Exfoliating Pedicure:
Blend 2 tablespoons of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda in a basin of warm water. After a relaxing soak, make a scrub using 3 parts ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda and 1 part water. Follow with an application of a rich moisturizer and a warm towel foot wrap. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Feet will feel smooth and clean.
Hair Brightener:
To get rid of product buildup sprinkle a small amount (quarter-size) of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo.  Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly.  The ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
Facial Scrub and Body Exfoliator:
For smooth, radiant skin, give yourself a gentle facial and body scrub with ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda.  Make a paste of 3 parts ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda to 1 part water.  Consider enhancing the treatment by including 1 part ground oatmeal. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells. (Be careful to avoid eye area.)  Rinse clean with warm water.  Leaves skin feeling nourished and refreshed. Gentle enough for daily use!
Yep, I keep by the bathroom sink
Y’all already know my obsession with chemical peels. They are my weapon against the dulling effects of the winter nasty. Most chemical peels aren’t sold with a neutralizer. They are typically purchased separately and carry an added chunk of change. I’ve never paid for a separate neutralizer because I can make my own for about a penny.
Chemical Peel Neutralizer:
Follow manufacture peel use instructions and neutralize with ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda by mixing a solution of 2-3 tablespoons of ARM & HAMMER™ to about a cup of warm water. Dip cotton balls into solution and swab over entire face. Repeat until you no longer feel the peel “sting.” Rinse and glow!
Lol…told you I had 101 tips and tricks but that is nothing compared to what the peeps over at ARM & HAMMER™ have up their sleeves. Visit their solutions page to see what I mean.
What ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda secrets do you have? Please share!!

I wrote this review while participating in an Blog Tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Arm & Hammer and received product samples to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for participating. Please feel free to read my entire disclosure 
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Crystal Threeprncs said...

Hmm, do you know how many times a crayon finds it's way into our dryer! I thought all was lost. I am trying that trick next time, for sure!!

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I can't believe it took the crayon out. That is AMAZING! Love your Santa's boot prints idea too. So smart!

Jai M. said...

Baking soda really is amazingly useful stuff. I'll remember that about melted crayon...that's a great tip!

Daisy Bryce said...

My hubby and I are going to try some of these with baking soda over the weekend!

Minta's Creations said...

What awesome tips..can't wait to try them out! Thanks for sharing!

sandy1955 said...

Gosh, it has been around for so many years also. My parents used it and now I do along with my children for my grandchildrens clothing. I remember keeping boxes in my fridge also. My mom did and I followed with mine. Their laundry detergent smells great also.

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