Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tuesday Tips #8 - A Great Stain Remover

One of the things that we try to do on the boat is to have as many items that can serve more than one purpose. The more of these you have, the less space you take up. An example of this would be our laser thermometer - the one that's supposed to be used to check the temp of the engine block which also happens to serve as the yeast dough liquid temp checker.

Another really good one is something you may not have though of before - that old bottle of hydrogen peroxide that's in the back of your medicine cabinet. It turns out that it works incredibly well as a stain remover on clothes.

All of my shirts that I wear on the boat seem to have stains on them. The galley is small, and I cook a lot, so I inevitably end up wearing food of some sort or another. The night before I go to the laundry I squirt hydrogen peroxide all over the stains, soaking them really well, and then stuff them in the laundry bag. I wash as normal the next day and voilá! Stains all gone. I even use it on colored clothes and it doesn't bleach out the color like bleach does. It has worked on greasy stains, colored stains like strawberry, and just about any other type I've used it on. Hairspray still works the best on ink stains though. Happy laundry day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday Tips #7 - Keepin' it Cold

There is not a cruiser on the planet that doesn't hate their top-opening fridge. They're hard to organize and inevitably the thing you need is on the bottom. While I've solved some of those issues with the Beer Tubes and Beer Box, the one thing I've had problems with is the loss of cold through the top lids. I've tried a bunch of different seals and I've insulate the lids with extra styrofoam board, but after a sundowner discussion with another cruiser I decided to try a different approach. I bought a memory foam kitchen mat and cut it to fit the top of the fridge. I lay it out on top at night or if we're going to be gone for the day, but since it's kind of a pain to get it on and off, I don't leave it there during the day when we're in and out of the fridge a lot. It has made a substantial difference in how cold the interior of the fridge stays. When we're on the dock and have air conditioning like this summer we won't use it much, but when we're on the anchor and in warm weather I suspect it will be use all the time. When it's not in use, it rolls up and stows nicely in the aft cabin. Not bad for a $20 investment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Tuesday Tips #6 - The Greening of Crusing

You know how the doc is always trying to tell you that green leafy things are healthy for you? Well, it turns out that's true in more than one way. According to a study done by NASA, it turns out that many common house plants remove toxins from the air in enclosed spaces. And whether or not you see any personal results in the toxin department, looking at a plant is known to have a calming effect. We have an English Ivy onboard that we've had almost since we bought the boat, one we've named Starbuck. Whether or not he actually removes any toxins, Starbuck has become a mascot of sorts. He started out life as a $1.25 tiny pot from Wal-mart and has since spawned several young'ns that are living on other boats. So dust off your green thumb and give it a try!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday Tips #5 - Coffee Stains and Stainless

I don't know about you, but I've just about finished converting all of our drinkware to stainless steel. We have the Thermos brand coffee mugs that keep things either hot or cold for hours on end, and the Thermos brand cold drink 16 oz thermos and our giant stainless tall cups for when we're underway. The problem with all of this stainless is that coffee and tea do, in fact, stain it. While I have one of those nifty long-handled brushes to reach down into these narrow-mouthed, tall cups, it just doesn't get rid of the deep-down stains that accumulate over time. The best solution I've found so far is to fill them up with hot water, plop in two denture cleaning tablets, and let them sit overnight. In the morning, wash with soapy water as usual and the cups will look brand new inside. This works great for porcelain cups as well but we don't have any on the boat due to breakage risks. The denture tablets work on pretty much anything stainless, including pots and pans that might have discolored from something you cooked. I usually just buy the store brand, but any of the ones in your local store or on Amazon will work.