Stains of candle wax on clothes are not easy to get over by washing only. You need to apply tricks to get rid of wax from your clothes. What with power cut for extended hours the usage of candle has increased. Candle lit processions are happening every other day in the city. These are the occasions when there is high chance for molten candle wax to fall on your clothes.

This is a common observation on children’s clothes as they are not alert and will spill the wax onto the nice clothes. The dress will look shabby when there is molten wax on it. We need to address the source of the wax problem…yes,  provide paper cups to prevent the molten wax dripping onto clothes.

how to remove stains stuck on clothesWax removal from clothing:

For stains left by candle wax on clothes and table cloth, scrape off surface wax with a knife. Place wax stain between clean paper towels and press with a warm iron. Replace paper towels if they become saturated.

If some of the dye has seeped into the fabric of your tablecloth and remains after removing the wax, try laundering with a color-safe bleach.

Bubble Gum removal from clothing:how to remove stains from clothes

To take chewing gum off your clothes, place the item of clothing in a polythene cover, then freeze it for about an hour. Take the clothing out of the freezer, then bend the fabric across the stain to crack the gum. Chip off the pieces with a dull knife.

If that doesn’t work, let the gum return to room temperature then dampen a cloth with dry-cleaning solution, lighter fluid, salad oil or peanut butter and rub on the gum, then work it off with a dull knife. Launder as usual.

Crayon stains can be treated in the same way as wax.

Bubble gum removal from hair :

You may go wild with anger when your child comes in with bubble gum stuck on hair. The child is already embarrassed and needs assurance from the elders. Do not shout. Sit down with the child and understand how it happened while making arrangements for taking out the gum stuck on hair. If the bubble gum is too close to the scalp try option one and two. If the bubble gum is stuck away from the scalp then try option 3.

  1. Applying hair oil and keeping for 15 mins. Use an old toothbrush to ensure the entire gum is covered and you can also comb the affected part.
  2. Applying Vaseline gel on the part and gently remove it with a comb.
  3. Applying an ice cube over the gum stuck on hair. Keep the ice cube in contact for 15 mins by rubbing constantly over the bubble gum and the gum will come off your hair. Wash with shampoo and dry.

You need not worry . Try these simple tricks and remove your stains and your worries are solved.


Stains on clothes is a disaster for many. We take a long time to choose clothes of our choice and when they accidentally are stained you get upset. The first thought that comes to your mind is to dispose the clothing. You can give a try to the home remedies that are tried and tested to remove common stains that occur on clothes during our day to day proceedings. You will be relieved of the stain and you can wear your loved clothes again.

Ink stains

how to remove stains from clothesInk stains are the most stubborn among stains and a common feature with people of all ages. Now with the revolutionary ball point pens without cap, common practice is to write and place the pen into the pocket. After an hour or so, ink leakage is felt by the individual and realizes that the shirt has got ink stains.

  • To remove ink stains from clothes use a nail polish remover on the stained area.
  • Rub the area with a cotton bud soaked in eau de cologne (perfume with 70 to 90% ethanol , citrus oil mixed with many other scents and essential oils)
  • Wet a sponge with milk and rub the ink stain

Blood stains:

Blood stains occur when you cut yourself, nose bleeding due to external heat or whatsoever reasons. Primarily soak the cloth in cold water and salt for 1 hour and wash with cold water and soap.

  • To remove spots of blood from clothing, use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide  available at any medical store. Soak the stain with the peroxide, use your fingernail or the blade of a butter knife to help loosen and scrape away the blood, then rinse it away with more hydrogen peroxide.
  • For removing blood , wet the stained area of the fabric with water, sprinkle it with plain table salt, rub one half of the stain against the other to work in the salt and loosen the stain, then immediately launder the garment .
  • Another method blot the stain with cold water or soak it in a cold water bath. you’ll want to remove the stain completely before drying, ironing or applying any type of heat to the stain which will just cause it to set in permanently.
  • Vinegar works wonders with blood stained clothing .Apply the vinegar directly to the stain and blot. When the stain is removed, blot again with a damp cloth to remove the smell. Launder as usual.
  • Mix one part baking soda with two parts water and blot the stain until it lifts. Blot again with a damp sponge to remove the baking soda. Launder as usual.

Paan (Betel leaf) stains:

You may have got betel leaf stains on your favorite shirt and are really worried how to get rid off the stain . Do not worry.

  • Soaking the affected area of clothing in curd or lime juice for 2 hours . You will observe that the fade has vanished.

Oil stains

You attend a wedding or puja ceremony and observe small oil droplets on your garments. You may observe oil stains on your pillows too. You need not worry, follow this two way approach

  • If fresh the oil stains can be dusted with talcum powder or wheat flour.  This will absorb the oil.  Leave for some time dust off and wash immediately with soap and water. You are sure to observe no patches and the garment is back to normalcy.
  • Oil and ghee stains can be removed from clothes by washing in hot water to which washing soda has been added.
  • Apply shampoo on the stains and you will be surprised to see that the fabric is clean.

Mud stains

When you go out in the rain your clothes are sure to get wet and high chance for your clothes to get mud stains. Soak the cloth in cold water to remove all the slush and mud on the clothes.  

  • Mud stains on clothes can be removed with water of boiled potatoes.

how to remove stains from clothesTea or Coffee stains

  • Wash the stained part immediately and then dip the stained area in glycerin over night. Wash with soap and water next day.
  • Fresh tea stains can be removed if sponged with cold water immediately. Fresh coffee stains can be removed by washing with soap and water. Drying in the sun often removes old stains.
  • To remove tea stains from clothing or table linens, submerge the stained area for several minutes in a small bowl containing heavily sugared water (keep adding sugar in ½ cup of water as much as it can saturate), then launder as usual.

Sweat stains

Perspiration will be more during summer. To remove these stains from clothes apply a little ammonia and place the dress in sunlight. Soda water is excellent for removing white stains. Pour soda water over the stains and wash.

Collar stains

To remove dirty stains from shirt collars and cuffs, dip them in cold water for an hour, and scrub with sugar.

Pour a little shampoo onto the collar, inexpensive one also will do. Rub the collar together to work the shampoo in well, and rinse thoroughly. Then launder as usual.

Turmeric stains

You may have used turmeric as a face pack and have turmeric stains on clothes. Turmeric stains can be removed by rubbing a dry detergent bar soap over it and leave it for an hour before washing it off.

Hair dye stains

This has become a common stain in every household. People apply hair dye and there are high chances of spills over clothes. Clothes stained with hair dye should be cleaned with a piece of raw onion before being washed.

Henna stains

People apply henna on hair for coloring or henna designs are applied on hands and legs as part of ceremonies and weddings. Here are tips to remove henna stains from clothes. Soak the stained portion in hot milk for half-an-hour. Then rinse in cold water and clean with a brush.


Summer season brings in nostalgic memories of childhood days. The cool shady areas, damp bed sheets and khas khas mats on windows, indoor games , fresh fruits,  homemade lime juice. The time when the elders were busy with pickle preparation, drying vadiyalu (fried rice snack) in the sun, season of jasmine flowers in the garden, raw mango and dry tamarind in the backyard.

Now with all upgradation in facilities and comforts , people moving into multi-storeyed tall apartments , the onset of technology like Air conditioners, Water coolers you can be recollect your childhood days when the power cut  happens on a sunny day.

The AC’s , water coolers and ceiling fans will come to a standstill . Be practical and follow traditional methods of cooling your home and be relaxed in summer.

To implement simple ways of cooling you need to maintain your cool, here are some useful tips…

  • Drink lots of water even if you are not thirsty. Keep sipping water.
  • Have a bath at least twice daily to remove the salt settled on your body. Apply deodorants to avoid prickly heat and heat rashes.
  • Wear light colored cotton clothes to be cool. Avoid black and tight fitting clothes as they absorb heat and make you feel stuffy and worn out.
  • Immerse your legs in salted water will remove all the stress in your legs.
  • Squeeze water out of the towel and wrap it over the shoulders to cover the back of your neck. Very relaxing while you are working in the kitchen.
  • You will feel relief if you wash your face, hands and legs often during peak hours.
  • Plenty of fruits are available in the market. Have watermelons, muskmelons, oranges, grapes. Consume coconut water and cucumber slices.
  • Avoid tea and coffee as they increase the thirst.

Following above mentioned tips you are relaxed and are ready to apply some tips to keep you home cool. Here are a few tested remedies to keep your home environment cool.

  • Open all the doors and windows after sunset to flush out hot air present inside the rooms.
  • how to keep your home cool in hot summerFix Ramacham mats ( Vetivar roots mats or Khas Khas grass mats as known in Hindi) on the windows-exterior such that whatever air comes will blow in thru’ the damp mats and you will feel the cool breeze. Thick damp bed sheets are also ideal for this purpose.
  • Paint the terrace with a heat reflecting paint that will bring down the room temperature by 4 to 5 degrees inside the room.
  • Use venetian blinds if you can afford such that inclined position will partially bring in light and not the to keep your home cool in hot summer
  • You can use sun screen film on glass windows to minimize heat entry.
  • If you have a balcony facing West and South side place light colored shades over grills or on the wall to allow light to come in not the heat.
  • Paint the walls on the west and South side of the house with light colors as the they are facing the sunlight and heat for the maximum number of hours.
  • Wipe the floor in the evenings such that the room feels cool. You can sit down on the mat placed on the floor to watch television or have fun with indoor games.
  • How to keep your home cool this summerPlant trees around your house such that you will have shade when the tree grows. You will get ready made tall potted plants to minimize heat from the windows and balcony.
  • Use light color bed sheets to minimize heat effect.
  • Use double curtains such that heat does not enter in.
  • In independent homes the terrace can be filled with 1 inch of water to bring the temperatures down inside the room at night. Remember to block the drain point.

You will be able to overcome summer heat and be cool this summer.


Baking powder and baking soda are chemical leavening agents that cause dough and  batters to rise when baked. Leavening agents are substances that cause expansion to dough and batters by the release of gases by such mixtures, producing baked products with porous structure.

difference between baking soda and baking powderBaking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When baking soda is combined with moisture and an acidic ingredient like yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk, or honey, the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods to rise. Baking soda starts to react and release carbon dioxide gas as soon as it is added to the batter and moistened. Make sure to bake the batter immediately.

There are numerous uses for baking soda. Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life if stored in a sealed container in a cool dry place. Baking soda causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked.

difference between baking powder and baking sodaBaking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, it includes the acidifying agent (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch). Baking powder is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder. Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. With double-acting powder, some gas is released at room temperature when the powder is added to dough, but most of the gas is released after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven. Because of the two stages, baking of the batter can be delayed for about 15-20 minutes without it losing its leavening power. Store in a cool dry place and it should be replaced every 6-12 months.

Few measures to be followed:

  • Follow recipe instructions for quantities.
  • Sift baking powder or baking soda with the other dry ingredients before adding to the batter to ensure uniformity in a recipe.  Otherwise the baked good can have large holes.
  • Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting. It can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse. (i.e. The air bubbles in the batter grow too large and break causing the batter to fall.)  Cakes will have a coarse, fragile crumb with a fallen center.
  • Too little baking powder results in a tough cake that has poor volume and a compact crumb.
  • Too much baking soda will result in a soapy taste with a coarse, open crumb.

Testing for effectiveness for the leavening agent nearing shelf life:

  • To test baking powder’s effectiveness: mix 1 teaspoon (5 grams)  baking powder with 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water and the mixture should bubble immediately.
  • To test baking soda’s effectiveness: mix 1/4 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately.


March 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Home Management Tips and Information

dampwalls how to correct it Are you observing damp walls in your home. Damp walls could be due to various reasons like rains getting in through the walls, moisture being absorbed from the ground, condensation settling on cold surfaces. You need to identify the correct reason otherwise you will be spending more than the required and you will not get the benefit of all the time, effort and money being allocated to this repair jobs.

Damp patches may also be the result of leaks in plumbing work embedded in the wall or from poorly sealed bathrooms. A few examples shared to understand various reasons for dampness in wall.

  • Initially when I saw damp patches on the wall in my house I assumed it was due to external impact of rains. Rains came and went away and I’m still observing the wet patches on the wall. This is severe in the mornings and by evening the patch fades away. The dampness leaves stains on the walls. The musty smell and the damage that damp can cause is awful.

After a few days the damp areas in the wall bloated and powdery crust started to fall from the surface. There was a webby covering over the bloated surfaces. The wall had a light connection and a window.

The plumber and his team were informed , they came and checked and gave us a quote for fixing the problem. The plumber and his workmen mentioned that the window sill had a shade , which was damaged. They completed the repair jobs in a weeks time. After a fortnight the inside walls were chipped off and painting was done .

The rooms were back in shape. There were some unexpected rains in mid November and the dampness started to surface again. We realized it was not due to the window shade defect. I forgot to mention we had one more floor above our apartment. We called for a professional in this field . He checked the walls, observed the exterior walls and suggested we have a look at the house above ours.

We were in fact shocked to see the extent of damage in the bathroom floor. The filling between tiles –white cement was totally peeled off from the edges and there was a high chance of water getting trapped in the area between the tile and the main concrete. Collected water was trying to leak out from the weak areas in the wall.

The realization came in then that the apartment above ours was mostly vacant round the year. Usage was a few days in a month. That was the time the water penetration in the walls were observed. A new quote was taken and the work was completed by keeping the bathroom unused for the treatment and curing. Now the problem is fixed. The water already penetrated inside the walls will take time to dry.

  • Another classic example: A huge amount was invested in beautifying my cousins house after purchase and after a years time one side of the drawing room started to be damp and had a shabby look.  They contacted the builder for further help. Since it was not long after purchase and with new upcoming projects in the vicinity, the builder agreed to have a look at the problem. and upon investigation it was identified that the problem was water seepage through the walls. Main reason cited was that water collected on the roof – be it rain water or overhead tank overflowing water from the roof had to pass down through tubes embedded in the wall. The workmen did a faulty job. The tube length was short, they did not bother taking a longer one. The cement work was completed with this gap in the pipeline. When heavy rains came the flow of water escaped thru’ the gap and seeped into the walls.

The wall was partially broken and the pipe work corrected. This caused a lot of inconvenience to the inmates , after all the rework the room looks good now.

Exposure to microbial contaminants is clinically associated with respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma and immunological reactions. Dampness has therefore been suggested to be a strong and consistent indicator of risk for asthma and respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheeze.

Few precautionary measures to be adapted:

  • A regular check up and proper maintenance is required for the home to be in good shape. Fix cracks on walls and on the floor too.
  • Do not dry clothes in the rooms to avoid excess moisture on the walls. Do not cook in such rooms that have a history of dampness as the steam can cause wetness later. An example of condensation would be bathroom mirror becoming foggy after a hot bath. After some time the moisture condenses as water droplets.
  • Check for any damage to windows and doors. The frames are very important as they are close to the walls and the dampness may result in wood rotting.  This will prevent pests infestation too.


how to control ants naturallyAnts are seen in large numbers during summer season. The small red and black ants are a common sight in homes. Ants come in long trails. Remember the famous proverb “ An ant may well destroy a whole dam” . They work as a team going in long lines in search of food.

Ants attack food items. Ants eat up the inner contents and leave the exterior shell intact. Many cases of biscuits becoming hollow, we can see a chain of ants carrying fine bits of the food particles back to their dwelling.

An inspiration to gain from ants is their will power to combat situations, they never give up and keep coming back again. Therefore preventive maintenance plays a major role in controlling ants. You need to keep your floor and table surfaces free from left over food. Close all containers to avoid sweet aroma in the air. Ants are on the search for food and water and they sniff and find their way. They will pick food and take it back to the anthill to feed the queen ant.

Watch out for the long trail of ants. If they sting, the skin will bulge and pain for some time. There are chemical products in the market to stop ants in and around the house and establishments . You can make a difference by controlling ants by natural methods.

Here are few proven and successful methods.

Turmeric powder

Mix quarter spoon of turmeric powder to 2 spoons of wheat flour . Sprinkle it on the ants. Place a little powder at the entry point. This will deter ants from coming home.

Cucumber peels / Orange peels

Place cucumber peels or citrus peels at the point of entry where you see ants or place them on poly bags in the kitchen platform. This will keep away ants. Orange peel is ideal for this purpose.


Boric acid or Borax is non toxic to humans, but they are poisonous to ants. Mix borax with equal parts of powdered sugar and sprinkle around the entry points at home. In case of large anthills you can sprinkle this powder. The ants will feed the queen ant too and you can destroy the complete ant family.

Baby Talcum powder / Black board chalk piece

If you see ants on bedroom table counters or beds use baby talcum powder. They will put off ants. A line drawn by chalk piece is literally a ‘ Laksman rekha’ and ants will keep away. They will not intrude further.


Use vinegar that is available in your kitchen. It is a natural ant repellent. Wipe down your countertops, cupboards and any other places where you’ve spotted ants with a mixture of white vinegar and water in equal quantities. Repeat this process 4 to 5 times to maintain the efficacy.

Fresh Ground coffee beans

Smell of Fresh ground coffee beans keeps ants away.

Soap solution

Take equal quantities of glass cleaner and liquid soap and mix it together and put it in a spray bottle, spray source areas and the ant hill too. You can spray soap solution too.

Hot water

Pour 3 to 4 liters of hot water if there is a large anthill in your garden area . This is a cost effective method to address the complete ant family.

Spices and Herbs

Sprinkle cinnamon, mint, pepper, garlic cloves in the area where you’ve seen ants . Replace garlic cloves . Bay leaves can be placed in cabinets, drawers and containers to deter ants.

You have got a whole list of natural repellents to address ants. Fill gaps in walls and floors. You need to be focused , always keep in mind the will power of ants. Keep your home clean , table tops free of spilled food and dripping containers. Close all food boxes and I’m sure you can keep the crawling creatures at bay.