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Everyday Cheapskate: Put Denture Tablets to Work Around the House

Mary Hunt on

I have a long list of reader questions that I'd intended to answer today. But I got so taken away with Sandy's question, I used up all the space! I promise to get to the rest of the list really soon.

Dear Mary: Can I use my Polident denture cleanser to soak/clean my mouth guard for several days in a row, or is it really necessary to start with a new tablet each morning? -- Sandy

You can, but I wouldn't. Here's the reason. Once that denture tablet hits the water, it becomes activated to both clean and sanitize. It will fizz and bubble for a while as it cleans. But it loses steam slowly, so 24 hours later, it doesn't have sufficient cleaning power to give that mouth guard another go-round of disinfecting. That may or may not concern you, but it would concern me. So my answer is no to your question of reuse. But I have some things you can do with that solution while it still has a bit of useful time remaining. Denture tablets are great little workhorses for all kinds of jobs around the house.

--Clean fine jewelry. Instead of tossing the cleaning solution, drop in your diamond ring or earrings. Let the jewelry sit overnight. Remove your jewelry in the morning, and rinse it to reveal the old sparkle and shine. Unlike toothpaste -- which acts as an abrasive on fine jewelry and gets stuck in crevices and under prongs, doing more harm than good -- denture-cleaning tablets in water are not at all harmful while doing a great job of cleaning.

--Narrow vases. Fresh flowers often leave a ring on your glass vases that seems impossible to remove no matter how hard you scrub. Here's the answer. Fill the vase with water, and drop in a denture tablet (or the solution from your current mouth guard's soak). Let it sit for a few hours, or until all of the mineral deposits are gone. Use the same method to clean thermos bottles, cruets, glasses and coffee decanters.

--Clean the toilet. Porcelain fixtures respond to the cleaning agent in denture tablets. Toss that liquid in the commode, but don't flush. Allow it to sit for a while. What power it has remaining will keep a ring from forming in the toilet bowl.

--Clean enamel cookware. Stains on enamel cookware are a natural for that denture-cleaning solution. Fill the pot or pan with warm water, your leftover solution plus another tablet or two, depending on its size. Wait a bit. Once the fizzing stops, that enamel pot will be clean.

--Unclog a drain. Drop a couple of tablets into a slow-running drain, and run water until the problem clears. For a more stubborn clog, drop three tablets down the sink, and follow that with 1 cup of white vinegar. Wait a few minutes. Now run hot water in the drain until the clog is gone. Pour your daily used solution down the drain. That will act as a maintenance move to keep that drain clear and running smoothly.

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Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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