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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean Glass Fireplace Doors Plus 6 More Great Reader Tips

Mary Hunt on

I had a serious deja vu moment when I pulled today's first reader tip from my inbox. Roseanne's tip brought back a memory of my grandfather doing this very thing on the big, black cast-iron wood range that sat in my grandparents' tiny kitchen in Potlatch, Idaho.

The stove had a door with a glass window to observe the fire burning inside. When it would get covered with black soot and sticky grime, he would clean that door so my grandmother could see when she needed to add more wood to the stove. Sounds like something out of the Dark Ages, so, for the record, I was a very, very young child!

FIREPLACE GLASS

Dear Mary: This is a trick I learned from my mother for cleaning the fireplace glass or stove doors that get fouled with smoke and soot, to where you cannot see and enjoy the flame.

First, spread newspaper on the floor. Then open the door. Take another wadded-up page of a newspaper; wet it; dip it in the ashes; and use it to clean the glass. This will remove everything from the glass without scratching or harming it in any way.

Last step: Wad up one last piece of newspaper, and use it to wipe away all of the crud and nastiness. The result is quite amazing, and the price is right. -- Rosanne

 

TRANSPORT A CAKE

Dear Mary: I couldn't afford one of those pricey cake savers for transporting cakes, so I went to the dollar store and bought the biggest plastic bowl I could find with a lid. I set the cake on the lid with a little frosting under to hold it in place and then frosted it. Now I have an airtight cover by using the bowl over it. -- Mike

WASHCLOTH ICE PACK

Dear Mary: When I need an ice pack for my face, I take a face cloth, wet it, fold it lengthwise into thirds and place it in a small plastic bag. Then I place it in the freezer. In just a short time, my freezer pack is ready and on my face. The small size of the facecloth is just right for your face, and when it is no longer needed, you have your facecloth back. -- Pat

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