Monday, December 1, 2008

It's Wise to Have on Hand

Goo Gone. This product removes gooey price stickers and packing tape residue. Thrift stores use lots of clear packing tape, miles of it, to keep items together.

Bar Keeper’s Friend. Found at most grocery stores, this non-abrasive cleans copper, silver plate and brass beautifully. Some gourmet kitchen stores sell it. So don’t pass up tarnished or dirty items. They come clean quickly.

Stock up on different sized boxes from office paper stores or save them from the mail. When a gift is bought, clean it up, box it, and write the name on the box. Keep an organized spot for all these items to pull out when needed. Many people squirrel items all over the home and soon forget they even have them. This often results in few explicative once items are unearthed from the abyss. Don't be ashamed of buying new boxes if you must, for these will be nice, generic boxes that are re-used. Try and reuse a Barbie box.

Black, gold or ivory spray paint converts ugly picture frames into something tasteful. Plus, buying spray paint means you might get carded. We all enjoy that from time to time. Spray paint is also great to cover wooden flatware boxes or small side tables or stools. A bit of sandpaper can be useful to roughen up items before painting

A pair of staple removers. Many thrift stires staple price tags on clothes or directly to the item. Best to remove those staples with care.


Gently Used said...

I buy a lot of really, really old books at the Bins (going back as far as the early 1900s) and they usually smell quite musty. I put them in a box in my basement, packed with newspaper, dry coffee (not used grounds!) and some charcoal briquets. It usually takes a few weeks to get rid of at least most of that smell. This morning I brought out a 12-volume children's encyclopedia set and used a clean, dry paint brush to sweep out the coffee from between the pages. Then I misted them from afar with some Febreze (very carefully so as not to get them too damp). I know it seems like a lot to go through, but the books have the most beautiful illustrations and interesting stories, and I really want to share them without making people sneeze. So, in short: a can of Folgers (or something else I wouldn't deign to drink), some charcoal, a paintbrush, and Febreze are all good things to have on hand for this project.

Suz said...

In addition to, or instead of, Goo Gone, I prefer Un-Du, a goo remover you can buy at Hobby Lobby, BB&Beyond, etc. It isn't as harsh as Goo Gone IMHO but is very effective.

The secret to using Un-Du is to let it loosen the adhesive and then wipe it all off before it dries. I've used Un-du successfully on lots & lots of paperbacks & hardcover book jackets - if the lamination's in OK shape it gets off stickers and doesn't leave damage.

Anonymous said...

Especially on wood/furniture, books, metal, try peanut butter before you try the chemical stuff. The peanut oil will absorb/cut through most adhesives. Just be sure to peel as much of the paper tag off as you can. The PB doesn't work real well on the paper, but does GREAT on the adhesiave.

Anonymous said...

I use cigarette lighter fluid to remove labels. The goo comes right up, the item dries quickly, and doesn't leave a stain. Also works to remove ink marks from clothing. Just remember, VERY flammable. Use caution.

Anonymous said...

I use rubbing alcohol. it not only removes the goo from labels, but disinfects. Makes me feel better. Also for clothes and fabric items, I always wash it first with Oxi-clean which takes out smells and stains. There is also a wonderful Bi-O-Kleen product call Bac-out which removes odors really well.

Anonymous said...

Things to take with you to the store (or yard sale):

3x5 card with sizes and measurments for family members as well as fav colors, dislikes, items needed, etc.

Also cards for the home...measurements for windows, colors, items needed...

if you have room in your purse you could also bring a small flat and phillips screwdriver and a few aaa and aa batteries. Some stores will not allow you to return items. I hate seeing a toy for the kids that would have been a great deal...if you knew if it just needs batteries or is broken.

A tape measure so when you find that awesome item without a size tag, you can see if it will fit.