This time of year we are putting the finishing touches on our winter projects in preparation for the season. There is endless cleaning and painting underway. At each turn, Beth is at the ready with a helpful tip to make the job a bit easier or more eco-friendly. We didn’t want to keep these household tips to ourselves, so we created a new column in our blog, Beth’s Helpful Household Tips. We figure running a household is what we do, just on a much larger scale. If you have any to add, please let us know and we will share them in our next newsletter. Removing a Century of Paint from Hardware and Hinges: When soaking overnight in coca cola didn’t work, we were loathe to try paint thinner. Beth said, boil the hardware with baking soda. Then use a toothbrush or wire brush to remove the paint when the paint becomes soft. Polish with ketchup. Sounds a bit bizarre, but it worked; all the Inn’s 5-panel wooden doors now have new paint and shiny hinges. It works like a charm. Cleaning Walls (For Painting) Take a hot bucket of water and add in this order: ½ cup of baking soda, ½ cup white vinegar and ½ cup ammonia. This will not leave any residue that would impede the paint from sticking. Absorbing Paint Smell Even though we use low VOC paint, there is sometimes a lingering order. Beth went right to the kitchen and asked for a couple of roughly chopped onions. She set the plate where we were painting and the onions absorbed all the odors. There weren’t any lingering onion smells either. Make sure to dispose of the onions as they won’t be safe to eat.