My mom was a thrift store shopping, up-cycling, home remedy using, dollar stretching fiend before it was popular to live like one. As a matter of fact, I got made fun of quite a lot when I was a kid because we lived such a thrifty lifestyle, but guess who got the last laugh? I've been making my own laundry detergent and cleaning with vinegar for years while my friends have just recently discovered such things.

Years ago I asked my Mom to share with me home remedies that she swears by- ones she learned from my grandma and great-grandma as well as along the way in life. I recently found our thread of emails and thought I'd compile them for you so that you can share in our secret life hacks.

  • 1

    Get Rid of Hiccups

    When hiccups strike, fill a spoon with sugar and swallow it dry.

  • 2

    Remove Warts

    If patience is the virtue that you do well with, you'll like this. If it's not, sorry. If you've got a wart, put some duct tape over it and wear the tape for two months, removing every once in a while to exfoliate the skin.

  • 3

    Get Rid of Soap Scum

    If your shower is plagued with nasty soap scum, wipe it down with a solution of white vinegar and warm water and then scrub with a scrubbing pad. Don't forget to rinse.

  • 4

    Remove Crayons From Walls

    We're not even going to talk about what I used to do with crayons and the radiator in my bedroom. My brothers were wall drawers, and my toddler has decided to follow in their footsteps. This has saved me a time or two. The easy way to get crayons off almost anything is with WD40. Spray it on then wipe everything off- no scrubbing needed. The best part about cleaning off crayon this way is that it won't leave marks or residue on painted surfaces.

  • 5

    Clean Up Melted Wax

    I was carrying a candle up the stairs when I tripped and wax went everywhere. I was a renter and I freaked out. So I did the logical thing- emailed my mom for a quick solution. This is what she told me to do and it worked! Place a white paper towel over the wax. Set your iron to low heat and iron over the paper towel. The wax will melt and will suck into the paper towel! If you’ve got a big chunk of wax, lay ice cubes on the chunk of wax and leave for a few minutes. The wax will harden and you can chip it off. You'll have to use a carpet cleaner after you get the wax off though because the dye in the wax will stay in the carpet.

  • 6

    Take the Stink Out of Your Feet

    If there's anyone who knows about stinky feet, it would be my mom. She's got four sons and three daughters and all of us have battled stinky feet at one time or another. Wipe your stinky feet down with a vodka soaked wash cloth. If drinking vodka is more your thing, you can wipe your feet with rubbing alcohol instead.

  • 7

    Emergency UTI Help

    A UTI is one of the most painful things and if you get one and can't get to the doctor or walk-in-clinic because you get nailed with the infection after hours or while you're roaming the wilderness, or whatever, try this (but then get to a doctor as soon as you can!): mix ¼ teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink the mixture once a day until you can get to a doctor and on antibiotics. Again, this is NOT a substitute for seeing a doctor. Also, ingesting more than a tablespoon of baking soda a day is bad news bears, so don't over do it. Oh, and never take anything without talking to a doctor if you're pregnant.

  • 8

    Kill Stinky Breath

    Sometimes people just have breath that smells like yuck and it's not tied to sickness, gum, liver, or lung disease. If this is you, start eating yogurt. Yogurt will help fight off bad breath due to stomach and acid reflux issues.

  • 9

    Fight Frizz With Avocado

    For whatever reason, God decided to bless me with coarse, frizzy hair and so my mom and I have been trying to tame it since I was a little girl. I don't use this method as often as I should (seriously, what mom has 15 minutes a day to kill?), but it really has worked for me. It doesn't keep my hair smooth for days on end, but if I have a big event and want to have pretty hair for at least 8 hours (a feat for me), I do this: Mash one avocado with an egg yolk, really work it into your hair, leaving on for a full 15 minutes. Rinse it out and then shampoo and condition as you normally would.

  • 10

    Tooth Stains

    Coffee is a staple in my mom's house- we drink it like it's going out of style and that can be bad news for teeth because coffee stains. I've not confirmed it, but I'm guessing this is why my mom has bowls of apples all around the house. Munching on an apple will help clean stains in your tooth enamel when you don't have a toothbrush handy.

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