Sometimes you wonder how wisdom gets passed down generations. That seemingly throwaway knowledge that seems to normal to certain families across generations, but complete voodoo magic to outsiders. It’s the recipe for the perfect pancakes, the perfect fishing hook knot and that illustrious method to instantly light the fireplace. Every family might have one or two of these, passed down generations as either matter of fact or a closely held family secret.
But now with the internet, everyone can be part of these highly sought-after pearls of wisdom. It is simply a matter of curating those nuggets of wisdom and separate the truths from the ‘too good to be true’-ones. Here are a few collected for your convenience.
You can’t run a household without lemons. A lot of generational wisdom comes down to the use of lemons. Lemons can quickly make the sink smell better or give you a quick vitamin C boost. If you’re feeling down on energy, a quick swig of lemon will cure that. Lemons can help you clean microwaves and, obviously, are crucial to lifting the flavor of any meal you cook. Just on their own fruits are great as they give any area a fresh and citrusy smell. Using a lemon on chopping boards also gives it a fresh scent to combat all the built-up history of smells.
As lemons are a staple of generational wisdom, so is vinegar. In most ‘get the stain out of it’ pearls of wisdom, vinegar plays a leading role. It gets rid of bad smells; it will soften fabrics, and it will clean like a champ. Make sure you get white vinegar though, and not the red variant. That would possibly only add to the problems. So, make sure to have vinegar on hand, a few gallons will do.
When it comes down to cleaning, a toothbrush might be your best tool. Although it might seem like a punishment but using hard tiny bristles might be a better method than any other expensive cleaning tool you can buy. Bathroom taps, the kitchen sink, and bathroom tiles are perfect working areas of toothbrushes. Also, consider the showerhead and corners of bathrooms and kitchens. That’s why the cleanest houses always have some terrible looking toothbrushes in a glass stowed away in the cupboard.
An excellent companion for toothbrushes for cleaning is baking soda paste. This concoction will help you remove burnt bits from sheet pans and will make a great teeth whitener. It’s also an excellent grout cleaner (especially with that previously mentioned toothbrush). Baking soda paste even can lift ink stains, blood stains, sweat stains and pretty much anything else.
If you have a fireplace, another essential wisdom is to know which wood to burn. Oak, birch, and ash burn hotter and longer, but they will be generally more expensive. Softwood is much cheaper, but usually, contain more sap which will affect the efficiency of burning. Creosote is also something to look for, which is a sign of incomplete combustion of wood. The risk is that creosote is still flammable and if left unchecked can lead to unpredictable situations.
Chimneys work better with a chimney flue liner. Having a protective liner not only will help your fires burn more efficiently, but it will also prevent doing structural damage to the brickwork. It might not be mandated by law, but common sense would point towards this being the smarter choice.
In most households, dust is the enemy. Make sure you always use damp cloths when cleaning around the house to capture all the dust particles. Go one step further and use a soft cloth that has been dampened with fabric softener – this will reduce the static that attracts dust. Another great wisdom is to apply wax to your air vents. Doing that will help prevent dust build up. Wax is also a great alternative to WD-40 to fix squeaky hinges.
Store your fruit by lining your fridge drawers with bubble wrap; this will stop your fresh produce from bruising and at the end of the week there will be no wasted food. For the veggie drawer, crumbled newspapers will keep veggies crisp.
The best tip, however, is to hold a chore lottery with the whole family every Sunday night. Write down all the weekly chores on separate pieces of paper and place them all in a hat, on one piece write “day off.” Then draw the duties out for each person and stick them to the fridge! It will prevent one person from having to do all the tasks and will give one person a day off!