Stand back, Heloise, here comes the Queen of Clean. Armed with both common sense and ingenuity, Linda Cobb made a name for herself on Morning, Arizona. For those of you who don't happen to live in Arizona, she has written this helpful little book. Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean tackles just about any household stain, stink, or accident you can think of.
"There are five cleaning products you should never be without," says the Queen, "and most of them are things you already have in your home." What are they? White vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, club soda, and Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover (her favorite brand). With these simple items, you can clean and deodorize nearly every room in your home, thereby saving money on expensive store-bought cleaners and reducing the amounts of chemicals in your home. Did you burn a casserole? Fill the dish with hot water, one tablespoon of baking soda, and soak. Try cleaning brass and copper with half a lemon sprinkled with salt. It should shine right up (and smell good, too).
The chapters are short and sweet, and besides the usual home/pet/kid/upholstery cleaning techniques, the Queen also tackles patio furniture, the grill, electronic equipment, plants, and smoke and water damage. Did you know you can distract grasshoppers by planting basil around your flowerbeds? They'll eat that and leave your flowers alone. Here's our favorite tip: when painting or washing walls, wrap washcloths or old rags around your wrists and secure them with rubber bands. When you lift your arms, the paint or water drips will be absorbed instead of running all the way down your arms. Keep this book handy. --Dana Van Nest