Oily Rag tips – from mice to holidays in Europe!

Last week we wrote about Uber and Airbnb and how these “disruptors” were providing money-saving and money-making opportunities. Fiona from the UK has written to us to say that booking holiday accommodation via Airbnb has certainly saved her money. “Here in Europe Airbnb is definitely cheaper. I have just booked nine nights in a lovely Italian apartment for the same price as camping!”

Well, there you go. That means a holiday in Europe may well be cheaper than you think.

Closer to home, Tony from Blenheim has this suggestion for a bait free mouse trap! “Tired of using up all the peanut butter to catch that pesky mouse? Here’s how to do it cleanly without bait. Mice always avoid open spaces if they can – they prefer to run alongside the skirting board. We can use this trait to our advantage. Instead of baiting your trap (the black plastic ones work best) just set it and push it up against the skirting with the ‘mouth’ against the wall. The mouse will run along the wall and over the trap and Bingo, no more mice! Trust me, it works.”

I am sure Tony’s idea will be useful to the many families who are experiencing an invasion of mice now that the cooler weather has set in – especially those oily raggers who have a garden and keep poultry. Like Tony we have found the plastic traps do work better than traditional ones, and they are easier to set. Some of the modern traps get pretty fancy with pre-loaded bait but we found a thin slice of cheese pressed onto the tongue of the plastic trap works better than peanut butter – but maybe the mice up our way just don’t like peanut butter!

Flies have also become a problem in some parts of the country, so here are a couple of oily rag tips to help get rid of them from our archive:

• A pot of Basil in the room will keep it free from flies.
• To keep flies out of the house wipe door-jambs, window frames and the inside glass with undiluted vinegar. White vinegar added to window cleaning water will also keep them off the windows. To clear the house of flies simply boil up a cup of vinegar on the stove. You’ll get one or two stubborn ones left but the majority depart at the whiff of vinegar!

José from Waimate is a regular contributor of oily rag tips, and has lots more to share:

• Use sea sponges that wash up on the beach to clean pots and pans. Being rough in texture they remove scraps but do not scratch the surface of the pots.
• Recycle bike chains as hinges for gates and small doors.
• If butter has gone rancid it can ‘sweetened up’ by immersing it in cold water with a pinch of bicarb soda for two hours.
• If the inside of your chimney catches on fire, place wet newspapers on the fire. The steam from the papers will put it out. Try it before you call the fire brigade!
• Recycle the canvas from deck chairs. Turn it into carry bags for groceries.

Speaking of carry bags, our local New World supermarket is encouraging shoppers to give up plastic bags. If you take in your own reusable carry bags they reduce your grocery bill by 5 cents per bag or a clip on a coffee card. The good thing is the store gave away the reusable bags in the first place. While the saving is not all that significant in the overall scheme of things, the cause is – and good on New World for taking the initiative to help reduce plastic waste in the environment.

JB from Auckland has written in regarding a recent Oily Rag article about the war effort, with her own tip. “My mother during the war would unpick warn jumpers, wash the yarn, and re-knit a new garment. My favourite cardigan was made of contrasting green and pink squares, with pearl buttons.”

That sounds like a great marketing opportunity – glamorous oily rag jumpers from recycled wool!