Monday, March 22, 2010

Thrift Tip: Elbow Grease

On my last wildly-successful trip to Value Village, I was taken aback by a fun yellow suitcase (shown to the right basking in some late-afternoon sun rays). The suitcase is no doubt old and has seen some travels. It was not immaculate. But I was in vintage love, and had to take it home.

My go-to cleaning item is a baby wipe: it's gentle but has some powerful cleaning ability. But the baby wipe was failing me this time.

Enter the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Just add water, and it cleans just about everything. I've used it on tricky household messes over and over (rinse it frequently), and I've learned that you usually only need to use half the eraser to get the job done (they rip in half easily).

So I tried the Magic Eraser on the suitcase. The dirt disappeared. The color appeared in dingy spots. Some neon paint on the bottom of the suitcase--it looked like someone's bingo stamper exploded--almost disappeared. (I never said it was the perfect tool.)

I highly recommend keeping a box of Magic Erasers on hand. Stubborn sticky spots or grease-pencil prices from thrift store finds will be gone in a snap. And if mom announces a surprise visit, you'll be ready to impress, too.


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