Friday, December 3, 2010

Vinegar Friday

Photo courtesy of Andrew Schmidt


This week finds me in my hometown of Manheim, Pennsylvania; a small town in picturesque Lancaster County. Since I am here to help my mom as she recovers from knee replacement surgery, I have limited time to work or blog. So today's post is going to be short, but relevant. It has to do with fireplaces...after all, it is that time of year to get our fireplaces ready for the man in the red velvet suit, right?

Speaking of which, how do (or did) you handle the whole Santa thing with your kids? I'd love to hear your stories!

As a side note that has absolutely nothing to do with Vinegar Friday, let me tell you how I handled it.

One day, when my daughter was about four-years-old, I found her praying to Santa Claus. When I told her we pray to Jesus, not Santa, she replied, "But Mommy, I asked Jesus for _____ (I don't remember exactly what it was she asked for) and he didn't answer my prayer. But when I asked Santa for an umbrella, I got it. So I'd rather pray to him."

As logical as that sounded, I had to shine some light on it. So I decided to tell her the truth about Santa, but with a twist. I told her that grownups loved to pretend there really is a Santa Claus, so that's what we were going to do from then on. Pretend. Oddly enough, that satisfied her and we continued to pretend for several more years. After all, kids should have a bit of magic and make believe in their lives, don't you think?

Now, on to the purpose of the VF post -- vinegar!

Did you know that distilled white vinegar mixed with some water (1:2 ratio) can be sprayed on the glass doors of your fireplace for sparkling results? Spray it on, wipe it off. Bye-bye soot and dust...hello shine!

Speaking of soot -- undiluted vinegar is the answer here -- just pour it on and use a scrub brush to scrub it off. Use an towel or rags to sop up the dirt.

If you plan on painting the cement hearth, make sure you clean it well with undiluted vinegar, allowing it to dry before you hit it with the paintbrush. If you find that someone failed to clean the brush properly the last time it was used, don't worry about it. You can clean the hardened paint off by simply filling a pan with distilled white vinegar and letting the paintbrush soak for about an hour or so before turning on the heat. Simmer for a few minutes and then thoroughly rinse the brush. Once dried, it will be good as new!

There you have you can prepare your fireplace to welcome jolly ol' St. Nick. Ah, the wonderful world of make believe...and vinegar!

Keeping it green and clean with vinegar,


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