Baby clothes collect a lot of food stains. Remove them by using a bar of Fels-Naptha or applying dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon ammonia. Rub gently and rinse, then place the garments outside in the sun. It works as a natural bleach. You can use an applique or patch to cover up stains, too.
The first reader has another suggestion for stain removal:

Stain remover:


Put dishwasher powder such as Cascade in a pan and dissolve it in warm water, then let the garment soak in it overnight. Wash the garment with a cup of the powder and regular soap just like any other piece of laundry. Check it before you put in the dryer, as it may need a little extra help. -- Bea, email
Note from Sara: Combine Clorox II with the Cascade for additional help with stain removal.

Label removal:


I collect Del Monte jars and every so often have a problem with label removal. The labels are made with a heavy paper that becomes "plasticized" by the ink used. This toughens the paper and gives it strength, making it quite impervious to water, as we have learned the hard way. I found that if I carefully peel off about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch from a corner with a rounded paring knife, the label can be pulled off intact -- if it's done slowly and with even pressure. I also found that the label resisted tearing if I run the knife along the edge to help ease the label's release. For glue removal, I use Goof Off. This method works for removing the cap label as well. I put a few drops of Goof Off on the lid and scrape away. -- Richard, Washington

Dissolve super glue:


Peanut butter will dissolve super glue. My mom tried it when she got two fingers stuck together and was free in minutes. -- D.M., Virginia

Use for leftover pickle juice:


I boil potatoes, cut them into pieces and then mash with a fork. Then I use pickle juice as a substitute for butter. -- G.D., email

Painless cures for the naked salad:


I like my salads dressed, thank you very much, but have you ever stopped to read the ingredients in a store-bought bottle of salad dressing? It reads like something out of a science fiction novel, and they want me to pay for the honor of putting that in my body? I think not! Not when I can grab a few ingredients from the shelf and/or refrigerator and very inexpensively whip up a very tasty version at home!
Some of my favorites:
Honey Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Whisk ingredients together and store in refrigerator.

Ranch Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon dried chives
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (OK to use black pepper if that's what you have)
1 cup buttermilk (can substitute 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to make 1 cup)
Mix the mayonnaise and spices together, then gradually add buttermilk. Mix until smooth. Best if stored in refrigerator overnight before using (stir before using).

Italian Salad Dressing
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
pinch of dried oregano
Whisk together and season with salt and pepper to taste. -- L.B., Oregon


photo by magic madzik