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(6,151 posts)
Sat Nov 15, 2014, 01:17 AM Nov 2014

A couple new tricks up my sleeve

1) Make your own handwarmers with the de-icer crystals of choice by securing them in a plastic zip bag.

I'm going to try filling a large dishpan with them and use it as a foot warmer where I'll be sitting awhile - sofa, desk, wherever. Just cover the crystals in a big plastic wrapper so they don't stick to the bottom of my feet and track all over the house.

2) A good way to keep the toilet cleaner between major scrubs: empty a small box of baking soda into the toilet tank after the lash flush of the night. Be careful not to block the exit pipe, although the stopper should have that covered. Overnight the baking soda will form a good lump, but every time the toilet is flushed the little bit of soda that keeps leaching into the tank water will go along to do its work.

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(30,947 posts)
8. Me too. I am sick of scrubbing the toilet bowl every few days.
Wed Dec 10, 2014, 09:01 PM
Dec 2014

The water where I live in Georgia is horrible. A black scum builds up on everything if the water sits for a few days.


(7,318 posts)
9. Took a couple tries to produce the lump.
Thu Dec 11, 2014, 06:21 AM
Dec 2014

Unfortunately it didn't eradicate the mold that appears after a week under the lip of the toilet bowl, but it lessened it noticeably. I think the mold spores are entrenched in the innards and I'm just going to have to pressure the manager into installing a new toilet.


(135,425 posts)
10. Would it be possible to make a huge lump of baking soda by simply soaking the entire box in water?
Wed Dec 17, 2014, 10:49 AM
Dec 2014

Once the box is completely waterlogged (maybe tear it open a bit so the thing is well and truly soaked through) you'd have a nice big "lump" -- yes?


(16,402 posts)
2. Question about the de-icer crystals.
Sat Nov 15, 2014, 02:26 AM
Nov 2014

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]I thought they were just mostly salt. They don't actually get warm, as far as I know, but just change the chemical composition of the ice to brine, which doesn't freeze easily. How does this make a hand/foot warmer?


(6,151 posts)
3. I don't know. Ask the folks at Mother Earth News. Or wherever I got the idea -
Sat Nov 15, 2014, 10:23 AM
Nov 2014

Your guess is as good as mine. But it's a good question. Perhaps I should've stressed the fact that I haven't TRIED IT yet. I only buy the non-toxic stuff that won't hurt my dogs, but I do need some so if it doesn't warm my feet, it won't be wasted.

As for the baking soda bit, I always have that on hand so was able to test it right away. Pleased with the results.

Last night I was at fever pitch anyway after happyslug acted like a slug and broadcast his opinion of my general location, then refused to acknowledge the stupidity of such a ploy, much less apologize for it. By the time I turned loose of him, I don't think he was quite so happy. So posting on another subject functioned as a stress reliever for me. I DO apologize if that was rash, though I maintain high hopes that the homemade hand/foot warmer technique pans out.


(18,219 posts)
4. I would be careful with the de-icer crystals.
Sat Nov 15, 2014, 05:08 PM
Nov 2014

First of all, I bet it is only one kind of de-icer that will work, and that would not be the rock salt type. Since all of the de-icers are salts or chemicals, contact with skin could be dangerous, especially for any extended time. I would prefer to use socks and warm slippers myself than worry about contact with the chemicals. Another option to try would be a rice/popcorn/bean or whatever bag that you can put in a microwave to heat and can be reused for years.

But I do like the baking soda idea as a toilet cleaner. I am curious about whether it really does form a lump, and whether that lump wouldn't just go right down the drain, but I don't see any problem with it even if it doesn't work as well as the instructions say it will.


(6,151 posts)
5. As to the baking soda, that's why they said to let it sit undisturbed overnight,
Sat Nov 15, 2014, 11:13 PM
Nov 2014

to form a good lump that would only gradually release particles into the tank water.

I wasn't planning to get the de-icer on my skin - that's why I won't use it around my dogs either. But if you think I need to buy the rock salt type, I could save the single bag for use outside the gate when there's a heavy coat of ice on the ground and I'm expecting rare company.

The idea of some passive system appealed to me because I'm down to one microwave oven now, and I don't like to heat something my feet have been on in the same oven where I cook food. Even though I do wear heavy socks and big fuzzy house slippers/boots. Since my handyman friend put in the new electric breaker box and rewired my living room ceiling fan properly, plus installed my big dual fuel floor heater that will take care of a warehouse! I'm technically able to keep the house warmer. But I still dress heavily and use as little fuel as possible. That means desk height might be 65, but it can still be much colder at floor level where my feet are. I've got a pair of Ugg-style fur lined boots that keep me warm enough; I just like to save them for when I have to walk out in the snow.

It was easier when the chows were alive, because they liked to each claim a foot and stretch out over it. That was always warm!


(18,219 posts)
6. No, I am not saying to use the rock salt type.
Sun Nov 16, 2014, 01:56 PM
Nov 2014

I am saying that I do not believe that it would be the type that will work to warm your feet. I could not find the information that you saw relating to the de-icer used as a hand warmer, so I am not sure of this, but I was thinking that it had to be a certain type or brand of de-icer to cause an exothermic reaction to produce heat. Just a guess though.

LOL, I only have one microwave, and I use the rice-filled warmer all the time. First of all, it never crossed my mind that it might be a tad unsanitary, but also, I doubt that anything could survive that would be a problem. Who knows.


(6,151 posts)
7. I'll look around for the locally available rock salt brands, then call the manufacturers and ask
Sun Nov 16, 2014, 11:46 PM
Nov 2014

about exothermic properties.

Actually, a great formula for de-icer is just 2 parts vinegar to 1 part water. But I don't want to stick my feet in that!

As for microwaves, it shouldn't be a problem depending on where that rice bag winds up. I just don't want my feet on it because, well..... because my imagination has been known to work overtime. I should really use a foot-blanket pocket when I'm going to be stationary awhile.



(14 posts)
11. Neat idea, but also consider
Mon Mar 30, 2015, 01:45 PM
Mar 2015

Also consider the energy and environmental impact of using chemicals for warming. It is likely a most inefficient method for creating heat with a significant environmental impact.


(7,699 posts)
12. We have water issues that turns our bowls black and red, too. I found
Sun May 24, 2015, 08:44 AM
May 2015

that periodically dumping vinegar into the back of the tank cleans it up nicely.

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