Here is advice on how to make homemade cleaners and stain removers for your home. If you have any great tips, please post your own comments below!
FLOOR CLEANERS AND POLISHES
- Need to polish the floors? Try polishing with baking soda to make them sparkle.
- Wash away grease spots and dull, greasy film on no-wax linoleum floors with a solution of ½ cup of white vinegar and ½ gallon of water. Your floor will look sparking clean.
- For linoleum, damp-mop using a solution of a mild detergent and water for day-to-day cleaning. Keep water away from seams and edges to prevent loosening of the tiles. To preserve the floor, add a capful of baby oil to the mop water.
- For brick and stone floors, mix 1 cup of white vinegar into 1 gallon of water. Scrub floor with a brush and vinegar solution, then rinse.
- For ceramic tile floors, mix ¼ cup of white vinegar into 1 gallon of water. This solution removes most dirt without scrubbing. Soap doesn’t work well if you have hard water.
- Blood: Sponge the stain immediately with cold water or club soda, and dry it with a towel. Repeat as necessary.
- Ink: Soak ink stains in lemon juice.
- Muddy footprints: Sprinkle salt on the mud and let it dry before vacuuming.
- Urine: Dab the area with a towel, wash it with suds of liquid hand-dishwashing detergent, and rinse it with ½ cup of vinegar diluted in one quart of warm water. Lay towels over the spot and weigh it down to absorb excess moisture. Let it sit for 6 to 8 hours; then remove the toweling, brush up the nap, and let the carpet dry completely.
- Vomit: Mix one part white vinegar to eight parts water in a bucket or spray bottle. Spray onto the stain and allow it to set for one to two minutes. Then blot up the remaining vinegar with absorbent paper towels until no more moisture comes up.
- Soot: Sprinkle the area generously with salt. Allow the salt to settle for a least 15 minutes before vacuuming.
- Mix 2 parts vegetable or olive oil and 1 part lemon juice. Apply and polish with a soft cloth. This leaves furniture looking and smelling good.
GLASS AND WINDOW CLEANERS
- ½ cup vinegar to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)
- ½ cup ammonia to 1 gallon water (or 2 tablespoons per quart)
- To clean cut glass, sprinkle baking soda on a damp rag and clean the glass. Rinse and then polish with a soft cloth.
- Remove stains on glass by rubbing them with toothpaste. Polish with a soft cloth.
- For grease on kitchen floors, immediately pour salt on the spot to absorb the grease and prevent staining.
- If you spill grease on a wood floor, immediately place ice cubes or very cold water on the spot. The grease will harden and then can be carefully scraped off. Finally, iron a piece of cloth or folded paper towel over the grease spot to soak up any remaining grease.
- Mix together vinegar and salt for a good surface cleaning.
- Dissolve 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water for a general cleaner. Or, use baking soda on a damp sponge. Baking soda will clean and deodorize all kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
DRAIN CLEANERS AND OPENERS
- To avoid clogged drains, use a drain strainer to trap food particles and hair, and collect grease in cans rather than pouring it down the drain.
- Weekly, pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to melt fat that may be building up, or pour some vinegar and baking soda down the drain to break down fat and keep your drain smelling fresh.
- To open a drain, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Add ½ cup of white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let it sit for a few minutes, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain to flush it.
- Another way to open a drain is to pour ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow this with 6 cups of boiling water. Let it sit overnight and then flush it with water. The hot water wil help dissolve the clog, and the baking soda and salt serve as an abrasive to break through the clog.
Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac
FULL MOON ON THE SPRING EQUINOX
This is one of those rare years when the full Moon lands right smack on the spring equinox—on March 20, 2019, in North America. This only happens three times a century, on average. And it’s the third and final “supermoon.” Enjoy the extra-bright equinox full moon Wednesday night!
- For most people, the equinox’s main significance is that it’s the start of spring, so to be exact, you can wave flags and pour extra treats into the bird feeders at 5:58 PM EDT Wednesday afternoon, March 20.
- It’s also the day when the Sun rises and sets precisely due east and due west. So on Wednesday you can rotate and calibrate your sundial, that job you’ve been putting off for so long.
- It’s the day when the Sun moves across the sky in a laser-straight line. It’s when the noonday sun stands in its medium or average height above your southern horizon.
- And, yes, the days and nights are sort of equal for people throughout the world. Not exactly equal, but close enough.
FULL MOON ON THE VERNAL EQUINOX
The Full Moon of March happens just a tad less than four hours after the equinox, at 9:43 PM EDT on March 20 2019, so it will indeed appear perfectly round Wednesday night.
This is the closest coincidence of the vernal equinox and full moon since March 20, 2000. For the Northern Hemisphere, this March full moon ushers in the first full moon of the spring season; in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the first full moon of autumn.
Further, this is the third and final “supermoon” of 2019—which is just a catchy term for a full moon closely coinciding with perigee, the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit.
MOONRISE AND SUNSET COINCIDE!
The equinox and full Moon are a close enough match that you can look for moonrise at very nearly the same moment as sunset! Both of our major sky lights hovering opposite each other—the sun setting just as the full moon is rising.
Very cool, and yet their opposition is not perfectly precise. The Sun will do its job and set at the true west spot on your horizon. You’ll be able to ascertain how your home is oriented to the cardinal directions. But the Moon’s orbit is tilted five degrees from the Sun-Earth plane, so the trio of celestial bodies is rarely aligned in all three dimensions, which is why total solar eclipses are so uncommon.
On Wednesday evening, at the time of moonrise, the Moon will be four degrees north of the ecliptic plane, which will make it come up a whopping eight full moon diameters to the left of due east.
Yet, if you want the Moon to guide your eyes to true east, it’s doable. But you must wait 40 minutes after moonrise, as the Moon slowly glides up and to the right. Then it will hover precisely due east. We can’t give you an exact time because we don’t know where you live. But roughly speaking, when you see the Moon just a few degrees above the horizon that evening, it’ll be hovering true east.
And that’s the full Moon equinox story. We’re out of room, which is why we neglected eggs balancing on edge, squirrels speaking French, and all the other supposed effects you find on the Web.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Welcome to “This Week’s Amazing Sky,” the Almanac’s hub for everything stargazing and astronomy. Bob Berman, longtime and famous astronomer for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, will help bring alive the wonders of our universe. From the beautiful stars and planets to magical auroras and eclipses, he covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob, the world’s mostly widely read astronomer, also has a new weekly podcast, Astounding Universe!
Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac
The spring equinox (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox) falls on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 5:58 P.M. EDT. This event marks the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy our spring equinox facts, folklore, photos, and more!
WHEN IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING?
Spring begins with the vernal equinox, which always occurs on March 19, 20, or 21.
|Year||Spring Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)|
|2019||Wednesday, March 20, at 5:58 P.M. EDT|
|2020||Thursday, March 19, at 11:49 P.M. EDT|
|2021||Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 A.M. EDT|
A FULL MOON ON THE SPRING EQUINOX!
The last time the Full Worm Moon happened less than one day of the March equinox was 19 years ago, in 2000, and the next time will be 11 years from now, in 2030.
But that’s not all: March’s full Moon will also be a supermoon, meaning that it will be slightly larger than most of the other full Moons this year.
What an extra-bright way to greet spring!!
WHAT DOES THE EQUINOX MEAN?
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for “equal night”—aequus (equal) and nox (night).
On the equinox, the length of day and night is nearly equal in all parts of the world.
With the equinox, enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE MARCH EQUINOX?
On the March Equinox, the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north. It’s called the “celestial equator” because it’s an imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator.
If you were standing on the equator, the Sun would pass directly overhead on its way north.
Equinoxes are the only two times a year that Sun only rises due east and sets due west for all of us on Earth!
While the Sun passes overhead, the tilt of the Earth is zero relative to the Sun, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (Note, however, that the Earth never orbits upright, but is always tilted on its axis by about 23.5 degrees.)
After the Spring equinox, the Norther Hemisphere tilts toward the Sun, which is why we start to get longer, sunnier days
SPRING EQUINOX FAQS
Q: IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING ALWAYS MARCH 20?
A: No, it’s not always March 20. And your answer also depends on your definition of the “first day of spring.” Both are accurate; they’re just from different perspectives. We’ll explain …
Astronomically speaking, the first day of spring is marked by the spring equinox, which falls on March 19, 20, or 21 every year. The equinox happens at the same moment worldwide, though our clock times reflect a different time zone. And, as mentioned above, this date only signals spring’s beginning in the Northern Hemisphere; it announces fall’s arrival in the Southern Hemisphere.
Interestingly, due to time zone differences, there isn’t a March 21 equinox in mainland U.S. during the entire 21st century! Plus, we won’t see a March 21 in the world again until 2101.
Meteorologically speaking, the official first day of spring is March 1 (and the last is May 31). Weather scientists divide the year into quarters to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem, as these dates can vary slightly each year.
Q: ARE DAY AND NIGHT EQUAL ON THE EQUINOX?
A: No, but they are close to equal. In reality, day and night are not exactly equal at the equinox for two reasons: First, daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun is over the horizon, and it is not over until the last part of the Sun has set. If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have ‘equal nights.’
Q: ACCORDING TO FOLKLORE, YOU CAN STAND A RAW EGG ON END ON THE EQUINOX. IS THIS TRUE?
A: Folklore or not, this egg trick sounded like fun to us. One spring, a few minutes before the vernal equinox, several Almanac editors tried this trick. For a full workday, 17 out of 24 eggs stood standing. Three days later, we tried this trick again and found similar results. Perhaps 3 days after the equinox was still too near. Perhaps the equinox has nothing to do with it. Perhaps we just don’t like to take ourselves too seriously! Try this yourself and let us know what happens.
Q: WHICH DAY HAS THE MOST SUNLIGHT IN NORTH AMERICA?
A: The Summer or June Solstice is called the “longest” day of the year! The date of the longest day actually varies between June 20 and June 22, depending on the year, and the local time zone. By “longest day,” we mean the day that gets the most daylight (versus darkness).
HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE THE VERNAL EQUINOX?
Observe nature around you!
- Worms begin to emerge from the earth. In fact, the March Full Moon is called “The Full Worm Moon” for this reason.
- Notice the arc of the Sun across the sky as it shifts toward the north. Birds are migrating northward, along with the path of the Sun.
- Speaking of birds, did you know that the increasing sunlight is what triggers birds to sing? Cool, eh?
- Trees, shrubs, and flowers are sensitive to temperature and day-length, too! Since ancient days, people have used them as indicators of when the weather is right for planting. For example: Blooming crocus are your cue to plant radishes, parsnips, and spinach.
- Of course, the longer days bring warmer weather! Both we and the animals around us strip off our clothes and heavy coats!
- Ready, set, plant! March is time to start gardens and sow seeds in many regions.
ANCIENT EQUINOX TRADITIONS: THE SNAKE OF SUNLIGHT
Scientific explanation aside, our ancestors were more connected to the Sun than we are today. They observed its pathway across the sky; they tracked how the sunrise, sunset, and day length changed, using the Sun (and Moon) as a clock and calendar.
There are many ancient sites that mark the equinoxes (and solstices). One of the most famous ancient Spring equinox celebrations was at Chichen Itza in Mexico. The Mayans built a huge pyramid around the year A.D. 1000. The play of the Sun’s light on it signals the beginning of the seasons. On the spring equinox, it looks like a huge snake is slithering down the steps. Mayans called this day “the return of the Sun serpent.”
SPRING VERSE, QUOTES, AND SAYINGS
- For glad Spring has begun,
And to the ardent sun
The earth, long time so bleak,
Turns a frost-bitten cheek.
– Celia Thaxter, American poet (1835–94)
- Spring-time sweet!
The whole Earth smiles, thy coming to greet.
- Never yet was a springtime,
Late though lingered the snow,
That the sap stirred not at the whisper
Of the southwind, sweet and low.
– Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, American writer (1838–1912)
- Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”
– Robin Williams (1951–2014)
- Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.
- One swallow does not make a spring.
- In spring, no one thinks of the snow that fell last year.
- When the dandelions bloom early in spring, there will be a short season. When they bloom late, expect a dry summer.
- Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies.
Daily Witches Rune
March 18, 2019
Keywords: Love, relationships.
Meanings: The Rings is the rune of love and when it is the leading stone, it is a positive answer to your question. It is very much a rune of relationship and can indicate engagement, marriage or a new/renewed relationship. It can also indicate the need for a fresh approach to an existing relationship.
“Patience up to a point. Know your time, but work your wyrd always.”
Jera – “Yehr-ah” – Literally: “Year” – Esoteric: Harvest
Rune of harvest and reward for, or reaction to, right actions in a horizontal (naturally ordered) cyclical process. Rune of peace on the land and in the heart.
Psi: psychological time, patience, the measurement of time
Energy: good harvest, orbits, cycles, progress, biorhythms, right effort
Mundane: waiting, gardening, farming, the seasons, harvest
Divinations: Reward for positive action, plenty, peace, proper timing; or repetition, bad timing, poverty, conflict, regression.
Fertility, creativity and harmony with the land
Peace, prosperity and plenty
Realization of the cyclical nature of the multiverse, invoking the power of time and cycles
Bringing other concepts gently into material manifestation
Initiating gradual and lasting change in flow of life
Your Influences for the Week of March 18
Four of Swords
A period of rest and restoration of energies. Tensions subside. Good changes are soon to come.
Aries reversed denotes a lack of energy and will
Air reversed denotes a lack of freedom to move through life as you want.