With Passover (April 6 & 7th) and Easter (April 8th) just around the corner, so are egg hunts, Seder dinners, and holiday entertaining.  Here are a few tips and tricks to help save you time, money, and your mani when dealing with holiday preps and clean-ups.

Easter Egg Dye: Lemon-Aid

You’ve dyed the eggs, but what about your hands? If you find your skin is now a nice violet color, don’t despair – it’s not that difficult to remove. Place sugar in a small bowl and scrub/massage it all over hands. Use a toothbrush and brush back and forth to loosen/diminish the dye. Rinse with warm water then soak hands in lemon juice for 10 minutes. Wipe and rinse.

BONUS Mani-saver:  If you notice your nails are yellowing, no problemo. Simply dig your nails into lemon halves, squish them around and they will naturally ‘whiten’. Wipe and rinse and you’ll be good to go!

Chocolate: Handy Dandy Sanitizer

Our kids love to use their clothing as napkins, but what if they wipe the remnants of that chocolate bunny or macaroon on their sleeve? Gently scrape any excess off the material and then grab the clear hand sanitizer (with alcohol).  Squeeze a bit directly onto the stain and dab with a micro-fiber cloth

BTW Tide to Go is terrific in a pinch, and their new Tide Pods take both the stain and any guesswork out when you launder.

Tarnished Silverware: Got Ketchup?

Company is coming, and the last thing you want is silverware tarnish to ruin the meal. To get rid of the stains, put your sterling silver flatware into a bowl and cover with ketchup.  Let is sit for 10-15 minutes and then use an old toothbrush to clean the nooks, crannies, and any detailing.  If you’re wondering why ketchup works, it’s because of the natural acid in tomatoes and I think the vinegar in ketchup may also play a part.  Rinse off in warm water, then dry with a soft micro-fiber cloth.

PLEASE NOTE:  As much as I love wearing my rubber gloves to maintain my mani when I clean and wash dishes – it’s a no no when cleaning silver since the rubber is made with sulphur which will create tarnish.  I use an old pair of cloth winter gloves instead.

Red Wine: White Wine Anyone?

Someone spill red wine on your carpet or upholstery? Blot any excess, then cover with Kosher salt (it’s coarse and works better).  Leave it on for a few minutes before wipping off. Then pour either white wine, white vinegar, or baking soda on the stain and let sit for a few minutes. You can actually use the white wine or vinegar first, and then sprinkle baking soda on it to remove any odor.

BTW: This will also work for Passover Grape Juice and Red Horseradish stains.

Easter Lilies: Take Aim

As soon as you buy or receive these beautiful (but quick-to-stain) flowers,  you can either cut the orange pistol or spray the pollen with aerosol hairspray (which will shorten the life span). However, if the dye is already cast, DO NOT RUB or brush. This will push the color in further. First shake the garment or cloth outside so you don’t get it on anything else.  Next, use a piece of scotch tape to lift off any remaining residue.  If it’s a nice sunny day and the item is a light colored, let it soak in the sun for a few hours. Then launder per usual.

And, just in case Aunt Annie leaves her ice tea directly on your fave wooden cocktail table, here’s a money-saving way to get rid of the watermark:

Ring Marks on Tables: Bring Out the Helmans

Believe it or not, mayonnaise is a quick and easy way to get those water marks left on your wooden furniture.  Apply a generous dollop directly onto the mark, rub it in with a paper towel, and leave overnight.  Wipe and buff with a clean microfiber cloth.  Mayo will also shine your hubcaps and condition your hair – not to mention make a yummy chicken or ham salad with your Easter or Passover leftovers!

BTW:  If you have any ashes, add them to the mayo watermark recipe.  The ashes act as a mild abrasive to help remove the mark.

NOTE:  Please share any helpful hints you have here, or tweet, FB me via my website @ www.juliestips.com.  Happy Holidays!.