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Household Remedies for the Pioneer

Updated on April 17, 2023
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Today you need a few life hacks just to cut through the jungle of information and distractions. Denise has a few that help her cope.

My mom
My mom | Source


My mother was quite the pioneer who made do with what we had and rarely ran to the store for things that we could make ourselves from ingredients right there. She sewed all our clothes and cooked all the meals. I loved that about her although at the time I called her cheep. I realize now she was cheep as much as she was smart. Here are a few of the home remedies I learned from her and found myself along the way.

White glue used for more than just crafts.
White glue used for more than just crafts. | Source


Do you have problems helping your children remove splinters? I know I did. As soon as I went for the needle and tweezers they would begin to cry. Try this instead. Pour a drop of white school glue over the splinter and let it dry thoroughly. Then just peel the dried glue off the skin and the splinter comes out with it. No more tears and you know how much kids love to play with glue anyway.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

— Will Durant
Window Tomatoes
Window Tomatoes | Source

Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste is a cure for boils. Just cover the boil in tomato paste as if it were a compress. The acids in the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head. Good to know.

“If you have good thoughts… they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

— Matilda by Ronald Dahl
Hornet | Source

Wasp In The House?

Ever have a bee or wasp that got into the house? Or a hornet or yellow jacket? Don’t bother hunting up that insecticide with all its chemicals. Instead try your kitchen cleaning liquid, like Formula 409. One spray and the insect drops to the ground instantly. I haven’t tried it myself but I understand WD40 will do the same thing.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

— The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop

Loose Screw In Glasses

If you have ever had trouble losing a screw from your eyeglasses or sunglasses, you will love this remedy. Try applying a small drop of clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them. They won’t loosen up again for a long time.


Achy Muscles

Hard day at work? For relief of achy muscles, mix 1 tablespoon horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil for instant relief of aching muscles. Be sure to keep that away from your eyes though. Wow. That hurts.

Cranberry Juice

Have a urinary tract infection? Believe it or not, cranberry juice does wonders for the relief of pain and clearing up of infection. Drink several glasses a day. They also say Alka-Seltzer will also clear up urinary tract infections, even though it was never advertised for that use. Two tablets in a glass of water at the onset of symptoms bring relief.

“We all can dance when we find music that we love.”

— Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Arthritis | Source

Arthritis Relief

I suppose you heard that oatmeal is good for the heart, but have you heard it if great for fast arthritis pain relief too? Mix 2 cups of oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute. Let it cool slightly and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain. I hate the smell of that tubed arthritis cream so this is a relief in more ways than one.

Wash Day
Wash Day | Source

Laundry Helps

No need to buy laundry-cleaning additives again. This works better than Oxyclean. In a bowl mix: 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, 4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Scrub the stain with a scrubbing brush or a toothbrush and throw in the washing machine as usual.

I found a mixture of a cheap hair rinse such as you get at the Dollar Store with vinegar can be used instead of dryer sheets. My formula is 1 cup of hot water mixed with 1/3 cup hair conditioner and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Shake it up well in an old quart bottle. I use an old sponge saturated with the mixture but not dripping and throw it into the dryer along with my clothes. It works.

Vinegar | Source

More Vinegar Uses

I understand vinegar has tons of benefits. For sunburn, for instance. Soak a cloth in vinegar and place it on the sunburn. It will remove the sting and the burning. Believe me. Some say apple cider vinegar, some say white vinegar. Either seems to work fine. It will also prevent blistering if blisters have not already formed.

Azaleas love a little acidic soil. Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to a quart of water to pour on azalea roots.

Wash pots out with vinegar before repotting plants. It kills unwanted molds and neutralizes excess lime.

Boric Acid Powder
Boric Acid Powder

Boric Acid Powder

Long ago my grandfather introduced me to boric acid powder as an insect repellent. In particular, a cockroach insecticide. The roaches walk through it and take it home to their families in the walls. Everyone licks it off the legs of the parent and they all die in the walls. This also works for ants and other pesky insects you may have troubling your pantry. Just make sure you don’t brush it off the shelves into your food. I sprinkle it lighting into the corners where insects would be tracking it home.

My dad checking on the bees
My dad checking on the bees | Source

Natural Burn Salve

I found that honey is a natural substance full of hidden uses and benefits. My father was a beekeeper and used to say that if you have allergies just use a teaspoon of honey per day in your coffee or tea. It has to be local honey from the bees working around whatever triggers your allergies. It will naturally counteract the pollen that bothers you.

More than that it can also heal burns and take away the sting. I use a mixture of 2 tablespoons honey with 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon beeswax. Heat the beeswax over a double boiler at the lowest heat possible till the wax is completely melted, then add the coconut oil and honey. I like to add a couple drops of Rose oil as well for the smell and then pour it into a small container. It works so well on burns that would normally result in blisters and scars that I don’t even blister.

Home remedies are best
Home remedies are best | Source

Final Thoughts

A hundred years ago, households didn’t have the kind of products that we do today and they managed pretty well. The problem is that we have grown so accustomed to just running to the store and buying what we need that we’ve forgotten the natural home remedies. Let me know what you think or if you have any home remedies of your own in the comments below.


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