ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Grandma File - Ten Things That Can Be Done With Kitchen Spices

Updated on June 17, 2014

My grandma was never into over the counter cleaning products. Actually, she used spices for almost everything. She had a special "grandma file" where she kept secret recipes for everything from keeping away ants to curing indigestion. Once I was allowed a peak into the file, I was hooked. Now I'm going to share some of these simple tricks that can eliminate a trip to the store and help save money by using what you already have on hand.

Frugal Pest Control

  • Keep moths at out of the closet with cloves. Cloves are a natural moth deterrent and eliminate the need for mothballs altogether. A closet fitted with a small bouquet of cloves also leaves clothes smelling far better than a closet full of mothballs. Cloves can also be used in old thermoses to keep the musty smell away.
  • Keep ants at bay with the use of bay leaves. Ants hate the smell of bay leaves. Crumple a few in the windowsill or at the base of the screen door. If the ants are particularly pesky place a leaf in sugar and flour containers to keep them away.
  • Tell bugs to back off with a mixture of pepper and flour sifted around the outside of a planting garden. For even more protection sift it over plant leaves to keep the bugs from foraging in your neighborhood.
  • Use green sage to thwart red ants. Sprinkle it around kitchen cabinets to keep those little biters out of the kitchen.
  • Use cayenne pepper to make a spray that will deter even the most persistent of bugs. Mix a few cayenne and a quart of water in the blender. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray the pesky little buggers. If there is an ant colony causing problems dump some powdered cayenne down into the mound and watch them evacuate. Deer can also be handled with this potent mix. Spray it on the deer’s favorite trees and shrubs and they too will leave them be.

Simple Solutions to Household Cleaning

  • To get the smell out of glass jars, mix dry mustard and water and fill them. Let the solution stand in the jar overnight. Wash them and give them a good rinse; the odors should be gone.
  • Clean aluminum pots and pans with cream of tartar. Put two tablespoons of cream of tartar in one quart of water. Boil it for ten minutes. This will not only brighten the pans, it will take out discoloration as well.
  • No need to use bleach to whiten those socks; brighten up white clothes by washing them with a pinch of cream of tartar.

One Old Trick, One New

  • Here’s one for the gardeners: plant basil around tomato plants. Basil will drive away flies and worms, keeping the tender tomato plants free of bugs the entire growing season.
  • Highlight hair with a mixture of one cup water, one teaspoon allspice, one teaspoon cinnamon, and one half teaspoon of cloves. Simmer the mixture for ten minutes then let it cool. After shampooing pour the mix over damp hair then rinse.

Simple spices can offer up some pretty awesome do-it-yourself solutions to everyday problems. Frugal doesn’t mean cheap; it means using the tool that you already have for job that is right in front of you.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Everyday Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Everyday Green 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Only if you put a bunch of cayenne in all of the food you serve them.

    • tinaweha profile image

      Tina Boomerina 

      6 years ago from Seattle (and the world)

      Will spices help rid me of my pesty family?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)