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Thompson: Use your dishwasher to clean more than dishes
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A dishwasher is really a handy tool. In fact, if you only use your dishwasher on dishes, you're missing out. Consider using it to clean your children's toys, garden tools and even shop tools. Important: Don't use your dish washer to clean anything crystal or thermos mugs. The heat can break the crystal and will break the airtight seal on the mugs.

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A couple of years ago I reported that you can use oven cleaner on bathtubs that are incredibly dirty. The key here is to not leave it on for very long and test it in an inconspicuous spot first. Well, it was recently pointed out to me that you can use oven cleaner on really nasty grout lines and on oil stains on your concrete drive way. Remember, oven cleaner is the cleaner of last resort. Because it's caustic, you should always wear gloves, eye protection and a face mask.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.