Here's a great little tool that will only cost you a dollar or two. A spray bottle, also known as a plant mister, is invaluable, and not just for your indoor landscaping efforts. This handy little item has a multitude of potential uses around the house.
A mister can provide humidity-loving houseplants such as begonias with just the right amount of moisture, in the soil or the surrounding air. To allow maximum absorption of the sunshine necessary for photosynthesis, clean smooth-leaved plants with a gentle spray of water and a soft cloth. (Hairy-leaved African violets and their ilk prefer dusting with a dry soft brush.) You can also apply homemade natural insecticides via sprayer.
When you're overheated after exercising or enjoying the outdoors on a sultry day, don't automatically reach for the A/C remote. Instead, give your pulse points -- neck, wrists, backs of knees -- a refreshing, energy-efficient spritz from a spray bottle. Also great for banishing the blahs after you've sat too long at the computer, this technique works even better when the spritzer has been stored in the fridge awhile.
Remember squirt gun fights from when you were a little kid? They were so exciting (even if, like me, you had an older brother who always won). Water pistols might be a tad too warlike, though, for today's PC climate. So supply each child with a spray bottle instead … then send them to the backyard or balcony for some good clean fun.
Combine water and white vinegar in equal parts. Fill a spray bottle with the solution and squirt onto built-up mineral scale on your kitchen and bathroom faucets or the goo around your shower door track. Then dust lightly with baking soda. Let the whole mess bubble away for half an hour or so before rinsing off. A great way to de-gunk without lots of hard work or harsh chemicals.
Strange but true: My little rescue dog, all 15 cuddly pounds of her, was recently attacked by a cat. Turns out we'd interrupted Ms. Kitty taking her new babies out for a stroll, and she'd gone into Dragon Mama mode. Fortunately, we were able to beat a hasty retreat. Sometimes pet owners encounter similar situations inside their home, when one animal aggressively bullies another. Rather than shouting or hitting the culprit (which just raises the tension level and is cruel, besides), cool him or her down with a quick jet of water.
Mist your cottons and linens prior to ironing. (Easy does it … or you may end up with unsightly scorch marks.) Home sewing fans take note: This works exceptionally well for the initial pressing of construction details such as seams and darts. If you'd prefer to avoid ironing altogether, spray your garment with water and hang in an airy place for 15 minutes to remove the worst wrinkles.
A Dewy Do
A plant mister is an incredible hair care aid in so many ways. Tame flyaway, bedhead, or curly locks. Freshen your hair on a long camping trip away from civilization … and showers. Dampen your child's or BFF's tresses before giving a money-saving home haircut in your living room turned beauty salon.
Especially when you're a newbie, knitting projects often end up with a few uneven stitches and edges that absolutely refuse to sit straight. Give your handcrafted scarf or shawl a professional look by spray blocking it. Attach the piece to a blocking board with rustproof pins and spray with water at room temperature. Gently flatten and shape the fabric before leaving to dry for 24-28 hours.
Impart a sweet yet subtle aroma to your home with a plant mister. Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil into filtered water. Diffuse a fine mist in whatever room needs an atmospheric pick-me-up. Precaution: Do not store essential oils, even diluted, in a plastic spray bottle, as they can eat through the plastic. Prepare only enough for one use or alternatively, hunt down a glass spritzer.
Laura Firszt writes for networx.com.