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Book offers recipes for homemade cleaners


Akron Beacon Journal

Whether you’re worried about the ingredients in commercial cleaning products or just looking to save some money, Homemade Cleaners can help.

The book is written by Mandy O'Brien, a biologist, and Dionna Ford, a lawyer and natural-parenting advocate. They provide recipes for natural cleaners formulated for a range of household chores, along with explanations of why they believe such alternatives are better. Most of their recipes rely on common ingredients such as vinegar, borax and hydrogen peroxide, as well as essential oils.

O'Brien and Ford also make suggestions for green choices, such as using cloths instead of paper towels and drying clothes on a line or rack instead of in a clothes dryer.

Homemade Cleaners: Quick-and-Easy, Toxic-Free Recipes is published by Ulysses Press and sells for $14.95 in paperback.


An unexpected spray of water is an effective and humane way to keep unwanted animals out of the garden.

That’s the method used by Havahart’s Spray Away Elite II, a sprinkler animal repellent. It recently won the Golden Shovel Readers’ Choice Award from the website Gardening Products Review, based on a nationwide vote by the site’s readers.

The motion-activated sprinkler holds water in a 3.5-gallon basin, so it doesn’t need to be connected to a garden hose and can be used wherever it’s needed. Solar-powered, infrared sensors detect an animal’s movement and heat up to 35 feet away, prompting the device to emit a sudden blast of water and produce a startling noise and motion.

The product sells for $179.99 at www.Havahart.com. Shipping is free.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

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At just 10 inches deep, the Mill console table from CB2 is perfect for decorating an empty hallway ($299).


    For small spaces, console tables are ideal

    Decorating a small space can be like packing for a weekend trip. There’s room for only the essentials, so every piece should be useful, versatile and worth its weight. If space is a commodity, the console table is one of the most valuable pieces on the market.

This sleek, mid-century Telechron clock is a handsome collectible.


    Telechron products known for style, design

    Q: I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s with this Lucite clock on a table in my parents’ bedroom. I recently found it in a storage unit of their things and am wondering how old it is, and the approximate value. It still works and has great sentimental value and now has a place of honor on my bedside table. Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

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