On the Deck

Oily stains on the deck wood from the grill or suntan lotion can be absorbed by sprinkling with baking soda and letting it sit for 1 hour. Repeat the step if necessary.

Patio furniture: Clean lawn furniture at the start of the season with a solution of 1/4 cup of baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Wipe the furniture down with the solution then rinse it off.

Pool toys: Remove mildew odors from plastic and vinyl pool toys with 1/4 cup of baking soda in 1 quart warm water.

Grill cleaning and safety: Loosen burned-on foods from barbecue grill racks by enclosing the racks in a large plastic bag. Mix 1 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of ammonia, and pour it over the racks. Close the bag, and let it sit overnight.

Control the flames when fat drips on coals by keeping a spray bottle filled with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 pint of water. Spray the solution lightly onto the coals when flames shoot up.