Putt, Putt & Away
Things We Broke While On Vacation

Deep Fried Sand Nugget









Pine-Sol asked me to submit my best household-y tip — you know, like putting clear nail polish on panty hose runs or vinegar in milk when you're like, seven steps into a recipe before you realize you don't have any buttermilk  — so I thought I'd go vacation-themed and share one that has been near and dear to my heart (and my kids' butts) quite a bit in the past month.

Baby powder, y'all. Buy it, pack it, use it. Do NOT try to de-sand your sweet, gritty little hermit crabs without it. Sand will cling to wet, sunblock-y kids like...um. Like sand clings to wet, sunblock-y kids. It will multiply and hide in every possible crevice and thigh-fold, waiting for the perfect moment to come tumbling out in buckets from between their toes. Like...in the car, or your bed. Or on your in-law's couch. 

Powder them up before coming inside and the sand will wipe off with a dry towel or relatively sand-free t-shirt. They may look like ghostly, powder-y refugees from a flour fight when you're done, but it's way easier to get baby powder off the floor or bathtub drain than sand. 

(I also highly recommend putting a generous dusting on the inside of swim diapers for reasons that I will not go into because this is a sponsored post, which means there is an expectation of maintaining a shred of basic dignity.)


Oh, and also 1) buy boys' bathing suits that DON'T have the little useless back pocket on them (like what is Ezra supposed to keep in an itty bitty scaled-for-size-2T pants pocket? lip balm? his fake ID?), or 2) sew them shut lest they fill up with sand and you forget to turn it inside out until you shake the suit out inside and HOLY PHYSICS-DEFYING SAND MONSOON all over the bathroom floor. 

You can submit your own favorite tip or trick at Pine-Sol's website. And also here in the comments, for no other reason than because I am a sucker for a good shortcut or reading about 101 different uses for bobby pins. 

This post is sponsored by Pine-Sol® Cleaners. The Powerful Scent of Clean, with Everything You Need, and Nothing You Don’t.



I don't have any tips...because that one tip you just gave...that's my claim to fame. I tell all my friends. And you are so right. It is a little bit of magic.

But I do need to know where you got Ezra's back floaty if you don't mind. Looks much better than those stupid arm bands that make no sense what so ever.


A nice, generous slathering of Cetaphil cleanser will make it easier to wipe partially dry, sticky whatever from babies/small kids. Works for baby food faces, crusty snotty noses, and, um, sticky poo diapers. Saves me from wiping them raw to get them clean!


My only clever life tip is to fill a coffee mug with about an inch of vinegar and put it in the microwave for two minutes. when it's done cooking, all of the GOO, GRIT and WTFWASTHAT? just wipes off with a paper towel and no scrubbing.

Korinthia Klein

Do you baby powder over the sunscreen or under it? Does it get weird when you reapply sunscreen over the powder?


This is one of my go to beach items... However I STILL haven't had a need to buy it, I have leftovers from my 10 year old and 4 year old's baby years. So many containers of baby powder...


Baby powder is also good when you're buzzing a boy's head. Which I have to do today. It should be oodles of fun. Can't wait for the whining and wiggling...


Seconding the request for the name of the floaty back thing, because my little man freaks out when we put on the thing that looks like a turtle shell.


If your microwave is full of ick (not that mine ever is...it's...um...my friend's microwave, yeah!), take a wet kitchen sponge and microwave it for a minute or so. The steam will loosen the crud and you can just wipe it off with the sponge. Also the sponge will be sanitized from the heat - always a bonus.

For the de-sanding trick - does cornstarch work, too, or just baby powder?

Thrift Store Mama

Korinthia - you use the baby powder when you are done for the day at the beach before coming inside to get the sand off.

I keep a bottle of baby powder in the car and use it to clean off the girls feet after they play in the sandbox.

Thrift Store Mama

Korinthia - you use the baby powder when you are done for the day at the beach before coming inside to get the sand off.

I keep a bottle of baby powder in the car and use it to clean off the girls feet after they play in the sandbox.

Thrift Store Mama

Korinthia - you use the baby powder when you are done for the day at the beach before coming inside to get the sand off.

I keep a bottle of baby powder in the car and use it to clean off the girls feet after they play in the sandbox.


I will definitely try the baby powder trick next time we go to the beach.

Sue C

Corn starch should work as well as baby powder.


My hint: when separating laundry, I do whites, darks, lights and reds. Even if the reds is a tiny load, it's better than a load of wet pink laundry from that stray something that landed in the whites.


When we go to the beach, I cut the net out of my son's suit. He always used to get horribly chafed from the pounding of the waves making the net ride up and down. No net, no chafing. Also, he always wears a rashguard because the sand in the surf tore up his chest. Maybe he's just super-picky, I don't know, but it solved a lot of problems to cut the net, wear the rashguard.

Plano Mom

Baby shampoo works for everything soapy, adults and kids. You can use it to wash faces and you don't have to worry about tears. It's also great for washing off makeup.

Amy in StL

The most recent trick I found was that the wet makeup cloths that I use before going to bed (because apparently I have enough energy to hate the planet but not enough energy to wash my face properly) also work for wiping down bathroom surfaces. I always seem to see some toothpaste gunk, or water deposit or weird dust in the crack between the toilet seat and the tank right before bed.

Suzy Q

I can't believe those back floaty things for kids still exist! Reminds me of the styrofoam footballs we used to get strapped onto us. They were guaranteed to make us drown face-first! (I'm sure the newfangled ones are more safe.)


Know how we get those little asshole fruit fly/gnat things around here? And how they fly in your house and never go away until October when the stink bugs take over?

Put a squirt of dish soap in a glass, fill the glass with apple cider vinegar, and set it out. I keep 2 on my kitchen counter, and one in my bathroom (don't ask why they live in my bathroom....i don't know). After about 24 hours there will be little gnat carcasses in the bottoms of the glasses.

Gross smelling, but effective.


I agree with Suzy Q...every time I see a kid in one of those back floaty things all I can think is, "is that so they can find the body when the kid drowns face down?" I've never actually used one so I don't know how they work. The disturbing thought just pops in my head every time. I'm assuming you wouldn't be using it if you aren't confident that it works. Do the boys like them?


Stick a dryer sheet in your back pocket and it will repel mosquitoes...Try this with Ezra and see if those pesky mosquitoes still munch all over him.


Re: the floatie on the back - the Y used them for swim lessons for my 4yr old, and I ended up buying him his own. It helps him do his strokes unlike the arm floaties. He loves it - better movement and he feels like a big kid. The only problem he has is that sometimes they slide down his back to his butt and we have to keep tightening the strap.


So now that we're into the comments...why baby powder in the swim diaper??


Other things to use in fruit fly traps: red wine with plastic wrap over the top of the glass (a couple of holes in the plastic...they get in but they can't get out.) Bananas. Also, sometimes they are not fruit flies, they are drain flies. Equally as asshole-y, they just like to live in drains, which is why you seem them in your bathroom.
When I was growing up on the way home from the beach we just sat on towels in the car and then undressed in the bathtub and then bathed. I like this baby powder trick though.


Denture cleanser. It cleans toilets, it cleans vases, it can unclog drains, it can polish jewelry. If I can't figure out how to make something happen, usually the answer involves denture cleanser. That stuff is flipping awesome.And I won't even get going on vinegar...amazing...


Heat up leftover pizza in a pan on the stove, not in the microwave. It sounds crazy but it seriously makes the pizza yummier than when it was fresh. Crispy crust, warmed through, melty cheese. Yup.

Also I pretty much use white vinegar distilled in water to clean everything my pets touch, because it's safe and works like magic.

Sue C

Karen, sand can work its way into anything including swimming diapers. That's why you put baby powder in there too.


Pickle juice can be an effective drain de-clogger in times of need (IE: college, when I couldn't afford Drano).


Not to go all scare-monger-y on y'all (hint: I'm about to go scare-monger-y on y'all), but isn't there a link between talc and ovarian cancer? I've been expressly told NOT to use baby powder on my daughter born in April.


@Francesca you use the non talc baby powder, the corn starch kind.

This one I learned from my cousin. When hard boiling a bunch of eggs, put a couple drops of food dye in the water, they'll end up with a light tint that makes them easy to distinguish from the non hard boiled eggs.


rubbing alcohol removes pen ink from microfiber furniture upholstry. And plain white toothpaste removes it from the walls. We went through a bit of a phase there awhile back :) (oh, and I assume most mothers of toddlers already know this, but the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is, indeed, magic when it comes to crayon on walls. when it's ink, though, gotta break out the toothpaste...)


Toothpaste will get permanant marker off wooden tables & kitchen counter tops. Spread thin layer over mark, let sit 15-20 mins, then scrub off. I didn't need this tip until my kids were way past the getting permanant marker on things ages (they were 12 & 15 & I needed this trick twice in a month, first for the 12 yo's marker mishap, next for the 15's, ugh!)


Summer = berry stains. The best way I've found to get stains out is to boil some water, then hold the teakettle 12-18 inches over the sink while pouring the boiling water over the soiled area. (I'm assuming this is for cotton items--I've used it with cotton and cotton blends.) The trick is the combo of the boiling water plus force from pouring it from a distance. Did the charm for me twice last week: once, when I got black raspberry stains on my shirt while picking berries; and again, when my son dribbled cherry juice all over himself while trying to figure out how to separate pit from fruit IN HIS OWN MOUTH.


Yes, to the baby powder! With two small boys in swim diapers it is a MUST (I'll go there - little boy parts have lots of folds of skin where sand likes to stick and chafe - a liberal dusting of baby powder - NOT talcum powder - cleans it right out).

I'm sorry to report that I have no uses for bobby pins (see above: two boys and I have short hair). I do often use the purple rubber band from asparagus to give me a little extra room for flab in the waistband of those just-a-wee-bit-tight-today-but-I'm-sure-they'll-fit-fine-next-week jeans.

Sue C

CHEAP (and I do mean the really cheap kind of) hair spray on ball point ink stains before they are washed will take them out. Just spray it well and then wash.


1. Margaritas. Amen.
2. Baking soda and lemon juice work well to get baked on crud off of pans.
3. Beer traps for earwigs. The little bastards are ruining my spinach and eating all of my dill and basil. Until they met the business end of a beer filled tuna can.

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