Staying warm and toasty in winter has certainly gotten easier over the years. But, most homes can still get incredibly frosty as the temperatures drop. Despite having fewer material resources our grandmothers had the best tricks for keeping their homes clean, cozy, and toasty during the winter months. Here are some winter housekeeping tricks straight from grandma’s playbook.

open book by a cozy fire in winter
Via: Pavan Trikutam/Unsplash

Ice Cubes for Spills

If you’re like a lot of people then candles can help dispel the ever-darker days and can make cold nights feel festive. If you’re using tapers especially then dripping wax can leave its mark all around your home. An easy solution to this is to put ice cubes in a plastic sandwich baggie and rub it over the dripped wax. This helps to harden wax so that it’s easy to scrape off.

candle in brass candle holder
Via: Moodywalk/Unsplash

Hot Iron to the Rescue

Conversely if you have spilled wax on the carpet you’ll want to use a warm (not hot) iron on a piece of paper to melt the wax onto the paper. Be sure to put a layer of foil between the iron and the paper to keep the iron clean.

vintage electric iron
Via: Guy Dickinson/Flickr

Winter Cleaning Chores

Deep clean your mattress (and flip it) at the start of winter. Combine this task with putting away your summer clothes to make space for your cold weather gear and you’re most of the way ready for winter.

mattress texture
Via: Stefan Powell/Flickr

Homemade Air Freshener

In the old days mulled cider and mulled wine were traditional to make in the fall and winter. The low heating of these drinks along with cinnamon sticks, citrus, cloves, and other spices filled the house with an intense aroma. It was free potpourri- the byproduct of making something delicious to drink.

If you don’t feel like making a drink you can get the same effect by simply throwing some cinnamon sticks and orange peels into a pot of hot water and simmering, adding more water as it gets low. The other bonus to this method? It humidifies the air which counteracts the dryness that comes with heating our homes.

mulled wine in a pan
Via: Hannah Pemberton/Unsplash

Frugal Heating

It can be tempting to keep the temperature high in your home when the weather is cold. But, you can use a hot water bottle to keep you warm instead of cranking up the thermostat. This trick is also great for fall and winter when socializing outdoors for picnics and bonfires can be mighty chilly. Just make sure it’s not too hot.

hot water bottles with knitted covers
Via: MintMarkets/Flickr

Bubble Wrap Hack

This trick really works to keep the heat in! Put bubble wrap on your windows instead of regular window plastic for increased energy savings. The air inside the bubbles, combined with the double layer of plastic, traps warm air and creates more of a barrier to cold air than plain plastic does. See how to do it right here.

bubble wrap window
Via: Jorge Bermudez/Unsplash