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• What should you do with leftover, old or unwanted toothpaste? Use it to fix and clean things around the house. Toothpaste on carpet helps gently lift stains; just squeeze it out and use a damp toothbrush to rub the stain away. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste. Crayon drawings on the wall can be removed without removing the paint; use toothpaste as a gentle abrasive to lift the crayon marks and wipe away. And if you have water rings on a wood table, you guessed it: toothpaste. It will buff those rings out right out.

• Did you stock up on home repair hardware only to find it collecting dust? If DIY isn’t your thing, you can give your tools a new home by donating them to your local Habitat for Humanity. The items they desperately need the most are toolboxes, organizers, tool bags and tool belts for volunteers. Keeping their tools organized and handy helps them move quickly from site to site. Also, if you have drill bits or saw blades in any shape or size, those are always in need. When bits and blades hit an old nail in the demo or renovation work, it dulls them quickly, and they need to be replaced often. Learn more at habitat.org.

• When should you buy conventionally grown lemons instead of organic? It’s simple: If you plan on using the zest of a lemon -- the outside skin or peel -- always go with organically grown citrus. But if you’re just using the juice of the lemon, it’s OK to go with conventionally grown. Even with a good washing, pesticide buildup and waxes on the outside can make it tough to remove all of the chemicals before you zest a lemon. Organic lemons are grown without pesticides, so the zest is safe to use for cooking. But even with organic, be sure you wash it well: Lemons -- conventional and organic -- are touched by many hands before reaching your supermarket.

 
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