Every Thursday, to celebrate TarcherPerigee’s long-standing commitment to its readers, we’ll be throwing back select backlist titles personally curated by our imprint’s editors, associates and company.
Stephanie Bowen, Senior Editor
Published in 2001
For anyone looking for a quick fix for something, fun recipes and/or zany experiments to try with ordinary household items or ingredients, this is the book for you. Popular home improvement guru Joey Green shares hundreds of humorous yet helpful tips on using brand-name household products to tackle any household challenge you face, from removing soap scum with Bounce dryer sheets to making brown sugar with Grandma’s Molasses in a pinch.
If HGTV and the Food Network had fangirl clubs, I would be president of both. An unabashed lover of all things DIY-, design- and food-related, I scour the Internet, books, and magazines in my free time for interesting new cooking techniques to try, quick but quality fixes for the seemingly endless maintenance issues that plague New York City apartments like mine, and cool projects for testing out the latest tool I swiped from my father’s work bench. (Sorry, Dad.)
So you can imagine my delight when I discovered TarcherPerigee publishes a book that covers all THREE of these things and more. By “The Mad Scientist of Home Improvement,” Joey Green, Clean It, Fix It, Eat It was basically written for me. (In fact, I was surprised my name wasn’t listed on the dedication page. What gives, Joey?) But while I may be one of CFE’s newer fans, I’m not its only one. In the fifteen years since its initial publication, hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to this veritable Bible of simple (and some admittedly silly) lifehacks. And even if you don’t have anything to clean, fix, or eat, don’t worry: This book will also show you how to decorate, drive, heal, paint, grow, repel, rough, and even “flush” whatever you desire.
The best part is that this isn’t just more wacky wisdom from Joey “The Cleaning Machine” Green. Rather it’s a compendium of hundreds of tips he received from fans, “upstanding citizens of all walks of life”, as he affectionately refers to them. Some ideas are admittedly too bizarre for my taste; for example, I would rather buy a guy a lifetime subscription to the Dollar Shave Club than hand him a can of Reddi-Whip for tackling his 5-o-clock shadow. But there are plenty of suggestions worth trying. And if nothing else, you can impress your friends with more than 41 different uses for Coca-Cola.
At TarcherPerigee, we are known to publish books that are creative, curious, useful and useless. Here are few tips that fit each:
Creative: Unclog a drain with…. A Super Soaker.
“My oldest son Daniel used a Super-Soaker 2000 to unclog a bathroom drain that was clogged with food debris….That thing really packs a jet spray!” –Bruce F., Washington, D.C.
Curious: Set your hair in curlers with…. Budweiser.
“When I was a teenager, I always set my hair in curlers with stale Budweiser beer….When the beer dried, I would have stiff curls. When I brushed them out, all that remained of the beer was a really great set—without any beer smell.” –Linda J., Mountain View, CA
Useful: Relieve insect bites with…. Colgate Toothpaste.
“Use a dab of Colgate Toothpaste on insect bites. It relieves the itch instantly.” —Susan B., Tustin, CA (Note: Readers, this worked for me when I tried it!)
Useless (for many, at least): Prevent leather motorcycle pants from sticking to the motorcycle seat with…. Johnson’s Baby Powder.
“Before racing, motorcyclists sprinkle Johnson’s Baby Powder on the seat of the motorcycle so their leather suits can slide from side to side faster and easier.” –Rudi H., Hobe Sound, FL
To learn more, go on and snag your copy at any of the following vendors: