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Windows will sparkle after a polish with the chip-shop favourite – vinegar and newspaper. Put equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle can to remove grime while buffing with newspaper creates a streak free shine.


Natural properties in lemons can help whiten dull clothes and linen. Soak fabrics in lemon juice for 15 minutes then wash as normal for brilliantly white whites.



Baking soda applied with a damp sponge can cut through tough grease on cookers and also acts as a great deodoriser. Dust some on carpet before going to bed and vacuum in the morning to rid rooms of any stale odours.



A piece of orange peel in a bag of brown sugar will prevent it from hardening.

If you’ve run out of washing up liquid and need to get through some dirty dishes, sprinkle salt into the water and wash as usual. Rinse well and wear gloves as salt can be quite drying on your skin.


Toothpaste can be used on stubborn crayon marks on walls and other surfaces. Place a large dab over the mark and rub in well, using a damp cloth remove the toothpaste and culprit stain.

For burnt saucepans cover the burnt area with cola and heat until it boils. Empty and wash, and the burnt parts should come right off.



Tomato puree can be used as a shampoo substitute to wash dogs (dark-haired only) with a strong body odour. It should get rid of smell from your dog for about six months.


Vaseline is useful when it comes to getting rid of lipstick stains. Scrape off as much as possible with a blunt knife and then apply a layer of Vaseline on the mark before machine washing.


Hairspray can be used to remove ink stains on upholstery by spraying the area liberally and wiping off.


Talcum powder can prevent unsightly sweat stains on white shirts by sprinkling a little on the underarms and collar of a shirt before wearing, and then iron on regular heat (no steam). The powder forms a barrier that prevents oil and grime from seeping into the threads.



A slice of bread can be used to pick up fragments of broken glass you might have missed with the vacuum or sweeping brush.

Cinnamon sticks

when placed inside your vacuum bag will fill rooms with a sweet scent when used.


Woman’s Way, May 3, 2010

By Aoife O’Connor


To prevent rice becoming crunchy and dry when reheating in the microwave place an ice cube on top of the rice before reheating. The melting cube keeps the rice moist.


Add 2 tbsps of Epsom salts to a gallon of water and sprinkle on water on your lawn to keep the grass green.


A light coat of


For baking dishes caked with hard-toremove food residue, fill with water and add in some fabric softener. Left to soak, everything should slide off. Rinse well.

spray starch on canvas or nylon trainers will help repel dirt and keep your shoes looking new for longer.


Clean the insides of dirty vases by filling with vinegar and adding in a handful of dry rice and swirling.


Soda water is great for removing generic stains such as coffee or wine. Blot the stain with a sponge or paper towel.


Water plants once a week with weak tea to reinvigorate them.


Alka Seltzer is a powerful cleaning agent that can be used to clean sinks. Use three tablets mixed with a cup of white vinegar and leave for 15 minutes, then run hot water to clean the pipes.

We investigate the top 90 products to have in your home, plus how exactly they help frazzled mothers


Ketchup is handy for tarnished copper and brass cookware. Squeeze out some ketchup onto a paper towel or cloth and then gently rub on pots and pans.


Get rid of grease stains by rubbing cornmeal on the affected area.




Tea-tree oil can create an all-purpose cleaner by mixing 2 tsps of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.

Natural yoghurt makes a great facemask substitute. Apply a generous layer on your face and leave for 20minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.

If a stuck zip on your favourite pair of jeans is causing you grief, swab some olive oil on the teeth and gently work the zipper free.


Vodka when diluted in a spray bottle will remove hairspray and soap residue from the surfaces of your bathroom, especially ceramic tiles. It also can be used to polish glass mirrors and dull tap fixtures.


You can prevent pets from scratching or biting furniture legs by covering them in aluminium foil, as pets can’t stand the feeling or the sound of it.


A line of white or black pepper (along window edges or door entrances) will deter ants making their way into your home on hot summer days – if we get any that is! The spices are too hot for the ants to cross.





If you’re battling slugs in the garden put used sandpaper under potted plants to keep your garden plant life healthy.

Fresh basil leaves can be used to treat stings and bites.


Soaking your tooth brush in mouthwash regularly will kill bacteria and germs that rest on bristles and ensure a fresh mouth cleaning.

Crushed garlic cloves produce a sticky liquid that can be a handy substitute for glue if you find yourself out of adhesive. Egg whites also work.


Rubbing mustard onto the chest can help relieve symptoms of a cold.


Mayonnaise is an effective substitute for hair conditioner if you find yourself all out. Apply a generous layer to hair and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing.


A green tea bath will soften and sooth irritated dry skin. Place six green tea bags in a tub of very hot water for ten to twenty minutes until the bath water turns a golden brown or dark brown colour.



Dental floss is a handy substitute for thread if you find yourself stuck.

If you have a rusty kitchen knife, plunging it into an onion two or three times will get rid of the discolouration.

Defrost frozen fish in milk to make it taste fresher.


Eating peanuts can help relieve mild constipation.


To ease the pain of a toothache, take two whole cloves and place them between the offending tooth and your cheek. You might want to chew them a little to release their juices.


If you’ve taken that first bite of food and it turns out it was too hot, a spoonful of sugar will ease the throbbing sensation.


Crushed aspirin with a small amount of water to make a paste can be applied to spots to dry them out.

Woman’s Way, May 3, 2010




Adding a couple of aspirins to the water of your flowers will make them last longer.


Swab nail varnish remover over super glued fingertips to unstick them.


Beer is a good alternative to wine for marinating meat. It contains tannins, which tenderises meat.



Rubbing hands with coffee beans can eliminate any lingering smells. The oils in the beans absorb odours.


When hammering in a nail, simply tear off a hand-sized chunk of cardboard and stick the nail through it. Then use the cardboard to steady the nail as you hammer it in.



Pipe cleaners come in handy when you want to remove dust from computer keyboards and phones.


Banana skins can be used to polish shoes. Just don’t leave them on the floor afterwards!


If you’ve added too much salt when cooking a soup or stew, simply drop a few apple wedges into the pan. After cooking for another 10 minutes or so, remove the wedges, which will have absorbed the excess salt.



Leave stainless steel smudge and fingerprint free by wiping with baby oil on a clean cloth.


Nailvarnish remover can be used to remove melted plastic from appliances such as toasters.


Keeping a vase of lavender by open windows will keep flies from entering your house. They cannot stand the smell.

58 59


Biological washing powder will clean hard-to-remove grime from cooking hobs.

Woman’s Way, May 3, 2010

Putting aluminium foil behind radiators will save heat and reduce your heating bills.


Line the tops of your kitchen cupboards with newspaper to prevent grease. Replace them regularly.

Put some halved lemons in the microwave on full power for three minutes to loosen dirt before wiping clean.



Remove marks from wooden furniture by cutting a walnut in half and rubbing its raw edge along the grain of the wood.

To get chewing gum out of your hair, slather the stuck together strands with butter and wash.

Use a spongy floor mop to clean hard-to-reach windows.

Using a solution of two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice can be used as a substitute for furniture polisher.


If your child’s lunchbox is starting to smell, leave white bread that’s been soaked in white vinegar inside it overnight.


Clean fridge seals and grouting by using a toothbrush and toothpaste.


Rubbing mustard powder in to chopping boards is a handy way to get rid of odours.


To avoid the nasty odours in the vegetable drawers in your fridge line them with a sheet of newspaper.



If you’re cutting up a lemon, put the leftover half in the dishwasher. It adds sparkle in your wash.


Use a paint scraper to get rid of grease and food on the oven door.


To prevent Tupperware from staining, spray with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces.




Prevent the inside of a flask from smelling stale by adding a teaspoon of sugar before storing.

Make your oven easier to clean by

heating a bowl of water on high for 20 minutes – the steam loosens dirt.


Prevent soil draining out of flowerpots by placing a coffee filter in the base of the pot over the drainage holes before adding soil.




To make your bathtub gleam, leave laundry powder soaking in it overnight.

Get rid of oil spots on the driveway by sprinkling bicarbonate of soda over the stain and scrubbing with a wet brush.




Believe it or not, cabbage leaves can be used to clean pewter. 32

Woman’s Way, May 3, 2010


Putting a sheet of tin foil on the board under the cover of your ironing board reflects the heat back to the clothing, so you can iron the other side of your clothing while you iron the topside.

Kill weeds between cracks in patios by spraying them with white vinegar.


After wallpapering, rinse your brushes in salted water before washing which removes paste quickly and keeps brushes in good shape.

If your freezer


Putting conkers in corners and under furniture in your home will prevent spiders coming into your house.



Use a small amount of white spirits on a soft cloth to remove mascara stains from carpet.


Chilli can be used to relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. It’s a natural antiseptic and reduces swelling.

Run the lid of a tightly screwed jar under hot water to make it easier to open.

Toss pillows in a hot tumble dryer once a week for 15 minutes to keep them fresh and kill dust mites.



is in a shed or garage, polish the outside with wax to stop damp, rust and mould setting in.

Microwave your kitchen sponge for a few seconds to kill bacteria.

To whiten greying cotton bedding, let frost get to it on the clothesline.

To unwind a knotted necklace chain, place two drops of cooking oil in waxed paper, then lay the knot in the oil and use two pins to work it loose.


Get rid of stickers by applying white vinegar and leaving for five minutes.


Get rid of the

smell of paint in a room by putting a freshly cut onion in there to absorb odour.


Banish dog smells in carpeted rooms by sprinkling baking soda, then vacuuming after 15 minutes.

Fairy good!

To celebrate 50 years as the nation’s favourite longerlasting washing up liquid, the iconic white Fairy Liquid bottle will be appearing on shelves again. It’s been part of home life since before many of us were born and for those of us with fond childhood memories of making space rockets (the entire WW team), pen holders and bird feeders, the re-launch of the original white Fairy Liquid bottle marks a welcome return. With limited numbers available, you’ll have to be quick to get your hands on a little piece of history! WW

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