Quick tips for tiresome chores
Little jobs that needn't drain or cost time – or money
Use a ruler to clean your louvres Cleaning the dusty slats in louvred doors and shutters can be a real chore. Speed up the job with fabric softener and a ruler. Wrap a fabric-softener sheet (or a cloth sprayed with fabric softener) around a ruler and clean the louvres by running this makeshift tool over each slat.
Stained marble tabletop? Marble makes a beautiful benchtop or tabletop, but this porous stone is a real stain magnet. To remove a drink stain, rub a paste of bicarbonate of soda and equal parts water and lemon juice into the area, rinse with water and wipe dry. To remove other kinds of marble stains (including scuff marks on a marble floor), shake a good amount of salt over the area. Wet the salt with soured milk for as long as two days, checking periodically to see whether the salt–sour milk mixture has done its job.
When it has, mop up the salty puddle with a sponge.
Vinegar for vases It’s hard to clean dirty, long-necked vases and bottles. Make the task easier by filling the vessel with warm water and an equal amount of vinegar. Add up to 1 cup (150g) uncooked rice and shake vigorously. The rice acts as an abrasive that scrapes the glass clean.
Dusting a ceiling fan All you need to clean a ceiling fan without getting covered in dust is a ladder, an old cotton sock and a bucket of soapy water. Stir 1 teaspoon washing-up liquid into 4 litres water. Dip the sock into the water and wring it out. Slip the sock over your hand, climb the ladder and rub your stockinged hand over each blade. Take care to clean the blades on both sides. The dust will be transferred directly to the damp sock, not into the air.