Home hints

Georgina Bit­con shares tips on clean­ing in­sect screens, avoid­ing splat­ters when cook­ing, de­ter­ring pos­sums and more, plus there’s a reader’s prize hint.

The Australian Women's Weekly - - D-I-Y Tips -

QI put my old alu­minium cake pan through the dish­washer and it came out darker and with white, flaky spots. Can I re­store it? P. Lees, SA. Make a thick paste of wa­ter and cream of tar­tar (in the bak­ing/spice sec­tion of the su­per­mar­ket), rub it in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion all over the pan with a damp rag then rinse. Alu­minium should al­ways be hand-washed with mild de­ter­gent.

Spot­less screens

As the weather be­gins to warm up, clean your in­sect screens with a damp cloth sprin­kled with eu­ca­lyp­tus oil – it re­moves dirt and dust, and de­ters flies and mozzies at the same time.

Mis­take-free nails

Wipe Vase­line around the edges of your nails be­fore ap­ply­ing pol­ish: it’s easy to wipe away any mis­takes when the nail is dry, and it’s good for your cu­ti­cles, too.

Hints at your fin­ger­tips

When buy­ing new plants for the gar­den, punch a hole in the tags and keep them handy on a large key ring, so that you’ll al­ways have ac­cess to the name of the plants and any grow­ing hints.

Stop splat­ters

Cut a slit half­way across the cen­tre of a pa­per plate and fit it around your stick blender to pre­vent spat­ters when whip­ping cream or cake bat­ter.

Spot­light on de­ter­ring pos­sums

Re­pel pos­sums from your roof cav­ity by putting a strong light into the cav­ity and leav­ing it on con­tin­u­ously for three days and nights. It can also help to sprin­kle quas­sia chips (from hard­ware stores) or cam­phor blocks, but use one or the other – not both.

Ev­ery last squeeze

Roll the end of your tooth­paste tube from the bottom and se­cure it with a binder clip – it helps to get ev­ery last bit of tooth­paste from the tube and the bottom of the clip makes a handy stand, too.

Ear­ring re­lief

If your ear­lobes get red and sore from wear­ing some types of metal ear­ring hooks, re­move the ear­rings and rub the in­flamed area with a drop or two of tea tree oil for in­stant re­lief.

Clever cake cut­ting

When you’re not go­ing to eat a cir­cu­lar cake all at once, don’t cut it into wedges. In­stead, cut it across the mid­dle and re­move one rec­tan­gu­lar piece at a time, push­ing the two cut halves back to­gether to keep them fresher for longer.

Handy card holder

If your small chil­dren have trou­ble hold­ing their cards when play­ing games, cut slits in seg­ments of up­side-down egg car­tons to hold the cards.

In a large jar, com­bine all your bits of left­over dry pasta, no mat­ter what the shape – break spaghetti and fet­tucine into short lengths – then use this pasta “med­ley” in soups or pasta bakes.

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