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