Home hints: handy tips and clever tricks
Georgina Bitcon shares tips for removing carpet stains, making stencils, storing and chopping herbs, cooking cakes and more, plus there’s a reader’s prize hint.
QThe studs on the bottom of an old bag have put rust marks on my cream-coloured wool carpet. How do I remove them? A. Murphy, SA. Pour small mounds of uniodised salt onto each mark, then moisten with just a few drops of lemon juice. Do not saturate – the marks should still be covered with damp salt. Leave the mounds to dry completely, then vacuum the salt away. Simple stencils To make a simple stencil for numbering your garbage and recycling bins, print numbers in a large clear font on your computer, trace them onto thin cardboard and cut out, leaving a stencil. Tape the stencil to the bins and paint them with spray paint or a brush, then remove. You are here When taking travel photos, take a shot of something that involves each new town’s name (street signs, shops, post offices etc.). It’s very helpful when sorting lots of pictures, especially if you’re not using a GPS. Fresher for longer To get the most from a bunch of fresh basil, store it in a glass of water, like a bunch of flowers, and use the leaves from the bottom of the stems first, working up to the top. Sharpen up If sticky duct or masking tape keeps gunking up your scissors, wipe the blades with a baby wipe or eucalyptus oil between cuts. Pantyhose know-how To help anchor and establish plants on a steep slope, cut the legs off old pantyhose, fill with potting soil, knot the ends, then hold in place in a U-shape with tent pegs and backfill against the curve. Avocado magic When you only want half an avocado, instead of cutting it lengthwise, cut it around the middle and store the unused half cut-side down in a snug-fitting glass in the fridge. Travel tip to a tea Pop a teabag into each of your packed shoes when travelling to keep your luggage smelling fresh. Handy hand sanitiser Wipe the white rubber sections of your sneakers and gym boots with hand sanitiser to keep them clean and white. Clever calendar For a super-simple Advent calendar, cover matchboxes with pretty paper, number them one to 24, glue strips of junk advertising magnets to the back, fill with tiny treats and arrange them on the fridge.