Georgina Bitcon suggests interesting uses for tea leaves, a homemade recipe for bug spray, ideas for spring cleaning and other useful tips.
No more odours
Before throwing used tea bags into the garbage, store them in an open jar in the fridge, where they will absorb any odours and keep your fridge smelling fresh. Start a new collection each week.
Don’t sweat it
Instead of storing veges, such as beans, peas and zucchini, in sweaty plastic bags, invest in a few small, mesh laundry bags and keep the veges neat and airy in the crisper.
DIY bug spray
Make your own suffocating spray for scale and mealy bugs: combine 4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of vegetable oil. Add 2 tablespoons of that mixture to 800ml water in a spray bottle, and spray affected plants liberally.
Lighting the way
Apply small glow-in-the-dark stickers to light switches to enable kids – and grown-ups, too – to find them easily in the dark.
Clean to a tea
When cleaning a fireplace, sprinkle the ashes with damp tea leaves or coffee grounds before sweeping, to minimise soot flying everywhere.
Chip off the block
Use a wire chip basket to lower and raise veges or pasta into a saucepan, rather than lifting a heavy pan of boiling water to the sink for draining.
Now that spring is here, strip all the bedding from your mattress and vacuum the mattress itself thoroughly – including any crevices and along the piping – to remove dust and dead skin cells that attract dust mites.
Leaf it to degrease it
Remove excess fat from soups and stews by dropping in a lettuce leaf or two – outer leaves are fine. Let the leaves absorb some of the fat, then scoop them out and toss them away.
Care for woollens
Before putting away woollens for summer, they should be washed, as stains attract moths. Pack garments into lidded plastic bins with cedar balls, bay leaves or sachets of peppercorns or cloves – and a packet of chalk if dampness is a problem.
To prevent your cutting boards from slipping on a shiny benchtop, cut a piece of non-slip shelf lining. It will fit under any sized board and both sides of the board can still be used. J. Twyford