Home hints

Ge­orgina Bit­con sug­gests in­ter­est­ing uses for tea leaves, a home­made recipe for bug spray, ideas for spring clean­ing and other use­ful tips.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

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.

Mat­tress makeover

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

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