Georgina Bitcon gives tips on brushing a dog’s teeth, reducing mess with kids’ craft projects, removing gel-pen ink and more.
ASK THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY Q How do I remove a saffron stain from a white cotton shirt? R.G.
Spray or wipe the stain with pure lavender oil, then launder as usual and hang in bright sunlight to dry.
Get a handle on trash
If you re-use plastic grocery bags for bin liners, add a couple of self-adhesive hooks to the outside of the bin to secure the handles.
Stick with a sponge
To save on mess when the kids are using glue, put a damp kitchen sponge in a plastic container and smear a generous amount of child-safe glue over the surface of the sponge. Wipe paper cut-outs across the sticky surface and glue in place. Replace lid when play is over.
Make purchased frosting go further (and reduce the calories per serve) by whipping it for a few minutes with an electric mixer until fluffy and doubled in size.
Glass for jam
Instead of putting glass jars and lids in the recycling bin, check if they’re needed by your local school or church – or list them on a community website, such as freestuff.co.nz (where you can give away unwanted items, keeping them out of landfill) or a local group Facebook page. Jam-makers love to get more glass jars!
Use silicone cupcake holders inside a vintage cake tin to organise your sewing bits and pieces, such as pins, buttons, tape measure, threads and needles.
If you have no toe separators when painting your toenails, cut a kitchen sponge into small strips – they work perfectly.
Rethink that ink
Hand sanitiser will remove gel-pen ink from clothing – just give the ink a good squirt before putting it in the wash.
Need to change passwords on your smartphone or iPad, but hate having to remember lots of different ones? Simply replace a letter or two in an existing password with an accent: hold down the letter on your device and the accent options pop up.
Fangs very much
If your dog refuses to have its teeth brushed, smear a little canine toothpaste on a chew toy or rope. (Never use human toothpaste.)
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Send your handy hints or questions to: Home hints, The Australian Women’s Weekly, PO Box 92512, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Home hints” in the subject line. While every effort is made to ensure the efficacy of each hint, we cannot take responsibility for individual results.
Unable to display all the kids’ artwork? Take a photo of each masterpiece, reduce them all in size on the computer, so you can fit multiples on one page, then have them printed as a poster at a print shop.