Home hints

Ge­orgina Bit­con gives clever tips on keep­ing flower ar­range­ments fresh, get­ting squeaks out of floor­boards, dry­ing wool­lens and more.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

ASK

THE AUS­TRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY

QDo bak­ing soda and bak­ing pow­der last in­def­i­nitely? How can I tell if mine are still okay to use? A. Rus­sell No, they don’t, although bak­ing soda lasts much longer than bak­ing pow­der. Add lemon juice or vine­gar to a lit­tle of your bak­ing soda: if it fizzes strongly, it’s good. Add boil­ing wa­ter to bak­ing pow­der: if it doesn’t bub­ble up im­me­di­ately, get a new packet.

A great yarn

If you find it dif­fi­cult to join with­out twist­ing when cast­ing on with cir­cu­lar nee­dles, cast on and knit the first few rows on straight nee­dles, then trans­fer to cir­cu­lars. Use the yarn tail to sew up the tiny seam at the start.

Eggs-cel­lent so­lu­tion

Need to poach eggs for a crowd? Do it in the oven: pre­heat oven to 180°C, add 1 ta­ble­spoon wa­ter to each cup of a muf­fin tin, crack an egg into each cup and bake for 11–13 min­utes, when the whites should be set and the yolks runny.

Oh sew easy

Hang a cork bulletin board on the wall be­hind your sew­ing ma­chine – it’s the ideal place to pin small cut-out pieces and semi-con­structed quilt blocks, plus instructions and pat­tern en­velopes.

Bath­time bliss

Pre­vent mould from form­ing in­side kids’ bath toys by plug­ging the hole with hot glue.

To keep cut flow­ers fresher for longer, put them in a so­lu­tion of 1 litre warm (not hot) wa­ter, 2 ta­ble­spoons ap­ple cider vine­gar, 1 ta­ble­spoon sugar and ½ tea­spoon bleach. Re-cut stems and change the so­lu­tion every other day.

Don’t squeak of it

Fix peren­nial squeaks in wooden floor­boards by dust­ing baby pow­der lib­er­ally over the floor, brush­ing it into the cracks, then sweep­ing up the ex­cess.

Soap star

If your kids dis­pense too much liq­uid soap from a pump dis­penser, wrap a rub­ber band around the shaft be­low the noz­zle, to limit how far it can be de­pressed with each push.

Cord sorter

Mag­netic herb con­tain­ers with trans­par­ent lids (from home­wares stores) are the per­fect size to store charger cords, ear buds and so on, to keep them handy.

The caddy’s cac­tus

Line a hang­ing metal shower caddy with felt, weed cloth or co­conut fi­bre and use it to grow a small ver­ti­cal dis­play of suc­cu­lents.

Use your noo­dle

To pre­vent line marks when dry­ing a jumper, cut and slit a pool noo­dle and slip it over the bar of your dry­ing rack, drape the jumper over noo­dle.

SHARE YOUR DO­MES­TIC SE­CRETS

Send your handy hints or ques­tions to: Home hints, The Aus­tralian Women’s Weekly, PO Box 92512, Welles­ley Street, Auck­land 1141, or email awwed­i­tor@bauer­me­dia.co.nz 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.

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