Home hints: handy tips and clever tricks for your home
Georgina Bitcon shares tips on de-icing windscreens, keeping mattresses clean when you move, stopping draughts, evicting daddy-long-legs and more.
ASK THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S WEEKLY
QI am plagued by daddy-longlegs. I don’t want to kill them, but as soon as I take them outside, they’re back. What can I do? Spiders hate peppermint (and so do mice, for that matter). Spray a solution of 450ml water and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil in the area where the spiders congregate. Alternatively, add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to a cotton wool ball and place in these same areas, or wipe into corners.
Over time, sheepskin boots can get a little flat in the pressure points under the feet. You can get an extra season or seasons from them by inserting sheepskin insoles in the base of the boots. They’ll instantly feel snug again!
On thin ice
In extra cold areas, instead of scraping away at the ice on your windscreen, spray it with a 2:1 solution of vinegar and water to make it easier to remove.
If you hate peeling hardboiled eggs, simply slice the unpeeled egg in half lengthwise with a knife and slip the egg out with a spoon.
If you have to rip back your knitting, use a darning needle and scrap wool to thread a “lifeline” through the row of stitches below your mistake – it will stop you ripping too far and it’s easy to pick up the stitches again.
Instead of storing lemons in the fruit bowl, seal them into zip-up bags with as little air as possible and keep them in the fridge. They will stay softskinned and juicy for a month or more.
Dry clothes faster
To save time and money when using your clothes dryer this winter, always toss a clean dry towel in with your wet clothes.
When moving house, put a fitted sheet onto each side of your mattress – it’s a lot easier to wash two fitted sheets than it is to clean a mattress!
Use your noodle
Make a quick draught excluder: cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise, slide a piece of fabric, or even a thin towel, under the door and wrap the extending edges around a noodle segment on each side, until they fit snugly against the door.
If your indoor plants are getting over-dry due to winter heating, fill a shallow bowl with pebbles, add water and stand the pots on the pebbles, clear of the water, for a little extra humidity.
To clean a dirty computer keyboard, disconnect the power and use a magic eraser with only one to two drops of water.
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 email@example.com 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.