Home hints: handy tips and clever tricks for your home

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

Ge­orgina Bit­con shares tips on de-ic­ing wind­screens, keep­ing mat­tresses clean when you move, stop­ping draughts, evict­ing daddy-long-legs and more.


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.

Woolly warmth

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.

Shelling out

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.

Knit­ting life­line

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.

Mov­ing mat­tresses

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.

Plant hu­mid­i­fier

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.

Key­board clean­ing

To clean a dirty com­puter key­board, dis­con­nect the power and use a magic eraser with only one to two drops of water.


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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