Expert QA

12 easy life hacks that could change your home

Make life simpler with these great tips on cleaning the shower, whipping cream, banishing fog and more.

Girl playing with blocks

Life doesn't have to be tough. Try these helpful household hints to make things a little easier around the home this weekend.

No stumbling blocks
Spray WD-40 onto plastic blocks that are difficult to prise apart – then wash them thoroughly before the kids play with them again.

Super stripes
When knitting stripes in ribbing, always knit (rather than rib) the colour change row – this will avoid the contrast purl stitches showing through the stripes.

Cream of the crop
To keep whipped cream sweet and fresh for longer, add a pinch of baking soda per cup of cream when whipping.

Screen savers
Remove soap scum from your glass shower screen by wiping it with a dampened, used dryer sheet, then polishing it with a soft, dry cloth.

Hats off to cleanliness
To clean and revitalise a Panama hat, beat together an egg white, the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of salt. Brush this mixture evenly over the hat, wipe off the excess with a damp cloth and allow to dry in the shade.

A perfect trim
Spread an old bedsheet under your hedge before you start to trim it – it makes tidying up so much quicker and easier.

Banish fog
To help prevent fog on your windscreen in cold weather, spray the inside with shaving cream, then wipe it off with a soft cloth.

Emergency solution
As well as carrying your own identification in your wallet, be sure to include your next-of-kin’s contact details as well, since those attending to you in an emergency may not be able to unlock your phone.

Storage for nuts
When you use ground or whole nuts in a recipe, store the leftovers in snaplock bags in the freezer to keep them fresh for next time. They won’t go rancid or be infested with pantry moth.

Easier erasing
If the eraser on the end of a pencil is making smudge marks on the page, rub it with an emery board to make it work like new.

Reader’s tip
To clean the built-in straw on a toddler’s sippy cup, use a doubled-over chenille stick or pipecleaner, available from craft stores.
From S. Shepherd

Ask women's weekly
Q. After a weekend of home decorating, I was left with paint on my skin, which was painful to remove. For future reference, what is the gentlest way to do this?
From M. Benton

A. Acrylic paint should come off with detergent and water, but for tougher spots or oil-based paint, rub with a mixture of vegetable oil and a teaspoon or two of ordinary sugar, then finish with warm water and soap.

Words: Georgia Bitcon

read more from