Expert QA

9 ultimate life hacks for the home

These are so clever.

1. Keep nozzles clear

After using sealant or glue cartridges, wipe the nozzle clean and plug it with a ball of Blu-Tack to prevent it from clogging and drying out.

2. Honey resurrected

Honey that has crystallised can be brought back to liquid life by uncovering the jar and microwaving on Medium power for 20-second bursts.

3. Sweet-smelling vacuum

To prevent that stale smell in your vacuum cleaner, gently wash the filter regularly with detergent, then pop it into a lingerie washing bag and peg on the line to dry completely. Add a few drops of essential oil before replacing.

4. Bobby pin control

Before putting bobby pins in your hair, spray them with hair spray and they’ll stay in place.

5. Painting aid

When painting or varnishing fiddly things, such as drawer handles or knobs, push the screw through an upturned egg carton to hold the item in place while painting and drying.

6. Casting-off solution

If your cast-off row seems too tight and is spoiling the edge of your work, try casting off with a needle that is two to three times larger than the one you used for the body of your knitting.

7. Speed up drying time

Toss a couple of clean tennis balls into the dryer to fluff up towels, quilts and other bulky items. The balls will bounce around, getting rid of lumps and speeding up drying time.

8. Tidy dog accessories

Use a simple shower caddy on the back of a door or on the laundry wall to hold dog paraphernalia, such as leads, treats, poo bags, grooming tools, shampoo and so on.

9. Feed roses

Pop a banana peel into the bottom of the hole when planting a new rose and dig in the chopped peel around established roses – they love the potassium.

Ask the Australian Women’s Weekly

Q: The grout on my tiled kitchen floor looks dirty, even when I’ve just washed the floor. Is there a way to clean it? R. Aird.

Combine 7 cups water, ½ cup baking soda, ⅓ cup cloudy ammonia (or lemon juice) and ¼ cup vinegar. Apply liberally to floor and grouting, leave for an hour, then scrub off with a brush and rinse.

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 protected] with ‘Home hints’ in the subject line.

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