Top spring cleaning tips

Here are some ideas for spring cleaning and other useful tips for around the home.

No more odours

Before throwing used tea bags into the garbage, store them in an open jar in the fridge, where they will absorb any odours and keep your fridge smelling fresh. Start a new collection each week.

Don’t sweat it

Instead of storing veges, such as beans, peas and zucchini, in sweaty plastic bags, invest in a few small, mesh laundry bags and keep the veges neat and airy in the crisper.

DIY bug spray

Make your own suffocating spray for scale and mealy bugs: combine 4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of vegetable oil. Add 2 tablespoons of that mixture to 800ml water in a spray bottle, and spray affected plants liberally.

Lighting the way

Apply small glow-in-the-dark stickers to light switches to enable kids – and grown-ups, too – to find them easily in the dark.

Spicy stuff

When transferring herbs and spices from packets to small storage jars, cut out the use-by date and tape it to the bottom of the jar for future reference.

Clean to a tea

When cleaning a fireplace, sprinkle the ashes with damp tea leaves or coffee grounds before sweeping, to minimise soot flying everywhere.

Chip off the block

Use a wire chip basket to lower and raise veges or pasta into a saucepan, rather than lifting a heavy pan of boiling water to the sink for draining.

Mattress makeover

Now that spring is here, strip all the bedding from your mattress and vacuum the mattress itself thoroughly – including any crevices and along the piping – to remove dust and dead skin cells that attract dust mites.

Leaf it to degrease it

Remove excess fat from soups and stews by dropping in a lettuce leaf or two – outer leaves are fine. Let the leaves absorb some of the fat, then scoop them out and toss them away.

Care for woollens

Before putting away woollens for summer, they should be washed, as stains attract moths. Pack garments into lidded plastic bins with cedar balls, bay leaves or sachets of peppercorns or cloves – and a packet of chalk if dampness is a problem.

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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