Keep flies off your food!

Get ready for summer, and the disease-spreading flies and other annoying bugs that come with it, with a pop-up food cover, which folds away flat when not in use – from hardware shops.

A cute way to clean your knife

While I was staying with my sister in law recently, she made some toast for her daughter.

After buttering it and before putting on the jam, she cleaned the knife by inserting it sideways into the toast’s doughy interior.

An ingenious way of keeping the jam in the pot butter-free!

Keep your clothes fresh

If your wardrobe is positioned against an outside wall, the clothes inside can be vulnerable to damp and mould, particularly in colder months.

One simple way to counter this is to insert a few hanging wardrobe dehumidifiers on the rail.

How to clean muddy trainers

Most trainers, running shoes and football boots are fine to go into the washing machine, but if there’s mud on, don’t just chuck them in, hoping for the best.

Yes they will emerge clean but any mud stuck to them won’t just go down the drain – it often sits in the bottom of the rubber opening. I discovered quite a wodge of it in mine!

So next time wait till the mud dries and brush off as much as you can before you stick the shoes in the machine.

A few tips for when you’re cleaning windows

If they’ve not been done for a while, it’s a good idea to wash down the frames and sills before you do the glass.

If they’re especially bad, use a dustpan and brush to get the worst off before wiping down with a damp cloth.

Clean the glass from top to bottom to avoid drips and don’t clean in direct sunlight as you will always end up with streaks!

When you’re drying (a microfibre cloth is my top choice), wipe up and down on one side, back and fore on the other – that way you can tell which side any streaks are on.

Keep your floor brush clean!

A floor brush picks up a lot of dirt…but how often does it occur to you to give it a clean? It’s one thing picking out the clods of dust and hair that get trapped in the bristles, but it’s a good idea also to wash them in a warm mild detergent solution from time to time.

If you do it in the bath, you’ll see how dirty the water will be!

Rinse in clear water, then hang to dry. Always store your brush bristles side up – that way they won’t be flattened and will stay nice and bouncy.

How to avoid the smell of fish in the kitchen after cooking

It helps if you keep the window open and the cooker hood fan running, but if this is not cracking it, a better solution might be to cook your fish in the oven or microwave enclosed in either baking parchment or specifically designed cook-in bags.

As well as getting round the smell issue, they cut down on the washing up – always a good thing!

Get that stainless steel sink gleaming again

If you live in a hard water area and have water marks on your stainless steel sink, pour some clear neat vinegar (or lemon juice) on to a paper towel, apply to the stains and leave a few hours.

If you’re feeling energetic, mix a paste of bicarb of soda and vinegar and smear on with a damp cloth or sponge. 

Leave a few minutes, rinse off and buff dry.

Once clean, get into the habit of descaling the sink on a weekly basis, paying particular attention to the bits around the taps.