When your dishwasher lets you down…

If your dishwasher is working badly of a sudden and stuff’s still dirty at the end of the cycle, don’t assume it needs replacing. Food waste may be trapped in the filter (which ends up back on the dishes). Remove and clean with a soft brush under the tap. Do this weekly.

Best way to clean artex

Do you have an artex ceiling? Then you’ll know what dust traps they are…and adding water only seems to grind in the dirt. The best way to clean artex is by using the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

A superior slice

I’m a huge fan of Microplane graters, and love how the company manages to think up a different blade for every last cut in the kitchen. The Fine Julienne blade from the Gourmet Series produces strips that are a bit wider but thinner than your classic Julienne, and the super-sharp blades give super-quick results. The Fine Julienne works particularly well with carrots, beetroot, courgettes and potatoes (for great hash browns). Around £25.

Next time you buy conditioner…

If you use fabric conditioner, buy concentrated – it takes up less space and works out cheaper if you follow the correct dosage. And keep an eye on the dispenser – it can get clogged quickly. Pull out the drawer and wash in the sink.

Safety first!

Once your washing up liquid bottle is empty, fill it with clear vinegar (and don’t forget to label it!) for cleaning jobs. Great for shower doors, and lighter and safer than lugging around a glass vinegar bottle.

Chop! Chop!

In my time I’ve tested lots of mini food processors (for chopping herbs, nuts and spices), and the one by Judge is a cracker. I love the wide glass bowl and, whether you want a rough or fine finish, it’s very easy to use; currently half price at £22.50 from hartsofstur.com.