Liquid or powder washing detergent?

Liquid’s good for greasy stains and as a spot cleaner and pre-treater. Powder is cheaper and fine for general loads and households free of small children and food stains.

Vodka to the rescue!

Do you have clothes that smell musty? Or soft furnishings that reek of cigarette smoke? Get them fresh again by pouring some neat vodka into a spray bottle, spritz your item lightly and leave to dry. Any odours should be neutralized, and it’s cheaper than a trip to the dry cleaner!

Get set with your jam

I love making jam and now it’s chutney time, the preserving continues. The best way of reducing time/faff/question marks over setting is with a Thermapen (jam is set at 105C). They’re not cheap – from £36; thermapen.co.uk – but are professional quality, super-quick and dead accurate. A great present for a jam-maker.