Do you have a favourite wooden spoon that’s looking past its best? Bring it back to life by wiping generously with warmed olive oil, then put it in a medium oven for a couple of minutes.
If your vacuum cleaner isn’t doing its job as well as usual, check the hose for blockages: disconnect it and drop a coin down. If the coin comes out the other end, it’s not the hose to blame!
Now you can easily create professional-looking cappuccinos at home with Aerolatte stencils. The set of six, dishwasher-proof and shaped to sit on most cups, includes a heart and a leaf. £5.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
A tip from the man who fixed my washing machine: don’t always use the highest spin if you don’t need to (say in warmer weather). It’s like constantly driving your car at top speed. If you can spin at 1000 as much as possible, apparently the machine will last longer.
Try this deliciously easy Lemon Posset pudding: heat 600ml double cream and 150g golden caster sugar, stirring. Boil 2 minutes, stirring. Cool. Add juice and zest of 2 large lemons; divide between 6 glasses and chill. You’ll be hooked!
To treat mould on a waterproof jacket that’s been stored in a damp place, wash with a non-detergent cleaner for waterproof clothing, such as Nikwax Tech Wash,
A soap-based cleaner can leave a tiled floor cloudy. Instead use a solution of mainly warm water with a good slug of clear vinegar added.
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!
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.
Take care not to clean your glasses or computer screen with kitchen towel – most of them contain wood pulp products that will damage those surfaces. Use specialist microfibre cloths instead (like the ones you get in a spectacles case).