Take to the bottle

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 now!

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.

How clean is your screen?

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).

The best glue you can find

I’d never come across Gorilla Glue before – a handyman friend told me about it. He’s never without a bottle as it’s super-strong and works on virtually anything. As the label says, put it to the test (always using much less than you think; it expands a lot) and you’ll stick with it for life! From Homebase and B&Q.

Another fine mess…

Chewing gum on pavements is bad enough, but if it’s landed on your carpet, scrape away the worst, then put ice cubes over the residue until it’s brittle and chip away with a blunt knife.

Perfect pearls

Did you know that the best way to look after pearls is to wear them? The oils in your skin add a gentle lustre to the gems. Clean them by washing in warm water with a tiny amount of mild soap, then gently buff dry with a soft cotton cloth.