Follow these rules for a great night’s sleep

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Sheets and pillowcases ought to be washed once a week. It’s a good idea to do it on a specific day; that way it becomes part of your routine.

A 60C cycle is best for cottons, particularly if you have an asthma-related condition (anything below this temperature probably won’t kill dust mites).

Duvets should be washed once a year. A single size can usually go in the washing machine but anything bigger will have to be taken to the launderette. Make sure it’s completely dried before using again, if particularly down- or feather-filled. And dry quickly because if not the feathers can go mouldy, which will give a nasty smell you’ll never get rid of. Avoid dry-cleaning duvets because the solvent will leave a residue on the feathers.

Pillows will be filled with either feather, down or synthetic material. See the label for wash instructions, but normally you’ll be able to wash two at a time. Once or twice a year will be enough. Again, dry thoroughly and as quickly as possible to avoid mould. You may notice a difference in the weight post-wash! Pillow protectors are well worth using between washes.

Headboards can take on marks where a greasy head has been in contact. If it’s fabric, spot clean with an upholstery cleaner, but don’t overwet or you could end up with watermarks. If veneer or vinyl, wipe with warm soapy water and dry with a clean cotton cloth.

The space under the bed will get very dusty so pull out everything about once a month, and move the bed to one side to vacuum thoroughly. This will keep moths and carpet beetles away, and the dustmites under control.

Mattresses can end up looking pretty nasty. Unless the label says ‘Do not turn’, turn it over every three months to extend its life (and your comfort). Vacuuming it will make a huge difference to reducing the dustmite population. If you don’t have one already, use a mattress protector (waterproof for young children or anyone with incontinence problems). To remove stains, use a foamy mix of hand-wash detergent. Don’t overwet. Make sure it is completely dry before making up the bed again (use a hairdryer to speed things up). If there are any nasty smells there, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, leave a few hours then vacuum off.

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Wave goodbye to woodworm

Is woodworm a problem but you don’t like using chemical insecticides?

Try rubbing a clove of garlic along the grain of the wood. Seems the worms aren’t too fond of the taste of garlic!

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Get a lovely shine on your pastry

Tip from my cheffy son Ewan: when using eggwash to glaze the top of pastry, add a pinch of both salt and caster sugar.

You’ll get a much glossier finish. 

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Super-quick way to clean windows

I’ve discovered an even quicker way to clean windows. On a warm day, take the garden hose to them, all at once, then buff dry with a microfibre cloth for windows and mirrors.

Quick and easy!

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Get your whites whiter!

Brighten up cotton items that are yellowing by soaking them in hot water and the juice of a couple of lemons rather than household bleach.

They’ll smell nicer and the lemon juice will be less harsh on the fibres.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

What can I put (and not put) in my recycling bin?

If you’re unsure what your local council accepts, visit http://www.recyclenow.com and type in your postcode.

With any luck, you’ll be amazed at the range of waste your local authority is happy for you to put in your recycling bin.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

 

The many benefits of decluttering

You can see what really matters to you! You’ll enjoy your home and the things in it much more. You will feel freer, lighter and have more energy. If you streamline and simplify your life, your head will be clearer as you won’t have to look at all the stuff just lying around the place without a real purpose.

Lastly, imagine a tree holding on to its leaves – spring would never come. It’s just the same for us.

If you let go of stuff, you will reconnect with natural cycles.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

Cleaning burns calories!

For every 30 minutes of ironing you’ll use up 80 calories, and vacuuming will see off 120.

Washing dishes uses 80 and making the bed 70. There’s a silver lining to every cloud!

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com 

How to look after your bath

You might think an enamel bath would withstand any amount of elbow grease, but you’d be wrong – the shiny surface is actually very delicate and you should clean only with either a microfibre cloth or a product that bears the logo of the Vitreous Enamel Association (Cif, for example, carries the mark).

If you scrub too hard, you’ll remove the surface and thereafter it takes on stains. And re-enamelling a bath is costly.

And if you have a household tip to share with our followers just click here >

And did you know that Aggie Mackenzie is a qualified Yoga Teacher? Join her now for “Aggie’s Yoga!”

Or check out Diana Moran’s fitness website at www.keepfitandcarryon.com