Follow these rules for a great night’s sleep

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father, baby, portrait

PublicDomainPictures (CC0), Pixabay

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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Mouldy shower curtain?

Don’t give up on it and chuck it out.

Machine-wash on a wool cycle with some towels and rehang in position straight from the machine.

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How to stop your floor mop from going hard

Add a capful of fabric conditioner to a bucket of water, rinse the mop in it, then squeeze dry and leave till the next use.

It’ll always be lovely and soft.

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Keep on top of household clutter

 Adopt the mantra:

One in, one out’.

For every new item you bring into your home, look for one existing one you can either throw or recycle.

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How to look after your glass-topped table

It seems a good idea when new…then it’s an absolute bind to keep it looking good.

The surface will scratch easily so protective coasters and cloths are a good idea.

Clean smears with a damp cloth wrung out in warm soapy water and buff dry.

Any chips or scratches can sometimes be filed down with the finest grade of sandpaper.

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Sofa covered in pet hair?

ulleo (CC0), Pixabay

ulleo (CC0), Pixabay

As a nation we love our pets, but sometimes their hairs on the sofa and chairs can be a real pain. If you don’t want to be constantly vacuuming them up, a quick inbetween solution is to don a pair of rubber gloves, run your hands quickly under the tap and take them over the hairs, from one side of the sofa to the other.

The hair will obediently be pushed along by the rubber gloves, then all you do is gather up the clumps and put them in the bin.

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No more hairwrap on your vacuum head!

I was a bit sceptical that any vacuum brush roll could remain hair-free. But I’ve put the new Bissell MultiReach Active 21V Tangle Free Cordless Vacuum through its paces…and, as if by magic, not a single strand in the brush roll – they all end up in the easy-to-empty dirt tank!
Cordless is my fave way to vac; this one is efficient, lightweight and its battery runs for up to 30 minutes (and, let’s face it, who wants to be vacuuming for longer?). £199.99, available from major electrical retailers and bisselldirect.co.uk

How to keep tops of kitchen cupboards clean

Kitchen jason-leung-7iuasVqkUjs-unsplash

Do your kitchen cupboards reach almost but not quite to the ceiling?

The tops will take on that nasty, hard-to-shift combination of grease and dust.

Save yourself cleaning time by laying down sheets of newspaper and every so often remove and replace with new sheets.

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Goo on your iron’s soleplate?

While it’s warm, rub with a nylon scourer and a little non-gel toothpaste. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. And next time you’re ironing a T-shirt with a motif that might stick, turn it inside out.

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Get those taps gleaming!

When cleaning the bathroom, finish off by polishing taps and shining the basin and mirror with towels that you’re about to put in the washing machine.

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Smelly microwave?

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To freshen up your microwave, chop up a used lemon, put in a bowl of hot water and cook on high for 3-4 minutes.

The steam will loosen the dirt and the lemon will deodorise any lingering smells.

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