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.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

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Are your carpets looking dull and grimy?

Give your carpets a new lease of life with a deep-clean from a Rug Doctor machine. A 24-hour hire costs around £30 and you’ll have professional-looking results.

There are hundreds of pick-up points around the country – eg from branches of Asda, Morrisons and Tesco. The system’s easy to use and you’ll be delighted with the results. 

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Freshen up your vacuum cleaner bag

Take the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner along the bottom of an empty box of washing powder (you know those annoying bits that get welded on to the base!).

This gives the vacuum bag a lovely smell that goes right through the house as you hoover!

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Several ways to remove a ring mark from a wooden surface

Take a shelled Brazil nut (without the chocolate coating!) and rub along the grain of the wood. Or use Brasso with a soft duster, again going with the grain. Or if there’s a smoker in the house, a little ash on a dampened soft cloth should sort it.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Keep your steering wheel healthy!

Research has shown that nine times more germs live on a car steering wheel than a public toilet seat, yet who remembers to clean it?

Added to the fact that most of us are guilty of snacking while driving, it’s no wonder that food poisoning is so rife.

Give the wheel a wipe-over with warm soapy water every now and then, and keep a pack of wipes in the car.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Magically get those marks off your walls

I always have a Magic Eraser Block on hand – I don’t know why everyone doesn’t. It’s a super-strength sponge made from melamine foam and when you dampen it, it’ll remove practically any stain from any hard surface…so no need for despair when visiting toddlers decorate the wall with their new crayons. The only problem is that sometimes it can be a little too effective on say a painted wall or polished surface, but as long as you go gently, you’ll be fine. And you can cut into any shape or size to tackle awkward nooks and crannies.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Freshen up your house

To a saucepan of water add a few bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick and orange peel and simmer for 30 minutes. It’ll give the kitchen a lovely fresh atmosphere. You could also get a little bottle of your favourite essential oil – I love both lavender and rosemary – from any health shop and most chemists and, using cotton wool,  rub a little on the light bulb and radiator tops so that when the light and heating are on the oils respond to the heat and the room will smell gorgeous.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Bird droppings

Bird droppings can be dangerous, particularly if you inhale airborne particles. If cleaning up bird poo, hose down first, and to be extra safe wear a dust mask from a hardware shop.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/ now. nd if it’s health and fitness you’re interested in, head over to www.getready4anyage.com and register for daily health tips from Green Goddess Legend – Diana Moran.

Bring that mouldy tent back to life

If you’ve got the tent out for the first time since last year, and it’s flecked with mould and smells musty, don’t just throw it away. And don’t stick it in the washing machine either because if it has taped seams they’ll get damaged.

What you need to do is erect the tent in the garden and vacuum off the mould spores. Now sponge over a diluted solution of Milton (about 1 tbsp per litre of warm water). Then follow up with a tent cleaner such as Nikwax Tech Wash.

You’ll also need a waterproofer (Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarproof); instructions are on the packs. Happy camping!

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/

Indentation in a chair that’s covered in short, velvety pile?

Try a very weak solution of fabric conditioner and warm water (a few drops per litre of water). Apply using a small sponge (don’t overwet), then gently stroke the surface with a folded towel to try to lift and realign the pile.

Rinse and blot with kitchen paper, then blot with a terry towel (or use a cool hairdryer). Leave overnight.

If you have a household tip that you would like to share with Aggie’s followers – send it to us for publication – go to https://aggiestips.com/do-you-have-a-tip-to-share-with-aggie/