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Hints and tips for Silver and Metals: Kitchens and Glass: Packages: Sport and DIY: Jewelry: General housework: Washday blues: 

Hints and tips for Silver and Metals:

  • An effective and simple way to clean tarnished silver and silver-plate is to fill a pot with 2 liters water, add 37,Sml salt and about 20cm rolled up tinfoil. Bring to the boil then drop silver pieces into liquid, a few at a time. Simmer slowly then remove once clean. Blackened silver spoons can be brightened by rubbing with a little salt.  You can also use a strip of aluminum foil 12 cm wide, place in a plastic bowl and add 60ml washing soda and hot water with the silver. Remove when the fizzing stops and rinse.
  • Cover unused silver in olive oil and pack it away. Wash before use. Alternatively put a block of camphor with the silver, to prevent tarnish.
  • A magic cleaning cloth can be made with 1/2 cup methylated spirits and one teaspoon whiting, soak the cloth, hang and dry. Use for polishing silver.
  • Brass and copper can be cleaned by mixing 3 tablespoons of tartaric acid, 3 tablespoons of sunlight liquid with 3 cups of water, Wash brass first and rinse in clear water drying immediately, then do the copper. Lemon juice and salt can be used to clean copper and tomato sauce also does the trick. Use furniture polish on copper to stop tarnish, but use it sparingly. 
  • Tarnished brass can be cleaned with a rag soaked in ammonia or turpentine. Lacquered brass needs to be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water- never use brass polish.
  • Green rust marks on brass can be erased with ammonia.
  • Chrome needs to be polished with methylated spirits, rust can be removed with aluminum foil. To shine use dry bicarbonate of soda

Hints and tips for Kitchens and Glass:

  •  China teapots often have a brown stain caused by tannin. Remove this by pouring a strong, hot soda solution into the pot. Leave to stand overnight then scrub and rinse thoroughly.  
  • Aluminum pots with dark stains are cleaned by boiling 2 tsp of tartar to 1 liter of water in them.
  • Make drinking glasses shine brightly by putting them Into water to which you have added some baking-powder. Afterwards leave to dry.  

  • To clean deposits in glass decanters use 12.5 ml salt and 500ml of vinegar, leave to stand for a while and rinse. Crushed egg shells in hot water also will work, just let them stand and shake  occasionally.

  • A good glass cleaner is :1/2 cup each ammonia and meththylated spirit with 7 cups cold water- place in a spray bottle, wipe the window with newspaper after 30 seconds. Another recipe is use paraffin, methylated spirits and water in equal quantities use as the previous recipe. For mirrors you can use room freshener which also cleans and leaves a lovely smell.

  • To remove kettle fur, half fill the kettle with potato peel, top up with water and boil for about an hour. Empty it, shake out fur and rinse thoroughly  

  • A thermos flask will not smell musty if two lumps of sugar are kept in it when stored.

  • Chalk absorbs moisture and can be used in toolboxes and cutlery drawers to prevent rust.

  • Martha Stewart says three alka seltzer tablets  down a drain followed by a cupful of vinegar, then followed after a few minutes by hot water will unblock it. Citric acid can also be used.  2 teaspoons of common soda ( bicarb) in a tablespoon of vinegar moves grease fast as well. A tablespoon of sugar soap and 1/2 liter of boiling water works as well. 2 tablespoons of salt and boiling water is also a standby.

  • If you cook with grease use paper to clean the pot and keep this for lighting the braai fires.

  • If the coffee percolator is getting miserly with it's water, flush 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar with hot soapy water though it and then run a cycle of hot clean water.

  • Use glycerine or Vaseline to oil kitchen appliances, this will ensure no unpleasant flavors leak though.

  • Hang plastic bags in a cupboard for dusters and other small items, much easier to locate.

Hints and tips for Packages:

  •  If a parcel is fragile, soak wet newspaper, use lots of paper, wrap it round the container of the article and when it dries it will have formed a  hard shell that will with stand a great deal of rough treatment. To make the string round a parcel really tight, wet it first. Itíll shrink as it dries.

  • A dented ping-pong ball can be put right by placing it in a bowl of-hot water for a minute. Heat ex≠pands the air in the ball, which pops back into shape.

  •  Sharpen scissors by cutting a piece of emery paper with them several times. Likewise sharpen a sewing-machine needle by running it through a piece of emery paper

Hints and tips for Sport and DIY:

  • Hard paintbrushes will soften if soaked for 1/2 an hour in very hot vinegar. wash in soapy water afterwards. Hot vinegar will also remove fresh paint from windows, and a saucer of vinegar removes the smell of smokers as well as deterring mosquitoes. Vinegar also removes mildew in showers and fridges.

  • Dingy and grey dish clothes-dissolve a packet of cream of tartar in hot water and soak the clothes in it then wash normally.

  • Moth balls in a tool box will stop tools rusting.

Hints and tips for Jewelry

  • Jewelry cleaner- use 15 ml ammonia with 15ml hair shampoo and 250ml water. soak the jewelry for a few minutes then dry. Do not use this on pearls.

  • Alka seltzer tablets- use 2 in a glass of water and leave your jewelry in this mixture for a couple of minutes. Rinse and dry.

Hints and tips for General housework

  • Place charcoal behind books or papers to absorb damp.

  • A stiff lock- use a pencil with soft lead and rub the key with it. Often this helps. Never use oil on a lock.

  • For a mark on a polished table use spirits of camphor applied to a soft rag and rub lightly. Olive oil and salt may also help.

  • Marble is cleaned with a paste of salt.

  • Saw dust is a good carpet cleaner.

  • Add a few drops of paraffin to your water when washing painted surfaces, it dissolves the dirt.

  • The juice of a ripe tomato removes ink stains from furniture.

  • Leather furniture should be cleaned with two parts linseed oil and one part vinegar. To brighten leather use the white of an egg and rub with a soft dry cloth.

  • Oak furniture is cleaned best by warm beer.

  • For greasy furniture use a solution of 1 tablespoon borax and warm water to wash.

  • White enamel furniture can be cleaned by mixing a teaspoonful of salt with spirits of turpentine, then rinse of with soapy water.

  • Cane needs 1 teaspoonful of salt with a liter of water or equal quantities of lemon juice and water. Dry well.

  • Varnished woodwork responds well to a strong tea mixture

  • Parchment can be cleaned with olive oil.

  • To find something on the floor: place a stocking over the vacuum cleaner nozzle and vacuum the area

Hints and tips for Washday blues: see also stains

  • Place a towel in the wash with tracksuits and jerseys to stop fluff from forming on the garments.

  • Rinse your net curtains in a gelatin solution after washing and dust will not stick to them as easily.

  • Borax added to dishtowels when washing them will help get rid of unsightly marks and deodorize them.

  • Use methylated spirits in your final rinse water instead of starch.

  • Add olive oil to the final rinse of woolen blankets to keep them soft and fluffy. Adding eucalyptus oil to the final rinse will also deter fish moths.

  • To clean a steam iron mix 3 teaspoons of tartaric acid in water, pour into the iron and bring to steaming for ten minutes. Empty out using a pipe cleaner to clean the holes and rinse.