Handy Home Hints

Fish tank fertiliser

Next time you change water in your aquarium, pour the old water from the tank onto your plants. The water contains nutrients that help your plants thrive.

Aquarium water is also useful for getting cuttings to root. Simply place the cutting through a small hole in styrofoam, (or a slice of a pool noodle) and float it on the surface.

Disguise scratches on wood

Wipe over scratched wood surfaces with a solution of strong black tea. The scratches will be much less noticeable.

  1. Place a bag of black tea in a cup and add a little boiling water. Allow to steep for a few minutes.
  2. Clean the wood with a damp, lint-free cloth to remove dust and dirt.
  3. Apply the tea to the scratched area using a clean cloth or cotton wool pad
  4. Wipe the treated area dry after applying the tea.
wood scratches disguised with tea
Dog scratches on this windowsill are quickly fixed.

Sticky wooden drawers

Rub a wax candle on wooden drawer tracks to help them slide easily. A tealight candle is easiest to hold and has a flat surface for rubbing.

You can try this candlewax method to fix stiff doors or windows and even sticky zippers.

wooden drawer track
Lubricate wooden drawers with candlewax

5 uses for old newspaper

  1. Keep suitcases fresh when in storage by filling them with crumpled newspaper. This will stop them developing any musty odours.
  2. Suitcase full of newspaper
  3. Use crumpled newspaper instead of bubblewrap when packing fragile items.
  4. Use a thick wads of newspaper as kneepads while gardening.
  5. Newspaper also helps to dry out and deodorise damp shoes. Leave the paper in overnight to absorb moisture.
  6. Newspaper in shoes
  7. Cleaning barbecues after using. Before the barbecue goes cold, lay sheets of wet newspaper over the plate. Close the lid and leave for an hour. Remove the paper and the barbecue should wipe clean easily.

Remove adhesive stickers

Remove sticker adhesive from glass and wood by applying vegetable oil and letting it soak for 30 minutes before gently rubbing off with a soft cloth.

Nail polish remover or WD-40 can be used to remove advesive from stainless steel.