Candle grease or wax on a wooden surface can be removed by softening with a hair-dryer, then remove with a paper towel. Wash with a solution of vinegar and warm water, dry and polish.
Use cold tea when cleaning varnished woodwork or floors, and polish with a soft duster. The tannin helps to counteract grease and enhances the wood colour. It is also great for removing fingermarks.
Shift coffee stains on the carpet with one part glycerine to one part warm water.
Treat a fresh oil or grease stain on upholstery by sprinkling with talcum powder or cornflour. Rub well and leave until the stain is absorbed. Brush off and wipe with a damp cloth.
Lay a stair carpet with a spare fold at the top and bottom, so that you can move the carpet up and down a few inches a year. This helps to distribute the heavy wear on the edges of the treads.
When washing upholstery with detergent, use the lather only. Overlap each section as you proceed and rinse well with a clean, damp cloth.
If you, or someone you live with, is a smoker, you will know how hard it is to get the smell out of your car. Next time you are shopping pick up a bag of apples. Cut them in half and place all around your car, face up, overnight. By the morning the cigarette smell should be gone and an apple smell will be in its place.
Add about five drops of your favourite essential oil to two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Sprinkle into the bottom of your shoes and leave for as long as possible (24 hours is best). then simply shake the powder out and your shoes will be left smelling lovely.
Toothpaste cleans engagement rings in a pinch. Take a bit and apply to a soft-bristled toothbrush — the non-gel, chalky kind is best. You might even want to invest in a child-size brush. They have smaller heads and softer bristles that are perfect for ring cleaning. Gently scrub the ring all over the brush, rinse with warm water, and dry with a lint-free cloth.
Put a little raw rice, water and washing up liquid into the bottle, shake well, pour out and rinse.