Category Housekeeping secrets

Buff up your bathroom

  •  Keep showerheads unclogged

If you live in an area with very hard water, you’ll have noticed how mineral deposits can block showerheads. You don’t need a new one – use denture tablets or vinegar to unclog it.

  1.  If you can remove the showerhead, dissolve 4-5 denture tablets in a bowl of water and put the head in to soak. Or let it soak overnight in white vinegar. (For extra cleaning action, heat the vinegar in the microwave first.)
  2.  If the showerhead isn’t removable, pour the denture tablet solution or vinegar into a plastic bag, tape or tie the bag to the fixture so the showerhead is completely immersed and leave the bag in place for 1-2 hours. To make sure the showerhead is completely unblocked, clean out the holes with a needle, piece of wire or toothpick. Then wipe the head with a cloth dipped in vinegar.
  •  Goodbye to grime and soap scum

Forget about buying ‘miracle’ products. Instead, stir 3 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 cup (125ml) household ammonia into 2 cups (500ml) warm water. Once you’ve wiped the solution on and rinsed it off with a sponge or rag, bathroom surfaces will gleam.

  •  Make glass shower doors sparkle

Glass shower doors are a convenient feature of any bathroom but can quickly cloud up with soap scum. For some heavy-duty cleaning, try:

  1. Shaving cream Squirt on the foam and wipe clean with a dry rag; the foam will leave a film that keeps the door from fogging and makes it harder for scum to stick.
  2. White vinegar Keep a spray bottle filled with vinegar and a sponge by (or in) the shower so you can make washing down the surfaces part of your post-shower routine.
  3. Bicarbonate of soda-plus Make a solution of 1/4 cup (60ml) washing-up liquid, 1/4 cup (60ml) hydrogen peroxide and 3 tablespoons bicarb, then scrub onto doors with a sponge.
  4. Vegetable oil Simply pour a little vegetable oil onto a sponge or paper towel and scrub the doors, adding more oil as you need it.
  5. Furniture polish Use a cloth to rub polish directly on doors, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. The polish cleans and also protects against the build-up of soap scum.
  •  Mildew-free shower curtains

The moist environment of a bathroom is just made for mildew, so don’t be surprised when it appears on the shower curtain. You can keep it at bay for a while, at least, by soaking curtains and liners in salt water before hanging them. Once they’re up and any mildew appears:

  1.  Add 1/3 cup (60g) borax and 1/2 cup (125ml) vinegar to 2 cups (500ml) water, pour onto the affected areas and let sit for 8-10 minutes. Then scrub with a sponge or cloth.
  2.  Mix 2 tablespoons washing-up liquid with 2 cups (500ml) household bleach and spray the solution onto the curtain.
  3.  Make a paste of vinegar and salt, and spread it onto the mildewed area. Dry for 1-2 hours and then clean curtain with a damp cloth.
  •  Lemony toilet cleaner

Make a paste of 2-3 parts borax and 1 part lemon juice (stir the juice in gradually until you have the right consistency) and apply it to a stained toilet bowl, rim included. Let it sit for 1-1/2 -2 hours and then scrub it off with a toilet brush. This treatment is especially effective for getting rid of the ring that often appears at water level on the toilet bowl.

  •  Clean that ceiling

You’re probably so busy cleaning the fixtures and tiles in your bathroom that you don’t even think about the ceiling. Look up, but prepare yourself for what you might see — mildew, spots, built-up grime. To clean it easily, fill a mop bucket with equal parts water and white vinegar. Then put on goggles or other protective eyewear. Dip a long-handled sponge mop into the solution, squeeze it out and reach up to clean one section of the ceiling at a time.

  •  Good riddance to grout grime

The grouting between bathroom tiles is a magnet for dirt and germs and it’s easy to miss those hard-to-reach crevices during regular cleaning. It also looks bad, so every so often:

  1.  Make a paste of 1 part borax, 2 parts bicarbonate of soda and 1-2 parts water and scrub it onto the grout with a toothbrush.
  2.  Rub away grime with a new pencil eraser, that’s well suited to reaching these narrow spaces.
  3.  Scrub with a mouthwash containing a tooth-whitening agent.
  4.  Soak a cotton wool ball in household bleach and place on stained benchtop grout for a few hours; for walls, attach the cotton ball with gaffer tape.
  •  Solutions for stubborn scum and water spots

Bathroom surfaces — including ceramic tiles, glass fibre and acrylic shower units — can become dulled by water spots and built-up scum just as easily as tubs and sinks. Tackle these heavily soiled surfaces with vigour and …

  1.  2 cups (360g) salt dissolved in 4 litres hot water.
  2.  Half a cup (125ml) vinegar, 1/2 cup (125ml) ammonia and 2-1/2 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda in 4 litres warm water. Apply one of these two solutions, let sit for about 15 minutes, then scrub off and rinse thoroughly.
  •  Brush away rust stains

To get rid of hard-water rust stains on toilets, baths and sinks, just squeeze a little toothpaste onto an old toothbrush and scrub away. Or scrub at the stain with a paste of borax and lemon juice or a solution of equal parts turpentine and salt. Whichever method you choose, attack the rust stains right away. The sooner you deal with them, the easier they will be to remove.

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Tips for tiresome chores

  •  Use a ruler to clean your louvres

The slats in louvred doors and shutters attract dust fast, and cleaning them can be a real chore. Speed up the job with fabric softener and a ruler. Wrap a fabric-softener sheet (or a cloth sprayed with fabric softener) around a ruler and clean the louvres by running this makeshift tool over each slat. A bonus with this method is that fabric-softening agents repel dust, so you won’t need to dust as often.

  •  Freshen artificial flowers

Fake flowers attract lots of dust, and since you can’t use water to clean silk or crepe flowers, give them a bath in bicarbonate of soda instead. Put at least 1 cup (180g) bicarb in a large plastic bag, insert the flower heads and secure the bag around the stems. Grasp the top of the bag tightly and shake it hard so that the bicarb can absorb all the dust and grime. Remove flowers, then shake off bicarb and dust residue from the petals using a soft toothbrush or paintbrush.

  •  Stained marble tabletop?

Marble makes a beautiful benchtop or tabletop, but this porous stone is a real stain magnet. To remove a drink stain, rub a paste of bicarbonate of soda and equal parts water and lemon juice into the area, rinse with water and wipe dry.

To remove other kinds of marble stains (including scuff marks on a marble floor), shake a good amount of salt over the area. Wet the salt with soured milk for as long as two days, checking periodically to see whether the salt—sour milk mixture has done its job. When it has, mop up the salty puddle with a sponge.

  •  Scrub away soot

It’s hard to keep a fireplace spotless, but these easy tricks will help it to look a lot better.

  1.  Clean the tiles or bricks with a scrubbing brush moistened with white vinegar.
  2.  Rub soot marks off the hearth and tiles or bricks with an artist’s eraser.
  3.  After removing ashes from the fireplace, set a plate of bicarbonate of soda inside for a day to get rid of the sooty odour.
  •  Vinegar for vases

It’s hard to clean dirty, long-necked vases and bottles. Make the task easier by filling the vessel with warm water and an equal amount of vinegar. Add up to 1 cup (150g) uncooked rice and shake vigorously. (If cleaning a vase or a bottle without a lid, put a sheet of aluminium foil on the top, mold it to the sides and grip the top tightly as you shake.) The rice acts as an abrasive that scrapes the glass clean.

  •  Whiten piano keys

If your piano keys have become yellow, don’t despair: you can restore their whiteness in a few simple ways. Use a soft cloth to rub the keys with lemon juice and salt or with a 50:50 mix of surgical spirit and water; or apply mayonnaise and gently scrub with a soft cloth or soft toothbrush.

Whichever method you choose, prevent seepage by holding a piece of cardboard between the keys as you work your way down the keyboard. Wipe off each key with a slightly damp cloth before moving on to the next one. Let the keys air-dry and the piano will soon be ready to be played again.

  •  Dusting a ceiling fan

All you need to clean a ceiling fan without getting covered in dust is a ladder, an old cotton sock and a bucket of soapy water. Stir 1 teaspoon washing-up liquid into 4 litres water. Dip the sock into the water and wring it out. Slip the sock over your hand, climb the ladder and rub your stockinged hand over each blade. Take care to clean the blades on both sides — the heaviest dust layer is on the top. The dust will be transferred directly to the damp sock, not into the air.

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Get glass and metal gleaming

  •  Keep glass tabletops sparkling

If you have a glass table, you’ll be used to cleaning it frequently to remove smudge marks. To add a shine every time, squeeze the juice of a halved lemon onto the surface and rub it with a clean cloth. Remove any excess juice, and then buff the tabletop with a wad of newspaper.

  •  Cut down on mess when cleaning a chandelier

To clean all the pendants and bangles and bits on a crystal chandelier, do you have to go to the trouble of taking it apart? Not if you use this easy method and don’t mind standing on a ladder. First, make sure the ladder is secure and that your shoes have soles with a good grip. Then push out the tray at the top of the ladder and set a small bowl of diluted surgical spirit on top (1 part alcohol to 3 parts water). Slip an old cotton glove over your hand, dip your fingers into the alcohol and wipe the glass clean with your forefinger and thumb. Then soak a second cotton glove in fresh water and go over the same areas again. Then dry all Parts of the chandelier with a clean, soft cotton cloth and it should sparkle again.

  •  Clean-ups for candlesticks

We often have more than romantic memories to remind us of a candlelit dinner: a collection of wax-encrusted candlesticks. Next time this happens, gather up your candlesticks and take them into the kitchen to try any of the following cleaning options:

  1.  Hold the candlesticks under hot running water and rub the wax off with a soft cloth.
  2.  Wash them in hot soapy water until any wax residue disappears.
  3.  If the candlesticks are glass, lay them in the microwave on a paper towel and run the oven on Low for 3 minutes. After this, you should find that the wax has been transferred onto the paper. Discard the paper.
  4.  Put any sort of candlestick into the freezer for a couple of hours. When you take it out you should be able to lift the wax off.
  •  Clean stove doors

When the doors of a wood burning stove are covered with soot it may look bad, but it’s not hard to clean the glass. If the dirty side of the glass is easy to reach, leave the doors attached when cleaning; if you need to remove the doors, lay them on a soft towel to clean. (Most doors have spring-loaded clips at the top for easy removal.) Start by scraping away any built-up deposits with a razor blade. Then fill a bucket with water, add 1 cup (250ml) white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon washing-up liquid and scrub with newspaper crumpled into a ball. Rinse well with a clean sponge or towel, dry the doors, then stand back and admire the view.

  •  Mirror, mirror…

Your mirrors will be streak-free if you wash them with equal parts water and white vinegar. However, technique does matter: spray-cleaning a mirror can result in moisture seeping behind the glass and turning the silvering black. Instead, dip a clean sponge or wadded-up newspaper (without coloured ink) into the solution and clean the mirror. Wipe dry with a soft cloth, a paper towel or more newspaper.

  •  Cleaning monitors and TV screens

Less is more when cleaning a computer monitor or TV screen. Turn off the monitor and simply dust with a clean cloth, preferably an antistatic wipe. Wipe the screen with a clean cloth barely dampened with water, from top to bottom; if fingerprints and other marks remain, add a small amount of white vinegar to the cloth and wipe again. Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens should be wiped very lightly and only with a clean cloth (paper towels can scratch the sensitive surface). Never clean an LCD screen with commercial glass cleaners, which contain ammonia, acetone, ethyl alcohol or other substances that can cause serious damage.

  •  Reduce tarnish with charcoal or rice

Sooner or later silver cutlery or other items will need to be polished, but you can make the task easier by keeping tarnish to a minimum. Protect your silver from moisture, which can cause tarnishing, by placing a few charcoal briquettes or a small bowl of rice in the cupboard where your silver is stored; both are highly absorbent. And place a briquette inside a silver teapot or coffee pot to prevent moisture from building up.

  •  Shine silver with banana peels

You can polish up tarnished silverware with the inside of a banana skin or plain old toothpaste. Whichever you use, rinse the pieces well after wiping them clean and then buff dry using a clean soft cloth.

  1. Banana peel Remove the banana (then eat it — it’s packed with heart-healthy potassium) and, holding firmly, massage your silver-ware with the inside of the peel. For tougher tarnish, puree the peel in a blender and then massage the paste into the silver item. Remove with a soft cloth.
  2. Toothpaste Rub non-gel white toothpaste onto tarnished pieces of silver and work it in with a damp soft cloth.
  •  Keep brass looking golden

For a tarnish-free shine, clean any brass item in one of these two ways: sprinkle a slice of lemon with bicarbonate of soda and rub it onto the brass. Or sprinkle salt onto a soft cloth dipped in white vinegar and rubs the surface. Rinse the brass with a cloth dipped in warm water and then buffs it dry. For some extra shine, rub just-cleaned brass with a little olive oil.

  •  Tomato sauce makes brass shine

A good way to clean knick-knacks, drawer handles and other items made of brass is to boil them in tomato sauce or a hot sauce such as Tabasco. Just put the items in a saucepan, cover with tomato sauce (easier and cheaper than using Tabasco), and place the pan over a high heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the brass shines up nicely. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

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Fixing up furniture

  •  Double-duty dusting formula

Here’s a dusting formula that will also moisturise dry wood. In a teacup, mix 1/4 cup (60ml) linseed oil with 1 teaspoon lemon balm tea. Dip your dusting cloth into the mixture (soaking up only a small amount at a time) and rub it vigorously onto the wooden surface to be cleaned. Use a soft clean cloth to wipe away any residue.

  •  Removing stuck-on candle wax

If a candlelit dinner party has ended with hot wax dripped onto your treasured dining table, here’s how to remove it without scratching the wood. Put a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and rest the bag on the wax until it becomes brittle. Then gently prise the wax off using the edge of a spatula or credit card. Gently rub a soft cloth dampened with a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 10 parts warm water to take care of any residue.

  •  Three fixes for wood finishes

You don’t need to look any further than the kitchen or bathroom when it’s time to take care of these three common problems:

  1. Stuck-on paper To remove paper that’s stuck to a wooden surface, pour a few drops of olive oil over the paper, wait about 20 minutes as the oil softens it and then use a clean dry cloth to remove the paper and oil. (Not only is olive oil harmless to wood, but it may do it some good.)
  2.  Burn mark If a wood surface suffers a slight burn from a mislaid cigarette or a lit match, rub a little mayonnaise into the burn, let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it off with a clean, damp cloth. Mayonnaise will also remove crayon marks from wood.
  3. Tape To remove adhesive tape that has stuck to a wooden floor or piece of furniture, apply a little surgical spirit to the tape, then rub the area with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1 teaspoon washing-up liquid and 2 cups (500ml) warm water.
  •  Get rid of water rings and spots

If a guest doesn’t use a coaster and their glass leaves a white ring or spots on a wooden table, the unsightly marks will disappear like magic if you dampen a cloth, apply a dab of toothpaste and rub the area gently. For a stubborn spot, add a little bicarbonate of soda to the toothpaste. Dry the area and then polish the surface as usual; if you’re lucky, all traces of the damage will vanish.

  •  Homemade furniture polish

A simple polish made from two kitchen staples will leave wooden furniture with a lovely shine and pleasant smell. Combine 2-1/3 cups (600ml) vegetable oil with 1-1/2 cups (360ml) lemon juice, mix well and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray onto finished wooden surfaces and polish well with a soft cloth. As the polish contains lemon juice, you’ll have to store it in the fridge, where it will keep for up to six months. The oil won’t congeal, so the polish won’t need ‘thawing’.

  •  Caring for vinyl upholstery

Though vinyl upholstery is durable, it has a weakness — oil from skin and hair can cause it to harden and even crack. To keep vinyl-covered furniture in good shape, clean it regularly, especially when it gets a lot of use. Dampen a cloth in water, dip it in white vinegar and gently wipe the vinyl surfaces to cut through oils. Then add a few drops of mild washing-up liquid to a bucket of water, stir well and wash the vinyl with a soft cloth dipped into the soapy water. Rinse with a damp cloth and dry.

  •  Foam away dirt

For spot-cleaning the corners of dirty sofa cushions, upholstered chair arms and similar, whip up some foam. First, make sure the fabric can be safely cleaned with water-based agents (check the cleaning instructions label). If it can, vacuum the soiled fabric thoroughly to remove loose dirt. Mix 1 part mild liquid laundry detergent with 4 parts distilled water in a bowl. (Distilled water doesn’t leave watermarks on fabric.) Using a hand mixer, beat the solution until a you build a good head of foam. Carefully apply to the upholstery, working in small sections, using a clean sponge or cloth. Let dry, then wipe it off with a cloth dampened with white vinegar diluted with distilled water (1 part vinegar to 6 parts water).

  •  Removing stains from vinyl furniture

To remove stubborn marks from vinyl furniture, try rubbing the stain with a cloth dipped in milk. (Whether the milk is skim, low-fat or full-fat doesn’t matter.) Then wash with soapy water as directed above and dry.


  •  Scorch mark on upholstery

Whether someone has accidentally dropped a cigarette or a match on your best armchair is irrelevant: you now have an expensive repair to deal with. But it may not be the disaster it seems. You may be able to blot out the mark with paper towels. Wet a paper towel with distilled water and dab it onto the mark (but don’t rub). Now blot it with a dry paper towel. If that doesn’t work, put a drop of mild liquid laundry detergent onto a wet paper towel and treat the spot. After a minute or two, blot up the detergent with a wet paper towel and then blot the area one last time with a dry one.

  •  Touching up leather

Though leather is hard to stain, it can easily sustain watermarks. Just wipe these away with white vinegar — but only after testing on an inconspicuous area of the upholstery. To get rid of scuff marks, rub them with a pencil eraser.

  •  Take a leather lesson from the stables

If you’re lucky enough to own a sofa or club chair made of heavier saddle leather, forget about using expensive, specialized leather cleaners, and instead use old-fashioned saddle soap. Treat the leather once or twice a year, depending on how dry or humid your home is.

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Caring for carpets

  •  Baby your carpet

Cooking fumes, cigarette smoke and other smells cling to carpets and make a whole house smell musty. To freshen up, spread a liberal coat of baby powder over the carpet using a flour sifter. Leave the powder in place for a few hours or overnight, and then vacuum it up. Bicarbonate of soda will do the same job; with a darker carpet you may want to throw in a bit of ground cinnamon or nutmeg to sweeten the smell.

  •  Steam away furniture footprints

Whenever you move a piece of furniture indents remain in the carpet, but you can spruce up the crushed fibres using an iron and a fork. Put the iron onto the steam setting and hold it about 0.5cm above the carpet, then fluff out the steamed fibres with the tines of the fork. (Take added care not to melt man-made fibres.)

  •  Inexpensive homemade carpet cleaner

Mix 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts hot water or, alternately, 1/2 cup (125ml) household ammonia in 2 cups (500ml) hot water. Use it either in a carpet-cleaning machine or apply with a scrubbing brush and elbow grease. Rinse the cleaned carpet with a damp cloth. To help to dissipate any lingering odours, open the windows and, if necessary, place an oscillating fan in the room.

  •  Clean up paint spills with vinegar

Don’t waste time crying over spilt paint on your carpet. Instead, spring into action before it sets: mix 1-1/2 teaspoons vinegar and 1-1/2 teaspoons laundry detergent into 2 cups (500ml) warm water. Now sponge away the paint (a task that takes time and a lot of elbow grease) and rinse with cold water. If you’re lucky, what might have been an unwelcome — and permanent — decorating touch will be gone. It’s certainly worth a try.

  •  Beat a rug

Dust and pet dander collect daily on (and in) the fibres of rugs, so shake them out the old-fashioned way to get rid of it: hang the rug over a rail or taut clothes line and beat it with a tennis racquet or a cricket bat.

  •  Flip an expensive rug

Has your beloved but incontinent dog relieved himself on the priceless Peshawar rug that you inherited from Aunty Anne? There’s no need to find a new home for the dog. Scoop up the mess, turn the rug over, place a bucket under the offending spot and pour water — repeatedly — through the underside of the stain and into the bucket until the spot is gone. This will clean the delicate fibres without the need for scrubbing.

  •  The brilliance of baby wipes

Yet another great use for mild baby wipes is as a simple carpet stain cleaner. Blot up a spill with a damp (but not soaking wet) baby wipe. This will lift out the stain before it sets.

  •  Shaving cream to the rescue

 To clean a stain that hasn’t yet set, squirt non-gel shaving cream directly onto the stain and wipe clean with a damp rag or sponge.

  •  Soda water with a twist

Every waitress and barman knows how reliable a stain remover soda water can be. To use it on a stained carpet, pour it onto the stain, leave it for 3 minutes and then dab it up with a paper towel or sponge.

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Cleaning floors and walls

  •  Wipe scuffs off wooden floors

Look no further than your bathroom to find the right tools for removing scuff marks. First, try squeezing a little toothpaste (the non-gel, non-whitening kind) onto an old toothbrush, scrub the marks gently, then wipe up the paste with a damp cloth. If that doesn’t work, dabs a little baby oil or petroleum jelly onto a dry cloth and rub the mark, then remove any residue with a cotton rag or paper towel.

  •  Protect floors when rearranging furniture

If you have to move heavy furniture out of the way to clean or are rearranging the living room for a big party, protect wooden floors — and save yourself the trouble of dealing with scratches later — by pulling heavy socks over furniture legs and securing them with masking tape. This trick will also make it easier to push heavy furniture around. For everyday floor protection, consider putting bandaids or soft patches on the bottom of furniture legs. If you have a rocking chair, fix a long strip of masking tape to the bottom of each rocker to help to keep wooden floors unspoiled.

  • Get rid of waxy build-up

 If you wax a vinyl or linoleum floor, you’ll know how wax builds up over time. Here are two easy ways to remove it:

  1. Soda water for vinyl Working in sections, pour a small amount of soda water onto the vinyl floor and scrub it with the abrasive side of a kitchen sponge. Let the soda water sit on the floor for 5 minutes, then wipe up the loosened wax with a wad of cheesecloth or a pair of pantihose.
  2. Surgical spirit for linoleum Mop a lino floor with a solution of 3 cups (750ml) water to 1 cup (250ml) surgical spirit. Use a sponge mop to scrub it in well, and then rinse thoroughly.
  •  Liquidate heel marks on vinyl

Vinyl floors are highly susceptible to heel marks, especially from rubber heels. An easy way to remove the marks is to spray them with WD-40, let it sit for 5-6 minutes and then rub the marks off with a soft cloth.

  •  Vinegar for tiles and linoleum

These materials are practical choices for flooring in kitchens, bathrooms and family rooms — all of which receive some of the most punishing wear in the house. Make cleaning these areas a simple job by mopping with a solution of 1/2 cup (125ml) white vinegar in 4 litres warm water.

  •  A clean sweep with tea

 Rural Japanese housekeepers traditionally strewed still-damp tea leaves over the floor before sweeping — and some no doubt still do. Dust and dirt cling to leaves and are easier to push into a dust pan. You can then throw the contents into a garden bed or compost heap. (Talk about an eco-friendly cleanser!) Just don’t use tea leaves on unbleached wood or carpet, as the tea may stain.

  •  Erasing crayon marks from walls

Your child may be a budding Rembrandt, but even so, you probably don’t want him defacing your walls with crayons. Try these techniques to clean up surprise murals:

  1.  Lightly rub the area with a clean, dry fabric softener sheet.
  2.  Rub vigorously with a clean artist’s eraser — or ask your young artist do it for you.
  3.  Squirt shaving cream onto the markings and scrub gently with a toothbrush or a scrubbing brush.
  4.  Soften the markings with a hair dryer and wipe them off with a cloth moistened with a little baby oil.
  •  Cleaning wood-panelled walls

Most wood panelling needs only a good dusting every once in a while, but you can give it a more thorough cleaning with a simple home-made solution — one best applied with a pair of pantihose — the texture is perfect for abrasive yet gentle scrubbing. Combine 2 cups (500ml) water, 1 cup (250ml) white vinegar and 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice in a bucket and mix well. Dip a handful of wadded-up pantihose into the solution and wipe the panelling, working from the bottom of the wall upwards to avoid drips.

  •  How to wash up wallpaper

How can you restore the lustre to dingy washable wallpaper? First fill a bucket with 1 litre water and mix in 1/2 teaspoon washing-up liquid. Then dip a soft cloth in the liquid and wring it out until no excess water remains. Gently rub the wallpaper with the cloth and blot it dry with a lint-free towel.

If the wallpaper has become soiled with a greasy stain, try one of these remedies:

  1.  Brush talcum powder onto the stain, let it sit for at least half an hour and then brush it off. Repeat as necessary.
  2.  Fold a brown paper bag and hold it over the stain. Press a warm iron to the spot so that the grease is drawn into the paper. Repeat as necessary until the spot has gone, repositioning the bag each time.

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