Household hints

Thrifty tips have always been the preserve of women's magazines. But the current financial crisis might make them more popular as people tighten their belt and start to make do. So here are a few household hints for you...

Instead of buying expensive descalers, use a raw potato boiled in the kettle with a solution of soda crystals and water. If any limescale remains, reboil the kettle. Alternatively you can also use a vinegar solution and leave overnight (do not boil this solution in the kettle or it will overflow).

Newspapers and empty toilet rolls make good planters for seedlings. You will need a tray to stand your containers in. For newspaper pots, roll up two pages together and tuck their bottom in. Fill with compost.

The inside of banana skins is very good to polish (and nourish) leafy houseplants. The skin will pick up the dust off the leaf and give it a good shine!

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