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Miscellaneous Tips

Here are a mixed batch of tips which did not seem to fit comfortably in any other room.  Please let us have any others you may know by contacting us on

TIP   -  Smelly shoes/trainers/football boots

  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda into each shoe, shake well to ensure the powder penetrates down to the toe and all over the inside of the shoe, and leave overnight - should do the trick.

  • A dried, used teabag placed in the toe helps freshen and reduce odours in footwear.

  • Place a sheet of dryer fabric softener into shoes after wearing.  A sheet is good for about one week.  (tip courtesy of G. C. Grainger.)

  • Break up some charcoal into small pieces and place inside an old pair of clean tights, then put them into a pair of smelly trainers, it will get rid of the bad odour. It works with all shoe, boots etc. (contributed by Gail Butler)  


TIP - Gift wrapping

Need to wrap a gift and have forgotten to buy the wrapping paper, here are some alternatives:-

  • Aluminium foil can be used as a substitute. To give it a textured look it can be rubbed gently against a brick wall, woodchip wallpaper, rough side of a piece of hardboard etc.
  • Old wallpaper offcuts, but make sure it is not the pre-pasted variety as this can be poisonous.


  • Fabric remnants.


  • Magazine pages.

  • Brown paper tied with bright ribbons, or covered with pictures taken from magazines.


  • White lining paper, paper bags or newspaper, can be used if covered with designs made with printing blocks. felt tip pens etc..  Printing blocks can be made by using potatoes, bars of soap or pieces of sponge and these can be used with an ink pad, ink or paint.

If your wrapping paper is not quite big enough try placing the gift at and angle on the paper and wrapping it that way.  Alternatively, an offcut or strip taken from down the side, can be used as an infill where the edges don't meet.  Make sure this is done on the underside of the parcel.

When wrapping a present, if practical, turn the gift upside down on the paper to avoid the paper fold or join being on the top of the present when finished.   Obviously, with some gifts this is not possible, in which case place the join on the side.

To avoid waste and disasters when cutting wrapping paper from a roll, measure the amount required by wrapping a piece of string around the gift before cutting the paper (remember to allow extra for overlapping the paper).

TIP - Cleaning up broken glass

This is something that happens to everyone at some time and it is all to easy to quickly sweep up leaving unseen shards of glass which can be very dangerous, especially when there are young children in the house.

  • Always ensure you have something on your feet for protection against shards of glass.
  • Never pick up broken glass with your bare hands - this can result in pieces of glass sticking into your skin and these can be so tiny they are impossible to see and, therefore, to remove.
  • Sweep the broken glass carefully into a dustpan, wrap it in several sheets of newspaper and throw out immediately. 
  • If the breakage is on a floor area, after carefully sweeping up the obvious glass as above,  vacuum the entire area to remove any unseen shards of glass.  It is best to CAREFULLY replace the cleaner bag immediately to avoid any accidents at a later date when the possibility of glass in the bag has been forgotten.
  • If the breakage was on a work surface, sweep up as above, then wipe all around the area with a pad of kitchen paper, cotton wool or sponge which has been smeared with moist soap.   These should be discarded immediately DO NOT attempt to wash them out and use again. Rinse with a very wet paper towel and wipe dry.
  • It is also said that a slice of bread is a very effective way of picking up small shards of glass.

A drop of essential oil on radiators can be used instead of air fresheners.




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