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To clean heavily discoloured brass items – great for outside door furniture.

Cut a lemon in half – pour a good quantity of table salt on the exposed lemon surface. Use the lemon as a ‘cleaning pad’ on the brass item. Add more salt if you need to as you go along. Wash off with warm soap and water.

Doesn’t seem to do any harm to surrounding paintwork or wood and doesn’t leave white stains like commercial brass polish products.

Saw this tip on a ‘boating’ website for brass ships fittings and I have used it on old brass blowlamps to good effect.

Mike Halls

I would not advise using this method on antique items as it could damage the item and reduce the value.  It would probably not work so well on lacquered pieces.

To clean a burnt pot, chop some rhubarb into small pieces and boil it in the pot for at least 10 minutes. You want something with the consistency of glue. 

Throw away the rhubarb when you are done; it will not be suitable as a pie filling or to put over ice cream.

Laura Creighton

  To remove burnt on food from a saucepan just boil a cup of cola for a minute or two and it will remove the burnt on food. For very stubborn areas repeat the process.

Thanks to Sue Wand

Just putting the Cola into the pan and leaving to soak can also work.

Add a few squirts of liquid dishwashing detergent to the pan, fill with water,  then bring to a boil for 5 or 10 minutes.  Should clean up easily after that.

Sent in by Johnny and Kelly

Fill pan with water and add Comet or Ajax.  Allow to simmer for about half an hour, depending on how burnt it is.

Contributed by Corinne Jacobs.

Another way to clean a burnt pan or dish is to put a "Dryer" sheet, such as Bounce, into the dish with Hot water.  Leave it overnight (or several hours) and then wipe it clean with the sheet.  The conditioners in the dryer sheep will left the stuck on food with ease.  I have done this ever since I read it on an email many years ago and it has never failed me!

Courtesy of Dani

Some time ago, my son burnt one of my pans and we got it as clean as we could.  Shortly after that I cooked some Cream of Wheat** in it and left the remains to sit for awhile.  When I went to clean the pan, I pulled out the dried cream of wheat and it took all of the carbon out with it.  The pan was good as new.

Alice of Ohio

For those of you, like me, who are not familiar with Cream of Wheat it is apparently hot breakfast cereal similar in texture to grits, but made with ground wheat instead of ground corn. 

To clean the aluminium rings of a gas cooker, soak in a solution of biological washing powder/liquid and warm water for about 30 minutes and wipe over.

Sue Wand

Wipe brushed steel or aluminium with a little baby oil to product a lovely sheen and make it easier to clean next time. This tip can also be used for enamelled cooker tops.

Sue Wand

  Before trying to remove cheese from pans, utensils etc. soak in COLD water not hot.  Hot water just melts it again giving you a sticky mess.  The cold water loosens the cheese which can then be removed easily.

Thanks to Judi in Wyoming.

To remove limescale from taps and toilets, scrape with copper coin.

Sent in by Trisha Sloots

Be careful not to scratch the item though.

To clean lime scale off shower heads, place the shower head into a container containing equal amounts of malt vinegar and boiling water.  Leave to soak overnight.  Rinse well.
To make a room smell pleasant, spray polish behind a radiator - heat spreads aroma.
Use a soft, clean paintbrush or make-up brush to clean the tops of books in a bookcase.
To clean grout around tiles, squeeze a lemon into some water and rub into grout with an old toothbrush.  Wipe dirt off with clean cloth.
To clean stainless steel, spray with lubricating oil, rinse and polish up to a beautiful shine with clean, dry cloth.
If you have to keep your freezer in the garage, spray with furniture polish to prevent it going rusty.
Clean mildew from the bottom of windows with some bleach and an old toothbrush.  Wipe with clean dry cloth.
If you clean the outside of windows vertically and the inside horizontally, you will be able to tell which side any smears are on.
To prevent condensation on windows, cut a potato in half, rub on window, buff up with dry cloth.
To keep flies away from windows, soak a cloth in cold water into which a few drops of paraffin have been added and rub over windows.
To keep long curtains out of the way whilst cleaning, put the ends through a clothes hanger and hang up over window lever.
If you stick a strong magnet to the front of your vacuum cleaner or cleaner nozzle this will pick up metal objects before they cause damage to your cleaner.
Mix cigarette ash and olive oil into a paste to remove heat and ring marks on polished furniture.  Rub into mark and buff up with dry cloth.
Water and heat marks can be removed by smearing petroleum jelly over the stain, leave overnight.  Remove with a soft, clean, dry cloth.
Reduce static on TV and computer screens by putting some fabric conditioner on a cloth and wiping over screen.
After cleaning the tops of kitchen cupboards, put some newspapers down, then all you have to do is periodically change the newspapers.
Never spray furniture polish directly onto furniture as this can leave smears.  Spray onto cloth and then polish furniture.
Use nail varnish remover to remove melted plastic from appliances (such as toasters etc.).


I just want to let you know that the above is unbelievably correct.

Yesterday while cooking pizza I noticed burnt smell, when checked found a black plastic big spoon was left there by accident which got burnt and melted and fell on the oven floor. I thought using 'self clean' feature will held get rid of it, but didn't work rather made it worse. Tried scraping, lemon didn't work. Thought of surfing net for help and found this hint. To my surprise it worked amazingly well and quickly. Now my oven is clean like before, thanks.

Neena Gulati


Place a saucer of vinegar in the corner of your room to act as an air freshener.  It will absorb odours such as cigarette smoke etc.

Thanks to Elaine Prentice for this gem.

Use a wide tooth comb to clean brooms after use - particularly good for removing animal fur.

Contribution from Krystal G - thank you

If you have a pressure-washer, then the addition of an accessory called an “Under-body Lance” cannot only be used to clean the underside of your car easily, but will also clean out your roof guttering, without having to climb up too high on a ladder.

Tony Davis

For sparkling cleaning windows - you will need:

blunt wooden stick (the type for skewing meat for barbeque)
dry lint free cloth
soapy water

First, wipe windows with cloth dipped in soapy water; while waiting for it to dry, get rid of stubborn little spots with blunt wooden stick. Then, use dry cloth to wipe the glass free of watermarks. As a finishing touch, use a fresh piece of tissue to wipe the whole glass pane to get rid of any remaining marks or dust left by the dry cloth. 

Gets glass really sparkling clean that it looks like I am using chemicals, but actually, its just good, old soap. its effortless - you don't have to scrub. just wipe. its environmentally friendly too.

The same method works for cleaning mirrors too. just be careful not to let the water seep into the edge of or behind of the mirror backing



  To clean a microwave oven all you need to do is put a couple of tablespoons of vinegar in a bowl.   Microwave on high for 45 seconds to 1 minute (time depends on your particular model). Carefully take the bowl out and wipe out the oven. 

Now I am not too sure about the next bit, it sounds too frightening to me but if you want to try it it is up to you.

If you have some food that won't come off then put the vinegar back into the microwave and heat until it explodes out of the bowl.  It makes a loud pop but that way it gets into every corner.  It usually takes about a minute and a half to explode but you know when it happens!

This contribution was sent in by Lynn - Many thanks.

A have been contacted by someone who had the courage to try the above (and has lived to tell the tale!).  She tells me that it did work, however, she suggests it is done on a day when you can have the doors and windows open and perhaps sit outside for a bit as the smell of the vinegar was unbelievably vile.

My thanks go to Mrs. Mel Seaby for not only trying it but taking the time and trouble to let me know the outcome.


Cleaning a microwave. Rather than using vinegar, which smells vile, use a few drops of lemon juice in a 3/4 full mug of water and microwave until boiling****, then set the microwave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Once it's finished wait another 5-10 minutes (put your feet up and have a cuppa) and then simply wipe out the microwave. The steam created and time will have softened any burnt on food and also leaves a pleasant smell and removes any lingering food odours.

If you have any really stubborn areas, just repeat the process.

Sent in by Sue Wand and Ann Cook


****  It has recently been brought to my attention that there is a remote problem to be aware of when heating liquid in a microwave oven, this is called "superheating".  For precise information on this subject please visit




This is one my family swear by: 

We found that some chemical based window cleaners leave streaks on the window, and some that use just vinegar don’t work properly either. 

So, in order to be both green AND have a solution that actually works we use the following recipe – it is much greener than using a chemical window cleaner and leaves a better finish:

Half a tea spoon of liquid soap

cup of white vinegar – distilled

2 cups of water

Mix and put them in to an old empty (Washed!) trigger spray bottle 

Nick - www.kentcleaningsolutions.co.uk








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