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I have been asked how to stop dye from continuing to bleed from a dark blanket - the only remedy I know is to soak in salt (1 tablespoon of salt to each pint of water). This does not prevent it entirely but should help a bit.  Of course, dark colours should always be washed separately to prevent discolouration of other wash.

To stop dark colours from "bleeding", fill the washer with cold water and white vinegar.

Contributed by "Riccilyn"

If you know of any other remedies please let us know - june@hintsandthings.co.uk

  • To avoid asthma being irritated by the mites in pillows, put pillow in tumble dryer on hot setting for 20 minutes, this will kill off the mites.

  • If you have a clogged drain try a wet/dry vacuum cleaner.  Make sure you get a good seal with the hose (don't do this with a drain full of drain opening chemicals present). Suck the blockage right out - it works every time.

I would like to emphasise - this should only be done with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner do not use an ordinary vacuum cleaner for this job.

Thank you Wendy

  • Instead of buying expensive garbage disposal deodorizer, throw in a few pieces of chopped lemon.  Run hot water in the drain and turn on the disposal, letting it grind up the lemon.  It freshens it and helps clean it too.

Courtesy of Mary Goff - thanks

  • Add a cup of white wine vinegar to the rinse cycle to keep dark clothes from fading.

Thanks to Tia Williams

  • It is wise to keep a small rug on the lino by a door with a window in it.  The lino can get quite hot from the sun shining in and can burn feet quite badly.

Thank you "amazonerin"

  • For very greasy clothes, add about 1/4 cup granulated dishwashing detergent to your regular laundry.

  • If you prefer to hang you clothes on the clothesline, turn the items inside-out to where the seams are facing you when you peg them on the line.  This will help retard the fading process, especially with dark clothes.

  • No more lost socks - place them in a pillowcase and knot the end.  Toss them into the washer.

  • Sorting clothes is easy when you colour co-ordinate your laundry baskets.  Purchase different coloured baskets for you clothes.  Blue for denim, dark colours for dark clothes, white for whites etc.   Keep them in the laundry area and make sure the family knows the colour scheme to instantly sort the clothes.

All the above tips are courtesy of "Siren" of the USA.

  • Grease stains – if you get these on clothes, put paper on the clothing article that has grease on it and run a hot iron over the paper.

  • Old vests can be used as cleaning cloths in kitchen.

  • Cut down on laundry by turning sheets over top to bottom periodically

Nick Wareham

Our thanks to Mrs. Joy Skinner for the following tips:-

  • One of the best and cheapest commodities to clean a host of things is washing-up liquid. When you think of what it is meant to clean it is obviously built to clear grease etc.

  • I use it on collars and cuffs of shirts/blouses and also on stains on materials.  Just apply to the collar or grease stain direct and leave to soak before putting into a normal wash in the washing machine.   By the way I always add some washing up liquid to a normal wash in the machine. (not too much though otherwise you will have soap suds filling the kitchen).

  • It is also brilliant for cleaning tiles, baths, handbasins etc. leaving no smears.

  • It doesn't matter what brand of washing up liquid either, they all seem to work.

  • To keep a room smelling nice rub your light bulbs in essentials oils like lavender oil.  As the bulb heats this will fragrance the room.  Also works with low energy bulbs.

Fiona Shaw

In the UK we tend to store things in the roof space (we call it a loft), but in the USA, many people have a basement. Either way, things can get damp if stored there. 

HINT: save any of those “SILICA GEL” packets you get with many boxed items (especially small electrical goods and fancy goods), and save them in an air-tight packet.  Use them in any box or other storage container that you may want to store in the basement or loft, especially over winter.

One item I had trouble with was a desk-fan that started to show rust-spots on the fan-blade guards. The SILICA GEL may have prevented this if I had thought to pack them in the bag, and stored them better.

Contributed by Tony Davis of http://letsfixit.co.uk/  

More little gems you may well find useful and/or of interest -


When installing a toilet roll the hanging paper should be close to the wall; not away from it.

This is because when you ladies actually wore dresses or skirts, having the paper close to the wall would prevent it getting caught up in the dress or skirt material in the close confines of some loos.


Patterned pillow cases look very strange when in use because the ignorant manufacturer does not know how to lay pillows.

On a double/queen/king size bed, the open end of the pillow cases should be in the middle and face each other. This way, any untidiness or poor quality pillows is hidden from view.

It may sound like 'Keeping Up Appearances', but it does look so much smarter.


Moist toilet wipes are great for removing a multitude of spills and stains from most clothing and carpets.

Pip  (Mr.)

  • When pressing a very delicate fabric, first cover with white tissue paper then press.

  • When washing saris, fold neatly and place in a pillow case before putting in washing machine.  This reduces creasing and makes ironing easier.

  • To raise the pile on an old carpet gently drag a hacksaw blade over the carpet pile.

  • To raise the pile on wool carpets where furniture has stood, place ice cubes on the indentation a leave, this should revive the pile.

Laundry and such

  • If your clean laundry has become to dry to iron, place it back in the tumble dryer together with a damp towel for about five minutes.

  • To prevent creases on collar edges, first iron from collar edge to middle, turn shirt around and iron from the other collar edge to the middle.

  • If you do not have an iron to hand, lay the creased item on a flat surface and pass a hair dryer (set to hot) from side to side about four to six inches above the fabric, using your other hand to flatten the material as you go - hey presto!  This would be particularly useful when on holiday.

  • If you run out of space on your clothes line, peg socks in pairs onto a clothes hanger and hand it on the line.  This takes up much less space.

  • To get a sharp crease on trouser legs put some paper glue on a pin and run down the inside of the crease.  Press crease.


  • If spot cleaning with cotton wool, place cotton wool in some muslin or cotton to prevent the fibres being left on the clothing.

  • If you prick your find and get blood on an item, use your own saliva to remove all trace.

  • Fresh carpet stains can be reduced by gently soaking up with kitchen roll, then spraying with shaving foam.  Leave to soak in and repeat if necessary.

Mike Cooper

  • I have GOT to share this one. A colleague just got lily pollen on a new white blouse. Gentle "sticking" with clear adhesive tape removed it completely. There isn't even a shadow on her blouse. Too good to keep to myself!

Brenda Ormonde

  • I had engine oil, yes ENGINE OIL on my carpet but Dr. Beckmann's Stain Slayer removed it!

Belinda Thomas

Other uses for vinegar.

There are many other pages on site covering stain removal, laundry hints and tips, cleaning tips etc.,  The best way to see what else there is on these subjects is to check out the Utilityroom Index








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