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Stain Removal, Hints, tips and useful shortcuts on laundry, cleaning, household stains etc.


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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

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

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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

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. 

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.

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.

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


  • 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

  • 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