1. To remove a scratch from a table, crack open a walnut and rub it along the scratch. Walnuts contain a natural resin that will conceal the scratch.

2. To get rid of ink stains from furniture soak a piece of cotton wool in water and cover the stain with it. That will then draw the mark out and into the cotton wool.

3. To make your own room spray, add ten drops of your favourite essential oil to a plant spray filled with seven tablespoons of warm water. One tablespoon of vodka or pure alcohol acts as a preservative.

4. Put some of your favourite essential oil on a handkerchief and put it behind the radiator, the smell will last quite a while.

5. When defrosting a freezer, keep frozen food cold by wrapping it in several layers of newspaper.

6. Some dishwasher powders can be very expensive so buy a cheaper one and add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the dishwater. The vinegar will cut the grease, and leave your dishes sparkling. And to clean your dishwasher simply run a cup of white vinegar through the entire cycle of the empty dishes.

7. Clean your microwave by placing half a lemon in water and setting it to boil.

8. To unblock a blocked sink tip a handful of bicarbonate of soda followed by a cup of vinegar straight down the plug. After a couple of hours, pour down a kettle of boiling water.

9. Add a shot of vodka or lemonade to the water in your vases as this will keep your flowers fresh for longer.

10. Spray nice smelling furniture polish behind the radiator to leave the room smelling clean and polished.

11. To clean your computer keys use a cotton bud and the same to clean the ball of a computer mouse.

12. If you’ve run out of WD40 try using furniture polish instead.

13. To get rid of unwanted smells from your toilet, fill a small tub with vinegar and place it somewhere discreet like behind the u-bend. The air will be fresh in no time.

14. Use bicarbonate of soda to clean pots and pans with baked-on residue. Just sprinkle some bicarb into the pan, let it soak for 15 minutes in hot water and washing liquid, and the baked-on stains will be gone.

15. You can also use bicarbonate of soda to clean your silver. Make a paste of 3 parts bicarbonate of soda to 1 part water and rub your silver to remove tarnishes. Rinse it off, and it will shine once more.

A great book on the subject is Spit and Polish: Old Fashioned Ways to Banish Dirt Dust & Decay by Lucy Lethbridge available from Amazon and other good book shops for £5.56 or used ones from 0.68p. In the late nineteenth century, general housework in the British home was so labour intensive that it required an army of servants to undertake it. Since then, the ways in which we look after our homes may have changed dramatically but the best and simplest of methods from that time still work for us today.

From floor to ceiling, and leaving no awkward corner untouched, here are the tricks and techniques that generations once took for granted, distilled for modern use: how to get rid of watermarks or heat rings on polished wood; the antibacterial qualities of simple vinegar; the damp cloth versus the dry duster; and using lemon juice to clear limescale.

Combining fascinating ‘below-stairs’ social history with startling facts and useful tips, Lucy Lethbridge restores fast-disappearing skills to keep at bay dust, rust, mildew, stains and pests. Here, beautifully illustrated and entertainingly presented, are a bygone era’s keys to a clean house.

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I am a mum and wife to a lovely caring family. I’ve suffered with chronic back pain for over 30 years and started writing my first blog in 2007 which covered back and chronic pain. Since then I have written many more blogs for myself and customers. I find it takes me away from my pain to another place. I love it so much I think it should be part of a recovery process after illness or surgery. I hope you enjoy reading through my blogs.


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