An article in the Express caught my eye writing about things you should never clean with Baking soda.

We all know Baking soda is great as a multi-purpose cleaner, and you can use it when you cook, to heal ailments, clean the house and even during arts and crafts for your children.

But there are some instances where baking soda isn’t the answer, and it actually causes more harm than good. While it can definitely pay to have a tub of bicarbonate in the kitchen or bathroom cupboards, steer clear of using it on these household products and fixtures.

One thing it is good for is stains and Arm and Hammer explain on their website that six tablespoons of Baking soda can be mixed with a third of a cup of warm water to make a pre-treating paste for stains. Test the paste on a small area of the garment first to make sure it doesn’t get damaged by the paste, then rub the paste onto the stain. Let the paste dry and put the garment in the washing machine.

But do no use it cleaning mirrors or windows as is an abrasive cleaner, which could then scratch them.

Also do not use on wood as it can be too hard on some finishes or sealants on wooden furniture. Using the powder for cleaning can also wear away the sealant, which could ruin your furniture.

Never clean your gold lined dishes or gold utensils with baking soda. Once again, the reason for this comes down to baking soda’s abrasiveness.

You should also never use baking soda to clean any marble or quarts surfaces, including countertops. Over time, baking soda will damage the upper protective layer and eventually leave scratches on the marble or quartz.

A little bit of history about Baking Soda and Arm & Hammer – In 1846 John Dwight and his brother-in-law, Dr. Austin Church develop Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda) as a leavening agent for home-baked goods. John Dwight & Company is formed to manufacture and distribute the product.

In 1865 Dr Church leaves John Dwight & Company to open his own Baking Soda company with his two sons, James Austin Church and Elihu Dwight Church.

In 1867 Church & Company is formed to meet the growing demand for Baking Soda. The ARM & HAMMER™ trademark, symbolizing the strength of baking soda, shows the arm of Vulcan, the roman god of fire, bringing down his hammer on an anvil.

In 1876 John Dwight, looking for a memorable trademark for his packaging chooses Lady Maud, a prize winning Jersey Cow. The cow is a reference to traditional use of Baking Soda and sour milk in home baking. Consumers eventually begin to call it COW BRAND.

In 1907 almost a century ahead of it’s time, the company institutes the use of recycled paperboard to package household products.

In 1927 the first full-page colour magazine ads promote the purity of ARM & HAMMER™ and COW BRAND Baking Soda for multiple kitchen and personal care issues.

In 1960 new uses for Baking Soda were developed and tailored to changing post-war lifestyles. The multi-use Baking Soda wheel was created to familiarize consumers with the product’s versatility.

In 1986 for it’s 100th anniversary on July 4th, the Statue of Liberty’s inner copper walls are cleaned with sodium bicarbonate, which removes 99 years of coal tar without damage to the copper. More than 100 tons of sodium bicarbonate are used in the restoration.

Baking Soda is now found in nearly every kitchen in the USA, regarded as a necessity by millions of consumers.

Of course, Baking Soda is no longer confined to the kitchen. It is used throughout the house, in every phase of housekeeping and personal hygiene. ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda, which was first prepared in a New England village, now is used the world over.

Source : Express Arm & Hammer



According to an article in The Express newspaper Mrs Hinch fans shared a 65p hack for removing tea stains from cups to give the perfect clean.

Fans of cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch have shared how to remove tea stains from cups on social media. Mrs Hinch, whose full name is Sophie Hinchliffe, has garnered an impressive 4.1 million followers on Instagram over the years after sharing her cleaning tips. She became famous after sharing her tips on social media and TV.

Fans of hers have become so enamoured by her tips that they have since created their own social media groups dedicated to cleaning hacks and tricks.

Some of the groups have thousands of followers with hundreds of posts being shared each day.

On one such group, a user asked what the “best” way is to remove tea stains from cups.

The post received over 1,000 answers from fellow cleaning…

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With property value going up throughout the UK and many people now working at least part time from home, the biggest decision to make is, ‘do your move or improve’ your home?

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant many of us have had time on our hands, including my son and his wife who moved close to us in January. They have both said after renting for so many years they want this to be their forever home so it is important they get it how they like.

They put a ‘to do’ list down and included in that list was either a loft extension or kitchen extension. Loft conversions are probably one of the most popular home improvement projects because they are cost affective and are a cheaper way of expanding the size of your home. An extension would be considerably more expensive than a Live in Lofts extension, but you are able to do a lot more with an extension than a loft conversion. Wiring and heating also costs more in an extension, so it’s worth thinking about all the extra costs before you decide how you want to create more space in your home. Kitchen extensions are renowned for going above your original budget so there is a lot to think about when deciding on any type of extension work.

It has been proven to help your mind body and soul that some of the smallest of corners in a quiet area of your home could easily be changed into a reading/relaxing area, so it doesn’t need to be a large extension to give you some yen in your life. This is where a good, local, experienced estate agent, AMS housing Group or chartered surveyor should be able to help. I am addicted to the BBC 2’s programme ‘Your Home Made Perfect’ which helps a couple decide how they want their home made perfect. The kitchen seems to be the big one they all do but some end up going right through the house.

A great book to buy is ‘Mad About The House Planner, Your Home, Your Story’ by Kate Watson-Smyth (Author).

Interiors expert Kate Watson-Smyth brings you the Mad About the House Planner for everything you need to know when renovating your home. With more and more of us working from home and spending more time in the house, it’s more important than ever that our homes are adaptable and welcoming. Packed with Kate’s knowledge and enthusiasm, this journal offers you ways to renovate your home room by room, with a focus on sustainability and money-saving tips. Also included in this handy planner are accounts pages to note down what you’re spending money on – and when – as you renovate, an address book for useful contacts and tradesmen, checklists for all the essentials in each room, grid pages to draw your own floorplans and space to jot down your favourite shops, inspiration and websites. Beautifully packaged with ribbon markers, this is a journal to treasure and keep a record of your home’s journey.

Chapters include:
First Things First
 – planning your home: who will be using the space, when, where and how? Plus tips for the big move-in day
The Entrance Hall – how to create the perfect hallway; stairs, carpets and storage solutions
The Kitchen – planning the space, kitchen appliance tips and how to upscale a cheap kitchen
The Bathroom – where to spend and where to save, carrying your style into the bathroom
The Living Room – making the best use of the space, tips for flooring and rugs; buying vintage and salvaging preloved furniture
The Main Bedroom – reflecting your sleeping habits in your colour scheme, ideal storage and lighting solutions
The Second Bedroom – how to create the perfect nursery or spare room, how to adapt the room as your family grows up
The Third Bedroom – how to create the ideal room for teenagers and guests
The Home Office – working from home is here to stay, so decorate to create the best working environment for you.
Your Home, Your Lists: packed with Kate’s tips for upscaling your home and go-to places, plus space to add your own favourites, make lists and budget sheets.

According to This Is Money a study by Nationwide found that adding an extra double bedroom and ensuite to a three-bedroom house via an extension or loft conversion increased its value by more than 20 per cent.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average house price in the UK is £245,000 – so a 20 per cent value uplift of £49,000 would more than cover the cost of the average extension. A loft conversion or extension may add 10 to 15 per cent to its value.

Design For Me reminds us that in recent years the government have relaxed planning rules in regards to extensions. The changes have given homeowners more flexibility to improve and increase the value of their homes. Previously, without planning permission, you could add a single-storey extension of up to 3 meters in depth for an attached property and 4m to a detached house, these distances have been doubled.

Design For Me say it is impossible to put an exact figure on this as it varies depending on the type of extension, the house, the location of the property and remember that most statistics are averages and can vary considerably from project to project.