Helpful Household Hints

In decades past, it was fashionable for vendors of pressure cookers and refrigerators and other wondrous modern conveniences to present the proud new owners with a complimentary recipe booklet or a slim volume of useful tips for the housewife. Testimony to this trend can be found in countless difficult-to-open kitchen drawers the world over. One could also purchase books on the subject without having to buy a fridge or stove, or what-have-you. In such publications one could normally be sure to come across a helpful hint on how to remove beetroot stains from colour garments, and how to make your very own rose water.All well and good. I shall let you into a little secret: I do not starch my aprons. In fact I seldom use one unless the activity in which I am engaged involves lots of flour. The tip, by the way, of cold short pastry rolling better, is true.  Off at a tangent, I was astonished at the surprise expressed by someone who works in the kitchen of the local community centre when she discovered that I made my own short pastry. I was not too disappointed that she showed no interest in the recipe, given my lack of patience for such conversations.

Contrary to the impression I may have given so far, I am not a housewife. I simply run a household without outside help, and occasionally like to bake in order to satisfy my sweet tooth and sudden cravings most often on Sunday afternoons for a massive intake of carbohydrates which goes beyond the banality of bread and jam, homemade or otherwise. The fact that other people may benefit from my baking endeavours is purely coincidental.

I am much more interested in a recent useful discovery regarding superglue.  The kind that normally has XXX or XXXX printed on its tiny tube.  For years I have been plagued with the discomfort of having to type with this glue on my fingertips long after the fix-it job has been completed. The discovery is that prior to getting within spitting distance of the aforementioned tube, one should don rubber gloves – the tight-fitting kind your gynaecologist or dentist uses. Thus prepared, if you accidentally glue your forefinger to your thumb whilst trying to stick your sole to your shoe, you simply remove this pair of disposable gloves and don another (which you have craftily placed within arm’s reach before commencing the glueing operation).  This ensures that your skin remains intact and guarantees typing pleasure immediately after your project is over. Use the same glove removal method if the phone rings and you have to answer it. This ensures continued freedom of  your fingers and has the added advantage of preserving the telephone instrument and preventing the jitters whilst on the telephone. Of course, I shall refrain from reminding active gluers that you always make sure you have two tubes of superglue to hand. Because one is never enough.

I am compelled at this juncture to give the following advice to those of you thinking of using a small chain saw: make sure your jeans cover your boots completely. This prevents sawdust from collecting on your socks. To remove sawdust from your socks, an ordinary bathroom scrubbing brush will do the trick. Stubborn bits can be removed with your glue-free fingers.  Now, if I had actually been a good housewife, and read all those helpful hints, I would have known that already.

I have no easy remedy for removing sock fluff from scrubbing brushes.

These are not my socks.


My thanks for this post go to a friend who made me laugh by giving a demonstration on the complexities of reading with spectacles and sipping wine at the same time without removing her eyes from the book.

Note: the word or phrase in bold appeared in my previous blog.

4 thoughts on “Helpful Household Hints

Add yours

  1. Another tip! Remove sock fluff from scrubbing brushes by using a comb to comb it out. That's my non-housewifely tip. In fact nail brushes and combs can be used to clean all sorts of things, including each other.


  2. All very useful Allison. HOWEVER! (yes really) it should be pointed out for those of us with slightly less ability and patience than your marvellously adept self:-If you forget the gloves and accidentally glue your fingers together (or for that matter to item you were attempting to fix), nail polish remover is the best solution. (acetone).


  3. Loving this blog/information source/ grammatical example of excellence. In order to further the peaceful completion of irritating household chores, I will add, (whilst replacing my spectacles on my head in order to sip deeply from the cup), that yet another accidental discovery is an unexpected use for "pampers wet wipes". If you have ever had the misfortune to use silicone you will know that it adheres to almost everything except bathroom tiles. It also sticks like (description omitted out of respect to the site owner), to your fingers. Having embarked on a mission to repair the edge of the bath without due preparation, I reached for the Wet Wipes in desperation. They are without doubt the best thing in the world ever for smoothing silicone into corners and also for removing said abomination from one's fingers. See having kids is worth it after all……


Say something here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: