Tips & Hints

Top Tips from the Mumsnet Talk pages. Send us yours & we’ll add them in.

OK, I’m going to write a disclaimer, these hints & tips have been collated from threads on the website.
They are not ‘Tried & tested’ or ‘endorsed’ by Mumsnet Towers. They do however work for some people or they wouldn’t have been posted. We hold no responsibility if they don’t work, make things worse or cause irreversible irreparable damage!!! Thank you for reading – Local Ed Cambridgeshire x


Cradle cap- coat liberally with rapeseed oil, leave, comb through, leave Dentinox on in the bath for ten mins, rinse through

Baby Envelope vests go down in the event of a poonami!


If you need to lighten your hair, crush some Vitamin C tablets up and mix with shampoo. Leave for about 3/4 hours and your hair will have lightened up to 2 shades lighter!


Waffles cook in the toast.

Tomatoes out of the fridge are sweet and juicy.

Always cut pizza with kitchen scissors instead of messing about with pizza cutters.

If your celery is looking a little wilted (mine languishes in the salad drawer for too long sometimes) cut a slice off the bottom then stand it in a pint glass of water. It quickly perks up.

Free/disposable/hotel shower caps – these make great easy to use/remove/re-use covers for trifles and plates of party food.

Do not waste time peeling and chopping swede to mash, score around it and microwave like a jacket potato, then cut in half and scoop out.

Easy mash -either microwave or boil potatoes in their skins, pop into potato ricer (cut big ‘uns in half), remove empty skins from ricer as necessary.

The microwave white sauce method; 300ml milk, 25g cornflour, 25g butter. Mix together roughly in a 1L jug (milk first). Microwave one minute on full. Stir.Microwave one minute on full. Stir. Microwave one minute on full. Stir, muttering “this is never going to thicken.” Microwave for one minute on full. Voila – smooth white sauce.

Instant pizza dough 150g self  raising flour, 125ml plain yogurt.

Quick pancakes – one cup flour, one egg, one cup milk.

Peeling a squash can be done with a Zyliss vegetable peeler.

To make a squash easier to peel, pierce a few times with a knife and microwave for 2-3 minutes on high.

Chop herbs in a cup with scissors.

Cut all food for children with scissors.


‘Plumbs’ reupholster awkwardly shaped sofas.

There are end tabs to hold the roll in the foil and cling film boxes.

Store complete bedding sets inside one of the pillow case.

Iron collars with the hair straighteners. Test a patch of that sometimes they’re too hot and burn / split the fabric.

Plain white toothpaste rubbed into a scratched DVD, CD or Wii game and polished off with a clean cloth.

Use a dishwasher tablet for the grimy brown stuff on glass over door. Soak it in boiling water so it starts to crumble. Rub it on the glass of the oven door. You may need to re-soak when you have used the crumbly edge. Wipe off.

When you have finally got your oven clean, then wipe round it with a paste of bicarb and it will be easier to clean next time

£10 Lakeland magic oven liner. It is a genius thick sheet of Teflon you cut to fit and wipe or dishwasher every so often. Only leaves door and sides to wipe down every so often, no more oven cleaning!

Burnt pans come up like new if you boil some biological washing powder in them for twenty minutes or so

For really greasy pans fill with wan water, leave until the fat rises, then chill (try adding ice cubes). The fat will solidify and you can hoik it out rather than tipping it down the drain.

Clean containers stained with spagbol sauce, or the like: squeeze juice of a lemon into container and add a little baking soda. Rub mixture into stains. Leave overnight if necessary. Rinse with warm water.

A little blob of toothpaste cleans silver up lovely.

Steel appliances shiny and looking like new. After cleaning, spray on a small amount of WD40 or baby oil. Put a little on a cloth and wipe over, then buff with a duster.

Clean rusty chrome (eg bikes) squirt with wd40 and rub with a ball of aluminum foil.

Olbas oil removes sticker-gunk. Surgical spirit removes sticker gunk easily. Olive oil gets sticker marks off

Watered-down fabric conditioner on upholstery and radiators. The smell in winter when the radiators are on is gorgeous. Mix it up in a spray bottle, half and half, then you just spray it onto the radiator. Just don’t spray the walls!

Smelly shoes fill a pair of old socks/ tights with (cheap) loose tea or cat litter. Put in shoes and leave overnight.

Rub a drop of essential oil onto all your light bulbs, then when they come on and warm up, lovely smell wafts through house.

Denture tablets down the toilet overnight.

Cheapo Nair hair removal cream from the £1 shop down the bath drain. Dissolves the (frankly disgusting) hair that collects there.

2l drinks bottle with the bottom cut off and the lid screwed on makes an ideal plunger and will unblock a toilet in seconds.

Maintenance wash on your washing machine once a month. Hottest wash you have plus biological washing powder – kills all the bugs apparently.

Soda crystals (£1 a bag) in place of some washing powder saves washing powder and makes the clothes really clean. Basically use the least suggested amount of powder then top up with soda crystals.

Tea tree oil instead of fabric conditioner in the wash.

Put a soluble aspirin in with your white wash.

Sometimes sport clothes smell very bad even right out of the washing machine. To get rid of the smell, soak them in white vinegar for an hour, then rinse and wash as usual.

Olive oil and lemon juice makes a really good furniture polish. The lemon removes any grease and the oil gives a lovely shine. Add essential oil if you want a nice fragrance.

Small dollop of shower gel rubbed completely into a bathroom mirror prevents it from steaming up.

If you accidentally shrink knitwear put in a bowl with a whole bottle of the cheapest hair conditioner, soak overnight and stretch back out next day on a flat surface.

If you get pollen from lilies on your clothes (a common problem I’m sure you’ll all agree) hang the clothing outside on the washing line, through rain and shine for 2 days. When you bring it in the pollen will have magically disappeared and you can wash as normal.

if you spill nail polish on a non-porous surface (e.g tiles, upvc, glass), neat perfume removes it more effectively than nail varnish remover. It doesn’t work on fabrics or grout though.

Bicarbonate mixed with washing up liquid is a great gritty cleaner for showers, sinks, ovens etc. smear everywhere, squirt with vinegar and wipe off!

Clean a shower head: put vinegar in a plastic bag, tie bag around shower head, leave overnight, rinse with water in the morning

A shallow dish of vinegar helps absorb nasty scents from the air

Hotel shower caps should be kept in the boot of your car to stick on muddy buggy wheels

Horrible green gunk after the winter on their patio flagstones or paths. Buy a really cheapie box of biological washing powder  Sprinkle all over patio/path and then add a little water to the sprinkled areas and smooth over with a yard brush. Leave for about half an hour and then rinse off with clean water and sweep with same yard brush. (you may have to repeat with any really stubborn areas)

Cleaning blinds – damp socks on your hands.

Put a layer of newspaper on top of kitchen cupboards, change it every few years months, no need to clean/dust/wipe the tops anymore.

Double bag your bin. Obviously only then dispose of the inner one each time (am not suggesting doubling your contribution to the destruction of the planet). But it means if the rubbish bag splits, you’ve got a safety net.

To stop your cut tulips drooping- put a 2p coin in the bottom of your vase before adding the water.

Cut flowers, but no flower food, then a spoon of sugar stirred into the vase (plus cutting the bottom 1cm of the stems) will keep them fresher for longer.

Cut flowers in lemonade not water to make them last longer.

Poke a pin through tulip stems, near the top (then take out again!). They won’t droop.

A teaspoon of sugar in the water makes sweet peas last longer.

Wrap playdough in a baby wipe before putting it back in the tub. It keeps it soft.

An onion next to your bed helps keep your nose unblocked when you have a cold. Vicks on your feet helps with coughing.

Vic clears up fungal toenails like magic.

Talc cleans white dogs perfectly between baths.


Never go upstairs or downstairs or between rooms empty handed, means you’re always picking things up that need putting back where they belong. And never put down put away.





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