Household Hints

I know, its not engineering, but sometimes we all need a little help with the day to day drudgery of life. From cleaning  and cooking through to decorating this page will become an encyclopaedia of household tips.

If you have a tip you would like to share with the world either contact me or post a comment below. If your tip is included as a page for the website, you will be given full credit for your tip.


Alkaline Batteries – getting the last drop out in an emergency
If you have a TV remote control with flat alkaline batteries and you need to change channels / turn off the TV you may be able to get a little extra life out of the batteries by taking them out and rubbing each one between your hands to warm them up. once they are warm, put them back into the remote. The extra heat should give you a little extra power.

An alternative is to place your spent batteries onto of your radiator for for a little while, this may give you a little extra power.
Do not over heat batteries or put then near an open fire, if batteries get too hot they may explode. 

Rechargeable Batteries – getting the most out of NiCd / NiMH rechargeable’s
As we all know rechargeable batteries are expensive. But you may not know that you can damage your batteries by charging them when they do not need charging. This effect is more noticeable on NiCd batteries as they assume they are charged when flat, meaning that if you charge a battery that is only 60% drained, you will loose 60% of the batteries capacity forever, effectively reducing you 1000mAh battery to 400mAh.

A word of warning about Lithium Ion Batteries.
If you have a camera, or other electronic device with a Lithium Ion battery make sure you NEVER let the battery run flat. Lithium Ion batteries have a very small computer inside and if this computed ever looses power, even for a second, it is highly likely you will never be able to change the battery again. The small onboard computer drains a minute amount of power all the time. If you leave your device on standby your battery may become irreparably damaged. (I learnt this the hard way)

Celery – Keeping it Fresh

If, like me, you like celery, but do not use it very often, you can keep it fresh for days (sometimes weeks) by removing it from the shop packaging and wrapping it in aluminium foil and keeping it in the salad drawer of your fridge.

I do not know why this works, but it does! I have kept celery usable for nearly 2 weeks by using this tip.

Vinegar – The secret cleaning agent

Vinegar is a really good cleaning agent, I would recommend using white / spirit vinegar, but normal vinegar can be just as effective.

Add a little drop of vinegar to warm water to cut through grease and grim on your car or household windows, it has the added bonus of drying streak free.

Washing up
If you have a lot of particularly greasy washing up, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your usual washing up water, this will extend the life of your washing up liquid by helping it cut through oil and grease on your cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery.

Windows and Mirrors

If you have problems getting you windows and mirrors streak free, use slightly damp, scrunched up newspaper to dry your windows or mirrors to a streak free shine.