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In the home  

 

In the kitchen

New Pattex Repair Gel and Glue for quick fixes around the home
Pattex have recently launched a new product and I decided to put it to the test. Pattex Repair Gel and Glue are suitable for use indoor and outdoors, since both products are waterproof once cured. The bonding is also flexible and can resist temperatures between -50°C and 80°C, which is why I decided to try this out on the seal around my fridge door.
Make your own eco-friendly home cleaning products
With so many people putting eco-friendly or homemade cleaners and polishes to the test, the recipes for homemade household products have evolved to be more efficient and less affordable, which means you not only save money on your monthly grocery bill, but you also have a healthier home.
Fix a stove top or hob burner plate that doesn't work
When you are renting a home, chances are you have to put up with a stove that is ancient and decrepit. Years or use and neglect mean layers and layers of grease and chances are the one or more of the hob plates don't work. Replacing a broken hob plate isn't difficult and you can buy appliance spares for a wide range of stove models.
Repair chipped crockery or ceramics
Today epoxy glue and putty make fixing chipped or broken crockery and ceramics simple. You can repair a treasured cracked vase, or restore grannies old tea set and put them back into use without anyone even knowing they were damaged.
Maintain a gas braai for your safety
If you haven't yet fired up the gas braai, before you do here are some maintenance tips you should perform on a regular basis before lighting that flame. A seasonal maintenance check of your gas grill is essential for ensuring the safety of your family and your home.
Refresh a home the eco-friendly way
After the doldrums of winter it's so nice to be able to refresh a home for the arrival of spring. Pop on your apron, tie your hair up and grab a few eco-friendly cleaning essentials to give your home a complete spring makeover from top to bottom. Here are some spring cleaning hints and tips to get you started...
How clean are your cleaning products?
With its slogan that it kiils up to 99.9% of household germs, the Brit -produced product was declared unsafe for use after SA's National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications performed testing and found the brand wasn't living up to it's promises, resulting in over 4000 units being recalled.
Stop mildew and mould with Rubson Stop Humidity
Rubson Stop Humidity unit uses refill tabs that absorb all the moisture from a room and it's amazing how fast this little device gets to work at doing just that. Rubson have now re-launched the product with a modern design that you can use in any room in a home.
Clean the dirtiest microwave with easy
Toss out those toxic cleaners and use natural products to clean a microwave. All you need is a jug or bowl of water, lemons or concentrated lemon juice and a cloth to refresh and clean a really grubby microwave. This tried and tested method has been around for ages and works like a dream.

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Care and cleaning tips for stainless steel surfaces
As one of the most resilinet materials for household use, stainless steel is a practical finish for many surfaces and appliances. It is the chromium film that coats stainless steel that is responsible for its resistance to rust and tarnish, and with proper care this film can provide protection for many years.
Using natural cleaning products
Here are some home cleaning tips that show how natural cleaning products really do work and they won't harm your health or your family in the process. Use natural cleaning products to clean a grease-stained stove top or remove hard water stains in the bathroom, these are just a few of the cleaning tasks you can do with natural cleaning products.
Defrost a fridge... fast
I have a frost-free fridge-freezer combination. You did notice that I said frost-free right? At least twice a year I have to remove big chunks of ice from the back of the fridge, so how is that frost-free?
Keep knives sharp
One of the best ways to sharpen your knife is to use a whetstone – it takes a little time and patience but, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll never have to battle again with a blunt knife.
Light my fire
This article is for all the single women out there who want to avoid the embarrassment of being completely oblivious on how to light up a braai or having to ask someone for help.
Repair a tumble drier
My tumble dryer is one of the oldest appliances I own, and while I do need to replace it with a more energy efficient model, I simply cannot afford it at the moment.

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Fridge repairs
Here are some simple fixes for the four most common refrigerator problems: an ice-maker breakdown, water leaking onto the floor, a cooling failure and too much noise.
Energy-efficient appliances
With all the appliances and cleaning products touting their eco-friendly reputation these days, how do you know which ones are legit?
Ants taking over?
Every morning I wake up to a kitchen sink that is covered in an army of ants. When trying to get rid of ants, it’s helpful to first have a basic understanding how ants live and thrive:
Need more kitchen space?
For many families, the kitchen is the busiest room in the house. Even though kitchens are a hub for conversation and great food, they can also become a black hole for household clutter.
Home remedies
You don't always need to use harmful chemicals in the home to sort out odours, stains and other problems. There are plenty of home remedy solutions.
 
Natural cleaners
By using all-natural substances to clean your home you can have a healther home and a healthier family and many of the natural home cleaning methods mentioned here are significantly cheaper than manufactured cleaners, saving you money as well.

 

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In the laundry

 

Get rid of mould or mildew
The most common areas for mould to appear are bathroom, kitchen and laundry rooms. This is due to the amount of moisture in these rooms and, more often than note, insufficient ventilation. Mould around bathtubs and in showers is a problem area and the appearance of mould should be taken as an indication of poor air circulation through these areas. If you make it a habit to open windows and doors regularly, this will greatly reduce the possibility of mould growth.
How to care for vintage linen
Vintage linens are an essential accessories when decorating a home in vintage style. Generally, vintage linens are manufactured using linen or flax. These fabrics were considered durable and of high quality for items such as table linens, bed linens and decorative items. You will also come across vintage pieces made of woven cotton.
Change to cloth nappies
Disposable nappies can drain a family's monthly budget, forcing them to spend a fortune each week on disposable nappies. With cloth nappies, a family only spends a few hundred Rands upfront and is set for their baby's entire diapering years.
Keeps towels fluffy
Buying towels is not something you want to have to do every few months. Quality towels should last years, standing up to the rigours of regular use. But how do you keep them fluffy and fresh?
Fresh smelling laundry
Smelly laundry -- usually caused by a build-up of bacteria and mould -- may leave you wanting to throw away your towels and clothes. But there are solutions! Here's how to make your laundry smell good again.
 
 
Keep whites white
White is the perfect summer colour, but keeping whites white is another story. If you're like me and have a tendency to attract dirt, you need to know some insider secrets.

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Static-free laundry
With winter well on it's way more clothes will be going into the tumble dryer. Did you know you can get static-free clothes with a few household items you can easily find in your own home ... some tennis balls.
Time to update your appliances?
If your washing machine is over 10 years old, it's time to update your appliances to save energy, water and detergents.
Repair a washing machine
My washing machine recently started making a loud knocking noise. Having previously repaired a washing machine I decided to see what I could do before taking any drastic steps to call someone in.
Maintain a tumble dryer
Did you know that a tumble dryer should have a venting system fitted so that moist air is not circulated into the home?
Clean up a dirty hob
No matter how hard you try, you always end up with spills on a glass hob. Cleanup is easy if you follow a few simple steps.

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In the bathroom

Natural air freshener for a bathroom
When people come to my home and use the bathroom I am often asked about the bottle of perfume next to the toilet. I have been making my own natural air freshner for the bathroom for the past couple of years and I know I have saved myself a bundle in the process.
Using natural cleaning products
Here are some home cleaning tips that show how natural cleaning products really do work and they won't harm your health or your family in the process. Use natural cleaning products to clean a grease-stained stove top or remove hard water stains in the bathroom, these are just a few of the cleaning tasks you can do with natural cleaning products.
Clean glass shower doors, taps and more...
Keeping glass shower doors clean can be a lifelong mission, especially in a home where the shower is used frequently. There are other areas in the kitchen and bathroom that are affected by limescale and there are natural cleaning solutions that work extremely well.
Get rid of mould or mildew
The most common areas for mould to appear are bathroom, kitchen and laundry rooms. This is due to the amount of moisture in these rooms and, more often than not, insufficient ventilation. Mould around bathtubs and in showers is a problem area and the appearance of mould should be taken as an indication of poor air circulation through these areas. If you make it a habit to open windows and doors regularly, this will greatly reduce the possibility of mould growth.
Make your own bath bombs
Bath bombs, or bath fizzies as they are also known, are inexpensive gifts to make and when wrapped in a beautiful box, are the perfect gift for Christmas, Mother's Day and birthdays. Here's how to make your own bath bombs or bath fizzies. For this project we've gone with a heart-shaped design... for someone you love!
 
Remove ugly stains from toilets
I receive plenty of enquiries from readers who have a problem with stains in their toilet or old porcelain tubs and hand basins. Mostly caused by hard water and metals, these stains are impossible to remove with supermarket-bought cleaners.
 

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Control mildew
How you tackle mildew depends on how much you have and how long it’s been there. You don't have to resort to chemical cleaners or products.
 
Not hot water?
The most common explanation for lack of hot water is due to the geyser being emptied, but there's more to investigate...
 
Repair chips
Repairing chips and gouges in a porcelain or enamelled bath or basin is fairly easy if you have the right materials.
 
Get rid of soap scum
There's nothing fun about spending a day scrubbing your shower, but there is a way to prevent soap scum. Here are some easy ways to stop soap scum stains from taking over your tub!
 
Get rid of mould
Over the years I have found three natural ingredients that kill mould: Tea tree oil (an essential oil found in most health food stores), grapefruit seed extract and vinegar. There are pros and cons of each, but all three work. Vinegar is by far the cheapest.
Know your plumbing
Unless you can afford to fork out every time something goes wrong in your home, it pays to know a few plumbing basics just in case.

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Remove stubborn stains
The right product and technique can cut cleaning time by 30 percent. We'll show you how to remove tough stains in toilets, sinks and showers. We'll also show you the easiest ways to remove rust, lime and scum.
Keep mould at bay
Mould in the bathroom is definitely a no no. Depending on the severity of the mould problem there are ways to get rid of it without resorting to toxic and harsh substances.

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In the home

New Pattex Repair Gel and Glue for quick fixes around the home
Pattex have recently launched a new product and I decided to put it to the test. Pattex Repair Gel and Glue are suitable for use indoor and outdoors, since both products are waterproof once cured. The bonding is also flexible and can resist temperatures between -50°C and 80°C, which is why I decided to try this out on the seal around my fridge door.
Refresh a home for the new year
When I was a young girl I always remember the time between Christmas and New Year as being a busy one. Both my gran and my mom rushed around the house cleaning every room. I could never understand why, and it's only as I grew older that I realise how nice it is to start off the new year with a clean home.
Best tips using natural cleaning products
If you haven't yet the discovered the power and money-saving benefits of using natural cleaning products, in this article we'll show you how to do even more dirty cleaning in and around the home.
Natural alternatives for smelly homes
Sometimes, no matter how clean your home, smelly odours pop up. We take a look at various natural alternatives to rid a home of smelly odours. Some of these natural air freshners you may already know, but there will be a few that will surprise you!
Clean a ceiling fan or room fan
As we head towards warmer weather it's time to start thinking about dusting out the cobwebs from keeping windows and doors closed during the winter months. One appliance that tends to get overlooked is a ceiling or room fan, and yet this appliance is the one that collects the most dust.
What to look for when buying a backup or emergency generator
Power outages are about to become a way of life in South Africa and many homeowners are looking at the option to buy a backup or emergency generator for when the lights - and power - goes out. But what do you need to look for when buying a generator and what type of generator is the right one for you?
When high thread count is too high
The lure of high thread count can easily be used to manipulate shoppers into thinking they’re buying better quality linen than they really are. In actual fact, you might have more chance getting a good night’s sleep by counting sheep, rather than the number of threads in your bedding.
Clever ideas that save you time and money
Here are some great tips for saving money and saving time. Some you may have seen before, but I guarantee there will be a few you haven't thought of...

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Care for your new lounge suite or sofa
These days buying a lounge suite or sofa is a major spend, especially if you are looking for one that will last a long time and will stand up to everyday living. Once you've moved your new lounge suite or sofa into the room there are a few tips you can follow to extend the look and life of your new furniture...
Tips for ultimate TV enjoyment
Thursday night is my night for TV and it's really the only night I walk away from the PC and take a break. This made me think about how much time we spend in front of the TV, especially when it's a sports weekend or soapie time. So here are a few tips and making your viewing better and more enjoyable...
Cleaning and care for e-gadgets
As we move ever further into the electronic age, many of us can't be parted from our iPads, tabs, iPods and cellphones, so keeping them clean and protecting them from harm makes good sense. Here's a quick guide on cleaning and caring for your electronic gadgets and hi-tech home appliances.
How to restore and prevent cracked leather
On an older leather lounge suite or sofa cracks will start to appear if the leather is not conditioned regularly. Normal household furniture polish won't conditioner leather, it will only give it a false shine. It's important to regularly clean and condition leather furniture with the correct products to keep them looking good and extend their lifetime.
Fix up pancake-flat leather sofa cushions
A leather sofa doesn't come cheap these days, and whether you buy one new or secondhand, somewhere down the line you are going to have flat cushions. Here's how to plump up flat leather cushions for a leather sofa that looks good again.
Remove paint stains from carpet
For the past two years the lounge has been used as a workshop and we have assembled and painted endless furniture projects in the room, so you can imagine what the carpet looks like. Since I haven't yet decided what flooring to put down, I'm cleaning the carpet as best I can for the time being.

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Repair a lounge suite with 'sinkholes'
My hubby is one of those that doesn't just sit down, he flops down with all his weight. Sitting down this way is just not good for a lounge suite, and particularly one that has timber cross beams or spring wires as supports. My lounge suite has spring wires underneath and, while outdoors cleaning, I turned the couch over to see if I could find the problem.
Does your lounge suite need a good clean?
The hot sunny weather is the perfect time to get your lounge suite outdoors for a well-deserved clean. With three small dogs, my lounge suite is looking considerably grungy. There are 'pup dew' marks all over the arms, back and front and it's starting to smell like a kennel...!
Which is the best vacuum cleaner?
As a must-have appliance in most homes, we rely on a vacuum cleaner to not only remove everyday dust to keep our home clean, but also to maintain a healthy home environment. But which vacuum cleaner is the best?
10 practical uses for an old tennis ball
Ha, and you thought that tennis balls were only good for tennis! We have managed to find 10 practical ways to use old tennis balls for anything but tennis!
How safe is your home
Fire and burns remain a leading cause of unintentional injury and death for children, particularly those under the age of 5. You can't rely on your senses to detect a fire while you are sleeping - but a smoke alarm gives that vital early warning.

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Have a safe haven
We all need an escape from the world at some point, and for many of us it’s the bedroom. The last thing we want to worry about when taking time out is security, so here are some tips on how to make your bedroom area a safe haven.
Refresh indoor air quality
We know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Studies are now showing that certain plants can also enable us to breath cleaner air by absorbing toxic chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. You can enquire at your local nursery or garden centre as to plant species that will be suitable for your home.
How to hire a handyman
Here in South Africa hiring a handyman can be a tricky business. How do you know if you are getting quality work at the right price? What happens when something goes wrong - will the professional you hire still be in business tomorrow?
Bothered by ants or roaches?
We all experience occasional problems with ants and roaches. The recent spate of hot, humid weather has enticed more than a few of these insects into our home. Efekto have launched a range of ant and roach traps and baits that effectively - and safely - control these home pests.
Displaying kid's art
It's a precious time indeed when children bring home their artwork. That first masterpiece that is made with love and presented with joy is only the first in many, many, many works of art that will be brought home for you to display.
How to keep a home cool and comfortable
Global warming, greenhouse effect, whatever you want to call it, it's definitely getting hotter. The fact is our climate is changing; daytime temperatures are definitely heating up during the daytime, but that doesn't mean that you need to turn up the airconditioner.

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Remove red stains from carpet
The prospect of getting red cold drink stains out of carpet can be a nightmare in light coloured carpets. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks can help you remove these stains effectively, without destroying your carpet!
Cleaning mistakes to avoid
Did you know that washing windows on a sunny day may be causing those stubborn streaks you see on the glass? Or that rubbing carpet stains is a definite no-no? Read on for common household cleaning mistakes:
Child safety at Christmas
Children are instantly drawn to glittering tree lights, ornaments and decorations. Here are a few safe options to take into consideration when decorating a home for the holidays.
Children at risk from cellphones
Recent research tells us that 22% of children ages six to nine own a cell phone, as do 60% of ages 10 to 14 and 84% of teens. Combine those stats with today's souped-up cellular devices, and it's a recipe for risky behaviour.
Great ideas for stuff in the home
Here's a collection of great ideas that I have come across on the Internet. Some of them save you time, some are really useful, and there's bound to be at least one idea that you will use.
Top 10 tips for home living
Tips to save you money and make life a little easier.

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Make sure your child is safe
The latest statistics from the emergency medical services provider, Netcare 911, indicate an interesting trend.
Preserve family photos
While many of us use digital cameras to take family photos, your images are not meant to be stored there permanently.
Life without underlay
All too often, homeowners cut corners when it comes to what’s under their feet.
3-D without glasses?
Watching an advert the other day, they mentioned 3-D TV - without glasses. No I know I might be blonde, but how does 3-D TV work if you don't have the glasses?
Maintain leather furniture
Keeping leather in good condition does not require buying any special products. There are simple, effective formulas for homemade leather conditioners.
Keep upholstery looking good
With children and pets in a home, your sparkling clean sofa or chair can look grubby in minutes. Here's how to keep your upholstered furniture looking fabulous all year round.
 
Dust -free for longer
Unfortunately, dust is unavoidable. Not only is it nasty, but it can also trigger allergies. Make these simple steps part of your cleaning routine to create a healthier home for your family:
 
 

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Does your home smell?
Our warm, sometimes humid weather is the perfect breeding ground for the mould and bacteria that cause most household odours. Try these techniques to tackle the root of the problem.
Speed clean your home
Got a life? Then you probably don't want to spend any more time on housework than you have to. Here's how to clean your house better and faster.
A vacuum that really works!
I am one of those individual who don't believe what I see on the TV unless I have tried it for myself! Having just tried out the Bennett.Read Hydro from Tevo - I will never, ever use anything else!
Eco-pest repellants
Whilst it is impossible to completely rid your home of some of these nasties, there are eco-friendly pest remedies that will slow them down!
Safe use of LP gas
While not considered an eco-friendly heating options, LPGas is one way to affordably heat a home, especially in view of the rumour that Eskom has power outages on the cards.
Treat carpet stains
Oops! Whether it be grape juice, a little present from Fido, or finger-paint artwork from your 3-year-old, it seems whatever is not supposed to get on the carpet always does. Here are a few tips on how to clean your carpets using products you can find around your house.

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Fix damaged carpet
Accidents do happen, and if you have an open fireplace in your home, they tend to happen more frequently than you would like. If a carpet does become damaged, perhaps by a stray ember, there is a quick fix that you can try to repair the damaged area.
Stain removal guide
Use this handy stain removal guide to treat common household stains in the home.
Clean upholstered furniture
There's nothing like new upholstery to freshen up your fave soft furnishing for spring. Follow this three-prong strategy to keeping soft furnishings looking fab year-round.
Caring for genuine and microfibre suede
Genuine suede requires regular maintenance with a suede brush and suede cleaner, both of which are usually available at dry cleaners or shoe repair stores.
Control household dust
Dust can create havoc with our sinus and nasal passages. Don't just spread dust around - get rid of it! Here are some dust-busting strategies.
 
Uses for baking soda
Long known for its odour reducing properties, baking soda can also remove smoke and sweat odours from your laundry.

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Clean windows like a pro
If you get stuck with the chore of cleaning your windows, part of what makes window washing such a chore is that homeowners insist on doing it with wadded-up paper towels or newspaper, spray cleaner, and a ton of elbow grease.
Deal with household emergencies
A household emergency can strike at unexpected moments and your response, or lack thereof, could determine how things come out in the end.
Here comes the cockroach
Hot and humid. Summer is just around the corner and once cockroches are in your home, getting to know them is your least concern.

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Pets at home

Designer pet homes
Whether your pet sleeps indoors or outdoors, designers are making sure your pampered pooch or fashionable feline has a dream home that fits in with his or her style, just as much as yours!
Does your home smell like a doghouse?
Unless you keep your dogs outdoors 24/7, you are bound to have certain 'doggy' smells in your home. The problem is that you may not know it. You become so used to living with these smells that they become a familiar part of your home. But ask a friend if they notice any pet odours and the answer may shock you!
Caring for a paralysed pet
I am opening this feature for anyone that has a crippled pet, in order to be able to provide more information - not only for myself - for anyone who has ideas and suggestions for caring for a dog or cat that has been crippled.
Allergic to your animals?
Pets and allergens don't have to go together. Mild allergies shouldn't have to stop pet lovers from enjoying their animals. Following some simple tips and investing in pet-specific products can leave you breathing easier in no time.
Living with pets
Many pet owners love a good cuddle, but is it unhealthy for you (or your pet) to spend the night together in the same bed? In this article we explore this (potentially furry) issue.
Ooops he did it again!
When your pooch makes a liquid deposit on the carpet, you have to act fast. Pet urine - whether from a dog or a cat - can damage fibres and even change the colour of carpet. Permanent damage may take days to develop, but it can also happen in minutes, so any delay is risky.

Out and about

Rust-Oleum bakkie and truck bed liner
Rust-Oleum Road Warrior is a two-part epoxy/rubber based product designed for maximum protection and easy do-it-yourself applications. The product is designed for recoating and restoring worn, unfinished or previously finished metal bakkie and truck beds.
Polish your old car new again
Here's the second installment of my car polishing saga. This time our old Polo (2004 model) receives the full treatment of 3 steps to restore the colour and shine to almost brand new condition.
Restore your car to showroom condition
No matter how hard you try to protect your car, eventually you will have a scratches here and there, sap spots if you park out in the open, and possibly even swirl marks in the top coat of paint from polishing. Even if your car has none of these, over time the surface of the paint becomes oxidized, which causes it to become dull and loose it's shine. That's where Liquid Shine is amazing.
Drive green
Warm weather typically means the windows are rolled up, the aircon is switch on, the radio is turned up. High fuel costs and the extra mileage on your vehicle, however, can hit your wallet - and the environment - harder than you'd like.
Car aircon leaking?
Know the difference between a top-off and evacuation.

Is it time to replace your car?

Maintain your car battery


What to do when involved in an accident

How to jump start a car

Tips on driving in wet weather

Safety tips for women drivers

What to do when your car ...

Regularly check your tyre pressure

Get to know your car

Don't drive when you're tipsy

Plan for safe travel

How to change a flat tyre

Get insured for the year ahead

Do you know where to find your car's fuse box?

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