- Touch up a scratched washer or drier
Metal buckles, zips and clasps can leave marks and scratches on both washing machines and clothes driers — marks that will undoubtedly rust when exposed to moisture and wet clothing. Don't wait to repair the damage or you may regret it. First, clean the area with a cotton wool ball dipped in surgical spirit. When the surgical spirit has dried (a few seconds at most), cover the scratch with a thin coat of clear nail polish or like-coloured car body touch-up paint, available from car supply shops.
- Clean your washing machine
An easy way to periodically clean out soap scum and disinfect your washing machine is to pour in 2 cups of white vinegar, then run the machine through a full cycle without any clothes or detergent. If your machine is particularly dirty, fill it with very hot water, add 8 litres vinegar and let the agitator run for 8-10 minutes. Turn off the machine and let the solution stand overnight. Next day, empty the drum and run the machine through a full cycle.
If your clothes come out of the wash with small rips or snags, it’s likely that something inside the washer is the guilty party. Rub a wad of old, clean pantihose over the agitator and tub to detect any coarse edges that snag. Then smooth over the rough spots with a piece of very fine-grade sandpaper.
Concrete garage floors can get very dusty, which can make painting jobs a nightmare. It really is worth investing in some garage floor paint, which not only looks smart, but also holds the concrete surface together and makes sweeping the floor much easier.
Why go through a balancing act every time you need to stand up a mop, duster or broom? Cut off the finger sections from some old latex gloves and slip them over the ends of all those long wooden handles. The rubber provides enough traction to stop a pole from sliding whenever you lean it against a wall.
- Mould and mildew treatments
Garages and cellars generally suffer from a lack of ventilation so even the driest of these rooms can have mouldy walls or corners. Wearing rubber gloves and a disposable face mask, brush or scrape the worst of the mould from all surfaces, then scrub the affected areas with a brush dipped in a solution of water, disinfectant and soda crystals. Blot the damp walls with a cloth to minimize moisture, and keep a fan running to recirculate the air and to help dry the walls thoroughly.
- Air out a cellar or garage
You don't have to live with a musty cellar or garage. Once you've taken care of the source of mildew, combat any lingering odours by mixing 2 parts cat litter with 1 part bicarbonate of soda in a large container. Then fill several clean, empty large tins to the brim and place them around your cellar or garage. Replace with fresh mixture as needed. If the moisture affects the upper corners of the cellar, fill cotton bags or old pillow cases with the mix and hang them close to the damp areas.
If you have an attached garage with a flat roof and exposed rafters, warm it up by insulating the roof from below. Buy some rolls of batt insulation plus rolls of garden netting. Push the insulating material up between the exposed rafters and use a staple gun to secure the netting to the underside of the rafters to hold the insulation in place.