Shifting stubborn stains

Old wives tales are full of suggestions about how to deal with tough stains using natural ingredients, nuts, oils and combinations of those. Here are some of those that I have tried and found actually do work.

Walnuts on wood
Getting rid of watermarks and scratches on wood by rubbing them with pieces of walnut works a treat. The oil in the nuts soaks into the wood, filling scratches and refreshing it.

Oil on stainless
Try using a small amount of olive or similar oil on a soft rag to clean fingerprints and grease smears off stainless steel appliances. Don’t use too much, just a smear.

Copper cleaner
Try using tomato sauce and a toothbrush to clean copper pots and ornaments. Coat the copper with tomato sauce and leave overnight, before washing off. The acid in the sauce will remove the tarnish.

Toothpaste on silverware
Put a dab of toothpaste on a soft cloth, rub it onto the tarnish, then rinse with water and dry with a clean cloth. Silver polish is quicker but if you want to go ’au natural’, this will get results, and smells nicer.

Vinegar and dishwashers
To clean the food trap and filter in your dishwasher, put two cups of white vinegar in a jug on the top rack, and run the otherwise-empty dishwasher on the hottest cycle.

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