My mum, bless her, sent me a load of useful household tips today. I realised halfway through that I would never have any intention of doing any of these things. I am the world’s worst housewife. I love making our home look pretty and I am the original neat freak picture-straightener from hell, but ask me to clean it and I come out in a rash. So given I am in a list making kind of a mood this week, I thought I would put the Desperate Housewife of Dubai spin on the list in question and see what I came up with. Now I fear not only am I a slutty housewife but I also have a drinking problem…So here it is, along with the original list for those who might be slightly less sloth-like.
1. Winter Mocktail for Drivers – Hot, mulled Pomegranate Juice: Heat pomegranate juice with slices of orange, a split vanilla pod and a sachet of mulled wine spices. Allow to infuse for an hour and serve.
DHD: Heat a bottle of red grape beverage with slices of orange, a split vanilla pod and a sachet of mulled wine spices. Allow to infuse for an hour, although 10 minutes would do at a pinch, and serve. Call Safer Driver to take you home
2. How to stop an insect bite from itching: Crush an aspirin, mix with enough water to create a paste and apply to infected area. Not suitable for those allergic to aspirin.
DHD: See no.1. Drink enough that you don’t care about the itching and use the aspirin to nurse your head the next morning instead.
3. How to stop boots sagging, creasing or falling over in wardrobe: Empty bottles! Place inside shoes.
DHD: See no.1. Note: you will need to double the quantities.
4. Three Clever things to do with vinegar:
After chopping onions, scrub your hands with salt and a splash of vinegar to remove smell.
Remove sticky labels from vases and glasses by dampening with vinegar, then leaving for 5 minutes before buffing off with a paper towel.
Bring out bright colours in your washing by adding a cup of white distilled vinegar to the rinse cycle.
DHD: Give a bottle to your maid along with a DVD of Anthea Turner’s ‘The Perfect Housewife‘ and you shouldn’t need to do anything more clever with your own vinegar except sprinkle your chips with it.
5. Frozen Berries: Add a few to drinks instead of ice cubes – they provide a burst of flavour and colour and cool it down without diluting it.
DHD: Stick a bottle of Absolut Rasberri in the freezer about 2 hours before you drink it.
6. Remove coffee and tea stains from favourite mugs: Make a paste of baking soda and a little water. Then gently rub over any marks to remove them
DHD: Fire the maid for not doing the washing up properly then buy new ones. They weren’t this season’s colours anyway.
7. Three uses for fabric softener sheets:
Run a threaded needle through a fabric softener sheet before starting sewing to prevent the thread twisting and knotting.
Clothing gone static? Gently pat yourself down with a fabric softener sheet to get rid of electricity
Freshen up clothes and shoes in wardrobe by storing them alongside fabric softener sheets
DHD: If your clothes have ‘gone static’ then you are shopping in the wrong places.
8. Three uses for everyday items:
Baby oil: Rub a few spots over a dull stainless-steel sink to restore its shine. Also works on chrome trim of kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures.
DHD: Use in place of sun lotion to get rid of pesky strap marks.
Emery Board: Stained a suede jacket or pair of shoes? Rub the area gently with an emery board, then hold over steaming kettle to remove mark.
DHD: Emery boards belong at the spa. If you have a stain on anything you should obviously throw it away and use it as an excuse to go shopping.
Freezers: Place candles in freezer 2 hours before burning them – will freeze wax and improve lasting power.
DHD: This is Dubai. Clearly your candles will be far too big to get in the freezer and have a burn time of approximately 14 years if our list of dinner party invites has been anything to go by. So I wouldn’t worry.
9. Get rid of troublesome stains: Cranberry or other berry juices; flush with cold water then, using an eye dropper apply a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water. Leave to stand for 10 mins then treat with a combination solvent such as Oxyclean and wash as normal. This technique works for coffee stains too.
DHD: Tub of Vanish and a good day’s work for the housemaid should do the trick.
10. Two ways with lemons:
Rub half a cut lemon over wooden or plastic cutting board to clean and bleach surface.
Add up to half a cup of lemon juice to a wash cycle instead of bleach to brighten your whites.
Vodka and Tonic.
Gin and Tonic.