Mary Berry’s tips & tricks are a list of tips I’ve read in her book, Mary’s household tips & tricks. Your guide to happiness in the home. The book was published last year by Penguin Random House UK. I wanted to borrow it from the library. Soon after publishing it was reserved, and I forgot about it until a few days ago. I got it from the library and I’m glad I did. It’s a lovely book that I enjoyed reading. I also learned a few tricks that I’m going to share today.
I stopped sharing book reviews on the blog since I’ve made the book blog in January. But, considering the topic of this book, I think it’s appropriate to share the tips here.
Mary Berry’s tips & tricks
1. Put bags in containers in the freezer. Because bags have funny shapes and it is harder to store in the freezer, put the bags in containers until they freeze. Remove the container, and the bag will keep its shape. How clever is that?! I will keep this in mind, that is for sure.
2. Keep the garlic in the cupboards. If you keep it in the fridge, like I do, it will sprout faster.
3. Use bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to sinks. If your sink is blocked, then pour bicarbonate of soda down the sink, followed by vinegar. They will fizz as they react and they will also clean the sink. It’s much better than using a chemical unblocker, so try that first.
Also, don’t pour fat into the sink. See here a campaign I was involved it about this sort of things.
4. Cleaning the dishwasher. Run a wash with white vinegar. Around 250ml placed in a container on the bottom rack. Run a normal cycle with that. I haven’t tried it, but I will do that soon.
5. Tea stains. If your cups have tea stains in them, scrub a bit of salt and the tea residue should come off.
6. Label residues on glass jars. I like keeping glass jars. I use them for storage or when I’m making homemade jam. Also, they can make a lovely small vase. Some labels come off nicely, but others are so difficult to remove and they leave a residue.
Start by soaking them in hot water, peel off the label. In a small bowl pour a bit of oil with bicarbonate of soda to form a paste. Put on a non-scratch sponge and rub the residue off. Rinse in hot water and wash again to remove all the oil. It is a very easy thing to do.
7. Baking spread in cakes. If you are using baking spread, first of all, make sure is over 65% fat or it will not work. I know, I’ve tried a low fat spread and it didn’t work, I imagined it was the fat content, but I wasn’t 100% sure before reading this in Mary’s book. Also, use it directly from the fridge, not like butter, that needs to be soften at room temperature before using it in bakes.
8. How to soften butter fast. Instead of putting it in the microwave, put it in a big jar, pour lukewarm water on top and drain immediately.
I’ve used the microwave to soften and it works, but only if you keep an eye on it. It can melt fast and the butter can’t be used like that. So, try the lukewarm water trick, I will too.
9. Squeezed-out lemons. Rub them on glass doors (including in the shower) and chrome fittings, it will remove cloudy stains. Also, mix with bicarbonate of soda and use on chrome.
10. Vinegar. Can be used for cleaning glass. I never tried it, but I can’t wait to.
11. Fruit vinegars. It is very easy to make your own fruit vinegar for cleaning. In a jar, put vinegar until three-quarters full, put some citrus peel and mint or cinnamon stick(s), close the lid and leave it in the cupboard for 1 month. After that, the vinegar will have a lovely smell and it can be used for cleaning.
12. Cleaning mirrors. Use 50-50 vinegar and water. I will make the fruit vinegar I mentioned before to use as a mirror cleaner. I’ve used lemon before and it is great.
13. Sugar and flowers. To make your flowers last longer, add a bit of sugar in their water. It sounds like such a great idea and it’s something we all have in our houses.
14. Bleach and flowers. Add a few drops of bleach to make the flowers last longer.
Have you read Mary Berry’s tips & tricks book? Is it something you’d might be interested in?