All Women's Talk

7 Handy Household Hints from Your Grandparents ...

By Alison

There are some brilliant household hints from your grandparents. The older generation know a thing or two when it comes to practical little tips. They didn't have modern conveniences at their disposal, and had to find ways of making what they did have last as long as possible. Try these household hints from your grandparents to solve any little problems in the home.

1 Make a Pen Work

One of the most useful household hints from your grandparents concerns a pen that stops flowing. If your first reaction is to throw it in the bin, think again. You don't need to throw it away. Just hold the pen between your palms and roll it with a rapid movement. The heat from your hands and the movement helps to undo the blockage and make the ink flow again.

2 Threading a Needle

Have you ever spent hours trying to thread a thoroughly uncooperative needle? Often, you finally manage to thread it, only for the thread to escape again. Get it right first time with this simple tip: lick the end of the thread first, then pinch it between your thumb and forefinger. This stiffens the thread, and you should find that it passes easily through the needle.

3 Loosening a Ring

It's not uncommon for fingers to swell, so that you find you can't get your rings off. This often happens in pregnancy. Don't panic and assume that you'll have to have the ring cut off. Granny would have used washing up liquid or olive oil to grease the finger and help the ring to slide off.

4 Coffee Stains

Do you have a favorite mug that's getting a little stained? Granny also knew an easy way of removing coffee and tea stains from mugs. She didn't have supermarkets and an array of cleaning products, so she used something she always had in her kitchen. Scrub your mugs with baking soda and a little water, and you'll find that the stains disappear in no time.

5 Newspaper

In granny's day, since there weren't recycling facilities, she made other uses of stuff. Newspapers were an excellent tool for washing the windows; she used diluted vinegar and wiped it off with the newspaper. The ink in the paper acted to prevent those annoying smears that you get when you use a cloth. Newspapers could also be used to absorb odours in the fridge.

6 Greasing Dishes

How do you grease a dish or tin when you don't have any kitchen paper? My mother's method was to save empty butter wrappers in the drawer and use them. All you need to do is add a little butter or margarine to the paper and wipe it round the dish. This is a perfect way to grease cake dishes and ensure that the cake mix doesn't stick.

7 Wasps

Again, my mother had a handy method of dealing with any pesky wasps that wandered into the house. She took an empty jar (like the butter wrappers, they were always saved for reuse), and put in a little jam and water. The wasps were attracted to the sweet smell, climbed in, and drowned. You do have to dispose of wasp corpses, but it certainly works.

Older generations knew some very useful tips, so make use of them yourself. They solved problems with simple ideas that still work today. What is your favorite tip that's been handed down in your family?

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