Storing your jam upside down or cleaning suede with bread… We haven’t lost our minds – we’ve uncovered all the tricks to make your things last longer. Oh, and save money! By Esethu Numa
• Washing your clothes in cold water and not too frequently will lengthen their lifespan.
• Use the recommended settings for the material or type of clothing to avoid over-washing your clothes.
• Hang your clothes up to dry as opposed to throwing them in the dryer, which can wear garments out or cause them to shrink.
• To clean suede, rub a piece of stale bread crust on the dirt or stain. Do this gently without applying too much pressure.
• When your favourite items start to fade, get fabric dye in the same colour and dye them back to their original splendour.
• To discourage the growth of mould and mildew in the bathroom, experiment with a vinegar-water solution. Spray it on your tiles and in the grout, then give it a good scrub.
• Kill two birds with one stone. Every month, throw your shower curtain in the washing machine with a couple of towels to help remove the dirt. Adding normal detergent and a cup of vinegar will help kill mildew, and don’t forget to keep the shower curtain drawn closed after showering to allow it to dry out.
• Once or twice a month, pour baking soda or vinegar down your drain pipes to keep them clog free. Also invest in a hair strainer to fit over your shower drain: this will prevent hair from clogging it up.
• Prolong the life of your mattress, and its comfort, by flipping and rotating it every three months and ensuring that it’s properly positioned on its base or platform.
• Cutting your sponge in half will make it last twice as long, and to make your candles burn longer, freeze them the day before you use them.
• Clean your vacuum-cleaner filter regularly and don’t wait for the bag to get full before cleaning it. You can use scissors to remove any threads and hair that get stuck.
• Check your washing machine’s manual and use the recommended type of detergent for your machine. Also, don’t forget to open the lid between washes to allow the machine to dry properly. Regularly wipe the drum of the washing machine with a damp cloth to remove dirt.
• Place a box or tin of baking soda in your refrigerator to help absorb odour-causing acids. The best way to prevent odours in the fridge and freezer is to simply keep your food covered.
• Regularly remove the shelves in your oven and wash them in hot water with detergent. The rest of the oven is generally easier to clean while it’s still warm, but not hot.
• We all know the inconvenience of food going off too soon. You can make some of your fridge items last longer with a few tricks, such as keeping your mushrooms in a paper bag and storing your ginger in the freezer, which should also make the grating process later easier.
• Don’t remove the wrapper from your cheese when you slice it – this minimises the transfer of microbes from your hands.
• The next time you have half an avocado left over, cover it with cling film to help reduce its contact with air. Another popular trick for avocados is to drizzle them with lemon juice, which will help keep them from browning.
• Storing your already opened jars or cartons upside down will help keep the contents of the containers fresher for a just a little bit longer.
• Swirl your strawberries in a vinegar-water solution (1:10 ratio) before storing them. No need to worry about sour, ruined berries. Because the solution is so diluted, you won’t even taste the vinegar!