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Bubble Wrap, Banana Peel, Baby Oil and Beyond

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Genre: House / Garden / Hardcover / 384 Pages / Book is published 2009 by Reader's Digest Association Ltd

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      21.11.2010 18:41
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      The Readers Digest Bubble wrap, banana peel, baby oil and beyond is a hardback book that I picked up from a charity shop for £1.50. The front cover depicts a banana peel and claims 1,700 tips for a better home and garden.

      The book is divided into thirteen chapters and a special section at the end:

      Chapter 1 Cooking and serving shortcuts
      Chapter 2 Creative kitchen cleaning
      Chapter 3 Housekeeping Secrets
      Chapter 4 winning the war on clutter
      Chapter 5 Make your space into a perfect home
      Chapter 6 Natures home remedies
      Chapter 7 looking your best
      Chapter 8 Great ideas for parents and children
      Chapter 9 Favourite pet Subject
      Chapter 10 tips for travellers
      Chapter 11 handy hints for gardeners
      Chapter 12 Marvellous tricks for motors
      Chapter 13 ingenious DIY repairs
      Special Sections the clever homemakers crisis centre

      More detail

      Chapter 1 Cooking and serving shortcuts

      The chapter gives you tips on how to keep food fresh and not only cooking but also rescuing from a disaster. My most useful tip from this section is to put a lettuce leaf on top of a dish and it will draw the fat in and this is great for those times when you have a ready meal.


      Chapter 2 Creative kitchen cleaning

      This chapter is concerned with not only cleaning the kitchen but the best ways to clean pans, utensils and keep it sparkly clean. It talks about organising the fridge and actually tackling bugs in the kitchen. This contains information I have previously learnt on food and Hygiene courses and has practical tips not just advice. It does deal with dishwashers as well as the issues for those of us without such modern gadgets.

      Chapter 3 Housekeeping Secrets

      This chapter uses some old fashioned methods for cleaning that you would expect Kim and Aggies to be using on how clean is your house. But this book is not old fashioned. It does talk about cleaning TV screens and does discuss differences with the modern LCD screens. This is the section where the benefit of the banana peel is finally revealed and the inside of the peel can be wiped on silver to clean off tarnish. It also gives you ten ways to clean with lemons. I don't consider all of them to be effective the one tip I tried that doesn't work is to put a can of coke in the toilet. I tried this when I moved into my current house and the toilet was dirty and noticed no significant improvement. But there are a few that are priceless. Cleaning mirrors with a solution of vinegar and water and newspaper is one I now incorporate into my every day cleaning.


      Chapter 4 winning the war on clutter

      I find this section while it is very eco friendly a little bit green for me. It talks about recycling everything from egg boxes to coffee jars for storage. For me while I do like to be organised I like purpose boxes which might not be the most environmentally approach but it does make me happier in my own home. There is a box that describes 13 things you can store in tights but for me if my legs don't go in them they go in the bin.


      Chapter 5 Make your space into a perfect home

      This is full of usual ideas for making your home very individual. It reminds me of Kristie Allsops Current series on channel 4 which doesn't always use the expensive or expected techniques. This also looks at arranging the house for a party including table decorations.


      Chapter 6 Natures home remedies

      This is as expected looks at home remedies. This looks at treatments for babies to adults. The most useful one has been a gastrointestinal tract calmative which I have been able to give my friend who is undergoing chemotherapy so treatments she can use for IBS are very limited. It comes up with various ways of dealing with sleeplessness and anxiety.

      Chapter 7 Looking your best

      This book starts by looking at beauty tips then moves on to caring for your clothes. But it also has tips on resizing a hat and removing various stains from clothes. To be fair I don't really use this I use a stain remover in my wash and if it doesn't work I tend to bin them. It does have some useful tips such as spray shaving foam on tomato sauce. It does have a be prepared sections such as carrying around a sewing kit in your handbag in case of emergency repairs

      Chapter 8 Great ideas for parents and children

      This does have crafts you can do with children .Things you can make with an empty kitchen roll, How to make finger paints. Actually creating the finger paint can as much of a fun activity as the painting itself. It also does have a tip I have since read about cleaning the inside of rubber ducks which I have thrown a few of these away as they go mouldy inside and is something that I didn't have any idea how to deal with previously.

      Chapter 9 Favourite pet Subject

      This chapter is looks at diet, cheap toys, fleas and recognising different types of animals. This also deals with smells and eliminating them. I don't have any pets so this is not a subject I have read much of.
      Chapter 10 tips for travellers

      This chapter starts as you would predict with packing advice but it does then move on for handy, tips while travelling. It gives tips for outdoors camping and even down to the sleeping bags smell fresh.

      Chapter 11 handy hints for gardeners

      This tends to focus on growing vegetables, seedling but also has great tips on growing a great lawn. Some of the ideas of very different from what you read in general gardening books. It does talk about not only the flowers but the weeds and animals in the garden which is unusual for gardening books.

      Chapter 12 Marvellous tricks for motors

      I have to say I do not enjoy car maintenance and tend to ignore it.I know my own garage well and have even popped in before for him to check the oil to save having to lift the bonnet. This I am sure has very handy tips but simply can't bring myself to read it.

      Chapter 13 ingenious DIY repairs

      There are some novel ways of reducing your energy bill. My favourite which I do intend to try is to create double glazing by cling film which although it only lasts a year something well worth a try. Mending doors, ceilings and fixing up furniture.

      Special Sections the clever homemakers crisis centre

      This is split into three sections, Body, household and on the road. These are the title suggests emergency fixes that you want an instant or temporary fix for.


      This book is full of handy tips. It is not the sort of book that you would sit down and read. I find some of the book very hippyish and not for me but I do find it very useful. It has a very comprehensive index which means if you have a problem searching is very simple. You may be able to find many of these tips on Google but it still teaches you things you would never think to Google.

      I find this quite different to other household tips books I have read which do tend to look at cleaning and repairing rather than the holistic approach that this book takes. I have used quite a few tips in this book and while not all have been successful many are.

      This book is currently available on Amazon market place for £1.90 plus £2.75 postage and packaging. While not as cheap as I managed to get this book for I do think it is a very useful book to keep at home for reference and dipping in and out of.

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