It’s always the same at this time of year. I start looking around at my home after the winter hibernation and realise that it’s time to make some changes. Whether it’s simply an early spring clean or (in my case) tackling a bigger decorating project, this is when I start gathering together my cleaning products, paint and tools and begin using my weekends to update my home. You may remember that I wrote about my horrible damp windows back in the autumn and how I kind-of solved the problem with some thermal blinds. Well, now the condensation has arrived elsewhere – in the bathroom – and has resulted in mouldy, furry and down-right gross bathroom walls. Needless to say this is the area that I’m going to be attacking first! So my life hack number 1 is for clearing mould and flaky paint:
Yes, the damp has got under the paint in the bathroom and big chunks are falling off the walls. Couple this with spots of mould all over the walls and I’ve got one manky bathroom. So here’s how to tackle the mould and stop it coming back – whilst making your walls looks like new again!
1. Scrape off the flaky paint using a cheap stripping knife or a triangular shavehook. Be sure to scrape all the crumbs away, brush down the walls, then vacuum them up so that they don’t stick to the new paint! It will look a lot worse to start with but I promise it’s worth it!
2. Mix up a solution of 2 parts bleach with 10 parts water in a spray bottle (an empty cleaning spray bottle will do) and spritz the bleach water onto the walls to kill the mould. This is exactly the solution you’ll find inside pricey mould-killer products so just mix up your own, but be very careful when spraying because any splashes back on your clothes will bleach them – you might want to wear something old that you don’t mind ruining!
3. Allow this to dry thoroughly (probably overnight while you have a good rest after all tat scraping!) and all the mould will have been killed off. Then paint the walls with two coats of satin soft sheen paint such as diamond eggshell – never use matt – which will resist the condensation in future and any moisture will simply run off the walls or can be easily wiped down with a cloth or old towel.
Simple huh? Not only have you killed the mould and stopped it from coming back, but you’ve also got a nice newly painted room!
While I was doing my decorating I thought I’d get involved in Most Wanted magazine’s life hacks project to share my top 5 thrifty life hacks with you. So number 1 was getting rid of mouldy paint and here are the rest:
2. If you have rust stains on metal-work (on the car or caravan for example) use a whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush to scrub it off – the whitening toothpaste is a little bit more abrasive than a normal toothpaste and should work a treat!
3. Instead of buying those stick-on masks for French manicures, just wrap an elastic band around the nail to mask off the area above the tip and paint it as normal.
4. Make your own firelighters – used dried orange peel to get a sweet-smelling fire started, or make wax firelighters by putting lint/fluff from the tumble drier into egg boxes and pouring over melted wax and wait for it to set. You only need to use one egg-holder per fire. Lint stuffed inside empty toilet rolls also works great!
5. Clean your make up brushes every month in a homemade solution made from a squirt of hair conditioner, a cup of water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Mix this all together then allow the brushes to soak, without rubbing the bristles which might damage them. After half an hour give them a rinse in cold water and allow to air-dry until completely dry.
And here’s the part where you can get involved yourself – there is a competition running on Pinterest, where my fabulous thrifty readers can be in with the chance of winning a £50 voucher for Amazon! So it’d be great if you could share your own life hacks and thrifty projects on Pinterest with the hashtag #VCLifeHacks. Most Wanted lifestyle magazine will pin their favourites onto a dedicated life hacks board and select a winner from there – so share away and best of luck!