Ellen Newcombe's blog

Lemon Aid

If you thought lemons were only good for adding to your G&T, think again.

Lemons not only taste fantastic in puddings and cake, but they also stave off illness and have a multitude of uses around the house.

Here are my top 10 uses of lemons that will help you clean your home:

Flood Hazard

For many people Christmas 2013 was a disaster due to flooding and high winds. In York we were lucky this time, but York and the surrounding areas are prone to flooding and it is certain that we will have bad floods again sooner or later.

The good news is that floodwater in the UK is unlikely to make us ill. Even though sewerage may have contaminated the water it will be diluted and simple precautions will minimise any health risk. The bad news is that the biggest health risk is the stress of the situation.

Whiter than White

If you're dreaming of a white Christmas, you may well be thinking about white tablecloths and white napkins as part of your table settings.

I will soon be delving to the bottom of my linen drawer to bring out the tablecloth for its annual appearance and here are some of my tips to make sure it keeps on being whiter than white, year after year. 

Ironing:

Webs Away

There have been a number of stories in the press lately about false widow spiders spreading North with their nasty bite. Whether they are poisonous or not this is time of year when spider numbers in the house peak.

Apart from spooky spiders as part of Halloween decoration, most people do not like spiders or their webs in the house. You should remember, however, that spiders feed on insects, so the reason they are in the house is because there is plenty of food.

Houses Go Into Hibernation

It is the end of the summer and we have been busy preparing second homes for their annual hibernation.

After a busy summer of family visitors one property in Goathland needed a good deep clean. We moved all the furniture and cleaned behind them.

Cleaning Products - A Guide to Warning Labels

Chemicals are used in the office and in the home every day – they are in cleaning products like bleach, oven sprays and toilet cleaners.

They are not dangerous if used properly. You will see a label on all cleaning products. These are required by law and use an international standard of pictographic labelling to indicate the potential danger of the product.

The Clean Dozen - student cleaning essentials

Over the next couple of weeks thousands of young people will be leaving home to start out as students. As anxious parents you will want to make sure they have plenty of supplies to help them survive.

Bringing Up Baby

We all loved the photos out this month of Prince George and his proud parents – it took me back a few years.

If you are someone who likes to have a clean house a baby can cause you a lot of stress: there is the additional mess of all their paraphernalia, there is the lack of sleep and a lack of time. Before you know it your beautiful house can become a mess.

Death to the Fatberg

A couple of weeks ago, Thames Water removed a lump of congealed fat the size of a bus from the London sewers. This “fatberg” had reduced the sewers capacity to just 5%. The main cause of this was households and businesses disposing of fat down the sink.

Flying Ants and Other Summer Visitors

This week has seen “flying ant day” – the day when new queens leave their nest to mate and start their own colony. It is also the day that heralds a build up of summer pests in the home. Ants, wasps, daddy-longlegs, blue bottles etc all make their way into the home, particularly when doors are open as we enjoy the summer weather.

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