December 17, 2012 6:18 pm
The secret to a long lasting Christmas tree
The secret to keeping your Christmas tree looking fresh for weeks is simply good, basic care. When you buy your tree, make sure the seller makes a fresh cut straight across the base of the trunk, removing about an inch from the bottom to aid water absorption. As soon as you get home, place the tree in a stand or sturdy bucket that holds at least two liters of water. Check the water level daily to make sure the end of the trunk is covered and position the tree away from direct sunlight, fireplaces, wood stoves and other heat sources.
How to defrost your freezer
Tons of holiday leftovers require ample room in the freezer. To make sure food stays fresh, defrost your freezer and give it a good clean. First, empty all of the food from the freezer and wrap it in newspaper (alternatively place in the coldest part of your home). Next unplug the freezer, lay towels around the bottom to mop-up any spills and place bowls of very hot water in the bottom of the freezer. Using gloves, pull away chunks of ice and pour warm water onto any stubborn blocks of ice. Once your freezer's defrosted, give it a good clean to remove any stains and odors. If your freezer regularly builds up a layer of ice, it may not be working properly.
Keep your fridge smelling fresh
Fridges often gather strong odors over time. To avoid this, start by completely emptying your fridge, then give it a wipe to remove any spilled residue. Thoroughly clean the entire interior with a cloth and a baking soda and water solution (2 cups of water / 2 tablespoons baking soda). Then cut an onion in half and place in the fridge - this will absorb any bad odors.
Clean your silverware
With Christmas around the corner, the family silver will take pride of place at the festive table. To ensure your cutlery looks as good as new, line a plastic basin with aluminum foil (shiny side up). Place the silver inside so that it's touching the foil and sprinkle in a quarter of a cup of baking soda and 1 gallon of boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 - 15 minutes. Wearing gloves, take the cutlery out of the water and polish with a soft cloth. For items that are still dirty, repeat the process. This will remove all stains and ensure clean sparkling knives and forks to compliment your Christmas roast.