Sunday, 24 July 2011

john's household science tips

And now, for something completely different.

1. To get rid of kettle scale and other whitish deposits on dishes, bowls and kettles, pour in neat vinegar. This dissolves the kettle scale, converting calcium carbonate - the scale - to calcium ethanoate, which dissolves.

2. To polish silverware instantly, place silver objects in a solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking powder) in an aluminium pan or pot, and heat on the stove. The rust moves from the silver to the aluminium, helped by the ions in the solution. If you don't have such a pot, aluminium foil should work.

3. Save the earth by reducing air pollution, and re-using coal. After a BBQ, pour 2 or so litres of water on your coals to wash away the ash - carbonates and so on - leaving you with the coal that is still there unburnt (carbon). That way you stop the excess CO2 being made by the coals being left to burn away, and you keep the re-usable portion of the coal for the next BBQ. Works on wood as well, since charcoal is nothing but burnt wood.

4. Start a BBQ by throwing a few candles in amongst the coals and lighting them. The vapourising and melting wax is flammable and helps the coals catch light.

5. Spilt red wine on the carpet? Douse it with lots of water immediately - seconds count. This will dilute it and spread it, reducing its chances of staining. Then mop it up with an old towel ASAP. After that, pour salt everywhere to suck up the remaining red liquid via capillary action.

more coming as soon as I remember them!

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