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Inspiration, Tips and tricks

How to grow herbs and vegetables at home

May 14, 2019

Can you think of anything more satisfying than enjoying a meal with ingredients you’ve grown yourself? Whether you have a spacious garden or have limited space in an apartment, it’s possible for us all to grow our own vegetables. From low maintenance herbs to consecutive potato crops, you can become a gifted grower in no time.

Indoors

Chives

Pot: 6-inch clay pot
Soil: Well-draining potting soil that is pre-moistened

Chives’ versatility makes them the perfect herb to have on hand in the kitchen. They require around six to eight hours of full sunlight, so growing them on a south-facing windowsill is ideal. Chives also love company, so surrounding them with other indoor foliage will increase humidity and allow them to thrive. If you can’t offer your chives enough natural light, don’t worry, as a 6-12 inch fluorescent fixture with two 40-watt bulbs can provide what’s necessary. You can begin to harvest chives once the leaves are at least 6 inches tall, cutting these down to 1-2 inches will encourage regrowth.

Mint

Pot: A wide container with adequate drainage

Soil: Moderately rich potting mix

Mint can grow happily in the garden or indoors and is a fragrant delight to have in the kitchen. Complementing a wide variety of food and drink, it’s a fun and easy herb to grow. A window with indirect light is preferable, with moist but not overly wet soil, are ideal growing conditions for mint. As the plant often grows towards the light, rotation every 4-5 days is recommended. You can maintain your mint with regular pruning, as soon as leaves come to fruition they can be harvested, with young leaves having more flavour than older ones.

Lettuce

Pot: A pot slightly larger than 8 inches, with drainage holes and a saucer.

Soil: Seed starting soil mix

 

There are several types of lettuce that are more suited to being grown indoors; Garden Babies, Merlot, Baby Oakleaf, and Lollo Rosa. Placing them in a space that gets 12 hours of bright light each day, such as perched in front of a south-facing window is ideal if this is unachievable in your home investing in table top grow lights is advised as these are perfect for growing smaller vegetables, such as lettuce. Mist your seeds daily until they sprout, then ensure soil is constantly moist – not overly saturated or too dry. If your plant is in a particularly warm spot or there is visible wilting your lettuce will need some extra hydration. 30-45 days after planting, you should be ready for your first harvest!

Outdoors

Basil

If you’re a pesto lover, basil is a must-have home-grown herb! Whether it’s Sweet, Purple, Lemon or Thai basil, the most important thing to remember is this herb only grows during the height of summer – once the frost has past and the soil is warm (around June). Scatter your seeds over your chosen location and water frequently, once these begin to germinate spread them to 6 inches apart. The more basil is harvested, the more it grows. Pinch the stem off directly above where leaves have grown, this will encourage two new stems to grow and your plant will become large and abundant. Once flowers begin to grow, this can reduce the leaves flavour, cut all flowers off to help direct the plant’s energy to the foliage and maintain the authentic taste that can complement almost any Italian dish.

Potatoes

If you’re lucky enough to have a larger garden, you can grow potatoes with just a few essential elements; potato starts (or those potatoes you forgot about that have started sprouting will work just fine), a shovel, garden soil, water and sunlight. For a single potato plant dig a 3-inch hole, if you’re feeling more adventurous create straight, well-spaced rows with each potato start placed 12 inches apart. There are 5 types of potato crop through-out the year based on planting dates, you can find out more about these here.

Courgette

Courgettes can be sown directly into soil enriched with manure or compost from late-May to early summer. If your soil is heavy and fertile, this won’t require additional feeding, however sandy or light soil should be topped up regularly with liquid feed. It is essential to water your courgettes regularly, especially when they are in flower. As a rule of thumb harvest your vegetables when they’re 10cm, at least three times a week during the height of the season to keep the plants productive.

To ensure maximum freshness, vegetables such as lettuce and courgette should be stored in the fridgeDesigned to keep food fresher and help to reduce food waste, the innovative AXI refrigerator is our first-ever truly intelligent Food Manager. Using Artificial Intelligence, it puts you in complete control of everything you store and provides a bespoke experience to help you to reduce food waste by keeping track of when items are past their best. Fully Wi-Fi connected, you can also control and manage all AXI’s functions via the Wizard App.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

8 key tips for stressbusting

April 18, 2019

Although stress can be beneficial in certain situations such as helping us complete a task efficiently, meeting deadlines or excelling in sports, too much stress in our everyday lives can be detrimental to our wellbeing. With the line between work and life becoming increasingly blurred, the idea of a work-life balance in the current always-on culture seems less of a reality than ever before. This, combined with managing finances, health concerns, maintaining some form of social life and adult life are small stress triggers that easily accumulate, taking a toll on us both emotionally and physically in the long-term. Follow the tips below to help manage life’s everyday stresses.

Go outdoors

Making time to go outdoors can significantly lower stress. Something as simple as sitting outside in the sun for 5 minutes or walking through your nearest park can help to relax you in a way that a bustling city environment can’t. With too much stimulation at once (social media, emails, people) our brains can feel overwhelmed and constantly on the go, whereas nature helps to capture our attention in a gentle way making us more relaxed.

Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is fundamental to our health and wellbeing, having a direct impact on our stress levels. It’s easy to feel overcome by your problems when you’re feeling tired, so making the time to have a good night’s rest is one of the most important steps to take when stress busting. Unfortunately, stress can also impact the quality of sleep we get, if you’re struggling to sleep and overthinking at bedtime you may want to consider meditation, breathing exercises or visiting your GP if the problem persists.

Exercise

Exercise encourages a healthy body and mind, so is a superb stress buster! If you are struggling to understand where exercise would fit into your routine, just remember you don’t have to run miles every day. Something as simple as an after-work swim or going for a couple of brisk 10-minute walks each week can make you think more about your body’s movements and park the problems of that day – the endorphins released during exercise are also a natural mood improver.

Connect with people

Building a strong network of family, friends and colleagues that you feel comfortable and safe to discuss issues with can significantly help decrease stress levels. Without these connections, it’s hard to find somewhere to vent about the day’s stresses, whether that be work, finances or relationships. Having people to share problems with often brings new solutions, self-confidence to deal with said issues as well as just having people to relax with.

Have some ‘me time’

In the modern age, it can be easy to be tuned into work 24/7. With the introduction of smartphones and social media, the always-on culture of today often means we prioritise work over making time for ourselves, but this can have a detrimental effect on stress and general wellbeing. It’s important to make time for yourself – this could be as simple as taking one night a week from your schedule to take part in something you really enjoy; sports, music, film. ‘Me time’ could even count as taking 5 minutes out of your day to enjoy a cuppa.

Listen to music

Listening to music has been proven to reduce stress in many ways both physically and emotionally. Research shows it helps to slow your pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure and decrease levels of stress hormones. Classical music is tipped to be the most calming of all but if you don’t class yourself as a classical fan, singing along to your all-time favourites can provide a great release of tension.

Help others

Helping other people has been proven to reduce stress and increase happiness. Through focussing on the problems of others, it can put your own issues into perspective. It may be hard to fit volunteering into your schedule but even small acts of kindness such as buying a co-worker a coffee, baking a cake for your family or donating small change to charity can help boost your wellbeing and lower stress.

Avoid bad habits

During our most stressful times, it’s easy to turn to alcohol, smoking and caffeine as avoidance mechanisms. However, these will only help you feel good in the short-term and not actually help to solve your problems. Instead, try to implement the tips above, stop thinking about the things you can’t change and focus on the things you can control in a situation.

It’s easy to let the burden of housework build up and leave you feeling overwhelmed, with household chores being one of the most common causes of stress in the UK. Take a weight off your shoulders with our innovative selection of appliances, developed to simplify everyday home tasks and chores. From the lightweight H-Free C300 vacuum cleaner that makes cleaning the whole house quick, easy and cordless to our revolutionary Vision oven with touch-screen interface, we can help you tick more off your to-do-list, so you can enjoy extra ‘me time’.

Tips and tricks

The guide to home maintenance this spring

March 5, 2019

The winter months aren’t just tough on us mentally, with all that rain, cold, wind and the occasional outbreak of snow, our houses can take a bit of a battering. Whilst they’re certainly built sturdily enough for us not to worry about them falling down, the stresses and strains dished out by the elements over the years can take their toll.

As the wintry weather fades away and we start to the see the sunshine again, it’s the perfect time to spend a weekend getting up to speed with these home maintenance tasks. We’ve rounded up a short checklist of some of the most important things to consider and hopefully these small checks will ensure there are no nasty, expensive surprises.

Clean the cooker hood and filter

Your cooker hood will do a good job of removing moisture and smells from the kitchen, but after a while they can get greasy. It’s important give it a wipe down with some kitchen cleaner and to replace the filters to ensure it’s working efficiently.

Clean the oven

One of our least favourite jobs around the house, especially if it’s been left too long and food debris has built up. You can use a combination of bicarb and white vinegar or a specialist oven cleaner to break down the debris and grease, but always check the manufacturers instruction book beforehand. Once done, try to clean it more regularly to avoid a time-consuming job every time you come to do it. To make life easier, a number of our ovens include hydro-easy-clean or pyrolytic integrated cleaning systems – explore our oven range here.

Check the loft for roof tiles or water leaks

Take a look in the loft for any evidence of roof tiles, holes, leaks or pests. Discovering a problem early can seriously reduce any potential costs and damage. Give your loft a tidy if whilst you’re there if you’re storing items.

Clean out the garage

If you’ve got a garage, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using it as a dumping ground for those items you don’t know what to do with or you haven’t got round to throwing out yet. You may even find some items worth selling or that you’d forgotten about.

Clean gutters

To stay on the safe side, this may require hiring a professional to check for you and to clean out any moss or leaves.

Check exterior paintwork

Take a look at any exterior paintwork. If it’s showing signs of wear – any blistering or flaking – it might be time to hire someone to tidy up the paintwork.

Clear leaves, soil and debris

Get out in the garden to clear any debris from the bases of walls to help prevent damp occurring.

Check external brickwork

Check for cracks and the condition of the brickwork. Repointing is best done in dry weather so spring is the perfect time to ensure your walls are in tip-top condition.

Take a look at the garden for winter damage

Frost, wind and heavy rain can cause issues in the garden – use the warmer weather to get out and check larger trees, shrubs, fence panelling and brickwork for any signs of damage.

English cottage garden.

Prune large trees and shrubs

It’s unlikely you will have spent the winter tending to shrubbery and trees so the springtime is your opportunity to tidy up.

Brush down gates and railings and repaint

A spot of repainting or varnishing could be required if fixtures such as gates, railings and wood panelling are showing signs of weathering.

Pull furniture away from walls

Pull out large pieces of furniture so you can dust and vacuum. You should also check for damp and mould, which can sometimes build up as a result of the fluctuations between cold and warm temperatures when you’re using the heating throughout the winter.

Open all your windows

Whilst you’re pulling out the furniture and vacuuming, give your home a good air. During the winter we inevitably end up blocking ventilation and draughts to keep out the cold air, but this makes the air stale and increases moisture, therefore making mould more likely to form.

After a weekend of house maintenance, you’ll really appreciate the benefits of a lightweight cordless vacuum to leave your home in pristine condition. The H-Free cordless vacuum cleaner is great for getting every kind of surface clean, underneath furniture and above doors. It comes with a wall-mount so that you can store it neatly along with its tools – ready to grab and blitz away any dust instantly.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Recipes, Tips and tricks

The complete Christmas day checklist

December 5, 2018

The big day has arrived, the presents have been wrapped, Father Christmas has visited, and the festivities have begun, now all that is left to do is to cook the Christmas dinner. This helpful checklist make sure the day runs as smoothly as possible.

Turkey

The star of the show. This needs to be the first thing in your oven once you wake up (or have been woken up!) Place the seasoned turkey in a roasting tin along with carrots and onions (breast side down), after around 15 minutes turn the turkey breast side up and roast for the appropriate time. Make sure you keep the turkey juices to one side to make your own, flavour-packed gravy. Here’s a fantastic recipe featuring stuffing and gravy. When it comes to Christmas cooking, we need all the help we can get, so alongside all the extra pairs of hands, the Vision oven is fully equipped to lighten the load. Its integrated door camera ensures you can keep one eye on your roasting whilst prepping and entertaining!

Cranberry sauce and gravy

Why not put a spin on traditional Christmas sauces and add some liqueur and spices to the mix? Adding sherry or madeira to your turkey juices makes for a rich and flavourful gravy – the perfect complement to your festive dinner.

Cranberry sauce is also a staple in many families’ Christmas dinners, but this tip will make your sauce the talk of the table. Adding in a splash (or more) of wine and some chopped chillies will provide an unexpectedly rich kick to a simple homemade cranberry sauce. After simmering your cranberries, wine, chillies and sugar together until it reaches a jam consistency, season with salt for a truly scrumptious cranberry sauce.

Stuffing

What’s Christmas dinner without all the trimmings? Stuffing is an easy side dish to prepare ahead of time and then place in the oven on the day for a hassle-free crowd pleaser. Why not use Hoovers Vision oven to look up the best stuffing recipes for the whole family, and its integrated HD camera will allow you to check on every aspect of your dinner whilst it’s in the oven without opening the oven door.

Brussels sprouts

No Christmas dinner is complete without a bowl of Brussels sprouts which everyone tries to avoid! This recipe however will get everyone fighting over it. Shred your brussels sprouts, chop your onion and grab your lardons. Fry the lardons until golden, place on a paper towel to drain and add your onions and salt to the pan and cook until tender or until they are browned. Then add your bacon back into your mix along with the shredded brussels sprouts for 5 minutes and serve right away.

Roast potatoes

Peel, chop and boil your potatoes on Christmas eve to cut down the preparation and give you more time to enjoy the day amidst the cooking frenzy. Of course, the crispier the better so for the most amazing roast potatoes heat up the goose fat in a roasting tin before you put the par-boiled potatoes into the pan. Top tip: rough up the edges of the potatoes slightly to give them extra crispiness.

Vegetables

This part is all up to you, honey roast parsnips, carrots, peas, broccoli, red cabbage and many more make a great addition to any Christmas dinner just make sure you peel and chop all the veg before the big day to have one less thing to worry about.

Don’t forget about the washing up! Hoover’s AXI dishwasher can help save loads of time on the washing up, after all the scrumptious food has been devoured its time to load all the dishes into the dishwasher. Hoover’s innovative design allows for up to 16 place settings to fit so it’s perfect for Christmas for even the biggest of families.

We’ve covered the essentials, but the list of Christmas Day supplies can be a daunting prospect. You’ve got to think starters, desserts, cheese boards, snacks – there’s a lot to forget! This comprehensive Christmas Day list should help you make sense of it all!

Keep an eye on our social channels for all the latest product news, competitions and offers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips and tricks

Innovative upcycling ideas to spruce up your home

November 9, 2018

At some point each year many of us will get the itch to spruce up and refresh our homes – general day-to-day wear and tear can start to take its toll with scuffs, stains and marks appearing in high-traffic areas. On top of the need to refresh to ensure our homes aren’t looking tired and worn, enticing new interior trends often emerge to grab our attention and sometimes we just feel the need to breathe some new life into our homes.

Thankfully, it’s not always necessary to splash the cash on expensive furniture and decorators. Take advantage of a free weekend with a touch of DIY and upcycling and you can spruce your home in no time with a touch of personal charm thrown in for good measure.

From painting tips to simple furniture restoration, delve into these practical tasks.

Paint a statement wall

Young asian happy woman painting interior wall with paint roller in new house

Painting is one of the best ways to inject new life into your decoration without breaking the bank. If you don’t want to redecorate extensively, opting for a contrasting statement wall is an excellent option. Use a few different samples to compare shades and when it comes to painting, use a roller for the main body of the wall and cut in the edges with a brush.

Paint skirting and doorframes

Skirting and doorframes benefit from a new lick of paint every couple of years as these features can become chipped and dirty. Skirting is generally white, but matching it with wall colours is an option for creating a contemporary edge. Be sure to sand, clean and tape the edges of the skirting and doorframes before painting to ensure a tidy, professional finish. Consult this step-by-step guide for an expert finish.

Reinvent your dining table

The very nature of the dining table makes it likely to suffer over time with wine spillages, grease marks and burns contributing to the wear and tear. Dining tables can set you back a hefty amount of cash if you’re looking to buy brand new, but a bit of DIY love is a fantastic option for refreshing a table and sprucing up your home. With the correct tools, stripping, sanding and re-varnishing a table is relatively straightforward task. Take a look at this step-by-step guide and be sure to vacuum up any mess! The innovative, ultra-lightweight H-Free is ideal – explore our range of cordless vacuum cleaners here.

Upcycle a chair

Small business of a young woman. Beautiful young woman worker in carpenter workroom. Old furniture restoration.

If you’ve got wooden dining chairs in need of some care, spending an afternoon with some paint and tools is a creative and thrifty way of adding some new charm to your home and saves you having to replace furniture. Start off by sanding the chair all over to create a good surface for the paint to stick to. Next you can either keep a natural finish and apply varnish or apply primer and a colour coat of paint.

Restore a vintage find

Spotted a piece at a car boot sale or market that’s caught your attention, but it’s in need of some love? A bit of DIY endeavour and creative thinking can turn old, forgotten pieces into pride-of-place items! If a piece of furniture looks tired and worn, don’t let this put you off. Try and picture it in your home, and it can only take a spot of sanding and painting to restore a table or chest of drawers. Be flexible and creative and you will add personal charm with ease.

Once you’ve spruced up your home with these DIY ideas, you’ll no doubt need to do some tidying and vacuuming. This is where the H-Free comes into play, with its ultra-lightweight construction and exceptional performance, free from the restriction of cords.

Ensure your home is suitably cared for by exploring our range of innovative cordless vacuum cleaners here.

Be sure to share your efforts with us! For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Tips and tricks

Summer Hacks: Hot tips to stay cool

August 10, 2018

The summer is set to get even hotter with forecasters predicting temperatures as high as 37C, making this summer the hottest British heatwave since 1976. But as the temperatures rise the heat can become a burden – especially for those who work or live in buildings without air-conditioning.

As keeping cool in the sun is high on our agenda we have put together 10 summer hacks to keep you cool and happy in the scorching heat.

1. Frozen fruity water

Going to be away from home for a long period? Freeze water with fruit in a plastic bottle, this will melt throughout the day giving you a refreshing drink that will be cooler for longer.

2. Sweaty nights

If the hot weather has you tossing and turning throughout the night, try freezing a half-filled hot water bottle and place at the foot of your bed. Press your ankles, tops of your feet and temples against the water bottle to stop you overheating. If you are really struggling, place your bedding into a bag and place in the freezer for a few minutes before bedtime.

3. Chilled caffeine kick

On a hot day, watered down coffee just won’t do! Pour coffee into an ice tray and freeze, this is a great way to enjoy a full tasting iced coffee to satisfy your coffee fix.

4. Savvy tipple

There is nothing better than a cold glass of wine in the garden with friends on a warm evening. So, don’t let ice cubes water down your favourite tipple instead freeze green grapes to keep your drink chilled.

5. After sun

Take the sting out of sunburn by freezing aloe vera or after sun in an ice cube tray then run the cubes onto the affected area, this will produce an instant cooling affect and help bring down your body temperature.

6. Fun in the sun

Thinking of having a BBQ, going to the beach or having a picnic? Freeze part-filled water balloons to make enormous ice cubes, this will keep your food and drinks chilled throughout the day.

7. Freeze your snacks

We get 30% of our water intake from our food – chop up fruit and place into small containers and freeze. This is perfect for taking snacks to work or on a summer trip as your food will defrost during the day.

8. One scoop or two

Summer is the time to indulge in unlimited amounts of ice cream, but it can be frustratingly difficult to scoop! Take the hassle out of your frozen treat by placing the ice cream tub in a freezable bag before freezing, and you will have soft scooping ice cream every time.

9. Refrigerate your cosmetics

Storing your creams and lotions in the fridge provides much needed rejuvenation in the hot weather by applying a cold moisturiser to your body in the mornings and evenings.

10. Cooling

Hoover refrigerators, freezers and wine coolers are developed with innovative technology to cool food, wine and drinks in the best way. Take inspiration from our great range and choose the most suitable model for your home. Click here to find out more about our range of stylish refrigerators.

For information on our range of innovative cooling appliances, visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Cleaning, Tips and tricks

7 ways to brighten up your home this summer

July 7, 2018

Summer’s here and it’s the perfect time to brighten up your home. Whether it’s subtle additions and accessories or a full furniture rearrangement, there’s lots to consider when trying to brighten up your home both visually and atmospherically. Here’s a few of our top tips to help you along the way:

Fabrics and furnishings

Switching up your fabrics and furnishings is an easy way to create a brighter atmosphere in your home. Think fluffy cushions, light, breezy throws and colourful table runners for a start. If you’re one for going the extra mile, bring a touch of spring into the bedroom with soft-washed cotton bed linen and fresh bedspreads. For those of you with pets in the house, our pets cordless vacuums are the perfect solution to pet hair riddled fabrics and furnishings, browse here.

Statement palette

Pastel beddings on stylish bed in white bedroom with plants

A splash of colour goes a long way to brightening up your home too, and your walls and ceiling can play a big part in this. Pastel colours are making a comeback, and there’s no time more suited to soft oranges and pinks than summer, so keep an eye out for canvases, paintings, lampshades and any kind of ornaments that might add a bright touch to your interior.

A warm welcome

First impressions are essential, creating a homely entrance will help establish the bright and breezy tones of summer both inside and outside the home. Subtle decorations elevate a doorway, and not everyone has time to paint the frame every season! Welcome mats, soft lighting and plant pots are a great start to any summer entrance, so think small, before you think big.

Natural touches

House plants are an essential in any modern home, but if you’re looking to really brighten up your interior, it’s time to consider those seasonal blooms. There’s an abundance of vibrant flowers out there, so head to your local florist and grab yourself the freshest foliage summer has to offer. Simplicity is the key here; Daffodils, Tulips and Crocus are easy to come by and take little maintenance, so find yourself a large ceramic vase and create a stylish, natural bouquet.

Rearrange

Multifunctional loft apartment with stylish hammock

Making the most of the natural light will breathe new life and brightness into your home, and the easiest way to do this is to ensure your furniture is placed correctly. Consider where the light comes in and which walls and fixtures help amplify the daylight and rearrange accordingly.

Wooden tones

Pay homage to mother nature and add a further dynamic to your spring interior with some wooden accessories and furniture. Wood exudes an organic feeling, perfect for creating that summer atmosphere and brightening up a room. Decorative ladders and freestanding shelving are increasingly popular and make for a perfect perch for other seasonal ornaments and flowers.

Refresh the bathroom

Don’t forget the bathroom too! The soft backdrops common in bathrooms make the perfect opportunity for some vibrant, seasonal additions. Refresh your towels and accessories with brighter, matching colours and styles and consider the above accessories to add some springtime flair. Our steam cleaners are great way to give your bathroom that like-new sparkle too, browse them here.

For more interior design inspiration, cleaning tips, product information and more, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Cleaning, Tips and tricks

The ultimate guide to summer stain removal

June 25, 2018

When we think of summer, we think of adventures outdoors, ice creams by the seaside, barbecues with friends and al fresco cocktails. The summer months are a joyous part of the year, but with these seasonal activities comes the added danger of stained items of clothing. It’s a common summer mishap – midway through a summer’s barbecue, a few tipples in and you spill a glass of red wine all over your brand new shirt. It might seem like a grave situation, but all is not lost! There are a number of ways to treat stains and enable your washing machine to finish off the job. Our new AXI AI washing machine is also fantastic for providing useful tips and hints for stain removal and can be controlled using voice activation via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

From kids’ grass stains to cocktail spillages and bike chain oil smears, we’ve drawn up a comprehensive guide to summer removal.

Grass

Grass stains are a common sight on light clothing after a sunny trip to the park. Your washing machine should deal with them well, but to be sure, pre-treat the stain with a solution of one part white vinegar and two parts water then lightly scrub the stain with a toothbrush. Finally, wash in your machine with an enzyme detergent to break down the proteins.

Fruit juices

Grapefruit and rosemary cocktail

From fruit-juice packed cocktails to the stickiness of strawberries, these stains can be stubborn. For the best results, pre-treat with laundry detergent and leave to soak with detergent and white vinegar for at least 30 minutes before washing as usual.

Ice cream

Children and adults alike often fall foul of a dripping ice cream on a hot day. Use cold water and wipe the spot then apply stain remover before soaking for 30 minutes in an enzyme-based detergent.

Red wine

Red wine being poured into a stem glass at the table.

The one everyone wants to avoid! You don’t need to consider the garment a write-off and discard it though. Use a dry cloth to absorb any excess moisture before applying some salt to absorb the liquid before giving the item a hot rinse and washing as usual.

Sun lotion

Many of the ingredients and oils in sun lotions can cause staining if they’re not dry before you get dressed. Sprinkle the stain with bicarbonate of soda to absorb any oils. Rub with washing liquid, then soak in washing liquid and hot water before rinsing well and washing in a machine as normal.

Bicycle chain oil

Man bicycle mechanic repairing bicycles

On fresh grease stains, rub dishwashing liquid into the stain. Or you could try rubbing the stain with a paste made from detergent and bicarbonate of soda. Rinse well with cool water and wash as usual. For dried stains use bicarbonate of soda or talcum powder to draw the grease and oil out of the garment. Leave overnight before washing.

Sauce

Scrape off excess sauce and run the fabric under cold water. Pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent and rinse. Then sponge on white vinegar and rinse. Repeat these steps a few times before putting the item into the washing machine.

Of course, these tips will help you alleviate stains, but you still need a washing machine which is up to the task of removing the toughest of stains. Who can safely handle different colours and fabrics, All-in-One? Hoover, that’s who. The clever thinking that goes into our AI WiFi washing machines makes life so much simpler. Innovative features like the Wizard app help you to choose the best programme and control your machine remotely from your Smartphone, while a time saving 49 minute All-in-One cycle means you can wash white and coloured laundry together in the same load.

Take a look at our AXI with innovative Artificial Intelligence.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Tips and tricks

5 ideas for streamlined kitchen organisation

March 12, 2018

Our kitchens are hives of activity, from rustling up family meals to weekend baking and rushed breakfasts, they see plenty of action. With all this action going on, kitchens can become messy and cluttered – once you lose control of your organisation this can make for a stressful and inefficient kitchen experience. With making lives easier in the kitchen in mind, we’ve got a selection of great ideas for streamlining your organisation to ensure you can get on with the most important kitchen activity – cooking!

Throw out pans and gadgets you don’t need

We’re all guilty of falling for the latest trends for kitchen gadgets and utensils, but after the initial excitement of your new purchase, these items often fall by the wayside. If you know you’ve been neglecting a soup maker or a spiralizer and you know it’s just taking up precious cupboard space, then it’s time to move it on. Throwing out items you simply don’t need or donating to charity will free up valuable space and free you of the stress of kitchen clutter.

Replace your cookbooks with a tablet

Cookbooks can take up huge amounts of space, especially if you’ve accumulated a lot over the years. If you’re looking to cut down, then a fantastic way of doing this, as well as keeping up with today’s innovative times, is to replace them with a tablet. A huge range of cookbooks can be downloaded digitally these days and you can buy stands to use your tablet whilst you’re working away on your food and searching for quick recipes and tips. A tablet could also open up a world of innovative home features via our selection of WiFi-enabled appliances.

Install open shelves

Bending down and reaching up to sort through store cupboards can be a real chore in the kitchen, especially when you’re in the middle of multi-tasking whilst cooking. A great way to introduce some neatness and efficiency is to use open shelves to store pantry items or crockery that you reach for on a regular basis.

Add spice racks to kitchen cabinet doors

If you’re a lover of cooking, you’ll no doubt have a large selection of spices to call upon. Ensuring these are stored in a handy and accessible way is a key consideration to creating a truly streamlined kitchen space. One of the best options is to add space racks to your cabinet doors, making them easy to reach for and neatly stored, so you don’t have to root around for a jar that’s seemingly gone missing. Adding a spice rack is a simple DIY job and there are plenty of metal and wooden options to choose from online to suit your kitchen style.

Utilise hooks

It may seem tidier to store utensils, pots and pans in cupboards, but they’re often cramped into corners and nestled away awkwardly when you reach for them. This is where hooks come in handy. For your most-used kitchen items, it’s a great idea to install a strip of hooks under open shelving so you can quickly grab items and hang them up again when you’re finished without hassle.

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Cleaning, Tips and tricks

5 decluttering tips for a stress-free home

March 7, 2018

The seemingly-inevitable result of a busy week; clutter can take over so quickly it almost feels normal. However, although the mess might seem like the natural product of a jam-packed schedule, studies show that a cluttered home can have negative effects on our productivity and work ethic, beyond the time wasted stepping over dirty laundry and dealing with days-old washing up. Here at Hoover, we care about your personal space, that’s why we’ve compiled a few effective tips on managing, reducing and eventually saying goodbye to clutter in your home:

  1. Evaluate

The first logical step is to consider the situation, look at what you need to do and set yourself some targets. Consider how much value certain things hold; do you really need all of your old school books? It’s important to avoid getting caught up in convincing yourself to keep items that can be easily replaced; if it’s less than £10 to replace and easily sourced, is it worth keeping just in case? Once you start answering these questions, you can begin your path to a decluttered home!

  1. Eat the frog

A common method for organisation, often associated with professional time management, eating the frog, is great for tasks both at work and at home. By analysing your home and making plans to remove the larger items first, you’ll not only have surplus room for tacking the smaller tasks afterwards, it’ll make the rest seem easier too.

  1. Four boxes method

The four boxes method is a tried-and-tested formula for dealing with a cluttered home, providing an easy rationale to your approach. Simply grab 4 large boxes and allocate an outcome for each; one for things you will throw out, one for things you will donate, one for items you will put into storage, and the last for items that need a new place in the home. Dealing with clutter in this way keeps it organised and avoids making even more mess along the way.

  1. Storage solutions

Of course, there will be many items you do want to keep, some of which don’t have a defined place to live. Now consider what you need to make the most of your space; shelving, under-bed storage and drawer organisers are a good starting point. Perfect for saving floorspace in your hallway or washing room, both the Discovery and Freedom cordless sticks come with a wall mount for added organisation.

  1. Digitise

Don’t let sentimental value be your downfall. In the age of streaming and cloud connectivity, there’s no harm in reducing some clutter that can be easily digitized. Consider how much your CDs and DVDs add to your home aesthetically, and how much they take away organisationally. Burn any unneeded DVDs and CDs onto your hard drive or straight onto an online storage cloud or look into what you can stream without them, saving space for the essentials.

We hope these ideas will help you take care of your spring cleaning and if you’ve got any top decluttering tips, we’d love to hear them. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more home advice, recipe inspiration and innovative product updates.