Stains, cleaning and protecting glass

My three-year-old son has scratched my wooden coffee table. Do you have a quick and easy method to restore it?

My three-year-old son has scratched my wooden coffee table. Do you have a quick and easy method to restore it?

Crack open a walnut and rub it along the scratch. Walnuts contain a natural resin that will conceal the scratch.

I am moving house soon and I have a collection of crystal glass. Do you have any tips that would help prevent breakages?

To prepare special glassware for a move, wrap wet newspaper around the glass and let it dry. It will act like a cast around the glass.

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How can we stop sash windows sticking together when we paint them?

Paint each window separately, allowing one to dry before painting the other, and leave them slightly open while drying so that they don't stick. Never paint the vertical grooves on the side where the window is actually hung, as this gums up the works.

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We are designing our new kitchen and would like wood work surfaces. Can you advise us on the advantages and disadvantages?

Wooden worktops look better with age and they are a big favourite with home buyers. Compared with other long-lasting surfaces, such as granite or composite, wood is relatively low in cost. Marks and scratches can be removed easily by sanding down and re-oiling. Take care to use trivets or chopping boards for hot pans as wooden worktops can scorch easily. Most woods will need oiling every six months or so to keep them water resistant. Woods are vulnerable to water damage so spills need to be mopped up. Do not leave wet crockery or pans on the work surface for too long as they can stain. Our choice would be beech, which is very popular but needs regular oiling, or oak which is durable and gives a rustic feel.

During recent building work, our mattress got covered with dust and paint splashes. It would be too expensive to replace - is there a company that could clean it?

Try the Mattress Doctor on 0845 3306607. They offer chemical-free cleaning available across the UK. They will come to you and the service costs approximately £55 for a double mattress.

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