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Mary Berry's book of household tips criticised for giving 'obvious' advice like reading the labels on clothes

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 10/10/2017 Emma Powell

© Provided by Evening Standard Limited Mary Berry has dished out domestic advice in a new book advising readers on how to maintain a happy home.

The former Great British Bake Off judge, 82, has shared her top tips on domesticity which she says she has “gleaned from years of practical experience”.

Titled Mary’s Household Tips and Tricks, the baking aficionado lists a string of obvious ‘tips’ from reading the labels on clothing before shoving it in the washing machine to running a quick wash if you’re in a rush.

She also offers up a bizarre method for cleaning the toilet which involves using an old mug that should not be used for “anything else”.

She writes: “Flush the cistern, and then remove a mugful of water from the bowl – I use a tin mug. You should be able to see the rim of the limescale line clearly now.

“While the water level is low, pour, brush or spray the loo cleaner around the limescale in the bowl... Leave for 30 minutes (or according to the instructions on the product label), then rub with a fine scourer or brush. If you have hard water and a lot of limescale, you may need to add extra product.

“Pour the water in the mug back into the bowl, the brush and flush the cistern again.”

Berry also offers obvious advice on how to keep a tidy house when throwing a party (cover the carpets in protective plastic), and how to pack when travelling (keep valuables in your hand luggage).

Berry, who launched the book at the Henley Literary Festival, told fans that it was influenced by growing up during the Second World War.

She said: “It's all about hints and tips. I'm quite ancient and it's things that I've gathered during my life. I was a wartime child and my mother was very frugal.

“And I learned so much from Mum - I didn't really realise it at the time, but I've been using it ever since.”

Related: Why You Should Paint Your Kitchen Yellow (provided by Real Simple)

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