Wednesday,23 August, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1341, (20 - 26 April 2017)
Wednesday,23 August, 2017
Issue 1341, (20 - 26 April 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Kissing the dirt good-bye

Spring cleaning
Spring cleaning

Do you ever feel depressed in your own home? In many cases, the reason is the clutter and messy state of the house. Though it may sound like a cliché, coming back to a tidy home encourages you to stay organised and charges you with positive energy.

Moreover, the process of cleaning itself can be a great way of de-stressing. Doing the spring cleaning can give you the satisfaction of having achieved something. While no one looks forward to cleaning, something about the blooming flowers and bright sunny days of spring makes you want to air the house and start anew.

But as times change, cleaning tips change as well. There are some cleaning tricks that don’t work anymore, and others that still do:

- Using hairspray to zap curtain static. Though this was one of grandma’s cleaning tricks, experts warn that it can leave your fabrics feeling tacky. Because hairspray’s chemistry is different from traditional anti-static spray, they advise you not to use it.

- Wiping down windows with newspaper. Even though many people still prefer this to use up their recycling, the ink could smear and stain your windowsills. Use microfibre cloths that are designed to hold onto grease and dirt instead of paper, as they won’t soil your windows.  

- Storing linens with wax paper. Don’t create a wax paper barrier between sheets, pillowcases and other folded fabrics to prevent the colour from transferring. The wax could melt onto the linens, especially if they are stored in a hot attic or closet. Use sheets of acid-free tissue paper instead.

- Rejuvenating leather furniture with white vinegar and boiled linseed oil. You should keep acidic vinegar away from leather. It could damage the soft material instead of giving it the promised brighter and cleaner finish.

- Using salt to prevent colours fading. Though many believe that soaking clothes in salt water will keep them from fading over time, tests have found that it doesn’t work.

- Polishing wooden furniture with olive oil and lemon juice. You should avoid doing this if you want to spare yourself from more cleaning. Olive oil will leave a tacky trail in its wake, which will attract dust and grime.

- Cleaning wooden furniture with freshly brewed tea. Avoid this too as wood and water isn’t a good mix. Damp tea bags are definitely a problem, and tea is a dye and could change the surface colour of your furniture.

- Polishing silverware with toothpaste. Rub the paste into your silver with an old toothbrush or a rag, then rinse and let dry to get shiny silverware.

- Freshening up floors with baking soda. Despite the many cleaning products that have come onto the market, this natural deodoriser is still one of the most effective floor cleaners. Mix it with a bit of water, scrub the surface clean, then rinse and let dry.

- Using peanut butter to get gum out of hair. This is a good trick. Mat the hair with peanut butter for a few minutes. The fat and oil in the spread should break down the gum and make it easier to remove.

- Removing sticky adhesives with olive oil. To remove temporary tattoos or tar on your kids’ arms at the seashore, put a little olive oil on a soft cloth and gently rub.

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