Wednesday, 6 October 2010
Banish Dirt, and Dust and Gloom...
WHY do articles about ‘green cleaning’ make me feel so guilty? In theory I think it’s a wonderful idea to abandon chemicals and rely on cheap, every-day household ingredients like salt and bicarbonate of soda – but in practice old fashioned methods are jolly hard work.
Besides, I want to be seduced by those magical adverts which promise to transform my home with a flick of a micro-fibre duster, a spray of polish or squirt of some potent potion which not clean my surfaces in seconds, but will kill bacteria.
It’s the same with washing powders. I’m a sucker for buying things which promise to get rid of stains, whiten whites, soften towels and garments and make ironing easier.
In my heart of hearts I know that elbow grease is the key to a clean, tidy house, but I want to believe in these products, just as I want to believe in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
Sadly, my endeavours at trying to make the house sparkle are never very successful.
Take vacuum cleaners, for example. Whatever model we buy, it never seems to suck up dirt as it should. Like its predecessors, the current machine (which sounds like Concorde taking off) will happily gobble up trailing wires, the cover on the sofa and odd socks.
But as it to consume the usual fluff and grime that settles on the carpet and it refuses, point-blank. I empty it, wash the filter as per the instructions, adjust the height and twiddle with the speed, all to no avail.
On one awful occasion The Man of the House took a vacuum to pieces in a vain attempt to improve its performance. Thereafter it blew dust around the house….
And what about those miraculous dusters which claim to attract dust and dirt?
Dust in my house just moves around the surfaces, no matter whether I use a posh cloth or recycled knickers.
Tidying up is just as bad: I shift things from one area to another, like a mad game of musical chairs and no-one (least of all me) can find anything.
Then there are those cleansers which aim to remove nasty marks from floors, surfaces, doors and floors. In the adverts women (it’s usually women who are used to market cleaning products) prance around in fashionable outfits with never a hair out of place, as they gently wipe the blemishes away.
I don’t look that good when I’m all dressed up to go out!
Why, you may well ask, do I persist in using these products if they don’t work for me? Well, as I said earlier, I want instant transformations and, when all is said and done, they are still quicker and easier than the methods of yester-year.
Nostalgia is all very well, but spray polishes, liquid cleaners and modern washing powders have done a lot to release women from the drudgery of domestic chores and allow the time to do other things.
So I am currently exploring a completely new way of cleaning the house.
This involves playing uplifting music, whilst dancing around, wielding a long-handled feather duster, and chanting: "Banish dirt, and dust and gloom, Make this a happy room."
Whether this will produce acceptable results I don't yet know, but at least I'm having fun!