Julies Blog

How to clean the space at the side of the fridge

by Julie Finch-Scally

If you are like me you will have a considerable space on either side of the fridge. Now it is large enough to store extra shelves from the oven or large chopping boards, but not quite large enough for the head of a broom to fit.

The other day I had reason to remove that extra oven shelf and noticed how dusty and dirty that gap by the side of the fridge was. I was having visitors and although I knew they wouldn’t even see that dirty space, I knew it was there and had to do something about it.

Even pushing the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner wouldn’t lift the dirt, and that was due to the fact that the dust and dirt over the months had stuck to the floor. Kitchens are known for their dampness and humidity and this causes the dust to absorb the moisture and stick to tiles and floors.

I removed the articles I was storing on either side of the fridge and used the hand brush to reach in and try to remove the loose dust. That concept was good, but the process wasn’t. My arm couldn’t completely reach into those spaces so the hand brush only went two thirds of the distance. What to do?

I have always used a duster-on-a-pole with an extending handle to reach in, around and under those very tight spaces, so I pushed the duster-on-a-pole into the spaces until it reached the rear wall and dragged out as much of the loose dust as possible.

Of course the floor was still dirty, so I had to devise a method for cleaning the floor. The answer? I took the handle of the broom and wrapped a used tea towel rinsed out in dish washing water around the end. I then pushed the broom handle into the gap up to the wall and slowly wiped across the floor bringing the handle further and further towards the front of the gap.

Although I did have to repeat the wipe over of the floor a couple of times, eventually the dirt was removed and the floor in the space between the fridge was clean. Yes I could have moved the fridge out to get to that area, but I was on my own and moving fridges in not one of my fortes, so I had to improvise.

If the gap between your fridge needs a clean try this method. If there is still a problem let me know, but I am sure it will work.


Bathroom extractor fans

by Julie Finch-Scally

When was the last time you removed the dust from the extractor fan in the bathroom? If the fan protector or grill is covered with a film of dust, it hasn’t be cleaned for quite a while.

Reason for asking is that I was recently in a friend’s home and while using the facilities looked up and saw the dust covering the wired mesh protector. It was very thick. I also saw lots of dust kitties in another bathroom extractor fan where the protector had four metal fins with ever decreasing inbetween spaces from the outside fin to the middle.

The dust in these fan protectors were slowly blocking the area allowing the damp air from the bathrooms to be drawn into the fan. Needless to say because of the dust the fan motors were starting to not only draw in air but dust as well, thereby straining the motors.

Because of the dampness created in bathrooms; and dust generated by towels whenever someone dries themselves after a shower or bath; the dust in a bathroom sticks to surfaces and gets thicker.

Removing the dust from extractor fan protectors is very easy. All it requires is the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner to be run over the mesh or around the gaps between the metal fins. Because the dust is stuck on the surface it can sometimes require several seconds of suction to lift the dust and remove it. This should be a regular maintenance procedure when vacuuming the bathroom floor. That way the dust is never allowed to become thick and cause a blockage.

Of course if the dust is so thick the vacuum cleaner won’t dislodge it all, a dry dish washing brush is the answer. To get the leverage required you will need to climb up a step ladder. Brush the bristles over and in and out of the spaces. As you are not stretching it will be an easy procedure. You will find a scrub with the brush will remove the dust so you can vacuum over the area again and completely remove any left over dust.

Dust in and around the protector of an extractor fan is the cause of motor failure. Extractor fan motors should and can last for years. With proper maintenance of dust removal from the protector the motor of the extractor fan will achieve an extended life.

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