Julies Blog


by Julie Finch-Scally

I have never professed to be an expert on stains but if there is one thing I have learned from all my research it is: Try and remove the stain as soon as possible before it becomes a permanent mark.

Over the years I have put this practice to good use and can truthfully say it has stood me in good stead when ever I or hubby have spilt anything on our clothes or carpet.

The other night whilst entertaining; several splotches of curry ended up on the table mats and napkins. As the curry contained turmeric which makes the sauce yellow it had caused the splotches to be yellow.

Anything with an oil base can be hard to remove from material but true to form the next morning I sprayed each of the yellow spots – and a couple of red wine ones that somehow got on the napkins – with some laundry pre-spray and left the napkins and table mats for about an hour. As I had towels to wash I placed the pre-treated stained items into the same washing load.

Many people who talk about removing stains always tell you not to use anything hot on the stain because it helps it set into the material, and yes that would be right if you are rinsing the stain with hot water in the first instance. Once you have mopped up the excess product you use cold water to try and dilute the staining item.

As I was washing towels, which I always wash in 60°C temperatures, I wondered about the stained items. Placing them in the washing machine I noticed that the stains had already faded and felt sure the hot wash would do them no harm.

I was right. When I came to take the table mats and napkins out of the machine, there was not a stain to be seen on either item. I was delighted with the results and was ecstatic that the old adage of never letting stains sit too long had worked.

I also proved that once the stain has been treated it didn’t matter that that the items were washed in hot water. But I also think it was because I left the laundry pre-spray on the stains to work for that hour before the washing had helped.

So moral of the story: always treat a stain as soon as it happens, or in less than 24 hours. And leave the treatment to do its job on the stain before putting it into the wash, which can be either a hot or cold wash.


The Cutlery Drawer

by Julie Finch-Scally

We had guests over to join us for dinner the other night. Because there were several courses we ended up using most of the cutlery in the drawer. When I came to remove the knives and forks from the dish washer and replace them in the drawer I noticed the dirt and dust sitting on the bottom of the spaces in the storage tray.

We have a cutlery setting for 12 people so the knives, forks and spoons fill up each space and the bottom is rarely seen. I was horrified at what I saw and had to do something about it, then and there.

The beauty of all these cutlery storage trays in drawers is they are removable. I quickly took out the items in the two other sections and lifted up the plastic tray.

I turned the tray upside down over the kitchen sink and tapped the back so all the accumulated dust fell out, but when I turned it back over the insides of each of the divisions was stained and dirty along the base.

Time for the trusty cream cleanser and a damp sponge. I dampened a sponge under some water from the kitchen tap then poured a 2 cm drop of the cleanser on the sponge. Rubbing across the bottom of the divisions and around the sides of each section with the sponge and cleanser I removed all the stains and dirt within seconds. To remove the cleanser I turned on the taps again and placed the whole tray under the running water rinsing off the cleanser in each of the sections.

After shaking the tray to remove the excess water I dried around, inside and over the tray with a tea towel: then replaced the insert in the drawer.

Everything looked lovely and when I placed the set of cutlery in all the divisions I felt more comfortable knowing the dirt underneath the cutlery had been removed. I did wipe the damp sponge around the tray surrounds to get that clean as well and then dried it off with the tea towel.

While closing the cutlery drawer I made a mental note that the divisions of the cutlery storage tray needed to be cleaned every four to six months. This keeps down the dirt and debris that falls into the drawers from the bench top above.

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