Julies Blog

Keeping the verandah clean

by Julie Finch-Scally

Every time it rains not only does the verandah get wet, but I am amazed at the amount of dirt I later find in corners and around the drain hole.

As my verandah collects a fair number of leaves I regularly sweep the tiles and remove the leaves and dirt. But considering the dirt left after the rain there must be a large amount of dust collecting on the surface.

Of course it does depend on where one lives and what is happening around the neighbourhood as to how much dust and the type of dust generated lands on one’s verandah. There is not doubt that every verandah collects a deposit of dust but it depends of where you live as to the quantity.

Building development nearby will cause a lot of building dust, heavy traffic on main roads creates a black dust from diesel fall out, and pollen from blossoming trees generates a yellow dust. All these various forms of dust, land on a verandah leaving a film on the floor and the railings.

Unfortunately, because the verandah is outside many people forget about giving the verandah a quick once-over to keep it clean. All that is really required is a sweep with the broom to gather all the dust into one point and collecting it with a small dust pan and brush before placing the dust into the rubbish bin.

Chairs, tables and some planters boxes should be moved when sweeping, but those heavy things, such as large barbeques and huge pots that cannot be shifted should be swept around. I find the small hand brush is excellent for getting around the bottom of these items and sweeping the dust from edges and underneath.

The other problem on verandahs is the cobwebs. Spiders quickly build their webs especially between the railings and wrought iron work. Once again the small hand brush is useful. Sweeping the brush in and out of the railings not only removes the cobwebs but also any dust that has collected on the horizontal surfaces.

So if you do have a verandah. Give consideration to keeping it clean. Don’t use it as a storage space; use it as an escape for those beautiful sunny days. Keeping the dust down and the cobwebs away makes any verandah inviting, and also gives a more pleasant outlook to view from inside.


How to look after your Hi Fi equipment

by Julie Finch-Scally

I have been requested by one of my loyal readers to talk a bit more about Hi Fi equipment. As turntables and speakers are coming back into fashion, dust on this equipment is becoming more noticeable.

Hi Fi equipment is usually manufactured with high gloss black plastic, that not only shows the dust but finger marks as well. Being electronic extra care has to be taken to ensure nothing arcs and sparks due to the cleaning.

For this reason when cleaning anything with electronics one should never spray any product onto the item. If cleaning with a spray, glass cleanser is the best product and that must be sprayed onto a micro-fibre cloth which can then be rubbed over the outside of the equipment. Perspex turntable lids are best cleaned with a damp soft cloth with no product.

I find regularly dusting over the black shiny plastic with an electrostatic duster on a pole helps keep the dust to a minimum. Because Hi Fi equipment is an item that uses electricity each piece generates static electricity thereby drawing the dust floating in the air towards it.

The new turntables come with a lid that when not in use should be kept closed. Leaving the lid open allows the dust to build up on the turntable and float down into the electronics as well as the cogs and wheels inside.

Electronic boards do not like dust. It can cause a short circuit between components. The small cogs and wheels that spin the turn table if clogged with dust after a while can change the speed of the record which alters the clarity of the sound.

Dust being the prime concern is the one thing all Hi Fi buffs are paranoid about. These people ensure their equipment is dust free. They make sure their recordings are stored in cardboard sleeves inside which is usually a plastic protector and always inside a tight fitting cupboard or book shelf so as little dust as possible can infiltrate onto the record itself.

When dust gets into the grooves of vinyl records it catches on the stylus which emits the sound and causes drag. This again can slow down the sound emanating from the record thereby changing the frequency of the sound waves altering what you hear.

To keep your Hi Fi equipment in the best condition, remember to remove the dust on a regular basis. That way you will appreciate the recordings and the sound coming through the speakers.

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