Julies Blog

How often should I change my dishcloth?

by Julie Finch-Scally

I am very aware when my dish cloth smells. In fact I have noticed many times that the smell even permeates the kitchen bench surface if the smelly cloth is used to wipe it down. So my criterion is if I can smell it, it goes into the laundry ready to be washed.

Some dish cloths seem to get smelly quicker than others and that could be the problem I seem to have with my cloths. I use cloths made from bamboo and I do think they harbour more washing up debris than other kinds of cloths. It is the debris in the washing up water that if left in the cloth causes the smell.

To overcome the remains of the debris I always rinse the cloth out in fresh, hot water after I have finished the washing up. I am always amazed at the cloud of soapy residue that is removed and the little specks of grime that float in the water.

I did have a customer who used to soak her dish cloths in water with some bleach to keep her cloths from smelling. This procedure works but it is not good for that constant amount of bleach being flushed down the drain.

There is another reason why dish cloths get smelly and that is the amount of water removed at the end of use. I am a fanatic at wringing out my dish cloths to make sure they are just damp instead of wet when I hang them over the fawcett to dry. I do realise that many people just squeeze their dishcloths removing a goodly amount of water, but in my opinion that is never enough.

So the answer to this problem of smelly dishcloths is to make sure after every use the cloth is rinsed out a least a couple of times in a small amount of fresh, clean, hot water and to always wring out the cloth until when shaken there is no droplets of water flying out of the cloth.

Of course keeping the cloth clean and dry is not enough. Dishcloths do need replacing and on a regular basis. I find every three or four days is as long as I can leave the old dishcloth. I do have a number of clean ones sitting under the sink and as one is removed the clean one is taken from under the sink. Oh yes, at the same time I replace the sponge/scourer as well.


Drains in tiled floors

by Julie Finch-Scally

I emptied out the filter in my washing machine the other day and some of the water that escaped flowed down towards the drain. As I looked at the drain cover I noticed all the dust kitties that were caught in between the open slots and holes stopping the water to flow down into the pipe.

All tiled floors in rooms such as bathrooms, laundries and outside verandahs are sloped towards the drain in the floor so any excess water will automatically flow down to that lowest point and run down the drain. But because the slots and holes in drain covers are quite tiny they easily get chocked with dust and debris.

Blocked drain holes can cause problems when there is an excess flow of water, especially on a verandah where a heavy down pour cannot escape quickly enough thereby causing a backup of water that could flow into the home.

Most people forget about the drains and in bathrooms they are generally covered with bath mats or even in some homes carpet. But the blockage of drain covers can be dangerous, so they should be regularly cleaned.

There are two ways to clean a drain cover. Just poke the collected dust down through the holes and let the dust be carried away with the water that flows through the bottom, or, the better way, remove the cover and give it a scrub.

Some drain covers screw in and out of the hole, some require a half turn where the locking nut is turned into a space so the cover can be lifted, and with some it is more of a grate which sits on a special lip and can easily be lifted.

As these drain covers can get covered with all sorts of bacteria it is wise to wear rubber gloves when lifting and cleaning. You might also need a couple of screwdrivers to place into the holes on either side to help you turn and/or lift.

Once the cover is off place it in a bucket half filled with hot water with a squeeze of washing up liquid. Using an old tooth brush or a washing up brush, scrub over and under the cover to remove not only the caught up dust but the other dirt that collects underneath. Once the cover is clean leave it out in the sun to dry before replacing it in the hole.

If the drain sits in a position where people can inadvertently hurt themselves by catching a heel in the hole, when you remove the cover put an upside down can or plastic bottle over or in the hole so people will know to walk around that spot. Safety should always be paramount when cleaning.

How often should you clean the drain covers? At least once every six months. But drain covers are one of those areas that are easily forgotten, so the next time you look at the cover and notice the build up of dust between the slots and holes, grab the rubber gloves, screwdrivers and bucket of hot soapy water and make it clean.

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