There are some items in the home that probably don’t get the cleaning attention they deserve because you’re not really sure how to clean them. Think about it, the beautiful chandelier with the delicate fabric shade is a talking piece for more reasons than you’d care to mention.
In all honesty, there are a number of pesky items that require specialist cleaning methods but that aren’t worth calling in the experts. Here’s some handy advice to help you keep on top of them.
COTTON or SYNTHETIC LAMPSHADES
The yellow is not just age, a lot of it is dirt and it’s easier to remove than you thought.
Start by cleaning it with a micro-fibre cloth to remove dust. You can also try using your vacuum with the upholstery-brush attachment.
Fill a bathtub or large basin with warm water and add 1 teaspoon of detergent or dishwashing liquid to the running water to make suds. Swish the shade round for a while. If it is very dirty, allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
Dip a sponge or soft rag into the water and wipe the lampshade clean from top to bottom. If certain areas are particularly stained, scrub them with a soft toothbrush or nylon-bristled scrub brush.
Rinse with clean water by dipping the shade up and down to remove the soap.
Blot the shade with a towel and allow to dry thoroughly before you hang it again.
Soap residue and fabric softener creates a slimy mess in the pipes of washing machines. Remember to clean them regularly so that your washing comes out smelling fresh.
If you have a front loader, add 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda into the detergent drawer and 1/2 cup white vinegar into the drum then run a normal wash (on hot). You may find it suds up a lot inside due to the build-up of soap residue.
Remove the detergent drawer and soak in bleach in the sink. Use an old toothbrush to get all the dirt out.
Clean the rubber seal with a spritz of mildew cleaner. Take a rag and wipe it repeatedly.
Cover a knife edge with a cloth and run it along the seam of the plastic edges around the machine to remove ingrained dirt that is trapped there. You’ll be amazed at the gunk that collects.
Wash brushes in hot water with an antiseptic. Scrub them with a nail brush to remove hair and allow them to dry in the sun.
• Line the make-up drawer with paper (use leftover wrapping paper if you prefer) so that fine powder collects on the paper and does not ruin the wooden surfaces.
• Throw out old make-up applicators and wash sponges with hand soap.
• Wipe containers with a microfiber cloth or paper hand towel.
• Use ear-buds to clean lids of eye-shadow containers or lipstick holders.
• Throw out old mascara and eye shadow. These can cause infection and eye irritation.
By keeping things clean and organised, you’ll find you are lighter of spirit. You’ll also be a lot more productive.