xmlns:fb='http://ogp.me/ns/fb#' OriginalStitch: Waffling On

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Waffling On

I think it's high time I subjected you all to some of my recipes, in celebration of my latest craft effort.

A waffleknit knitted dishcloth. I can hear my good neighbour groaning and raising her eyes to heaven but it was her who started it. We were sitting outside two summers ago (it can't have been last summer because I distinctly remember it was hot and there was some of that yellow stuff in the garden, what's it called, um, oh yes - sunshine), drinking tea no doubt, and probably considering stopping one of three small children throwing or smearing sand at or on one of the other of the three small children, or in the case of Hetty, stopping her from eating it. Somehow we got onto the subject of cleaning (how? Of all things, why on earth were we talking about cleaning? It's bad enough having to do it) and Her Next Door said, have you got that vinegar book? And there's a bicarbonate of soda one too. Ooh I thought, and before you know it I had bought them. But even better I came across this book, Natural Stain Removers, which is like a recipe book for cleaning products. It has everything you could possibly need.

Now then, I've just sat here and done some maths which is terribly unlike me - adding up how much I've spent on my cauldron of natural goodies since June 2008, and then some very exciting research on the Tesco website to see how much conventional cleaning products are. I took as my example a fairly lax and shoddy type of cleaning person (me) and worked out what products they would use in a month, and in what quantities. I'm not being unfair here - I've gone for own brand all the way, (which are usually substantially cheaper than brand named products) and worked out how many uses I'd get from the products - so for example, with the best will in the world, it's going to take me 3 months to get through some pine floor cleaner because at best I only manage to clean the floors once a week no matter how filth ridden they are. My list is very basic - washing tablets, fabric conditioner, stain remover for collars and cuffs and paint and bolognese and mud and glue; washing up liquid, kitchen cleaner, bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaner, furniture polish, window/mirror cleaner, floor cleaner. Fairly basic kit of stuff, no? Probably even forgotten something obvious. At a conservative estimate, I'd say you're paying £15 per month for all those. Which is £180 a year.

I buy my goodies at Summer Naturals, and spent initially £60 on bulk quantities of things which are going to last me, frankly, until doomsday. I mean 8 months, a year, more even....
The massive 5kg bag of bicarbonate of soda is hilarious - it's like a huge bag of coal. The whopping bottles of white vinegar take me months and months to get through, the glycerine will be years of use, and I have neat, dainty bottles and containers of soda crystals, borax, liquid soap, soap flakes, lemon juice and my lovely essential oils all stacked in nice baskets. The essential oils are a fairly expensive thing - but even the ones you get through at a rate of knots (eucalyptus, lavender, tea-tree all of which have antiseptic, anti-fungal or stain-removing qualities) take a few months to use up. And of course you don't need many - you get orange essence, and lime, and clary sage, and rosemary, and pine because they smell nice, not necessarily because they blitz germs. Lovely zingy lime and lemon on your worktops anyone?
And what of germs, I hear you say? Do these things actually kill them? Yes they do. And don't forget, we have a highly clinical view of what is necessary in germ-killing. Bacteria have to be kept at low numbers, not completely obliterated. And just exactly how much raw chicken do you actually spread on your fingers and wipe on your child's face before smearing a pooey nappy on your high chair tray and feeding the child its tea from the floor?
I'm dead chuffed with all my cleaners, although The Husband is a saboteur. I find sneaky boxes of washing powder sitting about, and when I accused The Saboteur of trying to undermine my housewifely pride by insulting my utility room with gawdy boxes of chemical toxicity, he peevishly stated that he didn't like that the washing balls have no smell. Bless his cotton socks. So now, I put a macho blend of rosemary, clary sage, pine and lemon in the conditioner compartment when washing The Saboteur's pants, to give his Y-fronts freshness on the fragrance front. He doesn't actually wear Y-fronts; that was purely for the sake of the prose. It was panty-hose prose.

1 comment:

Mairi said...

I need a tick box which says 'Outright laughed and maybe wee'd a little bit!'