Julies Blog

Keeping rugs clean

by Julie Finch-Scally

At this time of the year there are many outdoor concerts and film festivals.  We all arrive at the venue with our rugs and small seats to sit on and that inevitable basket of sustenance.  Hubby and I went along to a concert last Saturday and took along our ground protection and food. 

Because none of the requirements for sitting outdoors are used very often they get stored: the rug on a shelf in the spare room and the seats in the garage.  Now the seats are easily dusted down with a small hand brush, but when I came to collect the rug I was amazed at how dusty it smelt. 

Obviously as we were about to depart for the concert and it would be placed on the ground it didn’t really matter that it was dusty, but it made me realise how much dust infiltrates rugs when not in use.  I couldn’t remember the last time I washed the rug, but it was definitely in need of a clean.

The rug actually picked up some grass while spread out on the ground so it was more than appropriate for me to put it through a machine wash the next day.  As the rug was crocheted wool I was in two minds whether to put it through a cold or a hot cycle.

The usual reason for using hot cycles when washing is to remove dust mites which accumulate on mattresses when we sleep.  But as this rug was only ever used to cover our legs when the weather was a little cool or as a ground cover when picnicking or attending outdoor concerts, I rationalized that the rug didn’t need the hot wash only a cold cycle.

Also because the rug was made from wool I wasn’t too keen on the wash being overly long.  Some of my washing machine cycles go for two hours or more and these consist of nearly an hour of washing followed by the rinse cycles.  I didn’t want to subject this rug to that length of washing so I adjusted the washing to cycle to suit.  As it turned out the wash itself went for thirty minutes while the usual four rinses and spins took just short of an hour. 

Some washing machine cycles are heavier and longer than others.  They can go from 800 rpm to 1200 rpm: the lower the revs the less time the spin.  Obviously 10 to 15 minutes of spin drying on the 1200 cycle is a bit too long for wool so I opted for the 1000 rpm.  This allowed for the moisture to be removed but saved damage to the woolen fibre. 

As I also put some fabric softener in the last rinse the rug came out of the machine feeling soft and smelling sweet.  Once it had been dried in the sun it was in much better condition than when I took it off the shelf to take out last Saturday.  And in future I will remember to give it a wash after each outdoor use. 


Turning out drawers

by Julie Finch-Scally

It is amazing what we find when we are looking for something specific.  I was looking for information on an activity I took part in several years ago and while turning out the drawers discovered so many things I had forgotten I kept.

Now some of the items, such as photos were an instant recall into interesting sectors of my life, but most of what was being stored was old birthday, anniversary and Christmas cards. 

Of course I had kept those cards because they were from family and said something important at the time, but looking back several years later I started to realise that these cards, which were nice but not really important, were taking up valuable space.

That doesn’t mean I took the lot and threw them into the recycling bin.  No, I removed them from the drawers and put them in my working space to go through and sort out. 

Firstly I arranged them into categories of birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.  Then checked each category to see who the card was from and what was said.  Many of them had years they were received and several of them were more than memorable.  It was the more than memorable cards I decided to still keep.  But I didn’t want to just put them back into the drawer and forget about them. 

Now it just so happens that over the past three years; daughter has sent me some very cute and clever Mothers’ Day cards.  The words or the pictures on the front were so clever I have placed the three – one inside each other – on my dressing table so the top one can be seen on a daily basis.  Because there is a window near by, the cards often blow on the floor.  When I pick them up I swap the top card around.  This means I get the benefit of daughter’s cards for longer than Mothers’ Day. 

Because of the success of the rotation of the Mothers’ Day cards I decided to do the same with some of the memorable cards I found in the drawers.  The cute, clever and funny ones I have placed around the house in clumps of three with the intentions of swapping them around when I clean the area where they are sitting. 

As for those other memorable cards that I know I just cannot throw away, they have gone back into the drawer which now has a special space for such memorabilia.  And the ones I know I can do without and don’t mean as much now as before?  Well they have gone the way of all used paper and cardboard, into the recycling bin.

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