Julies Blog

Small brushes for cleaning

by Julie Finch-Scally

Several times when writing my blog I mention using a small paint brush to clean out dust from intricate areas. I was recently asked how small was the small paint brush required for these jobs? As there are several versions I will now explain which type of small paint brush to use and when.

There are paint brushes used by artists, and paint brushes used when painting buildings or furniture. Actually both are useful, but for different things.

Let us take the small artist paint brush first. These can be purchased in newsagents or a hobby shop. Most of the small brushes are used for water painting and can be found in children paint boxes.

Because these brushes are used by artists the bristles form a point at the tip. The dry bristles are soft and are perfect for flicking out dust in tiny crevices. If you have intricate porcelain or china these artist brushes can penetrate the small indentations and providing the dirt hasn’t stuck to the article the paint brush will remove the dust when flicked towards you. Of course if the dust has stuck to the item and is washable it is better to soak the article in warm soapy water. You can still use the paint brush to get into the areas that cannot be reached with a cloth around your finger and rub over the dirt until that area is clean.

The small paint brushes used to paint your home are a lot wider that the artist’s paint brush. There are some small thin brushes with long handles used by commercial artists for painting letters on windows, or the thicker flat topped brushes used for painting over small areas of woodwork.

I find this type of paint brush perfect for dusting along flat surfaces that sit at the base of bannisters and rungs and supports in ornamental or dining room chairs. The small artist paint brush is too small for these jobs, but the smaller house paint brush is soft enough to flick out the dust along the flat surface and swivel around the base of each support.

Because of the confusion, in future I will make a point of describing which type of small paint brush is required for the cleaning job in question. But out of all this has come the realisation how much dust collects in so many places and just wiping over with a cloth or a duster-on-a-pole is not always enough to remove the dust build up in many articles.


Dust in cutlery drawer

by Julie Finch-Scally

Why and how do crumbs get into cutlery drawers? I looked down into my top kitchen drawer this morning and there they were: small bits of crumbs collecting along the edges of each enclosed section.

Yes there were crumbs, but there was also dust. The combination of both sat in little piles on the base of the drawer. There was nothing to do but remove the drawer and get rid of those dust kitties.

Of course I had to remove all the cutlery and other kitchen accessories in the drawer before I could pull the drawer out and lift it off its runners. That wasn’t difficult, neither was removing the cutlery tray. What was difficult was getting rid of all the dust and crumbs and all the black marks I discovered at the bottom of the tray.

The cutlery tray is a plastic insert in the drawer which has divisions to separate the knives, forks and spoons. Once all the cutlery had been removed I could see the black marks on the bottom. The stainless steel cutlery must have left marks when rubbing against the plastic base.

Thankfully the plastic tray was easily removed from the drawer and I was able to shake the dust and crumbs out of the tray by shaking it over the rubbish bin. I then got some cream cleanser and a damp cloth and rubbed over the marks to get the base clean. I did have to use the scourer side of a sponge/scourer with the cream cleanser then wash off the residue, but that was successful and the tray just needed to be dried.

The rest of the drawer, which actually is rather long and has a panel in the front without a tray, was a little harder. Yes I tipped the drawer upside down over the rubbish bin and most of the crumbs and dust came out, but there were still bits along the bottom edges and in the corners.

I tried rubbing inside the space along the sides with a hand brush which lifted most but didn’t completely remove those bits stuck in the corners. I did consider getting out the vacuum cleaner but I knew even the nozzle wouldn’t remove that dust stuck in the corners.

In the end I found a metal spike and prodded the dust out of the corners with the tip. That was just perfect. I was quite surprised at the amount of dust that came from the corners. The tip of the spike managed to get all the stuck in dust out of the crevices. All that was required was to turn the drawer upside down over the rubbish bin again and knock the dust out.

After that I replaced the cutlery tray and lifted the drawer back into place onto the side runners. Everything went back into each allocated section and Voilà. It was all done and clean.

I still don’t know how the crumbs get into that top drawer, but I will try harder not to let it happen again.


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