Julies Blog

Stainless steel pegs

by Julie Finch-Scally

Where I live the UV light is very strong. So strong in fact we regularly go through plastic pegs. The promotion on these pegs says they are suitable for UV light, but obviously where they are made the UV rays are not as strong.

I guess the problem wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t leave the pegs sitting on the washing line outside in the sun. Many people have peg baskets or bags which keeps the pegs away from the sun when not in use. I personally don’t like peg bags, and find it easier to have the pegs sitting on the line. But as I have said it means we go through lots and lots of plastic pegs.

The wooden pegs last, but if it has been raining a stain from the wood can leave marks on the washing, so although we have wooden pegs, I still prefer the plastic ones.

A couple of months ago, hubby received a catalogue in his email from a company where he has purchased odds bits and pieces. In the catalogue there was a display of stainless steel pegs. He asked me if I was interested in purchasing some.   “YES, please,” was my enthusiastic reply.

The pegs finally arrived. Looking at the structure they were interestingly made. From one piece of stainless steel was wound the spring, the pincers and the pegging section. A very clever piece of engineering. But did they work?

I must admit I thought the section that held the washing to the line was slightly small but when it came to pegging things on the line the little pegs were quite strong. I was suitably impressed.

I was a little concerned when it came to hanging heavy articles out in the sun, but remarkably these new pegs did the job. Whereas the plastic and wooden pegs clipped down over the washing, the stainless steel peg’s clipping area holds the items at the line itself. Because the spring is so strong even on windy days the little pegs sit there and hold the items to the line.

It remains to be seen how long these pegs last. Being stainless steel they will not become rusty, but over time maybe the spring will give out and the pegs will no longer work. But until that day, I am happy with my new purchase.



Knife blocks

by Julie Finch-Scally

I was cleaning my kitchen bench the other day and moved the knife block to clean under and behind. As I moved the block I noticed the dust sitting on the flat surface between the knife handles. From the look of the dust it must have been there for quite some time, but I hadn’t noticed it before. I realised the block, especially that flat surface had to be cleaned.

As with all knife blocks there are holes to house the knives. This means submerging the block in hot soapy water is not a clever idea because the water will soak down into the holes and make the inside of the block wet. This will affect the knives and in the end ruin the whole block.

After removing all the knives and scissors that sit in the block I rubbed down the sides with a damp cloth that had been rinsed in hot soapy water. The sides were shiny so they had been covered with lacquer which was a protection. Using a damp cloth to wipe the sides was not a problem. I did dry it with a tea towel after I had removed marks and dirt.

But it was the top of the block where the knife handles sat that I was more concerned about. That was the dustiest spot and I did not want to use any water, as the rim of the holes needed to be cleaned as well as the top surface.

I finally decided to use a micro-fibre cloth with some multi-purpose spray to wipe over the top and rub the hole edges. This worked well and made the top surface look much cleaner. But I knew leaving that surface unprotected was going to be a problem in the future.

My first thought was to use furniture polish over the area, but as all the polishes in my house are made with oils, they would only penetrate the surface and not cover the surface to protect it. It meant a trip to the supermarket where I purchased a furniture polish with silicon.

Many years ago furniture polish with silicon was the preferred polish, until people realised the polish was sitting on the top of the surface and not being absorbed into the wooden furniture which it required. Actually the silicon furniture polish became more useful for protection of other articles of furniture not made of wood, especially water proofing marble bench tops. But as sales of silicon contained polish declined it has become more difficult to find. Thankfully there was one version on the supermarket shelf.

When I got the can home I spray the polish onto a polishing cloth and rubbed it over the top surface of the knife block and around the edges of the holes. After the initial coating of the top surface I actually sprayed the surface so some of the polish could penetrate down into the holes. I then completely wiped over all the knife block with the polishing cloth to remove any excess and coat the sides.

I must admit, because of the shine of the polish the knife block does look a lot better. It is not only clean, but in shines and make the knives look elegant.

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