Sunday, January 8, 2012

Saturday Short Subjects: Restoring the Shine

As co-owner of a 19th century row house I am co-steward of many things — among them a staircase with 117 rungs supporting a wide handrail which wraps from the third floor to the basement. The house is on a busy corner. Dust accumulates. Time between dusting has tended to stretch out more and more each year.

One of the first resolutions for 2012 was to give the hallway a good cleaning. My co-steward handled the vacuum. The dusting fell to me. I remembered a link at Sustainable Praxis to a Huffington Post slideshow: Olive Oil Uses: 20 Bizarre Household Tips. Slide 3 initially gave me the idea for a chemical-free New Year’s cleaning. For affirmation I turned to my trusty copy of Green Cleaning for Dummies. Sure enough, page 87 suggested dabbing a cleaning cloth with olive oil for dusting furniture. Railings and furniture are both made of wood; close enough.

I tried it. Since lemon oil was an optional add, I left it out.I enjoyed the fruity smell of olive oil as I polished away and polished away (117 rungs, remember?). The wood buffed easily to a shimmery shine with no oily residue. The end result of glistening wood and dirty cloths were proof enough for me that this alternative cleaning method worked. 

When I decided to try this experiment, all I had on hand was a selection of nice extra virgin olive oils from which I chose the least expensive. In advance of the next cleaning project I’ll buy a can of a lesser grade; bouquet, color, and country of origin shouldn’t matter to the dust specks. And if I find the fruity smell is missing from the cheaper variety, I can easily add either lemon juice or lemon oil to the mix.

Sorry Old English. You are now officially banished from this hallway during my lifetime.

Why Saturday Short Subjects? Some readers may recall  being dropped at the movie theater for the Saturday matinee — two action-packed feature films with a series of short subjects (cartoons or short movies, sometimes a serial cliffhanger) sandwiched in between. Often the short subjects were the most memorable, and enjoyable, part of the morning. That explains the name. The reason behind these particular posts is that we are all short on time. These Short Subject posts should not take me as long to write or take you as long to read or to try. 

But, we all know about best laid plans. In many places it is now Sunday. I’ll do better next time. At any rate, let me know how you like my Saturday Shorts.

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