Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Old friends - New Uses

In the short time we were at home this weekend I changed 2 old friends into items more fitting for their aged status.

My old towelling dressing gown became about a years supply of dishcloths.

My old sweatshirt became a lovely supply of polishing cloths.

The lovely thing about this is that 1. I have re-used 2 items for some other purpose rather than just throwing them in the bin or sending them to the charity shop and 2. When I have finished with them after cleaning or polishing, as they are both made of 100% cotton, they can go into the compost bin to rot down. As I use only natural products for washing and polishing, I don't have any worries about unsafe chemicals getting into the compost and affecting my fruit and vegetables later on.

I also spent the morning polishing my welsh dresser - much, much overdue. I make my own beeswax polish and it was very theraputic bringing the shine back to the pine. Plus there was the added benefit of the beeswax and lavender polish wafted through the whole house, beautiful ! I am very lucky that I have a good friend who is a beekeeper and I am able to get beewax and honey straight from him. Thank you Malcolm x

The polish is in the jar at the front of the photo of my cleaning materials.

The recipe for the Beeswax Polish that I make is:-

2 oz (55g) beeswax - grated up or sliced
1/2 pt (280ml) pure turpentine - must be pure turps, not turps substitute
about 1/4 0z (7g) of essential oil - I use lavender, but lemon works just as well

The first think to be aware of with this recipe is that turpentine is flammable, very flammable, so be aware of this fact and if you haven't made polish before I would suggest that you have a damp tea towel to hand just in case of emergencies.

I use a saucepan as a bain marie, a quarter filled with water.

Using the wide mouthed jar - the one I use originally held salsa I think - I place the grated or sliced beeswax in the jar and carefully add the turps.

Then I place the jar into the water and gently heat it. Whilst the water is heating, stir the mix to held the beeswax melt.

When the beeswax has totally melted, turn off the heat and add the essential oil and mix thoroughly.

Leave to cool down - I usually leave the jar in the saucepan until the water has cooled right down, to prevent the possibility of scalding myself when lifting the jar out.

Once the polish has completely cooled, screw on the lid.

This polish is not a very hard one, but once applied and buffed up well with a soft cloth, really brings out a shine to any furniture.

I wouldn't suggest using it on a wooden floor as it may be too slippery to safely walk on. Oh, and I also keep separate utensils for making polish or any other cleaning things not ones I would use with food.

This is the cleanest my dresser has looked in ages !

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