Aggie's Blog, June 2015
Aggie MacKenzie is the former head of the Good Housekeeping Institute (the consumer and cookery departments of the magazine) and presenter of Channel 4’s “How Clean is your House?”.
Each month, as our Beko Ambassador Aggie will bring us tips and advice on how to make your life easier in the home.
Summer’s coming at last!
I got a bit ahead of myself a couple of weeks back when I set about putting away my winter togs. Too soon, it seems! But now I really have put (most of!) my woolies away for the summer.
I’m careful about making sure everything is laundered before storing, as any moths around will target all natural fabrics – cotton, linen, silk, wool. The larvae (grubs) do the damage and they feed on any bits of sweat, dead skin and food stains, creating holes, so it’s vital that everything is spotlessly clean before it’s put away. (If you think you might have a moth problem, vacuum and wipe out the wardrobe and drawers with soapy water, getting right into the corners. Make sure too that you clean carpets and floors, especially under furniture and along skirting boards. And as soon as you have vacuumed, empty the bag or canister so they don’t breed in there.)
When you’re gathering up your clothes to put away, be ruthless and pick out any items you don’t love and take them either to your favourite charity shop or give to a pal you know will appreciate them. Plus anything that you didn’t actually wear this winter (or last, for that matter!). Incidentally, old cotton T-shirts make great dusters!
So, where to put everything? Either pack away in a spare suitcase, lidded plastic boxes, zip-up plastic bags or those special storage bags that hook up to the vacuum cleaner hose to extract air and create an airtight seal (they reduce the volume to about 50 percent, are available cheaply and can be reused). Fold or roll clothes and wrap in acid-free tissue paper to prevent creasing. When your case, box or bag is full, sprinkle the top with rosemary, lavender, bay or pieces of cedar to deter moths and other unwelcome critters. Store either on top of the wardrobe, in a drawer under the bed, in a spare room or dry loft. If you’re lucky enough to have two wardrobes, rotate the contents between them.
Be careful not to store clothes anywhere that’s damp in any respect – they’ll get mildew spots that’ll be impossible to remove. (If your wardrobe is a bit damp, put a charcoal briquette in each corner to help absorb moisture.)
When it comes to your summer togs, as long as they were put away freshly laundered in a clean, dry place, there shouldn’t be any need to reclean any items. Mind you, the sniff test is usually the best!
On the next hot sunny day you’re at home, take the opportunity to wash your pillows (most can go in the machine – check the wash label) and hang out on the line. They need to dry on the day - feathers dried over a few days will turn mouldy and smell rank! Single duvets can go into the washing machine; check the wash label for instructions. Any duvets larger than single size normally need to be taken to the launderette but some of the more modern machines have a very large capacity, so check first. As long as the item goes into the drum easily and there’s a bit of space between the duvet and roof of the drum, you’ll be fine.
Here’s to plenty of hot and sunny summer days!