The Mundane

Even here in Spain there are chores to be done and stuff as mundane as housework-not-done preys on my mind just as much as it did in the UK.

Living here in the countryside means my house is very dusty.  I am not the biggest fan of housework but I do suffer from allergies and dust irritates my sinuses and makes life very unpleasant... so I have to do it fairly regularly.

We try to be as eco friendly as we can but its hard not to be seduced by the adverts for products that will clean faster or better.  The idea of killing 99% of all germs is a bit of a turnoff for me though.  I think its important to keep a few germs or your immune system gets lazy!

Most of the products under my sink have been there for a very long time.  Some of them were brought from the UK three years ago and are still not empty.  Furniture polish!  I never use it... why have I got it?  I even have a Spanish one and I can't for the life of me think why I bought it.

A good clear out reveals what I suspected.  That I have no need to buy any more cleaning products for a long time.  A little trick when it comes to cleaning products that you may think is obvious.... do not use more than the recommended amount.  If it says a capful to a bucket of water then don't splash more in thinking that it will be even better.  Adding more does not make the product work better.  It's just a waste of your money.

In the next street to where we lived in the UK there was a house that I passed regularly on my way to the shops.  I always knew when it was her wash day because I could smell the 'softener' or whatever product she used out in the street in front of the house.  I think her tumble drier was in the garage and I am sure that she used far more of everything than she needed to.

Our great grandmothers did most of the housework using only soap and water and a lot of elbow grease.  I am a 21st century woman and I really don't have all day to devote to housework so I think the modern products available are great if used sparingly and with caution.  I use an eco floor cleaner which doubles up as a toilet cleaner as well as a basin and shower cleaner - why do you need a special cleaner for the bathroom?  My washing up liquid is equally good for cleaning worktops and the greasy spots on the cooker.  My carpenter actually said that my beech wood stairs and bar top should be wiped with plain water and then dried.  I have a feather duster which actually just flicks the dust about but it is good to remove cobwebs.

I have a steam cleaner that will wash anything and everything using only plain water turned into steam... Such an eco friendly product and it means that I only use the floor cleaner on the floor about once a month and then only because I like the smell.  The fact that we have an ecological water system means that we have to think carefully before putting anything down the drain... and this in turn has meant a huge saving in our shopping bill.  Gone are the days when I filled my trolley with all sorts of cleaning stuff and then would cringe at the cost and complain that I hadn't even bought anything to eat yet!


  1. I also brought stuff out with me...seemed daft to throw it away and it was just habit to buy stuff in the UK. But even eco friendly stuff is now covered in dust and cobwebs in the cellar and the cupboard under the sink is delightfully free of products.A damp cloth is the best thing for dust and there is plenty of it with the fine soil dust and wood fires. Having septic tank and soakaway makes you think more of what you put down the drains. I am making our own cider vinegar for general cleaning. Like you I have a steam cleaner which we use mainly on the furniture

    I hate cleaning and only do what I have to but having cats is really testing in winter when they spend more time indoors. Thank goodness you never see them in preserving season.

  2. This is such good advice, to know what you have, use what you got, and then do not need to buy any more of. We have furniture polish too with only one piece of furniture to polish, so now it will get polished for a few years and then never again! :)


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