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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

TLC for your Plants, Plastics and Gnomes

So, I was washing a big pile of rocks and shells in the sink the other day (as you do) and my mind began to wander to all the other bits and pieces in your home that can (and should) be washed. Whatever your style, from organic to plastic, lots of things in our homes could really benefit from a big bowl of warm, soapy water. No matter how good a housekeeper you are, dust and grease settle around your home in the most peculiar places; after a while, everything starts to look a little dull, and it is time to give them some love. Here are a few ideas to get your favorite bits and pieces clean again…..

Plastic Plants: Fill a sink, or bath, with warm, soapy water (use dish-washing detergent, or shampoo). Swish around in the water. Rinse, and dry.

Real Plants: Take them outside, or place them in a large sink. Use a spray attachment, or a small watering can, to wash all the leaves and flowers with cold water. Silk Plants: Find a bag big enough for the plant. Fill the bag with salt, add the plant, and shake it around. The salt will stick to the dirt. Lightly brush the salt off with a paintbrush.

Nature Collections: (Pine cones, rocks, shells, twigs, minerals, charcoal, horseshoe crab shells etc) Most can be rinsed gently in cold water, but not for long, and should be dried as quickly as possible (we once washed a dead starfish, didn’t dry it, and days later it turned to mush).

Vases: For normal stains, dust and mineral build-up, try a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Let sit for a while, then rinse with warm water. I sometimes use small pebbles with soapy water if the stains are stubborn (raw rice is often recommended, but I find it is not abrasive enough).

Bone China Ornaments:  Place them on a towel. Take some warm, soapy water and gently wash the ornaments with Q-tips, or a small paintbrush. Pat and air dry.

Cut Glass and Crystal:  Line the sink with a towel. Wash them one at a time. Scrub with a soft toothbrush to get into the crevices. Rinse in very hot water, then leave to air dry (the hot water makes them dry quickly with (hopefully) no streaks.

Books, Paintings and other things you’re not quite sure of: If in doubt, a dry, soft paintbrush is often the easiest (and safest) way to clean these.

Gnome borrowed (and returned) to

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