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Thursday, 23 July 2009

Why are simple things complicated?

I am pleased with the new dishwasher as it seems to do what it says on the label - i.e. it washes dishes. What I find difficult to accept is that it comes with a diagram of how to load it. Why? If the slots in the racks are further apart you put dishes between them, if they're closer together then it's plates. When you've got lots to fit in then everything goes in wherever it seems to fit best.

I got told off this morning because I hadn't put the tea spoons in the area of the cutlery basket designed for them. Not being at my best in the morning I was a little snappy - along the lines of does it matter? Isn't life too short?

Now I've been asked to buy a dishwasher cleaner because you may think your dishwasher is clean but is it really clean? Well surely it would be just as good to put it on the hottest wash every so often with nothing in it to wash? No you could have limescale and sludge in it. Isn't that why you put salt in it? At nearly £4 a time I think the cost is excessive and it would be a lot cheaper to do what I do with the washing machine every few weeks - hottest wash and no clothes in it.

This is on a par with the annoying adverts which start you wondering about whether bleach actually gets stains out or just changes their colour. Well actually I thought that was what bleach was all about - changing the colour of something. On a similar theme I use old fashioned washing soda and boiling water down the sink occasionally to stop smells. I'm always being told I should buy expensive sink cleaner because washing soda is no good. No, washing soda is cheap, does the job and has many uses - drain cleaner is expensive and has only one use. I love things which have lots of uses and I'm not a great fan of adverts.


kcm said...

Simple things only get complicated if you let them by getting things out of proportion or priorities wrong. As a society we have this fetish about cleanliness and sterility. In many (most? all?) cases the old remedies were just as good and largely made from natural products. We don't need nasty synthetic chemical cleaners etc. which have to be fragranced to make us believe they're nice ad natural. Remember the object is to keep things clean enough, not to sterilse everything and defoliate the state. Clean enough means reducing the bug count below the threshold which triggers an infection; ingesting the few bugs doesn't hurt, in fact the opposite as they stimulate the immune system. This is why things like allergies and asthma have become much more common.

Big business feeds the cleanliness fetish because it suits their ends to sell us more product. Resist: save money and the environment. After reading your post I came across two interesting articles, sadly neither appears to be online. The first is in the current (Aug 2009) issue of Geographical magazine and was about the unnecessary environmental impact of household cleaning products. The second was in the May 2009 issue of BBC Wildlife magazine and was about alternative cleaning recipes. The only thing which scores badly in the latter is a more natural alternative to washing (ie. laundry) powder. Otherwise it comes out in favour of things like olive oil, vinegar, lavendar and borax. If you wish I'll scan them and email you them as a PDF file.

If MJH wants artificial alternatives, just tell him (a) how much money it wastes, (b) what they probably do to his allergies and (c) suggest that he takes over the tasks and pays for the products. If you're doing the jobs, you get the vote on how they're done, surely!

Love ... K xx

Jilly said...

My thoughts exactly. Clean enough is good enough for me and I've always said you need to ingest a few germs otherwise your immune system doesn't know what to fight.
I generally ignore most suggestions about new cleaning products though I have got the dishwasher one - partly out of curiosity.
Yes I would be interested in those articles please but no hurry.