About eight years ago or so I discovered an outlet during what can only be described as probably the most stressful couple of years I have ever managed to muddle through. Who knew that the planting of some hedging and a small rose garden at the time would lead this accidental gardener to develop one of the most fulfilling, fascinating, joyous and let’s be honest, somewhat backbreaking glorious pass-times. I love the fact that the whole family can get involved too. Whether it’s planting a new shrub, trimming some hedges, taking cuttings – although I do prefer to keep the cutting jobs away from trouble 1 and trouble 2, they look and function so much more nicely with all their fingers. And we all get to enjoy the spoils from our little vegetable garden, although this section really needs a lot more work and I’m still figuring out sewing stages to suit the seasons and our plates. Gardening although immensely enjoyable is tiring work and a long soak at the end of a particularly vigorous weeding session is something I look forward to immensely. The jacuzzi which has laid unused thus far this year will begin to demonstrate its worth and help ease all those achy, yet happily fulfilled joints.
Before any relief from the bubbling white saviour can be taken advantage of, it needs a good deep clean, including the pipes which have not been switched on in quite the while. Both will most likely have limescale and stagnant water issues. To start with, I pour some lemon juice into the pipes and leave it to sit in there for a couple of hours. Luckily, we do not have particularly bad limescale in our little country pile, so this is more than enough time. If you do live in an area with bad limescale, the lemon should be left longer and may be repeated if you find when you switch the jets on there is still some sediment coming from the pipes. If you have very stubborn limescale you may have to use one of the supermarket brands for removal, if you do have to go this route, please remember to give the pipes a really good flush with water by running the jacuzzi so that all the really harsh chemicals are removed. Lemon can also be used on taps and showerheads if there is a limescale build-up, simply pop a shower cap around them and fill with the juice, then tie off with a rubber band. Also, pop a little around the outsides of any jets which might need it. I do not expect anyone to juice lots of lemons before carrying out this task, instead, just buy one of those little bottles from the supermarket which can usually be found in the baking section. Whilst the lemon is soaking, it is a good idea to let all the taps run for a minimum of 8 to 10 minutes, especially if the tub has not been used in a while. This will kill anything that may be lurking in the pipes from lack of use. Make sure you have plenty of hot water before you do this, the hotter, the better.
Once my lemon has had time to soak and I know there is plenty of hot water, it is time to fill this bad boy up and turn the jets on full throttle. This will ensure that the lime gets well and truly annihilated. The hot water running through the pipes will also kill any unpleasantries which may be in there. I like to leave it to run for ten minutes or so. This is usually enough time to flush everything through. It also gives the areas all around the outsides of the jets a chance to clean right up. Once these are all sorted, It’s time to give the tub itself a clean, again I prefer to use as little harsh chemicals as possible and go straight for my ‘wizard’ which is one of those little white sponges which only require water and good old fashioned elbow grease. For any stubborn marks, a little lemon Cif does the job, and the smell is so lovely and fresh. Now it’s time to remove any shower caps from steeping taps and showerheads and rinse everything off together. Buff everything and you should have a sparkling bath to behold and better still, to enjoy. The fresh smell lingers for days which is a bonus.
Trouble 1 prefers to pick the spoils from the garden and fill vases throughout the house with their prettiness rather than participate in any weeding. Still, the fabulously cheery, and inquisitive company is worth the pillaging of any flowerbeds.
Top Tip: Lemon is great for boiling in your kettle and will remove all limescale without the worry of any strong chemical being left in there for any avid tea drinkers.
N.B: Be careful if using Cif as it is mildly abrasive. Give the surface a good rinse after using if as it can leave a chalky residue if not properly rinsed. Lemon is acidic, so if you are unsure of a surface, maybe test it in an area that will not be seen first.
Make sure you do not have the stopper in the bath when running the water, no one wants to deal with an overflowing bath or any of the other unpleasantries that go with the aftermath of the clean-up.
Enjoy the gardening, accidental or otherwise and remember,
Is minic a rinne bromach gioblach capall
Madeleine Dermody Assoc CIPD | MIASI
Madeleine has qualifications in both Management and Human Resources and is our Accommodation Manager in Hotel Westport. Madeleine sits on the board of the National Council of the Irish Accommodation Services Institute. In her spare time, she loves to enjoy gardening, hiking, farming, and fishing with her family.