Reported in the News Letter on March 21, 1956: Useful advice and tips for spring cleaning

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By our woman correspondent

Although icy March winds are still howling, housewives all over Ulster will be looking at dust and dirt with a calculating eye any moment now, which is the surest sign that spring cleaning time has arrived.

To many worthy housewives, of course, spring cleaning is no menace, for the simple reason that they never do any, or rather, that they continue the practice of scrupulous cleanliness throughout the year. But for the majority, the penetrative spring sunshine does throw into relief the need for a thorough overhaul.

Many a new housekeeper has discovered to her horror that much of the hard work she has put into cleaning a room can be undone because she forgot to have the chimney cleaned first. Therefore, an appointment with the sweep is all important.

Now to work. First take away all ornaments, pictures and photographs, unhook curtains and frills, and pile the furniture as well as possible into one corner.

When sweeping a bare floor in preparation for scrubbing it, something should be thrown over floors so that the dust will not rise. There are products on the market for this, but if they are not available, then tea leaves or even plain water can be sprinkled lightly over the floor. As fresh air is one of the best “sweeteners” of a room, the windows should be opened. This means that when it is time to bring back the furniture all cleaned and polished, the whole atmosphere of the room is as fresh as the spring itself.

Cupboards and larders will also have to undergo a serious cleaning, with fresh white paper laid on each shelf before the contents are put back in again. Drains and pipes leading from sinks and basins need to be treated with caustic soda, which strips them of all slime – but remember, caustic soda is severe on the hands, so rubber gloves should be worn.