Elbow grease goes further than Mr Muscle for spring cleaning
Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30
Spring has, hopefully, finally sprung. Its my favourite of year and is inevitably associated with spring cleaning, which I both hate and love. I loathe the doing part but, on completion, relish the cleaner, decluttered living space and feel both mentally and emotionally refreshed.
Our younger daughter, Ruth, was watching TV one night when she said, "Mammy, you should get Mr Muscle, he'd do the cleaning for you." She innocently believes the simple act of bringing the bottle into the house is enough for the dirt to be magicked away, by a cartoon man clad in a white-coat and orange-leotard. Forget Steve Silvermint; such a man really would be a cool clean hero.
Getting in someone to help is another possibility. Once, when a few of the ladies were over for a coffee, I mentioned I never had a cleaner in and, looking about, their murmured response varied from, "I can believe that" to "you could tell."
But I it's my dust so it's my job.
I finally accepted I couldn't put it off any longer when I walked into the sitting room to see cobwebs in the corner that had become so heavy that they detached at one end and were hanging from the ceiling like dreary stalactites.
There are several suggested origins for spring cleaning based on religious rituals, including those around the Jewish Passover.
Observant Jews are supposed to refrain from consuming leavened foods including bread, known as chametz, in the week of fasting after Passover. Houses have to be cleaned thoroughly and this culminates on the night before the festival begins with the family hunting by candlelight for any remaining chametz crumbs.
However, rather like Christmas, it's possible this was more about religion attaching meaning to an existing pattern of behaviour rather than the other way round.