47 & Falling


After weeks of very humid weather we finally have some respite.  We have a hygrometer which sits on the bench between the kitchen and dining room and when I got up this morning it was 47% relative humidity – that is about half what it has been recently.  During the course of the day it fell even more to 33% at one stage.

This may not seem particularly exciting to those of you you are not living in humid, high rainfall areas but believe me, it is exciting when your lounge chairs look like this.

2012-10-03 01The back looked worse – if that is possible.

2012-10-03 02They have been getting worse over about a week or two but it was no point in cleaning them while the weather was so wet.  In fact The Duke could not work out how it go so wet the other night – the rain does not blow in – until I pointed out that both of the chairs were completely wet simply due to the humid conditions.

Today I cleaned both recliner chairs and the 2 seater sofa.  I have a small jar with about 100ml of olive oil and some lemon essential oil.  The lemon oil is because I like the aroma and also it is supposed to be a spider deterrent.  I am not sure how effective that is.  I added 5ml of clove oil to the mix and then with an old t-shirt wiped, rubbed and polished for a couple of hours until I had all of the leather cleaned, free of mould and gleaming.

Here are the ‘after’ photos.

2012-10-03 03And the back.

2012-10-03 04I also keep a spray bottle with 5ml of clove oil diluted in 500ml of water.  Using this and a clean cloth I also cleaned all of the kitchen cupboards and kickboards as well as quite a few of the door frames and skirting boards.  Keeping the mould at bay is a never-ending battle in this climate so I make the clove oil a regular part of my cleaning routine.

If you are interested in more information about reducing the humidity in your home as well as the use of clove oil you can type ‘mould’ into the search button on the right-hand side of the blog and you will find all of my other posts that deal with this issue.

Finally, if you are concerned about humidity in your home I would strongly recommend purchasing a hygrometer.  It is a real eye-opener to actually know what the humidity reading is.

Mould Patrol

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When I was cleaning on the weekend I noticed some telltale signs of mould around the house.

Time to get the clove oil out again.  I have written about the clove oil in depth in a couple of previous posts.  You can read about it here.

Do you alter your cleaning regime depending on the season?

There are the obvious things like clove oil in summer and cleaning out the fireplace in winter.  The windows need cleaning again but that will have to wait until after our holidays.

The weather here is very unpredictable.  2 nights ago I was contemplating taking the doona off the bed and replacing it with a cotton blanket and bedspread but last night we were back to a doona and the woollen blanket.  It is quite cool and windy again tonight but despite that we know that summer is coming.  In preparation I am making some summer pyjamas for Miss O.  I hope to finish them tomorrow and will have some photos for you tomorrow.

Clove Oil


I have mentioned clove oil a couple of times in posts, particularly in regard to eliminating mould from your home.

In response to a question from African Aussie after my post about the disinfectant disaster and cleaning I have decided to put all of the information together in one post.

As people who have been following my blog posts will know, we live in an area which has high humidity and rainfall for at least 6 months of the year.  Last summer was particularly bad with our hygrometer consistently measuring the humidity in our living area at above 85% for about 5 months.  The only time I could reduce it was by running the portable dehumidifier.  It was so bad that I slipped and fell because our vinyl flooring was so wet, the sheets felt damp when we got into bed and mould grew on everything that was not constantly moving – ceiling, walls,furniture, clothes, shoes, belts and bags.

I do not generally use toxic cleaners and I had tried vinegar and even bleach and although the appearance improved the mould would be back again in next to no time.

I had heard of clove oil but was unsure of how effective it would be.  A work colleague who had similar problems had researched where to buy clove oil and found that the best option was Oil of Cloves.  Check the site for all of the information on clove oil and its mould inhibiting properties.  We bought it in 1 litre quantities and split the cost between several people.  This is a good option if you are interested because if you are having problems with mould, it is almost inevitable that your neighbours are as well.

I bought 200ml which I think will be plenty for a considerable length of time for me.  I decided that $70 was a small price to pay to see if I could get rid of the mould.  I am pleased to say it has been very effective.  I cleaned all of my shoes using the recommended dilution and the other day I took a pair of shoes from my cupboard that had not been worn for 6 months, yet there was no sign of any mould on them.  Previously any shoes that were left in the cupboard for more than a fortnight would start to be affected.

2011-08-04 03If you are serious about getting rid of the mould I would also recommend a dehumidifier and also these eggs which are excellent for small, enclosed spaces such as wardrobes and linen cupboards.  They are readily available.  Mould cannot grow in a humidity of less than 60%.

2011-08-04 04I hope this information is beneficial to you as the health risks of mould in your home make it definitely worth doing everything you can to eliminate it.

I am interested to hear other people’s experiences with clove oil, dehumidifiers and battling mould.