My mum used to complain “nothing gets better, it only gets worse”. That may make her sound like a pessimist but she wasn’t; she was a lifelong Liberal (and reluctantly a Lib Dem) so she knew all about living hopefully.
I was thinking that paid-for car-washing was going the same way – paying more for an automated and inferior job. Then Eastern European migrant workers came over to wash and polish our cars within an inch of their lives – reviving the fashion for hand-washes.
To encourage this trend for hand-car-washing, I’m kicking off this new series of blogs on re-purposing and hacking, with a new use for an unwanted item of clothing.
What do you do with a single holey sock that’s beyond darning but too good to throw out? You can turn it into a Soap Sock for cleaning and polishing – cars, cutlery, candlesticks, and other things beginning with ‘c’.
The woolier the sock the better – old bed socks and slipper socks are ideal, woollen walking socks come close, but any holey, wooly sock will do. Ankle socks work better than stockings but the longer sock can be doubled over if necessary making your soap sock even more absorbent.
Try the sock for size – it should fit over your hand … like a glove. If it’s a bit loose around your wrist you can keep it in place with one of the rubber bands that posties drop around your front door. Using your soap sock is easy. For a car wash, you slip the sock over your hand, plunge both into a bucket of hot ‘wash and wax’ water, then caress the body (of the car) as if exfoliating your own contours. Be sure not to miss those awkward little nooks and crannies – particularly around the wheel hubs.
If washing other surfaces, you can tuck some of those annoying left over slivers of hand soap inside your sock ,so it lathers from within when you dip your hand into the clean water. For polishing jobs, slipper socks work well inside out.
A final tip, if you’re cleaning a tiled/vinyl floor, you can wear two soap socks and shuffle around the room without needing to bend down – my kind of housework.
An afterthought – washing your car is a good opportunity to say ‘hello’ to passers-by and for getting to know your neighbours – even better if you offer to wash their car as well…