Monday, August 01, 2005


Rex's Home Handyman Hints.

Like all Melbournians at this time of year I would be gripped by a gnawing fear. These can be dreadful, bleak, depressing times, and I once would lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, knowing that in these wintry depths of Winter, the menace would be taking over……… bathroom.

Winter is when it happens. It’s the dampness. The lack of air. It probably has something to do with football too for all I know. It grows on the ceiling. It snakes it way along the grout between the tiles. It colonises the plughole in the shower. It’s called Aspergillus, but you may know it as mould.

In the old days, I used to conduct chemical warfare. Commercial mould killers, chlorine bleach, Agent Orange, whatever I could get my hands on. Then I wised up to the dangerous effects of these substances, and converted to simple and cheap white vinegar, available from the supermarket in 2 litre containers.

That worked wonders, the vinegar. If things were a little tough, a dash of bi-carb soda and the toughest fungi would be cactus.

Still however, I knew that things could be improved. As you know I’m a perfectionist, and despite the success of the simple vinegar solution, and the satisfaction it gave me to flip the bird to Dow Chemical, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive & Co, I still needed to get down on my hands and knees and apply the elbow grease.

There’s got to be a better way I thought, and as usual I was right. Today I share my bathroom with three friends. Fred, Wilma and Betty I call them. I did have a Barney but he got squashed.

These guests are all members of the Limax Flavux family, and they happily live down in the shower’s plug hole, and come out at night when there’s work to be done. They are Slugs, and they eat mould like sheep eat grass. So just as some people keep animals to keep the grass down. I keep slugs.

Today the bathroom is spick and span, and requires very little maintenance, although there is still a little too much work to do for my liking. In fact, I’m looking for something to live around the S-bend. Anyone got any bright ideas?

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