Friday, February 20, 2009

On Basket Care:

A number of people commented on my basket blog yesterday so here goes.

Although I do not use all my 126 baskets in my house at one time, I do use them. Only a few are just for show. Some of my baskets are over thirty years old. My house is decorated in a ‘catch as catch can’ style. What pulls it all together is the birds and baskets in all the rooms.

The baskets you get with flowers or fruit are often the ones that have a shellac or color on them that comes off when you try to wash them. These I usually just get rid of because I don’t want it coming off on any food or projects that I might keep in it.

Baskets are washable to some extent. ‘Do Not soak in a tub of hot water!’ I use a spray hose in the bathtub and warm water. I spray them hard for a few seconds to get the worst of the dust off and shake them to get the excess water off. And of course I wash each basket with suds before I use it for food.

The trick is to get them dried before they loose shape. I do a more thorough cleaning in the summer when I can spread them out on the grass to dry in the sun. It’s then that I have a soft scrub brush in a bucket of disinfectant sudsy water at one end of the bathtub to get the grime off. Then I rinse with the spray. Out to dry in the sun shine which also kills germs and after fifteen minutes or so I turn them in the sun to be sure they are dried completely before I put then back in place.

I do have some willow baskets that have sprouted pussy willow heads on some of the whips a few days after cleaning. But you can’t count on that happening.

I have boiled the baskets made for holding paper plates to clean them after a garden party or picnic. You just have to hold them flat with a plate that has something heavy on it to keep it from curling into a bowl shape as it dries.

That is really all there is to it. It’s the fact that I have so many that makes it a chore.

PS: Don’t tell the dolls in the doll house. I only clean their little baskets once a year.

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