Whale’s Budgeting Tips for the Poor, Ctd

This morning I posted about how to save money on milk, and it sure as hell wasn’t shopping at high priced over promoted Nosh stores.

One of the things that the promoters of poverty like to focus on is cold, damp, mildewed or mouldy houses. They claim that this is causing appalling health outcomes. Cactus Kate of course easily slayed that little shibboleth with her post this morning.

Even private housing gets mouldy. When it does you need a bucket and a mop and some elbow grease to clean it. I recall my early days in a nice classic Kiwi weatherboard house before the dehumidifier was freely available in stores, and my mother and grandmother spending hours in the winter months scrubbing mould off the window framing. The house was like many in rural New Zealand situated in bitterly cold frosts in winter and little sun in the summer. I frequently employed the sleeping bag even in front of the open fire with the cat lying over top of me to keep warm. Most New Zealanders have rolled this way it is not special to live in cold conditions. Our parents seemed to have a knack of building the coldest bloody hell holes imaginable in the 60’s and 70’s.

Did I see the same with state house tenants on Inside NZ? No. Someone else’s job to clean the mould in the house aye? The landlord. And brrr it’s cold here, I’m living it hard if I need to use a blanket.

She rightly points out that the people complaining about the mould and mildew are in fact bone bloody idle, perhaps sufferers of Lazy Cow Syndrome. Mould and mildew isn’t a poverty problem it is a lazy person’s problem. Even people in middle and upper class areas live in houses with poor venitlation, and damp and if they likewise don’t clean the mould off then they too will get the same problems. The difference is that people in those areas have a bit of pride and gumption plus are prepared to get their hands a bit dirty cleaning or in the case of people like Cactus Kate simply pay for someone to clean the mould up.

Of course the promoters of the poverty issue will claim that cleaning up mould is expensive and people can’t afford the materials to do so. Lazy repeaters and churnalists will let that claim stand. They will point out that de-humidifiers (the preferred WINZ solution) are expensive to run and they would be right. But they fail to point out that mould and mildew occur because of poor ventilation the solution to which is to open the damn window and the presence of spores to which the solution is cleaning, elbow grease, hard work.

However there is a cheap and economical method of cleaning mould and mildew that is long lasting and more importantly cheap.

The expensive way and also ineffective way is to purchase harsh chemicals like Exit Mould and the like. At $7.59 for 500ml is is dearer than milk at Nosh.

Now I checked with a good friend of mine who is a solo mother, who works and has 3 children. She is also tighter than a fishes arse (which is a virtue, nit a complaint) having been brought up under the guidance of her even tighter grandmother who used to tell her to buy a sports car because they only have two seat which means you only get to carry one bludger at a time with you. She knows all the ways to get things done cheaply and effectively.

White vinegar is by far one of the most effective methods of controlling mould and even better,at $1.97 per litre is cheaper than milk:

Vinegar Spray

Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82 percent of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle, spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. It will dissipate in a few hours. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can add essential oils for a more mellow scent.

Another cost effectivemethod using tea tree oil, soething that we grow in vast abundance in New Zealand. Tea Tree Oil is $12.99 for a small bottle but you only use a few drops and so could split the cost with your neighbouring state house tenants.

Tea Tree Treasure

Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. I’ve used it successfully on a moldy ceiling from a leaking roof, on a musty bureau, a musty rug and a moldy shower curtain. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.

2 teaspoons tea tree oil

2 cups water

Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse. Makes about 2 cups, lasts indefinitely.

A slightly cheaper and I’m told more effective method is the same recipe as above but using Clove Oil. The Aussies have it sorted, they have a handy video on Youtube. Clove has powerful antiseptic properties and should be used with care. Clove oil actually inhibits mould by attacking and killing the spores.

There you go another handy budgeting tip for the poor from the Whale that shows that people like Carla and Craig really have no idea even if they do think that a viable treatment for post-natal depression is yet another child.

Make no mistake poverty sucks but I really do get sick of people bleating about expensive solutions for simple problems. Cleaning mould simply requires a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, some cheap easily obtainable natural products and some elbow grease. The latter is obviously the hardest for most though one does wonder just precisely what they do all day because it sure as hell isn’t cleaning.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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