Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 20 January 2015

A cleaning up day, with many uses for a bowl of bleach :)

I don't often use bleach ( not very environmentally friendly and not good in our septic tank in large quantities) so when I do have to make up a solution of it I tend to use it for as many different jobs as I possibly can.

Today I had some fabric for a craft project which needed lightening, so I made up a washing up bowl full of bleach and water. I left the cloths to soak for a bit until they were the shade I wanted.

I then used the bleach water to soak some tea discoloured tea towels, wash cloths and flannels before putting them in the wash.

As you may recall I use our double glazed porch as a greenhouse to start off plants for the polytunnel. I start sowing seeds on 2nd Feb ( Imbolc, or Candlemas if you are Christian) so I need to make sure the porch is nice and clean before I start.  This is my seed sowing area for early stuff and I need it to be absolutely spotless with no lingering mould spores, before I set up the heated propagators in there and get cracking on 2015 tomato, pepper, cucumber etc seed sowings.

So I then used the bowl of bleachy water to wash down the windows, window sills and walls in the porch. I then wiped the walls and windows clean with a cloth and clean water (important, otherwise the bleach dries and turns to salt on the walls, which will then provide a focus for damp to be absorbed - not good for walls!)

Compostman is going to re paint the removable bench, which lives in the porch during seed propagating season, so it is nice and clean looking and has a sealed surface. That way it won't get spoiled by water drips.

The porch looks a bit of a mess at the moment but at least it is nice and clean now :)

I then used the bleachy water to give all four of the heated propagators (bases and lids) a good clean and I also gave outer ceramic pots (used to hold house plants) and the old plant labels a good soak to make sure they, too are clean before use.

After that the water no longer smelt of bleach :) So I used it to clean the downstairs toilet then flushed it away

I also scrubbed a number of water holding trays clean with hot soapy water and lavender essential oil. That helped to hide the smell of bleach in the house a little!

Tomorrow I will have to put the porch back together again but for now it is drying and I feel pleased :)


  1. Hi We have done the same thing with our back porch area. We have only just moved here and had hoped to have a greenhouse by now but that is delayed. I was doubtful about the porch but we left a min/max thermometer out there and it has not dropped below 8C yet.Only got one propagator but the kitchen has also been checked at it only ever goes down to 14.5 C at worst. So should be OK for some seeds there too. Cant wait to get started.

  2. Hi TrishWish. Yes a porch is a very useful greenhouse and having power in ours means I can set up the heated propagators in there and get cracking on the tomato seedlings. Just be careful with your windowsills that you have somewhere light to put all the seedlings you grow or they can get a bit leggy and outgrow their strength ;)


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