Are Feather Dusters Any Good?

Feather duster 1 (1 of 1)Feather duster 1

Are feather dusters any good or do they just move the dust around?  Well the key point about a feather duster is that it’s the static in the feathers that ‘holds’ the dust.  The best feathers for the job are Ostrich feather.  They are soft, won’t scratch and look lovely.  Before you begin dusting you need to gently rub the feathers from the bottom to the tips several times to create the static.  Then you can lightly dust along the surface.  When you finish a piece of furniture you can either shake the duster out of the window, or shake it onto the carpet if you are vacuuming later.  (Take a look at our video to see it at work).

Whilst you can get some enormous feather dusters, you are probably best with one that has a fairly small head which will allow you to dust around ornaments and get into corners.  If you use a duster with too big a head you are more likely to knock something over!  Some feather dusters come with longer handles which are great for dusting curtain pelmets, Venetian blinds, lights and the tops of taller pieces of furniture.


Ostrich feather dusters are good for occasional or ‘in-between’ dusting but they’re not a substitute for polishing – you will occasionally still need to get out a cloth and some good old furniture polish .

Can you clean a feather duster?  Yes.  Shaking a feather duster should be all you need to clean it ready for the next time you want to use it.  However, if there is something on it other than dust, maybe food or grease, then you can wash it in some warm water with a tiny drop of baby shampoo or mild washing up liquid, rinse then hang it up to dry naturally, but avoiding hot radiators.



Would you consider putting flowers in YOUR toilet brush holder?!


It’s not often that you’d consider putting flowers in a jug designed as a toilet brush holder but I think this may be the exception…

Bog brush wide (1 of 1)Bog brush wide

Toilet brushes are rarely objects of great beauty but we all need them and so it’s refreshing to find a stylish example.  This one is made by Redecker in Germany.





Did you know that originally the bristles for toilet brushes used to be made from pig bristles, the hair of horses, oxen, squirrels and even badgers?  This one, however, has black bristles made from high grade nylon.



If you want to make your toilet bowl sparkle but don’t want to use nasty chemicals then you could try Mangle & Wringer’s Natural Bleach Powder. Simply add one scoop to 1 litre of hot water and pour down the toilet.  Leave for 30-60 minutes or overnight and brush before flushing.  It cleans thoroughly, kills germs and doesn’t leave that lingering chemical smell.




Natural Bleach Powder has lots of other uses around the house too (please see the website  The packaging on the Natural Bleach is beautifully simple and so no need to hide it away.

M&W Bleach

Good things come in small packages













Mangle & Wringer’s laundry and cleaning products are based on the handwritten recipes of a woman called Bette Smith.  Bette was born in the 1920’s and went into service from a very early age working in London’s Belgravia.  In true Downton Abbey fashion, she worked her way up from kitchen and laundry maid to lady’s maid.  When she married she moved to Gloucestershire to start a family and set up her own laundry business where she became known locally as Mrs Mangle.  In time, one of her daughters helped her and became known as Little Miss Wringer! On her death, Bette left her treasured, hand-written notebooks to Vanessa Willes

Vanessa was enthralled by the stories told to her by Bette, and was won over by the simplicity of the recipes for cleaning products.  She tried them out herself and was amazed how well each product worked and she decided to launch her own company and Mangle & Wringer was born.  The Mangle & Wringer products are based entirely on these traditional recipes and are safe to use, even on sensitive skin, contain no nasty chemicals, and are not tested on animals.

I’ve tried all the products and they work brilliantly.  The glass cleaner works on glass and mirrors without having to use too much elbow grease.  The pretty tins of bathroom and kitchen cleaner worked most noticeably on a badly marked Belfast sink – the kitchen cleaner just cut straight through the dirt – again without any effort.  The laundry powder is powerful but gentle, without any strong chemical scent.  For white washes that need brightening, just add a little of the natural bleach and you’ll notice a difference when you bring your towels and sheets in from the line.

All the products are beautifully packaged.  You certainly wouldn’t mind if any of them were left out on the work-top.

Janey Lee Grace’s verdict is ‘”Upstairs Downstairs” hits the 21st Century with Mangle & Wringer’s fabulous new cleaning products’.

All the products are available individually from Plain Useful or we are also offering a set containing one of each product in the range at a reduced price – well worth a try.