Make Your Own Face Mask

To wear a face covering or not, that is the question.  Differing opinions from various experts on whether one should or not, types of fabric, patterns, layers and effectiveness make the whole thing quite daunting.

With a view to ‘I protect you, you protect me’,  I think the Pee Meme that circulated sums it up.


As we all know, it enters the body via the facial openings, so we shouldn’t touch our face – and there is the first thing – face coverings are hot and they move about, so we adjust them, transferring germs to the mask on the face, and also from the mask to our hands which then spreads any virus we may unknowingly harbour.

The thing is to find one that is comfortable enough to wear without fiddling with it.   Easier said than done, with our different face shapes and sizes, but they’re easy enough to roughly make a few different styles just for fitting, then once the comfy one is found, more can be made to a really good standard. We don’t want to waste, so I’m sure the sample can be finished off nicely to be used also. One for the wash, one on, and a spare, is what I’ve found works well.

Home Made Mask

I’ve tried the Olson, Beak, 3d Box, Pleated, Pleated with foldback, and the basic gather.   The personal choice for me is the 3d Box.  It allows me more space for speaking, stays in place, and doesn’t steam up my glasses and I don’t need a nose-wire.

As I’m not a master sewist, I rely on YouTube to for this sort of thing – so many tutorials to choose from, and I merely do the best I can, and it works for me.  Nothing is easy to start with, but with a little bit of practice and perseverance, a face covering can be made.   There is even a very easy one for those who have no machine, so can sew easily by hand.

Here is my favourite mask tutorial.

And just to make sure wearing a mask is done to maximum effect, there are instructions for putting it on and taking it off on the WHO website.

Be safe!

Back to a new normal

back to our new normalWe are back!   The summer weather is great, but the time has come to put the gripping novels aside, and get our cleaning caddies out again. We have all been eager to get back to clean our clients’ homes and offices but to do so safely has meant many hours on the computer and the phone checking guidance, researching products, assessing each client and team member and producing the risk assessments. We’ve topped up our cleaning caddies with products, and repacked them with cloths, toothbrushes, scrapers and scrubbies and PPE, and we’re now ready to go.

With all the differing opinions on sanitising and PPE, we decided to go with those who know best – Public Health England, WHO and HSE. Whilst our main focus is the protection of our clients and ourselves against this coronavirus right now, we feel it is important that we don’t go in with unnecessarily destructive chemicals and kill the good 95864313_2900669589988777_92231162801422336_othings too. There are many bacteria that protect us and are necessary for the environment, and whatever we use to clean with eventually finds its way into the waterways, air or soil having a knock-on effect outside. We are really pleased that we can continue with the products that we have always used, because the Delphis Eco sanitiser is BS EN1276 compliant, so certified effective against enveloped viruses, including Coronavirus. Good to know that our client’s homes were being sanitized against this Coronavirus before we even heard of it in this country. We get a lot of pleasure from confirmation that what we are doing is right for the safety of our clients, right for our team, and as right as we can manage for the planet. When trying to kill the viruses and bacteria that do us harm it is inevitable that some others will also be harmed – no solution is perfect – but we try to be as gentle as we can.

95293542_2902950476427355_5975550044298805248_oAside from the work, there are a few additional things to enjoy when we go to clients homes or offices; we get to know the clients, so it is always great to see them, and the other thing is the gardens.   All sorts of gardens – blowsy borders, patios with brights pots, lawns with beautiful shady trees, quintessential English country garden, and even prairie style.   We left them with daffodils and have returned to roses and peonies – beautiful.   We have even been entrusted with garden watering when a client goes away – what a treat!   So we will continue to follow the guidelines, and modify the way we work as things change – and whatever that brings, we are SO happy to be back.

A new season for all …

After nearly 8 years, Angela has worked her last day today. I still can’t quite believe this day has come, it’s like the end of an era.  She has been such a joy to us, taking care of all the details every day, going the extra mile for so many clients, caring for pets and plants!

It is through her loyalty, integrity, genuine care for others, and a jolly good sense of humour, that we have been able to keep running Splash Clean whilst I am in Zambia. She is going to be missed, but we are so excited for her as a new opportunity has come up, on her doorstep.

Angela & Shelley
Angela & Shelley

Shelley, my dear mother, is taking over Angela’s role.  Shelley has lived in England for 18 years, and has had various managerial and admin roles in the past which lend well to this role.  She eventually left her office desk to be a carer and companion to elderly people in the area, because that is the loving, caring person my mother is! I am thrilled that I was able to convince her to join us now at Splash Clean.

We are still a small team of just 10 part time cleaners, we have no desire to become a large business.  We take our values and beliefs seriously at Splash Clean, we are not just about numbers and getting jobs filled.  We are a group of people, doing our best to offer a quality service, caring for our clients homes and offices, not just cleaning them, whilst being aware of our impact on the environment.  This takes teamwork, patience and love!

I thank God daily for the gift of this business, and each person who makes it what it is.  As it is not just a gift to me, but to each team member. Mothers and fathers, students, entrepreneurs, all trying to boost their incomes and reach their goals.

We look forward to many more years in Alresford and Winchester.

Meet Colleen Black

Following our blog post introducing Angela, we thought we would introduce Colleen. She started Splash Clean in 2010 whilst living in the Alresford area.  She has been working remotely from South Africa for 4 years, before moving to Zambia last year.

Read her completely unbiased opinion on why you should join Splash Clean, and find out more about how she spends her time.

Why would you encourage someone to join the team? I have seen the positive impact, time and time again that our work schedules offer. There are not many opportunities available where you can work for just 2 or 3 hours in a location that suits you, at a flexible time that suits your lifestyle. Also, how many companies do you know of run by a Mrs Brown and a Mrs Black?!

Where is your favourite spot for a cup of tea/coffee? Unfortunately my nearest coffee shop here in Zambia is a 35 minute drive along dirt and very pot holed roads! Bit different to when I lived in Alresford. So my favourite spot is now my veranda, with coffee beans that are grown, harvested & roasted 1 hour from where I am living.

Where exactly do you live? I grew up in South Africa, but as I have a British passport, I lived in England for 10 years, during which time I started Splash Clean and became obsessed with The Archers. In 2013 I moved back to South Africa, but decided to keep the business going. In 2018, my husband’s work brought us to Zambia, so we are currently expats. I work remotely from my veranda in Zambia, dealing mainly with all payroll and invoicing.

What do you do in your spare time?  I keep myself occupied at home with gardening, birdwatching, reading, researching travel plans! I also share about our expat life and sustainable living on Life Lived Simply.

Do you have a favourite walk in Alresford/Winchester? I used to regularly walk along the River Arle and Drove Lane, such a beautiful spot.

What is your favourite podcast/book? Favourite podcast is The Archers, without a doubt. Too many books to mention, but a recent one was At Home by Bill Bryson, and I am currently reading The Africa House by Christina Lamb.

What is your best tip for keeping your home clean or organised? Put everything where it belongs, straight away; it is much easier to maintain a tidy home. Tidy House, Tidy Mind.


Meet Student, Liz Green

Meet Liz Green, she was part of our team for 2 years whilst she was a University student. We are going to miss her greatly now that her time with us is complete. Being part of our team is a great way for students to earn a decent hourly rate, working short 2-3 hour shifts which are easily fitted in and around their studies.  You too may be a student and like to boost your funds whilst not negatively impacting your study time.

Q & A with Liz

How long were you with Splash Clean?
I first joined in 2016 and left in 2018.

Why would you encourage someone to join the team?
Splash Clean is the best company I’ve worked for- Angela and Colleen are both lovely people who genuinely care and are always there to help if there’s a problem. All of the clients are friendly, kind people too and working for them is great as the work is never over-demanding, there’s a good balance.
Cleaning is also very flexible, something which is ideal for me as over the past year I have been able to combine my cleaning work with several other jobs, something which was facilitated by Splash rearranging the times of some of my cleans to fit around my new routine.

Where is your favourite spot for a cup of coffee?
Coffee Lab in Winchester is a great place for a coffee, it’s got a really chilled vibe and the coffee is the best in town.

Where are you most likely to be found in Winchester in your free time?
I just like to wander through the high street and browse, although the views over Winchester from the top of St Giles hill are great and I like to watch the sun set over Winchester from there.

Do you have a favourite walk in Winchester?
My favourite walk would be around the Winchester water meadows, it’s so peaceful and beautiful by the water.

What is your favourite podcast/book?
I enjoy reading crime novels, especially those set in Europe. I can always read any of the books in the Montalbano series as I love the sense of humour!

What is your best tip for keeping your home clean or organised?
I’d say as far as possible just doing things as they come along makes it so much easier to clean and keep on top of everything.

If you are a student and find yourself interested in joining our team, then please do apply via our website by clicking here.