A clean mandir or pooja room is as important as the fresh fruits and prasad we make for blessings of the Gods worshipped. A clean place invites Goddess Laxmi when we approach Diwali season as well right? The oil and smoke from the aggarbattis tend to sit on the idols and pictures so it is important to get rid of that grime and dust. Here are a few tips that will guide you in keeping the worship area spic and span with minimal effort.
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Many pooja items are made of silver like the aarti thali, the lamps and some of the idols. The tend to oxidize over time and become a task to clean when a big pooja comes up. There are so many other things one has to take care of that this just adds to it. So it is best to polish them weekly in a few easy steps.
Store the vibhuti or the sacred ash as it is helpful in making the silver shine. Make a paste of that ash and scrub with your hands or a cotton or a muslin cloth. Do not use a scrub as that can be a bit harsh which can lead to scratches on the metal.
Another way is that you place the silverware in a large pot of boiling water. Add a spoonful of baking powder and a small piece of aluminium foil. The combination surprisingly works well and loosens the grime.
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The brass idols and kalash in the pooja room tend to become sticky with a lot of grime sitting on it. So soak the items in a bucket of hot water and add a tablespoon of detergent. Set aside for 10-15 minutes and let the detergent do its job.
Use a metal scrubber to brush off the grime with a lemon dish wash soap to get rid of the oil. Rinse with warm water. Then take a ball of tamarind and soak it in water. Use it to scrub the brassware again and rinse off with warm water.
Cleaning The Copper
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When copper idols are exposed to water or even air, they tend to have black spots very quickly. So to deal with that, make a smooth paste of vinegar and salt. Dip a clean towel in the solution as it is a little rough and scrub with patience and strength. Use circular motions and be a bit generous with the paste amount. You can use a toothbrush to clean the small areas and then rinse the items in warm water. Wipe off with a clean cloth.
The Pooja Counter
The pooja counter is generally made of marble or where oil spills, dried flowers, and aggarbatti ash falls. It is extremely important to keep the area clean. If not done regularly, the accumulated grime just makes the room unhygienic and not at all a place for the idols. So wipe it clean at the end of every day with some warm water and a detergent spray and then with a dry cloth.
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Most pooja rooms have doors made of intricate jali work and brass bells. Keep the bells clean using the brassware cleaning method and vacuum the woodwork regularly. Wipe off the oil with a nail polish remover if it is a tough stain in the beginning but once you start cleaning it regularly, some soap water would do.
Mop the area daily with water and once a week, when you have time, use some lemon floor cleaning solution or dettol mixed in water. If the floor is made of marble, use very little dettol or floor cleaning solution maybe twice a week as marble is a porous stone that can lose its colour due to the acids or lime.
A pooja room is a small place where oil fumes and smoke can stick, if you have tiles all around then wipe them off with soap water every other day. In case it is just a regular painted walls then make sure they have been painted with a plastic emulsion where a damp cloth can be used. Repaint the walls every year if you can to make it look new.
There are many clothes that we use in the pooja room which should be cleaned every two days at max. If they are made of cotton then we can wash them with our hands but if it is silk and has fringes and delicate designs then get them dry cleaned.
For more tips on maintaining a pooja room, stay tuned to HerZindagi.