Here’s a tip I consider to be very important that I picked up from the monastery the first time I cleaned with them.
The sisters use four different cleaning clothes when dusting the various pictures, icons, and objects in their monastery. For all the (for lack of a better word) secular things in the monastery they use a wet wettex to dust and a dry cloth to dry. However, for all the icons, censors, anything like that, a separate wettex is used and another dry cloth as well. The basic principle being, “holy things are for the holy”.
They simply write an “E” (for eikona – icon) on the cloths for holy things so they don’t get them mixed up. I prefer to always use a different colour wettex, pink for holy objects, blue for regular ones. Once the wettex/ cloths for icons, etc. have become too tattered to use the sisters burn theirs (we’ll discuss this in another post). I have just thrown mine out in the past.
(As a funny aside, I always assumed the word wettex started with a “v” because the “w” sound is not natural to Greek-speakers, and so the sisters always said it with a “v” sound. I was looking to buy them at the grocery store once and when I saw how the name was spelled, I laughed out loud. Living in Greece my pronunciation is subject to correction by everyone: taxi drivers, old yiayias, the guy at the kiosk, and even my friend’s toddler – who at the age of three loved correcting my Greek. Needless to say, perhaps I took a little more delight in the mispronounced “w” than a normal person would.)
Hope you enjoy the tip!