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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reality Check

Buzzfeed was promoting ‘37 Deep Cleaning Tricks Every Obsessive Clean Freak Should Know’. How could I not investigate?

Here’s the original link. You can read it first, and check back for the ‘dirt’, or you can start here and see their pictures later.

Some were old faithfuls.
Some were intriguing.
Some were weird.
Some were just plain upsetting.

Here we go!

1. Hang your brooms and mops instead of storing them on the floor.

2. Use slow cooker liners.
Yes, cleaning the crock can be frustrating, but liners seem wasteful—environmentally AND financially.

3. Make the steel plate on your iron smooth and shiny again. (There’s a link—whatever this is involves salt.)
I try to avoid the iron, and I achieve this by avoiding owning things that need to be ironed. Ironing is so aggravating. So pointless. The moment you buckle your seatbelt, all your hard work is eliminated. Instantly. Ironing is an obsessive’s nemesis. It almost makes you appreciate linen for its straight-forward defiance—you can’t even stand still without wrinkling linen. I’m getting stressed out just thinking about this. Let’s move on to the next topic, shall we?

4. Remove any carpet stain (and anything off a mattress as well).
Dawn, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda are the ingredients of their secret potion here. When it comes to carpeting, Folex is my go-to stain solution. Recently I saw this same combination being touted as a clothing stain remover, so I decided to put it to the test. I’d just found one of Mia’s baby bibs from what feels like a million years ago. Hidden beneath the carrot-puree stains was an embroidered ‘Mommy’s Little Girl’. Awwww! The stain had been setting in for SEVEN years. Could it be saved? YES. This miracle combo, applied with a toothbrush, removed 95% of the stains. AMAZING.

5. Use an iron to remove REALLY stubborn stains from carpet.
I’ve tried this in the removal of candle wax. It worked. Took a while, though.

6. Use Pledge to really clean your stainless steel.
The picture from the website looks nice. Or shiny, at least. This just doesn’t sit well with me, though. Wouldn’t it be slippery/oily? I wonder if it does any long-term damage.

7. Invest in a “Purifying Light Sanitizing Cutting Board System.”
This exists?! If it does what it says it does, I must have one. Soon.

8. Clean your clean machine: the washer.
I’ve heard that those new-fangled front-loaders are notoriously stinky if not cleaned routinely. We have a traditional model, so I haven’t really worried about this. Too much, anyway. Other than the occasional Clorox wipe inside and out, of course.

9. Use a dish scrubber filled with dish soap to clean the gunk off your cabinets.
And then rinse that sticky soap off with… ?

10. To kill the germs and viruses that have gathered on your nasty sponges, microwave on high for 2 minutes and let cool.
This is not the first time I’ve heard this. I’ve also heard it’s hokum. I say sponges are for suckers. Clorox wipes take the germs to their trashy graves.

11. Use a few drops of water, cream of tartar, and a sponge to get your stainless steel appliances looking brand new again.
I’ve tried cream of tartar as a cleaning agent, although I can’t remember why. Wasn’t particularly impressed, either.

12. Clean your sink drain.
Are there people who don’t?! Is this truly a trait of the tried-and-true obsessives? Yikes. Thank goodness I don’t get out much.

13. Clean your window tracks.
They say cotton swab and vinegar, I say duh.
14. Refresh your mattress.
Nothing can be offered here that can erase the memories of those mattress commercials that talk about how a mattress gains X amount of pounds after X amount of years from accumulated body soil and sweat. Forget trying to ‘refresh your mattress’. Buy a new one, stat. I know a place if you want a good deal on a mail-order generic tempur pedic. We’ve had ours for almost four years now. I can’t even imagine how much weight it has gained--guess it’s time to order a new one…

15. Keep baseboards clean with fabric softener.
Tried it once. Can’t remember the outcome, so I guess it wasn’t impressive. I’ll stick to vacuuming them with the attachment every other day, thanks.

16. Dust first, then vacuum.
Who wouldn’t?! And while you’re at it, put on your underpants before you pull on your jeans.

17. Clean your candles with pantyhose.
I would probably give this a try if I had candles. Or pantyhose.

18. Unscrew light bulbs and wipe off with a microfiber cloth.
Okay, but I’ve had good luck with regular old dusting cloths. (And Clorox wipes, of course.)

19. Rub a faucet with waxed paper to prevent water spots and finger prints.
So you’re applying a coat of wax to the faucet then? I don’t know how I feel about this. I do know that one of the two times my grandpa yelled at me was the time that Justin and I wax-papered my grandparents’ beautiful wooden staircase so that we could zoom down faster on our rear ends. This was a technique I learned from my mother, might I add. Granted, we were at Roseland Park at the time. On a side note, playgrounds don’t have metal slides anymore.

20. Snip off a slice of a Magic Eraser and drop it in the toilet. Let it float overnight and it’ll remove any toilet ring. No scrubbing! No one wants to be touching toilet germs, not even with gloves on.
Of all the tips, this one bothers me the most. The tip fails to address all the other parts of the toilet which must be routinely cleaned. Magic Erasers are not cheap, and they practically disintegrate upon contact with water. There’s no way it would last long enough to do anything truly beneficial, and if for some reason it DID make it through the night, what the heck are you supposed to do with it in the morning? Flush it down? That doesn’t seem prudent, either…

21. Use Resolve to get your grout back to white.
Had to try this right away. Results were only moderately impressive. Better than the peroxide-dawn-baking soda mixture (leftovers from the extremely successful carrot stain baby bib experiment) but not nearly as great as oxi-clean experiment or even/especially today’s bleach/baking soda combo. Now THAT was impressive.

22. Keep a Scotch Brite dishwand in the shower filled with 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 dishwashing detergent.
Genius! I feel somewhat silly that something this obvious has eluded me for this long. Dishwashing detergent seems like it could build residue, though. Maybe I will start with just vinegar…

23. Deep clean your water bottles if they’ve started to smell a little moldy.

24. Clean your hairbrushes if you really want a good hair day.
The picture accompanying this tip is horrifying. I don’t own a round brush, but if I did, I can assure you that I would clean it LONG before it reached that state.

25. Clean old paintings with a bagel cut in half.
Seems like a waste of a bagel, which would be a shame if you like those sorts of things. Furthermore, it’s so wacky that either (a) they’re messing with us, or (b) it’s so crazy, it just might work. 
So maybe someday I’ll try it.
With an old bagel.
At a Goodwill.

26. Clean blinds with an old sock.
The old standby. If a blog or buzzfeed tip list tries to seduce you into dipping your blinds into Murphy’s Oil (diluted) in your bathtub, DON’T. Stick with the sock method. Or a Clorox wipe.

27. While cleaning the bathroom, fill the tub up with a couple of inches of the hottest water you can draw from the tap.
I’ll keep you posted, but I don’t have high hopes.

28. Cut a hole in a cloth napkin to make dust covers for coats and vests.
This doesn’t sit well with me, but I don’t know why.

29. Use foil in your George Foreman grill or panini maker to prevent mess.
Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of George’s “let the fat drain off” concept?

30. Use WD-40 to erase scuff marks on floors.
I guess. Or lighter fluid, brake fluid, old sunscreen…

31. Pour a packet of lemonade Kool-Aid into the detergent cup of your dishwasher to remove lime deposits and irons stains.
We don’t have those here.

32. Start cleaning out your dryer vents.
Start?! If you’re alive to read this, you’ve probably already made this task a routine.

33. Behold, the sanitizing vacuum cleaner.
Intriguing. But does it work?

34. Use a solution of 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 baking soda to remove sticky residues.
Or lighter fluid, brake fluid, expired sunscreen (or WD-40, apparently!) Save the coconut oil for winter eczema—sure can’t use lighter fluid for that!

35. Wax your vents with car wax to keep the dust off all year.
Hmm… this looks promising. I’ll let you know!

36. Know your uses for vinegar and natural cleaning agents.
Long-time lover, lifetime fan. If I could only take one thing with me to a deserted island, it would definitely be vinegar.

37. The ultimate organization tip: anything and everything should have a place.
And category and a label, obviously.

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